How often should I use rice water on my hair? [Explained]

We frequently miss the minor details, especially when it comes to beauty. The glamour, glam, and clever marketing materials attract us. But what if I told you there’s a fantastic beauty product right now in your cupboard?

It’s not a new idea to use rice water to strengthen and improve hair. It stems back to Japan’s ancient Heian era, when court ladies were renowned to have gorgeous, long hair that hung down to the floor. Their secret ingredient was rice water.

Impressed by this hair treatment, experts and beauty enthusiasts alike have aimed to find whether rice water can truly improve and strengthen hair. According to research, inositol, an ingredient present in rice water, has the ability to enter damaged hair and heal it from the inside out. It even shields hair from further damage.

One of the nicest aspects of this cosmetic product is how simple it is to prepare. You only need rice and water. 

How often should I use rice water on my hair?

This is a difficult issue to answer because it differs from person to person. We highly advise you to try several techniques of making and applying rice water to find what works best for you.

Generally, twice a week is plenty for most hair types. If you have dry or curly hair, begin with once a week and see how it goes. If your hair is really greasy, you may need to use the treatment three times per week to achieve the desired results.

You want to use rice water on clean hair, therefore don’t use it more frequently than once a week.

However, washing regularly will wash some of the minerals from the rice water out faster, so if you wash your hair virtually every day, you may need to use the treatment more frequently.

Benefits of using rice water

1. Say goodbye to frizzy hair

A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2010 indicated clearly that applying rice water as a hair treatment had various benefits such as enhanced elasticity, texture, and decreased friction and frizz. This is due mostly to the presence of inositol, a carbohydrate.

2. It is a chemical-free hair cleanser

It may not be as handy to use as a shampoo to wash out your hair as a store-bought shampoo, but it is free of chemicals and preservatives, and you don’t even need to follow it up with a conditioner. It also regulates the pH levels of your scalp.

Rice water retains the natural oils in your hair and has a pH level that is close to that of the scalp! A few drops of your favorite essential oils may be added to rice water for extra benefits, and this mixture can be used in place of your typical shampoo.

3. It helps to untangle hair

The silky texture of rice water, which is infused with several vitamins, helps soothe and untangle your strands, making your hair more manageable and easier to brush without causing breaking.

4. It helps to smooth the hair

Rice water is thought to contain amino acid-rich qualities that can bind with your hair strands and nurture them from within.

5. It helps hair look shinier

Rice water, which is high in vitamin E, gives frizzy and dull hair a lustrous and glossy finish.

6. It prevents graying

Rice water contains antioxidants that help repair aging damage to your hair and encourage cell regeneration from within. This also enhances its ability to combat environmental harm caused by dust and pollution.

How Fast Can You See Results for Hair Growth?

While it may appear impossible, several women report rapid hair growth after taking rice water. Humans naturally develop hair at a pace of around half an inch every month, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

However, some ladies report that hair treated with rice water may grow two inches every month. While this appears odd, even little improvements have a major impact.

To put it into perspective, untreated hair grows roughly six inches each year on average. Including a rice water treatment in your hair care regimen might more than double your length retention, resulting in longer hair.

Also, rice water stimulates hair fullness, so your hair will not only be longer but also thicker.

Healthy hair grows quicker than damaged hair; because rice water increases elasticity and reduces surface friction, these two factors encourage better hair length or growth retention.

It’s worth noting that we mentioned rice water can or may develop hair, not that it would.

According to a dermatologist in New York City, there are no studies that show rice water boosts hair growth on its own.

However, another New York dermatologist, Dr. Neil Sadick, stated that there are no negative consequences, and if your hair grows quicker after beginning a rice water routine, that’s fantastic.

How Much Water Do You Put In Rice Water?

The amount of water you use is determined on the technique of preparation. If you soak the rice, use three to four times the amount of water as rice. Since rice absorbs relatively little water, this ratio results in a lot of rice water.

If you want to boil the rice, you may need somewhat more since part of the water will evaporate and the rice will absorb some of the water as well, but not much more.

The more water you use, the dilution of your rice water. If you’re worried about the ratio, you can always get rice water for hair products online.

If you believe your rice water is too powerful, you may dilute it by adding extra water after the fact. It is ok to mix ordinary water with fermented rice water.

If you’re wondering how much water to need to rinse the rice water out, simply do it in the shower with running water. It should take less time than rinsing shampoo.

The ideal water-to-rice ratio for preparing and utilizing rice water differs from person to person. Fortunately, because it is so cheap to produce, this is another area where you may experiment to determine what works best for your hair and scalp.

How Long Should Rice Water Ferment for Hair?

A variety of things can influence the fermentation process for rice. Let’s go through those variables first.


The higher the temperature, the faster the rice water ferments. This does not imply that you should turn up the heat in your home, but it should be stored somewhere that is not exposed to chilly drafts.


Fermentation happens more quickly in semi-lit or dark conditions. It’s fine to expose it to some light, but don’t leave it in the sun or directly under a lamp.


The longer you leave it, the more fermentation it will undergo. However, rice water does not need to ferment for very long; in fact, you generally don’t want to because it has a strong odor.

In most houses, simply leave your rice water overnight, or for 12 to 24 hours. Fermentation usually takes at least eight hours.

Give it a smell to see if it’s ready. It should smell sour and somewhat smelly. If it’s ready, you’ll know right away; if you’re not sure, leave it for a few more hours.

How To Store Rice Water for Hair

Rice water can be stored in a variety of ways. It’s ideal to keep it in a spray bottle because that’s what you’ll most likely use to apply it to your hair.

We prefer glass bottles to plastic bottles for several reasons. For starters, glass is better for the environment. Second, certain plastics contain contaminants that might contaminate the contents. If you must use plastic, look for a BPA-free bottle.

Since rice water is perishable, it must be kept in the refrigerator. As a result, we don’t advocate producing a large batch of rice water at once. Small batches are preferable!

Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to shower, then return it to the fridge when you’re finished (if there’s any left).

Rice water may be stored for four to five days. After that, it won’t do you any harm, especially because you’re not eating it. However, you want the goods to be as fresh as possible, so throw it away within a week.

Results of using rice water

Here’s what I learned from using a rice water rinse.

My hair already felt different within one minute. It appeared to have an outer layer, or a thin shell, surrounding each strand, protecting my hair as I brushed it. My hair usually breaks when I push my detangling brush through it. My hair, on the other hand, held its own this time.

After one day: My best buddy informed me that my hair seemed brighter and blonder the morning after my first rice water rinse.

My hair felt thicker, fuller, and more manageable after one week. I experimented with blow-drying my hair, something I never do since it results in quick broken flyaways that frame my head.

What happened this time? There is little to no visible breakage.

My hair was still really soft, but not in a fluffy, light manner, but rather in a thicker, more apparent way, as if I’d sprouted a half mane. I had my hair half up in a bun with a regular ponytail holder and casually took it out, letting my hair fall as if it hadn’t been tied up at all.

Side Effects of using rice water

Even though there are many people who support using rice water for hair, there are also those who have had less-than-satisfactory outcomes, such as flaky buildup on the scalp, protein excess on the hair cuticle, dryness, and breaking.

Although there is no scientific evidence to support particular hair types utilizing or avoiding rice water, we urge certain people to exercise caution. Why? Because the strong starch component of the water may cause brittleness and breaking over time, persons with baby fine hair or low porosity hair should exercise caution when trying with rice water.

Rice water will induce a protein buildup on your hair if you have low porosity hair, which can cause serious dryness and damage quickly.

Rice water is not a magical treatment, but rather a patient and steady healing process. It will need to be as much a part of your everyday routine as eating breakfast or brushing your teeth. Also, look for certified organic white rice, since non-organic varieties may include residues of dirt, pollutants, germs, and pesticides that you are exposed to, resulting in skin problems such as eczema and other allergies.

Preservatives are not used because the product is handmade. So keep an eye out for when it starts to go bad and make a fresh batch every couple of days.

What About the Scalp?

When you rub rice water into your scalp, it absorbs the vitamins and nutrients that have been incorporated into the water and are beneficial to your hair. After all, healthy hair is produced by healthy hair follicles.

In reality, most of the reason why rice water may increase hair development is due to the scalp rather than anything else.

The antioxidants in rice water aid in the repair of damaged hair follicles and cells on the scalp, allowing hair to grow faster. It also promotes healthy hair growth.

Did you know?

As previously stated, rice water has long been utilized by women in Asian societies. The Yao ladies of China are the modern-day equivalents of the Heian women. These women are known for fermenting rice water and incorporating it in their beauty rituals, with hair lengths averaging 6 ft. They also show no symptoms of greying hair before the age of 80!


Can I use rice water in my hair overnight?

Yes, you may use rice water as an overnight hair mask. However, do not keep it on for more than 18 hours since rice water might cause bacterial growth, which can cause scalp irritation and peeling.

Do you rinse your hair with rice water before or after shampooing?

You won’t have to adjust your washing routine to accommodate your rice water rinse; simply use it after shampooing and conditioning, whether once a day or once a week. When using the rice water, try to concentrate on your scalp first and work your way out. Allow it to stay for two to five minutes before rinsing.

Can I use conditioner after washing my hair with rice water?

No, if you’re only rinsing your hair with rice water, you don’t need to use a conditioner afterwards. However, if you use a rice water hair mask for more than 10 minutes, follow it up with a deep hydration conditioner to replenish moisture in your tresses.

Can I keep rice water in a spray bottle and use it daily?

Rice water may be kept at room temperature for up to 24 hours and in the refrigerator for up to a week. After that time, the batch will ferment and deteriorate. It is best to use rice water on the same day or the next, and no more than once every day.

Do you use a conditioner after a rice water rinse?

No, if you’re only rinsing your hair with rice water, you don’t need to use a conditioner afterwards. However, if you use a rice water hair mask for more than 10 minutes, follow it up with a deep hydration conditioner to replenish moisture in your tresses.

Final Words

Finally, whatever effects a rice water rinse has on one hair type, it is likely to have similar effects on another, including natural hair.

So, what exactly is rice water? It’s actually rather easy. If you cook rice as usual, the milky water that is produced is rice water.

For most dishes, you may use white, brown, jasmine, basmati, or any other variety of rice.

Finally, is rice water beneficial to your hair? I believe so, but I’m not sure. Many people cited the studies we linked to in this post as scientific proof.

Although, in truth, I’d want to see more studies to back up the results of rice water.

In any case, there appears to be no reason not to utilize the rinse. I encourage you give it a shot. Continue to use it if you enjoy the way it makes your hair look and feel.