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Rice Water Rinse for Curly Hair: What Is It, Benefits, and 3 EASY Rice Water Recipes

By October 3rd, 2021No Comments
rice water rinse for curly hair rice water recipe

Photo by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz on Unsplash

Rice Water Rinse for Curly Hair: What Is It, Benefits, and 3 EASY Rice Water Recipes

By Jacqueline Samaroo

Thinking about using a rice water rinse for curly hair care? Awesome! Keep reading to find out about:

  • The history of using rice water as a hair treatment.
  • The benefits of rice water for hair growth.
  • 3 (really) super-easy DIY rice water recipes.
  • How to use a rice water hair rinse.

But, first, let’s clear any possible confusion about the types of hair rinses.

So, what’s the diff?

There are basically two types of hair rinses. There are rinses that are used like hair conditioners and rinses that add color to hair.

Color rinses are a temporary hair dyeing method. Unlike permanent dyes, you don’t have to grow them out (or cut them off). They wash out with repeated shampooing.

Traditional hair rinses (like rice water) are conditioning treatments. There are MANY, MANY different types of these, each with its own unique benefits. They are used to strengthen and nourish both your hair and scalp.

The History of Rice Water Hair Treatment

The use of rice water as a natural hair conditioner has its roots in Asian history. It dates back to about 1200 years ago when rice held status in Japan as the main way in which people paid for goods and services.

According to history researchers, women back then in the Japanese royal court had lustrous, strong, floor-length hair. What was their secret? It is said the ladies had a daily practice of combing rice water (water used to wash rice) through their hair.

The tradition of using rice water for hair growth can also be found in China and in some parts of Southeast Asia. In fact, in modern-day south China, the women of Huangluo Yao village are in the Guinness Book of Records as the village with the longest hair.

They, too, credit the use of rice water for their hair being well over three feet long. What’s more, women in the village normally don’t see gray hairs until they are at least 80 years old!

To check how your natural haircare routine stacks up, see:

Benefits of Rice Water Rinse for Curly Hair

Overall, the components of rice water are said to:

  • Smooth hair and aid in detangling.
  • Improve hair elasticity for reduced breakage and maximized bounce.
  • Increase shine, giving hair a healthy-looking glow.
  • Repair damage from the inside out.
  • Make hair stronger and more resistant to breakage.
  • Have the overall effect of causing hair to grow longer.
  • Slow aging of hair and maintain its natural color.

So, is there any scientific proof of the power of rice water for hair growth? Or, specifically, the benefits of rice water rinse for curly hair?

Most of the information you will find on rice water’s hair benefits is anecdotal since very little research has been done on the topic. The lack of research is most likely due to the use of rice water for hair care being relatively new in the Western world.

But, there have been plenty of studies conducted into the many health benefits of rice. These show that rice is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that are needed for general health, including healthy hair growth.

Advocates for using a rice water hair rinse say some of the beneficial substances in rice seep into rice water (that cloudiness you see). These are then transferred to your scalp and strands when rice water is used as a treatment for hair.

We rounded up some examples of research into rice water for hair found in peer-reviewed journals:

Another hair-healthy component of rice is inositol, an antioxidant. It has also been shown to have anticancer properties. It is thought to penetrate, strengthen, and repair hair. Rice also has plenty of amino acids which can have the effect of plumping up your strands, as well as leaving them shiny and smooth.

3 DIY Rice Water Recipes

rice water recipe

Rice Water Recipe #1 – A short soak

This rice water rinse for curly hair is super simple – anyone can try it!

  • Rinse half-cup of rice to remove any impurities.
  • Add 2 to 3 cups of water to the rice.
  • Let the rice soak for at least 30 minutes (a couple of hours, if you have the time).
  • Strain the rice water into a clean container.
  • Use right away or place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Rice Water Recipe #2 – A long soak

Some persons say letting the rice soak longer is better as it allows more of the beneficial chemicals in the rice to be drawn out into the water. By soaking the rice for a longer period of time, what you will be making and using is actually fermented rice water.

  • Rinse half-cup of rice to remove any impurities.
  • Add 2 to 3 cups of water to the rice.
  • Let the rice soak for 12 to 24 hours. (You can tell it’s ready when it starts to smell a bit sour.)
  • Strain the rice water into a clean container.
  • Use right away or place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Rice Water Recipe #3 – Boiling

The third way to make rice water rinse for curly hair is to boil the rice.  Here’s how to do it:

  • Rinse half-cup of rice to remove any impurities.
  • Add 2 to 3 cups of water to the rice.
  • Heat it up and allow it to boil for a few minutes.
  • Stir the rice or press it with spoon as it boils. (Optional)
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Strain the rice water into a clean container.
  • Use right away or place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Dilute before use.

For other homemade hair treatments, read:

How to Use Rice Water Rinse

How you use your rice water rinse is the same regardless of how you made it. Start by washing your hair as usual with your regular shampoo and conditioner. Rinse your hair with tap water. Pour your rice water rinse over your hair.

Massage and comb it in then let it stay in your hair for up to 20 minutes. Give your hair a final rinse with tap water.

Watch how TheChicNatural does it with three-day-old fermented rice water. Awesome results!!

Have you ever tried a rice water rinse for curly hair? Tell us about the results!

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