Woman with bouncy, healthy hair behind balloons
Time30 mins
Difficulty LevelEasy

Tools for Tutorial

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Shower Cap

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Spray Bottle

Products used in Tutorial

Rice is a Filipino staple, and fortunately, its benefits go beyond satiating your hunger. On TikTok (and thanks to Cardi B’s DIY natural hair mask recipe), rice has become something of a beauty superstar. Guides on how to use rice water on hair are scattered all over the internet.

While it may seem like a social media trend, rice water has been used as a haircare method for centuries in Asian culture. For example, the Yao women of Southern China and the court ladies during Japan's Heian Period attribute their striking, long hair to rice water.

The Benefits of Rice Water for Hair

Researchers began studying rice water for hair after being intrigued by the history of Japanese women and their use of Yu-Su-Ru, rinse water from the washing of rice. According to a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, rice water benefits include reduced surface friction and improved hair elasticity. It’s also natural: it has no additives, harmful chemicals, plus it is rich in amino acids, minerals, , B, and C, and antioxidants such as inositol. The latter is a known hair reviver.

A study from the Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin found that and gamma oryzanol in rice bran extract induce the formation of , stimulating . Rebalancing overly moisturized manes is also another rice water benefit.

As the anecdotal evidence supporting rice water for hair increases, more people are turning to it to revive their . However, make sure to do your own sleuthing to see if your hair is compatible with rice water. Follow the suggestions below to maximize results.

How to Use Rice Water for Hair: A Start-to-Finish Guide


  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • A strainer
  • 2 bowls (preferably one with a lid)
  • Spray bottle


  • Rinse and strain the rice thoroughly to remove dirt and impurities. 
  • Place rice in a bowl (with a lid) with two cups of water and mix. 
  • Soak for up to 24 hours at room temperature to ferment the rice. 
  • Strain rice while transferring the water from the stored bowl to a new bowl. 
  • Transfer cloudy rice water into a spray bottle and refrigerate it until use. 


A One-Step Rice Water Alternative

Don't worry if rice water doesn’t seem like the right hair solution for you. Other products address the same hair concerns in a fraction of the time while encouraging healthy, luscious hair growth. Plus, you won’t have to concern yourself with kitchen clean-up.

You can rejuvenate dry and rough hair with Dove Intense Repair Keratin Tri-Silk Serum Shampoo. Its Repair Actives instantly nourish, repair, and protect strands from top to bottom with every wash. This shampoo is the perfect match for those who frequently color, bleach, or chemically treat their tresses.

, make it a habit to shampoo with Sunsilk Strong & Long. Its biotin and formula allows for stronger hair while staying deeply nourished.

Hair care is different for everyone. It depends on your lifestyle, schedule, and preference. On some days you may not have time to soak rice for your hair. That’s what modern shampoos are for. But if you have a bit of spare time, extra rice, a taste for experimentation, and tresses that need revival, at least now you know how to use rice water on hair.