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Rice Water for Hair Growth: Benefits and How to Make It

Dermatologists say you can use rice water for hair growth. Here are the benefits, how to make it, and how it helps lengthen your hair.

how to make rice water for hair
Written by
Anna Shuster
Rice water—the liquid that's left behind after rinsing or
cooking rice
—doesn't look like anything special. But using rice water for hair growth dates back to the
Heian period
in Japan, when women used it to keep their hair long and strong. The Yao women who live in Huang Luo in China—aka "world’s longest hair village"—are also known for using rice water rinses.
While using rice water for hair growth is a longtime tradition in many cultures, the internet has recently discovered the trend with videos on the topic getting millions of views on TikTok. According to
Annie Gonzalez, MD
, a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami, those healthy hair transformations you see on social are very much real: "Rice water has gained popularity for its ability to lengthen and strengthen damaged hair," she says. And getting your own transformation is easy.
Here's everything you should know about using rice water for hair growth, including the benefits and how to make it.

The Benefits of Using Rice Water for Hair Growth

how to make rice water for hair
Using rice water doesn't just benefit your hair—it also benefits the planet. When making it,
nothing goes to waste
: Instead of allowing the water to go down the drain, you're using it in your haircare routine. But in terms of your hair, there's a lot to be excited about.
"Rice water has gained popularity for its ability to lengthen and strengthen damaged hair," Dr. Gonzalez says. "Rice water contains high levels of starch, which acts as a thickening agent when massaged into the scalp and strands of hair. This starch also seals the cuticle of the hair, which makes it much shinier and eliminates dead ends. All hair types can benefit from rice water, but thinning, damaged, or brittle hair may see the most improvement."

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Aside from strengthening your hair, it can also help it reach Rapunzel-level lengths. "As for causing hair to grow more quickly, rice water helps remove particle
buildup on the scalp
," Dr. Gonzalez says. "This allows healthier hair to grow from the hair roots at a much faster rate."
Here's exactly how to make rice water for hair, straight from Dr. Gonzalez.

How to Make Rice Water for Hair Growth

What You Need:
Uncooked rice (whichever type you prefer)

1. When making rice water for hair, first rinse the rice under cold water to remove any dirt or unwanted particles.
2. Add a 1:1 ratio of water to rice in a container, then mix until the water becomes a murky, milky white.
3. Store the container in a room-temperature setting for at least 12 hours before use, but not more than 24 hours.
4. Once it has fermented, shampoo and condition your hair, then pour around four ounces onto your scalp. (The rest can be refrigerated.)
5. Comb the rice water through your hair and allow it to sit for at least five minutes before rinsing with water.