One of the latest beauty trends that’s currently blowing up on social media platforms like TikTok is using rice water as a hair rinse. However, it's always best to get more information before jumping to any conclusions regarding the efficiency, use, and advantages of this treatment. Read on to learn more, including how to prepare a rice water hair rinse!
Quick history lesson
One could say that this trend is very recent, at least on TikTok, but it's actually been around for hundreds of years. People in East Asian countries have been using rice water to wash their hair and pointing it as a reason why, for example, women in Japan during the Heian period managed to maintain such long hair. Surprisingly, it's recently made a comeback and has gained many new users.
Why is it so popular?
There's surely a reason why this trend went from zero to thousands of followers, right? Even if you don't believe everything people say on social media, you've probably come across at least one of the more than 100,000 videos on TikTok sharing people's tips and experiences with rice water hair rinse, and you must be somewhat curious. The reason why so many users have taken to using this homemade remedy post-shampoo is that it's said to strengthen, brighten, and help the hair grow faster. But, are all of these benefits real?
Myths and truths
There are both truths and lies in the benefits people attribute to rice water as a hair rinse. To begin with, there's no scientific proof that this treatment boosts the hair cycle and helps it grow faster. This means that there are no studies that prove the effectiveness of rice water hair rinse against hair loss.
On the other hand, there are benefits that this hair treatment can provide to your hair fibers. Firstly, rice has very high starch compounds, which transfer to the water when it's soaking in the liquid. This complex carbohydrate can have a positive effect on your hair's looks, as it can coat the hair fibers to boost their shine and glow.
Secondly, both the starch and the carbohydrate inositol in rice can improve your hair's hydration. The second one will also go a step further, staying in your hair after rinsing and providing the strands with moisture even after washing it, from the inside out.
Lastly, there are speculations regarding the effect of rice water on the hair's frizz levels. While the evidence isn't robust, this liquid is believed to be rich in certain amino acids which, when applied to the hair, can stay in the hair shaft and have different positive effects. These including smoother, less tangled, less frizzy hair with more volume and strength.
Possible side effects
The biggest element to point out is that this natural homemade remedy is fragrance-free, which is one less problem for people with sensitive scalp or hair. Still, excessive use of rice water hair rinse can lead to breakage, buildup, and flaking, as the amino acids and the starch in the treatment can potentially coat your hair strands too heavily.
Rice water hair rinse recipe
- 1/2 cup of dry rice
- 2-3 cups of warm water
- orange slices (optional)
- Start by rinsing your dry rice in some water and then drain it.
- Add the cups of water to the rinsed rice and mix everything gently. Wait for the water to turn milky.
- Leave to ferment for 24 hours on a shut-sealed container. You can add the orange slices to avoid its natural musty smell.
- Transfer the rice water to a spray bottle and apply it to your hair. Leave to soak and rinse.
You'll notice the positive effects of this rice water hair rinse almost immediately, just like you would with most other conditioning products. In a timespan as short as after the first use, you'll experience the treatment’s temporary results, including improved hydration and strength.