How to Make Rice Water – 8 Simple Recipes

Beatrice NtengeriDIY Remedies, Rice Water for HairLeave a Comment

How to make rice water

Using rice water on hair has gained a lot of popularity worldwide and thus there has been a lot of creativity on how to make rice water.

In this article I will share 8 different ways on how to make rice water for hair growth, including the Yao Women Rice Water Recipe.

Rice water contains several nutrients found in rice. These include amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids and phenolic compounds. When used on hair, rice water is thought to make the hair smooth, shiny, stronger and growing fast.

The practice of using rice water to grow and strengthen hair dates back to the ancient Heian period in Japan where the court women kept their hair beautiful and long hair (draped to the floor) by washing it in rice water.  

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How to Make Rice Water for Hair

Here are 8 different ways on how to make rice water

1. How to make Rice Water using the Fermentation Method

Here is the fermented rice water recipe


  • One cup of clean raw rice
  • 2-3 cups of water


  • Put a cup of rinsed raw rice in a jar.
  • Add 2-3 cups of water.
  • Seal the jar and let it stand at room temperature for at least 2 days for fermentation to take place. A sour smell results. When the solution is stored for longer, it becomes more concentrated and therefore you will need to dilute the fermented rice water before you use it.
  • Strain the rice water.
  • Rinse your hair with the rice water. Because the fermentation process results in a sour smell, dilute with water then add an essential oil or citrus zest to mask the bad smell.
  • To preserve fermented rice water, store it in the fridge. Cold temperatures slow down further fermentation. This means your rice water would still go bad if stored in the fridge for too long.

Watch this video to see how Lana prepares fermented rice water

So why ferment the rice water?

Fermented rice water is rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin E, minerals and traces of pitera. (1)

The fermentation process leads to formation of a new substance called pitera. Pitera is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and organic acids. Pitera promotes cell regeneration and keeps the scalp and hair healthy.

Studies show that fermented substances have a higher amount of antioxidants. The antioxidants curb hair and skin cell damage. Less damage leads to more hair growth. (2)

The fermentation process also lowers the pH level of rice water. When applied to the hair, it can balance or restore the scalp’s pH level. The normal scalp pH falls between 4.5- 5.5. Alteration of the scalp pH above this range leads to scalp irritations. This therefore make fermented rice water a great natural remedy for scalp issues such as dandruff.

Related: How to Prepare Fermented Rice Water that Doesn’t Smell Bad

2.  How to make rice water using the Yao Women rice water recipe

Yao Women Rice Water Recipe

With an average hair length of 6 feet long, the Chinese Yao women are famed for having longest hair in the world. Besides having incredible length, Yao women’s hair retains color longer, greying begins after they reach their 80’s.

The Yao women believe that using rice water to wash their hair is what keeps it long and dark. 

Here is how you make rice water using the Yao women rice water recipe:


  • White rice (preferably the sticky rice)
  • Water
  • Pomelo Peels
  • Tea Bran
  • Fleeceflower Root
  • Ginger


  • Wash the rice properly to remove any dirt or impurities.
  • Add water. Rub the rice in between your hands so as to extract content in the rice. When the water becomes cloudy strain it into a large clay pot.
  • Heat on an open flame and bring it to a boil
  • Add the Pomelo peels, Tea Bran, Fleece Flower Root and Ginger to the boiling rice water
  • Allow the rice water to cool at room temperature.
  • Strain the rice water and put the rice water in a jar then seal it. Store the jar in a cool dark place from 3 -4 days to allow fermentation to take place.

In some variations of this recipe, the rice water is left to ferment for a month before using it.

Watch this video to see how the Yao women rice water is prepared.

I found this video very interesting! This is how Mercy Gono has interpreted the Yao Women rice water recipe. I encourage you to get as creative as you want with this recipe just remember to retain the key ingredients or the equivalent of the same. E.g if you don’t have the Pomelo peels, you can use Orange peels just like what Mercy has done in the video.

Source: Yao Women Rice Water Recipe

3. How to make rice water using the No-boil Method

Here is the No-boil Rice Water Recipe


  • One cup of raw rice
  • 2-3 cups of water


  • Place the rice in a container.
  • Add 2-3 cups of water to the rice.
  • Let the rice soak in water at room temperature for 30-40 minutes. Soaking of the rice in water essentially allows for the leaching out of water soluble nutrients.
  • Swirl the mixture then strain the rice water.

The no boil method is the fastest way you can use to make rice water for your hair however the rice water from this method has lesser nutritional content than the rice water prepared using the fermentation method.

For people with low porosity hair or protein sensitive hair, preparing their rice water using this method is most recommended as it’s less potent.

4. How to make rice water using the Rinse Out Method

Have you ever been worried about the wastage you’d incur each time you prepared rice water? Then here’s a better way to enjoy rice water for hair growth without worrying about wastage.

It’s important to note that preparation of rice water is done only if you intend to cook rice afterwards to avoid wastage.


  1. Before you cook your rice, wash it. Discard the water used for the first wash as it is mainly purposed to remove dirt in the rice.
  2. Proceed to the second wash but remember not to pour away the water used.  Store the water in a closed jar to be placed in a cool dark place so as to allow for fermentation to take place.
  3. Use the rice water on hair.

As simple as that. Read this article to learn more about this method.

5. How to make rice water using the Boiling Method

How to make rice water for hair - boiling method


  • One cup of clean raw rice
  • 4 cups of water (twice the amount of water normally used)


  • Put the water in a pot to bring it to boil then add rice.
  • When the rice is nearly cooked, stain the excess water.
  • Let the rice water cool to room temperature before using it.

6. How to make Rice Water with Fenugreek Seeds

Here is the Rice & Fenugreek water method of preparing rice water


  • 3 tablespoons of rice
  • 2 tablespoons of Fenugreek seeds
  • Water


  • Put three table spoons of washed rice in a jar then add two table spoons of Fenugreek seeds.
  • Add water to the mixture
  • Seal the jar then allow the mixture sit for two days or more before using it.

Fenugreek seeds provide additional benefits to those that are provided by rice water. Fenugreek seeds are high in mucilage. Mucilage provides smoothness which helps us have a short and less hectic detangling process. Fenugreek has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which make it a good remedy for scalp issues.

7. How to make rice water with Fenugreek and Hibiscus


  • 3 tablespoons of rice
  • 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
  • Hibiscus petals
  • water


  • Put the washed rice in a jar.
  • Add fenugreek seeds plus the dried hibiscus petals.
  • Add a reasonable amount of water to the mixture.
  • Seal the jar then store at room temperature for at least two days before using it.

Hibiscus is among the most used plants for hair treatment. Hibiscus is rich in amino acids and vitamin C which nourish hair and strengthen roots. Hibiscus balances the pH of the scalp and reduces its greasiness this way the scalp can be maintained healthy for optimal hair growth.

Also, hibiscus prevents the appearance of premature greys. Antioxidants and vitamins in it help produce melanin, natural pigment that give hair its color.

8. How to make rice water with Aloe Vera


  • 3 tablespoons of washed rice
  • Aloe Vera juice


  • Put the three tablespoons of washed rice in a jar.
  • Add a reasonable amount of water to the rice.
  • Leave it to soak for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, mix with Aloe Vera juice in a 1:1 ratio then proceed to application.

This mixture helps hair strands grow faster and thicker. Rice water and Aloe Vera juice are both great conditioners. When used on hair, they leave your strands feeling live and hydrated.

Aloe Vera helps with scalp issues present on the scalp such as scalp itchiness and dandruff. Proteolytic enzymes in Aloe Vera makes it good for exfoliation. It’s thus able to scrap off dead cells that may clog hair follicles preventing hair growth. 

General guidelines when making rice water for hair

  • Ensure you clean the rice thoroughly before using it to prepare rice water. This helps get rid of any pesticides and topical pollutants which you would not want to add on hair.
  • All procedures may involve the addition of an essential oil/s. The commonly used oils include rosemary oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil. These oils help to mask the bad odor that comes about due to the fermentation process. They also aid in the enhancement of the nutritional composition of rice water.

How to use Rice Water as a conditioner

There are other various ways of using rice water but I find using my rice water as a hair condition my best way of application. Below is how it’s done:

  • Shampoo your hair normally
  • Thoroughly rinse it with clean water
  • Section your hair for manageability
  • Apply the rice water to your hair using a spray bottle
  • Leave the rice water in your hair for at least 15 minutes for the nutrients to be absorbed into the hair strands.
  • Thoroughly rinse it out using cold water.

Benefits of Rice Water on hair

Rice water promotes hair growth

Rice water contains protein which help in the regeneration of new hair strands. Rice water also administers other nutrients to the hair follicles therefore boosting hair growth.

Rice water adds shine to hair

Rice contains lipids which upon application will be imparted on the hair.

It provides nourishment to the scalp

Rice water is a rich source of nourishment to the hair follicles.

It protects the hair from damage

Studies have found out that rice water contains inositol as an active ingredient. Inositol has an ability to penetrate a damaged hair strand and repair it inside and out.

Inositol remains in the hair even if the hair is rinsed after rice water application. This provides a protective shield to the hair even from future damage.

Rice Water improves hair elasticity

Rice water smoothen hair cuticles and reduces surface friction which helps keep your hair tangle free.

Read this article to learn more on the benefits & side effects of rice water.

Last words: Please note that rice water is not a miracle hair growth ingredient. It takes some time before you start noticing the changes. A little consistency by incorporating it into your hair care regime would help you reap its maximum benefits.

It’s also important to remember that rice water acts as a protein treatment. So if your hair is sensitive to protein treatment to be on the safer side use rice water less frequently.

Related Article: How long should you leave rice water in hair?

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