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Rice in burlap sack and wooden scoop

Rice Water for Hair: What You Need to Know

June 7, 2018

2 Min read

Rice Water (the starchy water left over after you’ve cooked or soaked rice) is one of the hottest hair care ingredients here in the States at the moment, but it’s been a tried-and-true global beauty staple for centuries.

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There is evidence that Japanese women were using rice water as far back as the ninth century, during the Heian period. The women in these times were said to have had hair so long it reached the floor—and they kept it healthy by bathing it regularly in rice water. Today, females in the Yao ethnic group in China’s Guanxi Province also wear their hair extraordinarily long, frequently measuring three feet or more. They, too, are said to maintain their hair’s health by rinsing with rice water.

Why is rice water so beneficial for hair?

Not surprisingly, rice water contains many of the same vitamins and minerals we find in rice, including amino acids (a precursor to keratin, a type of protein found in hair) and vitamins E and B. Used topically on your strands, these ingredients strengthen, condition and protect from both environmental and styling damage. Fermenting the rice water (a chemical process that enables the multiplication of healthy microorganisms, which is achieved by cooking the water and then letting it sit at room temperature for several days) has also been shown to enhance these benefits.

How is rice water used in hair care?

There is also evidence that using extracts of rice water in a traditional shampoo or conditioner, as opposed to just pouring rice water directly over your head, will offer all the same strengthening, softening and damage-prevention benefits as regular rice water, but via a process that is far less messy—and less apt to leave rice remnants (read: pesky white flakes) littered through your strands.

At Prose, we have been working hard to find just the right fermented rice water extract to use in our formulas. Because rice water offers so many benefits for so many hair types: repairing and fortifying damaged hair; helping strengthen fragile hair; and adding shine and softness to dull tresses, you’ll soon find it in many of our formulas, including shampoos, conditioners and hair and scalp treatments.


Fill out our consultation and allow us to create a custom hair care regimen designed to maximize the health of your hair. Get started here.


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  1. I used cfc rice water and the next day my face, upper arms and neck and ears were broke out with crusty bumps