How to use rice water for hair growth: Tips & tricks

by Maria Konou

The rice water hair recipe took the whole Internet by storm. Everyone is either already using rice water or thinking about using it. Why? The Internet claims the rice water recipe is the ultimate hack for long, healthy, and shiny hair. And isn’t this what we all want? But is this magical recipe truly what everyone claims it to be, or is it a flop? In this article, we are going to discuss how to use rice water for hair growth, what is the best recipe to use, and where this rice hack originated from. Let’s start!

Rice water is a DIY beauty hack loved by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Cardi B

how to make rice water for hair growth and extreme shine

Rice water has been used as a cosmetic for centuries by Asian women


What is rice water exactly?

You make rice water by soaking rice in water long enough for its benefits to translate into the liquid. Rice water contains several nutrients found in rice like amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. When we use it on our hair, rice water makes the hair smoother, shinier, stronger, and faster growing. The Yao Women, who come from Huangluo Yao village in China, have the longest hair in the world since they believe that long hair signifies prosperity, good fortune, and longevity. Their secret? This rice water recipe has been their staple beauty remedy for ages!

The Yao Women have the longest and healthiest hair in the world

yao women rice water recipe for shiny and healthy hair

Does rice water really work?

While there is still no scientific research that completely backs up the purported results, many believe that rice water works like magic. Personally speaking, I noticed a dramatic change in my hair after the first time I used rice water. This is a hair treatment that allows you to see immediate results in the condition of your hair, that is also why so many people are so impressed. Usually, you have to use a product for a couple of days to weeks in order to see any change in your hair.

Rice water is great because you can see results immediately 

amazing rice water for hair growth results 1 week girl with curly hair

How often should I use rice water on my hair?

Generally, it is good to use rice water once a week. Different hair types react to rice water differently, that is why using it once a week is a rule that fits everyone. Pay attention to this advice and do not exceed the recommended frequency of use!

What are the side effects of rice water on hair?

This is very important to note! Speaking from personal experience, after the first time you use rice water, you get so excited about using it again and again. Once you see the results, you want more and more. But there is a catch! Using rice water more frequently than once a week will have a negative impact on the health of your hair. Why? Rice water is a protein treatment and if used more frequently it will provide your hair with a lot more protein than it needs. So your hair starts getting dryer and dryer after every use, and rice water stops giving you the benefits you so desire. As someone who went through that, all I can say is that it is important to follow these recommendations for once.

Don’t use rice water more than once a week to avoid protein overload

amazing rice water before and after 1 month results on women

What is the recipe for rice water?

Below, we will show you the two best recipes to make rice water at home. There are many different methods and variations for making rice water, but these three recipes has worked for many people.

Jasmin rice is the least smelly option for rice water

how long does it take for rice water to grow your hair and make it shiny

Method 1 (The Yao Women Rice Water Recipe)

What you will need:

  • white rice (preferably sticky rice)
  • water
  • pomelo peels
  • tea bran
  • fleece flower root
  • ginger

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, wash the rice properly to remove any dirt or other impurities. Rice is typically washed at least 3 times.
  2. Next, add water. Start rubbing the rice in between your hands and whenever the water becomes cloudy, pour into another pot.
  3. Then heat the water until it boils.
  4. Add the other ingredients: pomelo peels, fleece flower root, tea bran and ginger to the boiling rice water.
  5. After 5 minutes, remove it from the heat, and let the rice water cool down.
  6. Strain the rice water and let it sit in a sealed jar.
  7. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 3-4 days to allow the fermentation to take place.

Store your rice water in the fridge for a longer use

do you know how long does rice water last in a mason jar

Method 2+3

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • citrus peels (orange, lemon, clementine grapefruit, pomelo all work)
  • essential oils (clementine, lemon, grapefruit, orange all work)
  • 2 cups (0.47 l) of water
  • a strainer
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 container with a lid
  • A spray bottle

Citrus peels help mask the fermentation smell

can you leave rice water in your hair if there are citrus peels inside

Next time, you are eating a grapefruit, remember to save its skin for this DIY

citrus peels from grapefruit for rice water recipe hack

Lemons are a great option since they can be found in almost every kitchen

lemon peels make rice water smell fresh and citrusy

Directions for Soaking:

  1. First, pour ½ cup of uncooked rice into a strainer.
  2. Then rinse well.
  3. Next, place rice in a bowl with 2 cups of water. Add the citrus peels and a few drops of your essential oil of choice.
  4. Soak for up to 24 hours at room temperature.
  5. After that, strain the rice water into a clean bowl.
  6. Finally, funnel rice into a spray bottle and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use!

Essential oils are also great for DIY cleaning solutions 

different aromatic essential oils forcosmetics cleaning and air purification

Clementine essential oil will make your rice water smell fresh and zesty

clementine essential oil for rice water recipe fresh smell

Make sure to thoroughly wash the rice to remove the starch

starch water how to wash rice for hair strenght recipe

Let the rice soak for a day or two before using

do you know how to wash rice for hair growth recipe

Directions for Boiling:

  1. First, pour ½ cup of uncooked rice in a strainer.
  2. Then rinse it well repeatedly.
  3. After that, boil 2 cups of water. Add the citrus peels and a few drops of your essential oil.
  4. Next, pour rice into boiling water and boil into the water is cloudy.
  5. After a couple of minutes, remove it from the heat, and let it cool.
  6. After that, strain the rice.
  7. Funnel the rice water into a spray bottle.
  8. Finally, refrigerate until use.

Add your peels to the boiling water, and they will infuse the rice with  a fruity smell

citrus peels for rice water yao women recipe

Boil the rice water until the peels have softened, and the water has become cloudy

candied orange peel for rice water recipe for shiny long hair

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, wash your hair with shampoo and rinse it well.
  2. After that, towel dry your hair.
  3. Pour the rice water onto the hair and massage it into the hair and scalp.
  4. Next, cover with a plastic cap or bag (a shower cap works, too)
  5. Leave the rice water on your hair for up to 20 minutes.
  6. Finally, rinse thoroughly with warm water and style as desired.

Wait 20 mins and let the rice water do its magic

are there bad side effects of rice water on hair

How long do you let rice water sit before putting it in your hair?

You can use the rice water immediately, but generally, it is best to wait at least a couple of hours for the best outcome.

Do you put rice water on wet or dry hair?

For best results, hair masks, leave-in-conditioners, hair treatments as well as rice water should be used on wet hair. Wet hair allows for better absorption of the product.

Make sure to thoroughly wash your hair from any residue

amazing hack rice water for natural hair growth and rejuvination

Why does rice water smell so bad?

Because it is fermented. Fermented goods have a very specific smell that can be too overwhelming for some. That is where citrus peels and essential oils help!

Do you use conditioner after rice water?

You can! But make sure it is a hydrating conditioner. Avoid using protein treatments of any kind and rice water together, since this can cause a protein overload. What’s more, your hair needs products that promise deep hydration. The Yao women wash their hair by lowering their heads into the rice water and using a wooden comb to thoroughly spread the water from the roots to the tips of the hair.

Can you leave rice water on your hair without rinsing?

Yes, you can spray your hair with rice water, but it won’t be absorbed as much. It is considered better to use it as a treatment and rinse it out after.

How long does rice water last?

Some women use fermented rice water for up to a month. We suggest keeping it in smaller batches in your fridge. What’s more, you can try making fresh batches of rice water every other week.

A great option for storing rise water are glass jars 

how long does rice water last before going bad

Maria Konou

Maria Konou is a specialist in the field of digital marketing and fashion. However, she has always had a way with words. That’s what led her to her dream job here at Archzine. She has worked in many different fields over the years, but according to her, being an author has been the most rewarding. Maria is a huge plant enthusiast, loves everything fashion-related, is very sustainably aware, and is always open to learning about new things.