Why is rice water so popular? There must be something about rice water that makes it one of the most talked about natural hair remedy.
In this article, we are answering 12 questions about rice water that most bloggers are shying away from. We want to put this matter to rest, finally.
Lets dive in, shall we?
Where did using rice water for hair originate?
The practice of using rice water for hair dates back to the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE) in Japan. During this period Japanese women are said to have had extremely long hair, which was attributed to using rice water.
In the modern day, this tradition is seen with the Yao Women from the Huangluo village in China who are famed for having the longest hair in the world. Women from this village wash their hair using fermented rice water.
The Yao women have such long hair that they have been recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the ‘World’s Longest Hair Village.’
Is rice water good for your hair?
Yes – rice water is packed with amino acids, vitamin E, B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which are all good for your hair. Rice water also contains inositol which is a carbohydrate that can repair damaged hair.
In addition to the carbohydrates, rice contains between 7-16% proteins which form a protective coat on your hair and prevents breakage.
Here is a summary of the benefits of rice water for hair:
- Promotes hair growth
- Repairs damaged hair
- Conditions the hair making detangling easier
- Relieves scalp inflammation
- Improves the hair’s appearance
- May prevents premature graying of hair
While rice water is praised for the numerous benefits it has on hair, you must practice caution when using the rice water as using it too frequently or using rice water that is too potent can lead to protein overload, especially if you have low porosity hair.
How often should you use Rice Water on your hair?
1-2 times a week for people with high porosity hair and 1-2 times a month for people with low porosity hair.
The frequency of using rice water depends on the following 3 main factors:
- Hair porosity
- Protein sensitivity
- Method of use
If your hair is not protein sensitive using rice water 1-2 times a week will work well but If you have low porosity hair then go for at most 2 times in a month.
Some people use rice water daily and it works just fine but for others, using rice water too frequently will lead to damage.
Before you commit to any regimen, ensure you do a patch test to determine your sensitivity to proteins.
Lastly, I can only give suggestions based on what has worked for other people. Your hair is unique to you and thus, do some testing to find what works best. Start off with what I have recommended and adjust as you learn what your hair prefers.
Related article: How Long Should You Leave Rice water in Your Hair?
Can you reuse rice water for hair?
Yes – rice water can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week to be re-used later. This applies when you end up not using the whole amount you’ve prepared.
If you do not use rice water too frequently, it might not be practical to refrigerate for too long hence its best to prepare an amount for a single use.
Alternatively if you end up with excess, re-purpose and use for your skin.
Do I rinse out Rice Water for hair?
For best results rinse out rice water after 15-20 minutes. By this time, all the beneficial nutrients will have infused into the hair strands.
Using rice water as a leave-in conditioner or overnight treatment is also an option if your hair can handle the rice protein without causing excessive drying. Most people with high porosity hair can use rice water and not rinse it out without causing any problems.
What is the best way to use Rice Water for hair?
The best way to use rice water is as final hair rinse after shampooing.
Oil and dirt build-up can clog hair pores inhibiting proper absorption of rice water. The shampooing process removes any built-up dirt and oils that are present on the hair and scalp helping unblock clogged hair pores. When rice water is applied, nutrients absorb into the hair better. This improves hair nutrition and eventually result in massive hair growth.
Is Rice Water dangerous for your hair?
Rice water can damage your hair if overused.
Rice water is a form of protein treatment as it s loaded with up to 16% protein. Using rice water frequently may causes protein overload. Protein molecules are usually too large to penetrate the hair’s cuticle and thus end up sitting on the surface of the hair strands, when these protein pile up, it causes stiffness and prevents water absorption. This results in dry, brittle hair which breaks easily.
Just like any other hair treatment, remember to use rice water moderately.
Is it bad to leave Rice Water in your hair?
This depends of your hair type. People with high porosity hair or hair that is not sensitive to protein can leave rice water in their hair without any issues while people with low porosity hair experience breakage when they leave rice water on their hair.
What rice is best for hair growth?
The Yao women use white sticky rice. Other people prefer brown rice as it is more nutritious than white rice.  Use the rice that is readily available to you.
Can I use Rice Water everyday?
Avoid using rice water on a daily basis as it may lead to protein overload.
Rice water contains high amounts of protein. When applied on hair it acts like a form of protein treatment. Using it on a daily basis leads to condition known as protein overload. Hair that is experiencing protein overload feels brittle, dry and is prone to breakage.
Do you put Rice Water on wet or dry hair?
Rice water should be applied on damp hair to allow easier absorption of the nutrients.
How long does Rice Water take to grow your hair?
On average, it takes about 2-4 weeks to see hair growth after using rice water.
Several factors will determine whether you experience growth sooner than later. It boils down to your hair care practices, overall health, diet and genes. You hair will grow, but if you do not take care of the hair you may end up not retaining the growth.
According Mercy Gono, she experienced incredible hair growth two weeks after she used rice water.
Watch her video below.
Before you leave, you may find this recommended products page useful. Here you will find the natural hair products that my friends & I have found to be very good for natural hair.