Can Rice Water Grow Your Hair Faster?

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Rhonda Fitzpatrick

Rhonda Fitzpatrick

Beauty Expert

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Blog Summary

When it comes to natural remedies for hair growth, rice water has gained significant attention. But does it really work, or is it just a passing trend? In this article, we'll explore the origins of rice water for hair care, the science behind its effects on hair growth, its various benefits, how to use it effectively, and what you can expect from incorporating it into your hair care routine.

Origins of Rice Water

Rice water has a long history of use in various cultures, particularly in African and Asian countries. Traditionally, it was used to wash and rinse hair, providing a range of benefits from promoting hair growth to enhancing hair texture and shine.


The tradition was passed down through families, with each generation benefiting from the age-old secret of rice water. Today, this centuries-old practice has gained recognition in the West as well for its potential to promote hair growth and enhance hair health.


So let’s learn what the hype’s all about!

The Science Behind Rice Water's Effect on Hair Growth

From the research that we do have on rice water so far, it is believed that rice water's benefits for hair growth stem from a number of factors, the key ones of which are listed below.

Nutrient-Rich Composition

Rice water is believed to be rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. These nutrients are essential for overall hair health. For instance, vitamins like niacin (vitamin B3) and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) are known to support hair growth, while minerals like iron and zinc play crucial roles in maintaining healthy hair follicles.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and they are vital for hair structure. Rice water contains amino acids that may help repair damaged hair and strengthen hair strands.


Rice water may also contain antioxidants, which can protect the hair and scalp from oxidative stress caused by environmental factors. This protection can contribute to a healthier scalp environment, which is conducive to hair growth.

The Benefits of Rice Water in Hair Care

Rice water offers a myriad of advantages for hair care, making it a sought-after remedy for individuals looking to nurture their locks. Some of its notable benefits include:

Promotes hair growth

Rice water contains essential nutrients that can stimulate hair follicles and encourage faster hair growth. It may also strengthen the hair from the root, reducing the risk of breakage.

Protects hair

The proteins and amino acids present in rice water can form a protective barrier around the hair shaft. This barrier helps shield the hair from damage caused by environmental stressors and styling practices.

Increases shine

Regular use of rice water can contribute to shinier and more lustrous hair. The enhanced shine adds to the overall healthy appearance of your locks.

Detangles hair

The slippery texture of rice water can aid in detangling hair, making it easier to manage and reducing the risk of breakage during styling.

Protein treatment

Rice water functions as a natural protein treatment for the hair. The proteins in rice water can help repair damaged hair, improving its strength and resilience.

These benefits have made rice water a go-to solution for many seeking to boost the health and appearance of their hair. Whether you have fine, straight hair or textured, curly locks, rice water can be incorporated into your hair care routine to unlock its potential advantages.

How to Use Rice Water for Hair

Using rice water for hair is a straightforward process.

We’ll walk you through each stage with this simple step-by-step guide:

Preparing and Applying Rice Water

  • Rinse: Thoroughly rinse half a cup of rice to remove any impurities.
  • Soak: Place the rinsed rice in a bowl with two to three cups of water. Let it soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Strain: Strain the rice water into a clean container, removing the rice.

Rice Water Application Process

  • Wash: Shampoo your hair as usual and rinse.
  • Apply: Pour the rice water onto your hair and scalp. Massage it in for a few minutes.
  • Rinse: Rinse your hair thoroughly with plain water.

Can Rice Water Help Your Hair Grow?

The many health benefits provided by rice water help facilitate your hair growth significantly. While individual results vary, the great majority of users experience improved hair growth after regularly using rice water. However, it's essential to remember that factors like genetics, overall health, and other aspects of your hair care routine also play a significant role in hair growth.

How Often Should You Use Rice Water?

As with everything, it is important to use rice water in moderation. Of course, it also depends on personal experience and we suggest adjusting the use to your own needs. But the general recommendation would be to use rice water once a week after shampoo. It's essential not to overuse it, as this can lead to protein buildup and dryness.

What Ingredients Can You Use as an Alternative to Rice Water?

If rice water doesn't end up working for you or you're looking for alternatives, there are many other natural ingredients that can promote hair health. Examples include aloe vera, Chebe powder, and essential oils like lavender or rosemary.

Does Rice Water Work on Natural Hair?

Rice water can be used on all hair types, including natural Afro hair. In fact, considering the greater needs when it comes to sustaining natural hair, it is the perfect solution for maintaining moisture, reducing breakage, and enhancing shine for natural hair.

Risks and Side Effects of Using Rice Water on Hair

While rice water is generally safe, there are some potential risks and side effects:

  • Protein Buildup: Overusing rice water can lead to an excess of protein in the hair, causing stiffness and dryness.
  • Scalp Irritation: Some individuals may experience scalp irritation or allergies when using rice water. It's advisable to do a patch test before applying it to your entire scalp.
  • Overuse Leading to Dryness: Using rice water too frequently can strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness.

Final Thoughts

Rice water has been used for generations as a natural hair care remedy, and many people report positive results. However, it's essential to use it in moderation and be mindful of potential side effects. If you're looking to promote hair growth and overall hair health, consider incorporating rice water into your hair care routine while maintaining a balanced and holistic approach to hair care.


  • How often should I use rice water on my hair to see results?

    The frequency of rice water application can vary from person to person, but a common recommendation is once a week. Consistency is key to seeing results, so stick to a schedule that works for your hair type and needs. Overuse of rice water can lead to protein buildup, which may make the hair stiff and dry. Pay attention to how your hair responds and adjust the frequency accordingly.

  • Can rice water cause any side effects on hair and scalp?

    Rice water is generally safe, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of. Overuse of rice water can lead to protein buildup, which may result in stiff and dry hair. Some individuals may experience scalp irritation or allergies when using rice water. It's advisable to perform a patch test before applying it to your entire scalp. Moderation is key to avoiding potential side effects.

  • Can rice water replace hair care products like shampoos and conditioners?

    Rice water can be a beneficial addition to your hair care routine and can be used as an occasional replacement for conditioners but certainly not shampoos. Rice water can complement these products by providing additional nutrients and strengthening properties. It's best to use rice water in conjunction with your regular hair care products.

  • How long does it take to notice any changes in hair growth with rice water?

    The time it takes to notice changes in hair growth with rice water can vary among individuals. Some people may see results in a few weeks, while others may take longer. Factors like genetics, overall hair health, and consistency in using rice water can influence the timeline. Patience is key when incorporating natural remedies like rice water into your hair care routine.

  • Can I use rice water along with other hair growth products or treatments?

    Yes, you can use rice water in conjunction with other hair growth products or treatments. Rice water can complement your existing hair care routine by providing additional nutrients and strengthening properties. However, it's essential to ensure that the combination of products you use doesn't lead to overuse or product buildup. Be mindful of how your hair responds to the combination and adjust your routine accordingly.

  • Should rice water be applied on wet or dry hair?

    Rice water can be applied to either wet or dry hair, depending on your preference and the desired outcome. Some individuals prefer to apply rice water to damp, freshly washed hair as it may be easier to distribute. Others apply it to dry hair before washing. Experiment with both methods to see which works best for your hair type and needs.