How to Make Rice Water for Natural Hair Growth

how to make rice water for natural hair growth
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If you are looking for ways to promote natural hair growth and improve the overall health of your hair, you may have come across rice water as a natural alternative. There have been a copious number of videos circulating throughout social media showing individuals raving about the (mostly) positive effects of rice water on their strands. Many naturals have claimed to gain inches of new growth and thickness, with the accompanying before and after photos to prove it. However, the use of rice water dates back centuries. Rice water has been widely used as a natural hair treatment by women from various parts of Asia even in ancient times. The Yao women from the Huangluo village in China are well known for their long locks that have been attributed to the use of rice water.

The reason why rice water is such an effective hair treatment is thanks to its nutrient-density. Rice contains various essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and more. All of these nutrients then transfer to your strands and can benefit the overall health of them. So, how do you make rice water for natural hair growth? There are different ways you can prepare rice water. The method listed below is what we have personally tried and have found to work for us. You can always tweak the steps to your liking. In this article, we will go into detail on how to make rice water for natural hair growth, as well as the benefits of using rice water on your natural hair plus other tips to keep in mind when using this hair treatment.

Here is how to make rice water for natural hair growth:

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1) Choose your bag of rice

The first step in how to make rice water for natural hair growth is to pick which type of rice you would like to use. There is organic white rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, and more. Any bag of rice will work just fine and produce desirable results. However, certain types of rice may deliver more nutrients to your strands.

For example, brown rice can be a more nutrient-dense alternative in comparison with white rice. Brown rice is a whole-grain food. It consists of the bran, germ, and endosperm. In other words, brown rice preserves more of the grain’s nutrients, which in turn benefit your hair.

how to make rice water for natural hair growth
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2) Gather your materials

In order to prepare your rice water, it is going to require a few items that you can luckily find right in your cabinets. A bowl or jar is required to place your rice and water in. You will also need a strainer to pour your rice water into once it has fully fermented. You can pour the finished rice water mixture into a spray bottle to spritz throughout your hair for a more thorough coverage.

3) Grab an essential oil

You have probably heard that rice water can get quite stinky once it has fermented. To deter this, it helps to grab an essential oil to lessen the intensity of the smell. Peppermint oil is a good option as it has a minty fresh scent and can also stimulate hair growth.

Add three drops of your chosen essential oil to your rice water mix before or after it has fully fermented.

4) Fill your bowl with rice

Once you have gathered your materials and selected which type of rice you want to use, add approximately eight tablespoons, or half a cup of rice to your bowl or jar. The amount of rice you may want to use can vary depending on the current length of your hair. If your hair is long, you may want to add more rice. If your hair is at a shorter length you may not need as much rice.

5) Rinse your rice of impurities

After you have put your rice into your bowl, it is advantageous to first rinse the rice with water to wash away any impurities, dirt, etc. To do this, simply pour water into your bowl or jar to completely cover the rice.

Next, use your hands to move around the rice and water to make sure the dirt is being removed. Then, strain the water – you can additionally just use your hand for this part or use a strainer. Just be sure to wash your hands.

6) Fill your bowl with water

After you have rinsed your rice water of impurities, you are then going to re-fill your bowl or jar with water. You should add enough water to where your rice is fully submerged and covered by the water (or you can add 1-2 cups of water for safe measures).

This time, you are going to let the rice water fully undergo the fermentation process. If you want to, you can go ahead and add a couple of drops of an essential oil to the rice water to lessen the smell. We also recommend adding some type of cover over your bowl or jar as the rice water sits.

how to make rice water for natural hair

7) Let the rice water ferment

Now that you have prepared your rice water, you are going to let it fully ferment so that as many nutrients can be derived from the mixture as possible. A good time frame is to let the rice water sit for 24 hours. If you let your rice water mixture sit for too long, it can start to spoil.

8) Strain the rice water

After 24 hours have passed, it is time to apply your rice water! To get your rice water ready to apply to your strands, you are going to first strain it so that you can get the rice water isolated without the rice. We recommend straining the rice water into a spray bottle to make it easier to administer throughout your hair. On the other hand, you can also do a rice water rinse if you prefer.

9) Apply the rice water throughout your hair

Once you have strained your rice water into a spray bottle, you can now spritz the rice water throughout your hair, preferably in sections. If you want to do a rice water rinse, go ahead and carefully apply the treatment in sections as well.

10) Leave the rice water on your hair for 20 minutes & then rinse

Finally, you are going to allow the rice water to work its magic. Once you have applied the mixture, cover your hair with a plastic cap and let the treatment absorb into your strands for 20 minutes. After that, rinse your hair with lukewarm to cool water.

Tips to know when using rice water for your natural hair:

  • Follow up with a deep conditioner to restore a moisture / protein balance in your hair. Or, you can apply your deep conditioner over the rice water treatment as you let it sit on your hair.
  • If you have low porosity hair or protein sensitive hair, avoid using rice water too frequently as it does contain protein.
  • Don’t forget to apply the treatment to your scalp as well.
  • Make sure to shampoo to remove your strands of build-up prior to applying your rice water treatment.
  • If you want to preserve excess or leftover rice water, put in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.
  • If you are concerned about the protein content of rice water or it being too potent, you can dilute it with water after it has fully fermented, then apply it to your hair.
how to make rice water for natural hair
Photo Source: SkitterPhoto on Pexels

The benefits of rice water:

  • Promotes hair growth through the delivery of amino acids, various vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients.
  • Helps to increase the thickness of your hair
  • Can reduce shedding
  • Creates soft and shiny strands
  • Gradually strengthens your strands
  • All-natural hair treatment


1Natalie Olsen, ACSM EP-C. “Rice Water For Hair: Benefits And How To Use It”. Medical News Today, 2019,

2 “Brown Rice Vs. White Rice: Which Rice Is Healthier? | UPMC Healthbeat”. UPMC Healthbeat, 2019,

3 “Is Rice Water The DIY Secret To Long, Healthy Hair?”. Stylist, 2019,

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