rice water for curly hair

Have you ever heard of using rice water for curly hair? If not, you're in for a treat! This age-old secret has been making waves in the hair care world, and we're here to spill the tea. From promoting hair growth to adding shine and reducing breakage, rice water has a lot to offer. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll discuss the amazing benefits of rice water, how to make it, how to use it for maximum results, and how often you should treat your curls to this magical elixir. So, let's dive in!

7 Amazing Benefits of Rice Water for Curly Hair

Rice water is packed with hair-loving nutrients that can do wonders for your curls. Here are some of the incredible benefits you can expect from using rice water on curly hair:

Repair and Strengthen Hair

Rice water is a natural treasure trove of nutrients, including inositol, a carbohydrate that plays a crucial role in hair health. Inositol works by penetrating deep into the hair shaft, repairing damaged strands from within, and strengthening the hair's structure. This leads to less breakage, fewer split ends, and improved overall hair health

The best part? The inositol in rice water has been shown to remain in your hair even after rinsing, providing continuous protection and reinforcing your curls over time.

Reduce Hair Friction

We all know that detangling curly hair can be a challenge, but rice water can make this task much easier. It helps reduce friction between hair strands by providing a protective coating, allowing them to slide past each other more smoothly. 

This not only makes detangling a breeze but also minimizes hair breakage and damage caused by tugging and pulling during the detangling process. Say goodbye to those pesky knots and tangles, and hello to more manageable, healthy curls!

Benefits of Rice Water for Curly Hair

Add Shine

Want to achieve lustrous, shiny curls that catch everyone's eye? Rice water could be your secret weapon! It's packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that nourish your hair and help to smooth the hair cuticle.

A smooth cuticle means more light reflection, giving your curls that enviable, healthy shine. Regular use of rice water can transform dull, lifeless hair into a radiant, glossy mane that's sure to turn heads.

Promote Hair Growth

If you're seeking longer, stronger locks, rice water may be the answer. This amazing liquid contains nutrients that can stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss. Rice water is rich in antioxidants, which help to fight off free radicals that can damage your hair and impede its growth. 

Additionally, the amino acids in rice water work to fortify hair roots, promoting healthier hair growth and reducing hair fall. Incorporating rice water into your curly hair routine may be just what you need to achieve those long, luscious curls you've been dreaming of!

Improve Elasticity

Are you tired of dealing with brittle, fragile curls? Rice water could be your hair's new best friend! The nutrients found in rice water, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, can work together to improve your hair's elasticity(1)

This means that your curls will be better able to stretch and bounce back without breaking, resulting in stronger, healthier, and more resilient hair. Give rice water a try and watch your curls transform from fragile to fabulous!

Benefits of Rice Water for Curly Hair

Soothe The Scalp

An irritated or itchy scalp can be uncomfortable and distracting. Thankfully, rice water may offer some relief. The anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of rice water can help calm an inflamed or irritated scalp, providing much-needed comfort. 

Additionally, its nourishing and moisturizing properties can help alleviate dryness and itching, leaving your scalp feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Balance Hair and Scalp pH

A healthy scalp is a foundation for healthy hair growth, and maintaining the right pH balance is crucial. Fermented rice water, in particular, boasts a pH level that is closer to the natural pH of your hair and scalp(2)

This makes it an excellent option for maintaining a balanced environment that promotes healthy hair growth. By incorporating fermented rice water into your hair care routine, you'll be taking a step towards a more balanced, healthier scalp and luscious curls.

While these are the primary benefits reported by users of rice water, individual experiences may vary. It's important to note that results can differ based on factors such as hair type, porosity, and the specific rice water preparation method used.

How to Make Rice Water for Curly Hair

There are three popular methods to make rice water: the fermented method, the boiled method, and the soaking method, each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Here's a step-by-step guide to making rice water using each method:

Fermented Rice Water

How to Make Rice Water for Curly Hair
  1. Rinse 1/2 cup of rice thoroughly to remove dirt and impurities.
  2. Soak the rice in 2 cups of water for 24-48 hours at room temperature, covered.
  3. Pour the rice water through a strainer into a clean container.
  4. Optional: Add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance.

Fermented rice water is considered more potent due to the increased presence of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, and has a lower pH that is closer to the natural pH of hair and scalp.

Boiled Rice Water

How to Make Rice Water for Curly Hair
  1. Rinse 1/2 cup of rice thoroughly.
  2. Cook the rice in 2 cups of water, using more water than you typically would for cooking rice.
  3. Pour the rice water through a strainer into a clean container.
  4. Optional: Add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance.

The boiled method is faster but may have a slightly lower nutrient content.

Soaking Method

How to Make Rice Water for Curly Hair
  1. Rinse 1/2 cup of rice thoroughly to remove dirt and impurities.
  2. Soak the rice in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Pour the rice water through a strainer into a clean container.
  4. Optional: Add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance.

The soaking method is the quickest and simplest, but the nutrient content may be less concentrated than the other methods. 

How to Use Rice Water for Curly Hair

Ready to give rice water a try? Here's how to use it on your curls:

  1. Wash and condition your hair as usual.
  2. Optional: Dilute the rice water with more water or a conditioner, depending on your hair's needs.
  3. Gently warm the rice water (if desired), ensuring it's not too hot.
  4. Apply rice water to your hair, ensuring it is thoroughly saturated. You can use a spray bottle for easier application.
  5. Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to evenly distribute the rice water throughout your hair and detangle gently.
  6. Allow the rice water to sit on your hair for 15-30 minutes. You can use a shower cap or plastic wrap to cover your hair during this time.
  7. Rinse the rice water out with cool or lukewarm water, or leave it in as a leave-in treatment if preferred.
  8. Style your hair as desired.

Alternatively, some people find rice water to be more effective when used as a pre-poo treatment. To do this, apply rice water to your hair before shampooing and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse it out, then proceed with your regular shampoo and conditioning routine.

How to Use Rice Water for Curly Hair

How Often Should You Do A Rice Water Rinse?

Since rice water acts as a protein treatment, it is recommended to use it once every 2-4 weeks. Overuse can lead to protein overload, causing hair to become stiff and brittle. Be sure to monitor your hair's health and adjust the frequency of rice water treatments based on your hair's needs and response to the treatment.

For those with low porosity hair, rice water might not be as effective due to its protein content. Low porosity hair is often protein-sensitive and could experience dryness and brittleness from using rice water. If you have low-porosity hair and still want to try rice water, use it sparingly or dilute it with more water.

Final Thought: Is Rice Water Good for Curly Hair?

Yes, rice water is an excellent natural treatment for curly hair. It offers a range of benefits, such as strengthening, promoting hair growth, adding shine, and reducing breakage. 

If you're interested in trying rice water for hair growth or to improve the overall health of your curls, follow the steps outlined in this guide to make and use rice water effectively. With the right approach, rice water can become a valuable addition to your curly hair care routine. So go ahead and give it a try!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is rice water a protein treatment for curly hair?

Yes, partially. Rice water contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. While it's not a pure protein treatment, it can help strengthen hair by providing some protein-like benefits.

Is rice water bad for curly hair?

No, rice water is generally beneficial for curly hair. However, overuse or undiluted application may lead to protein overload, which can cause dryness and brittleness. Moderation is key.

Is rice water for curly hair growth?

Yes, rice water can promote hair growth. It contains nutrients that stimulate growth, reduce hair loss, and strengthen hair roots, contributing to healthier and longer curls.

Why is my hair frizzy after using rice water?

Frizziness after using rice water may result from improper use or overuse, leading to protein overload. Diluting rice water, using it less frequently, or combining it with a moisturizing treatment can help reduce frizz.


1. Inamasu, S., Ikuyama, R., Fujisaki, Y. and Sugimoto, K.-I. . (2010). Abstracts: The effect of rinse water obtained from the washing of rice (YU-SU-RU) as a hair treatment. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, {online} 32(5), pp.392–393. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2494.2010.00605_3.x.

‌2. Prachi Barsagade, Patil, P. and Umekar, M.J. (2021). A FORMULATION OF FACE PACK AND HAIR PRODUCTS OF RICE WATER FOR THE USE OF SKIN AND HAIR PROBLEM. {online} ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352561846_A_FORMULATION_OF_FACE_PACK_AND_HAIR_PRODUCTS_OF_RICE_WATER_FOR_THE_USE_OF_SKIN_AND_HAIR_PROBLEM.