Home Beauty recipe What are the benefits of rice water for hair? Experts take a look at the TikTok trend

What are the benefits of rice water for hair? Experts take a look at the TikTok trend


At the top of the list are amino acids, says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. “Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins,” she says. “Rice contains a small amount of the amino acid cysteine, which is a form of hair protein, so it helps to replenish it. This helps nourish the hair and deliver nutrients to the scalp.”

Another beneficial component of rice water, inositol, is a vitamin-like substance often found on ingredient lists of hair growth supplements. “Studies have shown that inositol can prevent hair damage and repair weak, brittle hair,” says Dr. Sobel.

Dr. Sobel describes rice water as “vitamin-rich” and containing vitamins B and E. “This means that rice water helps add shine, soften and smooth hair without using any products. chemicals or heavy products”, he adds.

Finally, there’s the starch itself, which Dr. Sobel says naturally coats the outermost layer of hair. It not only helps increase volume and thickness, but also “creates a smoothing effect for frizzy hair types and split ends.”

Does rice water also benefit the scalp?

In short, yes – healthy hair grows from a healthy scalp, after all. “Rice water acts as a mild cleanser and toner, so it can help remove traces of buildup or refresh the scalp,” says King.

When it comes to hair growth, however, while you’ll find plenty of anecdotal evidence, King says real research is still lacking. “Due to the amino acid content, it might also help nourish the scalp, however, there is no scientific data to show it has any benefits for promoting hair growth,” says King.

Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD, a board-certified New York-based dermatologist, adds that “Although rice water has been popularized via TikTok as a way to help with hair growth, it’s probably not what happens exactly. By coating strands of hair, rice water can make hair appear thicker, fuller and shinier.”

How to use rice water for hair

TikTok users make their own rice water treatments at home using two different techniques: either boiling or soaking. The first is pretty self-explanatory: in the videos, you can see creators boiling a cup of water, pouring rice in, and letting the mixture turn white and cloudy. Then the grains are filtered and the remaining water is used in the hair. For the latter method, people pour uncooked rice into a bowl of water, let it soak for 24 hours, and then strain it.