Rice water for hair hack – Does rice water really work? Hair experts have their say

Ellie Warner stuns as she shows off her new pink hair

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Rice water videos on social media platform TikTok have been growing in popularity, as the users claim the homemade mixture strengthens hair and adds shine. Many have been wanting to give their locks a revamp, particularly with hairdressers closed in lockdown – but what are the benefits of rice water? Hair experts at Clip Hair have given Express.co.uk their expert advice on the trend.

Using rice water on hair originates from ancient China, from the Yao women in a small village in the south of the country.

The Yao women were renowned for their healthy, shiny long hair which would stay black until they were into old age.

The reason for their luscious locks was due to the use of rice water.

Clip Hair explains there are a number of benefits to using rice water on the hair.

Read More: Hair loss treatment: Rosemary oil to increase hair growth

These benefits include the mixture being filled with a number of nutrients such as antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, Vitamins E and B as well as inositol.

Inositol is one of the more vital ingredients which is found in rice water as it promotes hair growth, penetrating the damaged hair and repairing it from the inside out.

Inositol will also strengthen the hair preventing it from further damage in the future, which means that your hair becomes stronger and much healthier.

Despite some claims, there is no evidence that suggests rice water makes your hair grow.

However, this treatment does help to strengthen hair and reduce breakage which in turn helps to promote faster hair growth.

Starch is also found in rice water which will help your hair to appear fuller, shinier and much easier to brush through and manage day to day.

Are there are any side effects of using rice water?

As with any shampoo, everyone’s skin and hair is different, and so, this age-old hack may not work for everyone.

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That being said, there aren’t many strong side effects to worry about and most people find the treatment works for them.

There is one fairly rare side effect which could occur, where protein builds up on the scalp.

This depends on the person’s hair type and texture.

If you have a sensitive scalp or thin hair you should perhaps not do the treatment too often to prevent build-up.

Rice water recipe

While you can buy shampoos with rice water already in, you can also make it yourself at home easily.


  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 cup of water


Firstly you should rinse and strain the rice to ensure all dirt and impurities are removed from the grains of rice.

Mix the rice in a bowl with one cup of water, mix until the water turns cloudy.

Strain the rice and keep the water on the bowl.

Put the rice water in a plastic container and cover the top, let it sit at room temperature for around 10 to 24 hours, this will allow it to ferment and for the vitamins and minerals to soak into the water.

Finally, fill a smaller container or old shampoo bottle with the rice water, stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

When you next plan to wash your hair, take it to the shower and apply it evenly throughout damp hair after you have shampooed, leave it for a few minutes then rinse.

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