Everything You Need to Know About Rice Water for Hair

Everything You Need to Know About Rice Water for Hair
© Provided by Prevention

By Kayla Blanton, Prevention

If you pay any attention to haircare trends, you’ve probably heard about the latest food-based fad: rice water for hair. And if you haven’t, it’s exactly what it sounds like—so don’t drain that precious starchy solution the next time you give your grains a rinse.

Master Colorist Sharon Dorram of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger salon says the process of soaking hair in rice water has gained popularity because “it is essentially a protein treatment that easily works to penetrate damaged hair and repair it from the inside out.” Hair is made up of mostly keratin protein, adds Shab Reslan, HairClub hair health expert and trichologist, and rice water can help replenish what it frequently loses.

As a result, tresses are more radiant, fuller, thicker, and infinitely more manageable, says Dorram. And the best part of all: The transformation can be accomplished at essentially zero cost with everyday kitchen essentials.

Do rice water hair treatments work?

In addition to its protein-packed properties, rice water is full of nutrients like amino acids, inositol, vitamins B, C, and E, minerals, and antioxidants, explains Dorram, “which all work together to nourish the scalp and leave strands smoother, fuller, and longer.” She adds that rice’s starches act as a sealant on hair follicles, banishing frizz and fly-aways and preventing breakage, therefore encouraging hair growth.

Read More: Here's How to Perfectly Cut Your Hair at Home

How to make (and use) your own rice water hair treatment at home

“You can either use the water left over from boiling your rice, or the water from soaking overnight,” says Reslan. She recommends using a ratio of one part rice to two parts water. If you boil the rice, allow it to reach room temperature before applying.

“The best way to use rice water is to shampoo your hair, wring it out very well, tilt your head back and pour the room temp or cooled rice water onto your scalp down to the ends of your hair,” explains Reslan. Dorram recommends allowing the mixture to soak on the scalp for 10 minutes before rinsing.

If you shampoo daily, Reslan says you can treat your hair around once a week—bi-weekly if you wash less often. Whatever you do, don’t overdo it. “If rice water is used too frequently or left in your hair for too long, it can cause a protein overload, which can lead to irritation and breakage,” says Dorram.

Is rice water good for all hair types?

People with most hair types can safely try a rice water rinse, but those with thin hair may want to tread lightly, as the proteins might weigh it down, Reslan warns. On the other hand, Dorram says rice water is a gentle, effective treatment for those with highly porous, bleached, or damaged strands that are looking to bring their manes back to life.

See more at Prevention

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Women's Magazine: Everything You Need to Know About Rice Water for Hair
Everything You Need to Know About Rice Water for Hair
Rice water for hair has become a popular at-home treatment to strengthen and smooth strands. Here’s how it works and how to use it.
Women's Magazine
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