Searches for Using Rice Water on Your Hair Are Up 2000%—Here's Why

Every now and then, we come across a trend that makes us scratch our heads and simultaneously piques our interest. The trend in question is rice water for hair growth. We were shocked to learn that rice water for hair growth is not only a popular Google search—the term alone is up 2000%—but there are plenty of videos and blog posts dedicated to this washing ritual, and people swear by it for getting the healthiest hair possible. So what gives? Why is rice water suddenly popping up everywhere? We did some beauty investigating, and this is what we found.

Photo: Imaxtree

What is Rice Water?

Rice water is literally the water obtained from rinsing rice grains. Washing hair with rice water actually comes from an old Japanese tradition called yu-su-ru, where Japanese women would wash their hair with it to strengthen it. "Rice water is rich in amino acids and vitamins, which can help hair bounce back and grow at a faster rate," says Alyssa Hrisko, Seven haircare educator. Rice contains proteins, with a cup of cooked wild rice containing over six grams and cooked brown rice containing four to five grams. Steamed white rice contains about four grams. Rice also contains an ingredient called inositol, which studies have shown helps restore damaged hair.

The Benefits

According to Hrisko, rice water treatments are supposedly extremely beneficial to your hair. "It's similar to washing your hair with beer to get the softening benefits," she says. Other benefits include the following:

1. Reducing friction and improving elasticity.

2. Softening strands.

3. Strengthening hair.

4. Reducing flakes.

5. Treating damaged hair.

6. Soothing the scalp.

How to Use It

If you want to make your own rice water cleanse treatment, it's very easy. You'll need one cup of rice, one cup of water (maybe more if you have really thick or long hair), a strainer, and an empty jar. First, pour rice into the cup of water, and stir until the water turns a milky white color. Then, grab the empty jar and place the strainer on top of it. Next, pour the cup holding both the water and the rice, and pour it over the strainer; the strainer should catch all the rice, leaving fresh rice water in the jar. Then simply rinse your hair with it and soak in all the benefits. For a more detailed description, follow this step-by-step here.

There are many variations you can do—some like to cook the rice while others like the rice raw—and rice water is beneficial for every single hair type, from fine to natural curls. Watch videos like this to see how you can create your own rice water rinse based on your hair type.