What is rice water?

For years, people of Southeast Asia have used rice water in various ways to help cure and treat their hair. This has become a common choice for many people, leading to the creation of some very interesting combinations. Rice water, though, is often an excellent choice for people to use as a natural solution for their hair. With a long history of being used in hair treatments in Asia, rice water potentially holds a great many interesting benefits.

Rice Water For Hair: Benefits

The first thing that you might notice when using rice water is that it can be pretty good for your hair in terms of its shine and manageability. Anecdotal evidence suggests that using rice water on your hair may boost natural shine. What other benefits can we expect to see from using rice water in our hair?

  • Rice water is rich in key hair vitamins and minerals, including B and E vitamins.
  • Some studies also link it to being able to increase the elasticity of our hair overall.
  • It’s also been linked with strengthening our hair thanks to the presence of inositol.
  • Hair that is bathed in rice water is also more likely to retain its colour, according to history.

However, much of the evidence around this particular hair product is still shrouded in mystery. Most of the evidence is either historical, commercially driven, or anecdotal. 

Historical evidence suggests that Japanese women used to maintain hair down to the floor, all through using the hair growth benefits of rice water. Still, more clinical evidence is needed if we are to believe that rice water has a genuinely useful impact on the quality of our hair. 

Rice Water Side Effects

We are happy to say that rice water is something that you can use without any real worries. It’s been shown to have a positive impact on our skin, so you don’t have to worry about it marking or damaging your skin. To be on the safe side we recommend speaking to a medical professional and bringing along some of your rice water for testing.

This could let you know just how effective you can expect your chosen rice water treatment to be. For now, you should consider trying rice water albeit without any concrete proof that it can actively improve your hair condition. 


Written by Jordan Prichard. Medically reviewed by Dr. Shane Jackson, MBBS. Last modified on 20/05/2020. 


Dr. Shane Jackson a UK based doctor, working within the NHS for 9 years. With experience in both Medicine and Surgery, his time is now spent mainly in Elderly care and Rehabilitation. Outside of his clinical work he has a strong educational presence, teaching undergraduates and foreign doctors wishing to work in the UK. He is passionate about the dissemination of healthcare for all, providing consultancy for health, well-being and biotech startups worldwide. Dr. Jackson is the founder of Acrosophy, which helps school leavers applying to medical, dental and associated courses at the top universities in the country. 

Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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