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Health & Wellness


What are Rice Water’s Hair Benefits?

Rice water | Hermagic

With so many passing fads on TikTok, it’s easy to dismiss the use of rice water in the hair as yet another. These rituals, on the other hand, frequently have a basis in fact, as most conspiracy theories do (thus “governments can be untrustworthy” becomes “the world is under the rule of extraterrestrial lizard overlords”)

Using rice water to maintain hair is a common practise throughout Eastern Asia, but in Huang Luo, a town in China where women are famous for their long locks that they care for with rice water rinses, the practise is particularly well-known. Soaking rice in the water and then fermenting it produces a protein-rich liquid that may help heal damaged hair and even encourage growth, according to some experts.

Is there something in it? That’s the opinion of trichologist and Viviscal Ambassador Hannah Gaboardi It’s one of my favourite at-home hair treatments, and I use rice water all the time. There are the numerous advantages to using it on your hair due to the high concentration of minerals and vitamins it contains. It also contains a carbohydrate called inositol, which repairs and protects hair from damage, as well as amino acids, which strengthen and shine hair.


Rice water | Hermagic

The idea of a DIY treatment that can speed up hair development is enticing to those who suffer from hair thinning or are curious to see whether they can grow their hair faster. It’s a similar situation to biotin for hair pills, which can improve the health of your tresses but don’t actually stimulate new hair development.

Anabel Kingsley, a Consultant Trichologist and Brand President at Philip Kingsley, affirms that “rice water will not stop or alleviate a true hair loss condition.” While its high protein concentration may give strands a thicker feel, this is only an aesthetic benefit. “Rinsing hair in rice water can also add shine.”


Rice water | Hermagic

Rice, water, and patience are all you need for this simple recipe. Set aside some time at least a day before you intend to treat and follow Gaboardi’s step-by-step instructions on fermantation for this therapy.

One cup (125g) of white rice should be rinsed and strained to eliminate any remaining water.

Let the rice soak in the 250ml water for at least two hours in a bowl.

Remove the rice from the water in the bowl and discard the sieved water.

A glass jar, lidded and at room temperature overnight or for a full 24 hours, is all that is needed to allow for the rice water’s fermentation.

Within a week of fermentation, store the jar in the fridge.

As a word of caution, Gaboardi recommends adding a few drops of rosemary or lavender oil to rice water to mask the odour. Rice water should be applied directly to the scalp and worked through the hair shaft, ensuring that it reaches every strand. Rinse after five minutes of sitting.”


Rice water | Hermagic

My homemade rice water cure for hair (L-R) An overnight ferment and three hours of mixing later, the initial mixture is ready for use (Image credit: Fiona McKim)

I’m a slacker when it comes to taking care of my hair. Regardless of the quality of my hair masks, I only use them once or twice a month, at the most. But, on the other hand, this method appears to be simple and cost-effective, as well as motivating to use.

To prevent my boyfriend from tossing it into our Friday night paella, I mixed everything together and stashed the bowl on top of the fridge. Cloudy after a few hours, like a fine bowl of tonkotsu ramen, then milky white and a little foul tasting after an overnight fermentation. As the fermentation progresses, the potency increases, but the smell also worsens. As a result, I’ll let you and your noses take care of that.

After rinsing and towel-drying my hair, I used the rice water to give it a final rinse. Due to its thinner texture than a typical mask, this was the trickiest part of the process, and quite a bit of liquid poured off my head and straight through the plughole. If I were to do it again, I’d use a spray bottle to spritz it on. Admit it, you’re a hypocrite. I left it on for ten minutes longer than Gaboardi recommends. I was completely enthralled by the latest Real Housewives of Beverly Hills show.

Even though I didn’t see much of a difference after washing, my fine (and severely damaged from years of bleached babylights) hair felt noticeably softer and fuller after drying. Rice water is a great pre-event treatment if you’re looking to increase your health while also boosting your hair’s volume. With most hair masks, style may be a headache because they leave the hair slick and unmanageable. However, for a little expenditure and maximum satisfaction treatment like this one, I’d definitely do this again in the future.


Rice water | Hermagic

The good news is that putting rice water on your hair properly is unlikely to cause any harm. A buildup of starch or an overdose of protein can lead to hair breakage in sensitive or weak strands if the product is used too frequently. As long as you only use rice water once every 10 days or so, you may easily avoid this problem.

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