Does rice water actually benefit your hair?

Tried and tested by team Cosmo
Does rice water actually benefit your hair?
Nimotalai Oki and Yasmin Reda -

The internet has taught us a lot of things - I mean, there're unending tricks and DIYs for how to grow and make your hair healthier than it already is, while some hacks just seem too good to be true (rice water being one of them), some of them are the real deal. The rice water hack isn't some newfound theory, in fact, "the use of rice water is an anecdotal but long-living beauty ritual in ancient Asian culture," says trichologist Bridgette Hill with Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa.

The hack obviously hit mainstream popularity when a lot of YouTubers and bloggers started swearing by its benefits and how you get shiny and healthy hair in only a couple of days. Anyhoo, we decided to try the rice water challenge and see what all the fuss is about. Here's what we have to say about this enigma.

Nini:

So I did the rice water challenge after I heard and saw people's testimonies. Now, if there's anything to know about afro hair, is its complexity; but because I'm flat-out disrespectful to my hair, I jumped on the challenge without giving it much thought. 

All I did was get a spray bottle, some rice, and obvs water, I rinsed the rice only once and added more water to the already rinsed rice, and that was what I used as my rice water. After the ceremonial washing, I put the rice water in a spray bottle, added essential oil (that'll save you from the smell during fermentation) and refrigerated it. 

I only let it ferment for two days before I started using it. I just applied to it my already washed hair daily throughout the week and washed it out on wash day. Like I said earlier, I don't pay much attention to my hair, but I noticed that the rice water mixture kind-of provided all the benefits that my hair.

I noticed a drastic change in the way that my hair looked within two weeks. It shined better, the looked fuller and I definitely noticed growth. Unfortunately, I didn't measure the length of my hair before starting the challenge, but my hair definitely grew longer, so I was glad to know that my low-maintainace hair routine was paying off.

Yasmin:

We've been all our own hair stylists during quarantine, but it’s okay, you are not the only one. Let me fill you in on my personal experience with this life-changing hack. Rice water's benefits are countless - and not least because you can grow your hair faster than ever. Now, if you have wavy hair like me, this might just work for your hair, too. TBH, I didn’t know how to use it until I watched a random Tiktok that gave me the best ingredients ever

I didn’t believe anything would actually change in my hair, but in only one week, my hair grew a little longer and got a little thicker and shinier. If you want to keep track, wear a white t-shirt and mark with your pen the current hair length, and in a week, wear that shirt again…and, well, miracles happen! Do that for a couple of weeks until you get the hair length you want.

Here's what I did:

- Add 1/2 cup of rice into 1 cup of water.
- Keep rubbing it until you get a white-coloured water.
- Add your favourite hair oil (I added coconut oil)
- Add the mixture into a spraying bottle and spray every day on your hair, without shampooing.

The final takeaway:

Thankfully, the rice water hack worked well for us, however, if your main concern is hair growth, rice water might or might not work for you because it differs in hair type and porosity. You need to know your hair porosity and monitor your scalp. Sometimes, the mixture dries up the hair and sometimes, it moisturises, so you have to be mindful of what your hair wants. 

Here's all you basically need: 

  • Rice
  • Water
  • Spray Bottle

H&M, Dhs21

  • Coconut Oil (or any essential oil)

Virgin Coconut Oil, Dhs17 at Carrefour