Grow Long Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water!

Lovingkinkycurls4C Hair Care, Hair Care Home Remedies2 Comments

Rice water for 4C hair growth

For many rice is food, in fact rice is the most widely consumed cereal in many parts of the world, BUT for some, rice is a beauty product! Have you seen blogs titled: Rice water for Hair Growth? If you haven’t then you are in the right place because I will share my experience of using rice water to grow healthy hair.

Rice water for 4C hair growth? Rice water is believed to benefit the hair in very many ways. Consistent and correct use of rice water promotes healthy hair growth, improves shines and elasticity and effectively conditions the hair by smoothing the cuticles and reducing the surface friction which prevents the strands from tangling.

Asian women, for a very long time have used rice water to enhance their skin and hair beauty. Traditionally, female rice farmers in China, Japan, and other Southeast Asian countries used to bathe and wash their hair in the water used for cleaning rice. This is according to The Epoch Times.

In this article I will cover the following: (i)What is rice water? (ii)Benefits of rice water, (iii)How to prepare rice water, (iv)How to use rice water and (iv)Answers to popular questions on using rice water on hair.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


What is rice water?

Rice water is the milky liquid left over after soaking, washing or boiling rice. Rice water is believed to be beneficial to both the skin, as a toner and hair as a conditioner.

Rice water for natural 4c hair growth

The rice water craze has recently been trending among hair bloggers especially natural 4C Hair bloggers, I personally came across the rice water terminology 3 years after going natural! I wish I discovered it earlier!

Since the very first time I rinsed my natural 4C hair with rice water, I have never looked back. I currently use rice water once in every two weeks but when I started out, I would use it on a weekly basis during wash days.

The most remarkable thing I noticed when I started using the rice water was that it instantly conditioned my hair, making it super soft and super easy to detangle. In fact, these days I primarily use rice water for detangling and as a conditioner.

Benefits of rice water in 4C hair

What makes rice water such a phenomenal hair product? This is a questions that so many natural hair enthusiasts are asking. Below we will explore the various benefits you will get from using rice water on your natural hair care regimen.

1. Promotes hair growth

Rice water contains amino acids that helps in hair regeneration. Rice water also contains Vitamins B, C and E which further promotes hair growth. Consistent use of rice water has been proven to promote hair growth as evidenced in Asian women. It is no wonder the Yao women have an average length of over 1.5 meters. Not only do these women have long hair, the hair is luscious and very healthy.

I have consistently used rice water for over 6 months and I have noticed faster growth. My breakage has also reduced significantly.

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2. Protects hair from damage

Research shows that rice water contains inositol which is a carbohydrate that can repair damaged hair. Even after rinsing off the rice water, Inositol stays in the hair acting as a protective shield.

3. Increases shine and improves hair elasticity

The amino acids contained in the rice water strengthens the hair roots, increases the hair volume and makes the hair smooth and shiny.

4. Detangles hair

Rice water smoothens the cuticles and reduces the surface friction which helps the strands of the hair not to tangle.

How to make rice water for 4C hair growth

Rice Water For 4C Hair Growth


1- No Boil Method


  • ½ cup of clean raw rice
  • 2-3  cups of water
  • 3 drops of an essential oil

(I love purchasing my DIY hair products from Etsy because the products are carefully hand crafted and there is plenty of options to choose from 🙂 Find the Etsy listing of Essential Oils here.

  1. Place clean rice in container and add water.
  2. Swirl it using a spoon in a round motion.
  3. Leave it to sit for 30 minutes in room temperature, the longer the better so that all nutrients are obtained from the rice.
  4. Strain the rice water and add 3 drops of an essential oil
  5. Rinse your hair with the rice water


2- Minimalist/simple life hack method

Are you already worried that after soaking the rice there is going to be wastage? I had a similar concern until I discovered a simple ‘life hack’ in preparing rice water.

  1. On the day you are cooking rice, start by washing your rice. Pour out the water from this wash as it may contain impurities depending on the quality and where you purchase your rice.
  2. Proceed to do a ‘second’ wash but this time do not pour away the water. Store the water in a jar for up-to 24 hours and voila! you have rice water and no wastage.
  3. Why this works: When you are washing the rice you intend to cook, because of quantity, the water resulting from the wash has a lot of minerals in it hence can be used for your hair.


3- Fermentation Method


  • ½ cup of clean raw rice
  • 2-3  cups of water
  • 3 drops of an essential oil (where to buy)
  1. Place clean rice in a container and add water.
  2. Swirl it using a spoon in a round motion.
  3. Cover and leave the rice water to sit in room temperature for 1-2 days.
  4. Strain the rice water and add 3 drops of an essential oil.
  5. Rinse your hair with the rice water.
  6. Store the fermented rice water in the fridge to stop further fermentation.


4- Boil Method


  • ½ cup of clean raw rice
  • 2-3  cups of water
  • 3 drops of an essential oil (where to buy)
  1. Boil water as you normally cook rice
  2. Add twice the amount of water as you normally measure.
  3. When the rice nearly cooked, strain the water out and let it cool under room temperature
  4. Add 3 drops of an essential oil
  5. Rinse your hair with the rice water

**You can vary the quantities based on your hair volume, frequency of use and your desired concentration of the rice water. The quantities below are what I have found to work best for my hair type and volume**


How to use rice water on 4C hair

I have experimented with several methods for using rice water and I have found the following to be the most effective ways. You can get as creative as you want after you have tested how your hair reacts with rice water.

1- Use rice water for detangling hair

When applied to hair, rice water instantly conditions the hair making it soft and easy to detangle. Rice water smoothens the cuticles and reduces surface friction which prevents the strands from tangling.

Benefits of rice water on natural 4c hair
  • Use your preferred preparation method (from the list above) to prepare your rice water
  • Spray your hair with warm water to make it damp not wet.
  • Using a spray bottle, apply the rice water generously to your hair until you starts feeling the softness. (if you don’t have a spray bottle, slowly pour the rice water on your hair using a jar, contain the overflow by using a basin. You can reuse the overflow during the same session)
  • Leave the rice water in for about 5 minutes and then proceed to gently finger detangle your hair.
  • Rinse your hair and proceed with your hair care routine.

3- As a shampoo/Add it to your shampoo

  • Because of its effective conditioning properties, adding rice water to your shampoo makes a big difference in your wash day. The hair will be much easier to manage as you wash it.
  • Another way to use rice water as a washing agent is to prepare your own shampoo using rice water. If you are a DIY person who prefers to carefully examine what is in your products, then you should try this. To make the shampoo, simply add liquid castile soap to your fermented rice water. For added benefits, you can add an essential oil to your mixture.

3- Hair Rinse/Conditioner

  • One of the most popular ways the natural hair community is using rice water is as a hair rinse.  This is achieved by using the rice water to rinse your hair after shampooing. Leave the rice in for about 10 minutes and then rinse off with plain water. For a more pleasant smell, add an essential oil to your rice water.

4- For Pre-poo

  • You can use rice water as pre-poo or overnight spray. To do this, add your usual pre-poo oil such as Olive oil and an essential oil to diluted rice water. Spray your hair with the mixture and leave overnight if your hair can stand the hair proteins for long or for 30 – 45 minutes if rice water makes your hair hard when left in for long.

Plain rice water Vs. fermented rice water – Which is more effective?

Studies have shown that fermented rice water is more effective than plain rice water and here is why:

The PH of plain rice is higher than that of your hair, fermentation brings down the PH level to that of hair and helps close the cuticles hence protecting the hair.

During fermentation, a substance called ‘Pitera’ which is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and organic acids forms in the rice water. Pitera is known to promote cell regeneration and keep your skin and hair healthy.

Here are my thoughts to some popular questions about using rice water:

Can I leave rice water in my hair overnight?

You should rinse off the rice water after a maximum of one hour if you have completely soaked the hair in the rice water. Even after rinsing off the rice water, Inositol stays in the hair acting as a protective shield. So really, there is no added benefit of leaving it on for too long. I found that when I leave rice water in for too long, my hair starts to feel extremely dry.

There are obviously many schools of thought on this but this is my view based on my experience. You can experiment by leaving the rice water for long and see what happens. Your hair may behave differently.

Should I use a conditioner after rice water?

Rice Water for Natural 4C Hair Growth

Rice water is a conditioner in and of itself and it does a perfect job at conditioning your hair. I therefore find no added benefit of using a store bought conditioner after using rice water. Use the rice water as the last rinse after you have shampooed your hair.

I use rice water before and after shampoo. I do it before shampoo to detangle, and after to restore my hair from the harsh chemicals in the shampoo.

I have found rice water to be extremely beneficial for my hair, it is natural, very cost effective and easy to make.

For more tips on hair care and especially 4C natural hair care, check out my other blog posts.

Did you find the article useful? What is your view on leaving rice water overnight? Leave your responses in the comment box below.

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2 Comments on “Grow Long Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water!”

  1. I heard about rice water but never tried it. A close friend mines said they have prepared and used it on there child’s hair and loved the results. So I decided to research it and found your post most reliable, your own experiences and honest. I am willing to gave it a try since I’ve gone natural

    1. Hi Susan,

      I hope all is well with you. Thank you for your kind words. Am glad you found the article reliable. Our goal is to share reliable, helpful and well researched information to help women who are transitioning to natural hair do it easily and as naturally as possible.

      Looking forward to hearing about your experience with rice water. As always, if you have any particular questions not answered in this post, you can reach me via the contact us page.

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