Rice Water for Hair: 10 Benefits and How to Use it

Reviewed By Experts

Rice Water for Hair 10 Benefits and How to Use it 1

For centuries, rice water has been recognized for its remarkable benefits in traditional beauty treatments, particularly for the skin and hair. This milky liquid, left behind after rinsing rice, has a long history of use, including the successful Yu-Su-Ru hair care practice during Japan’s Heian Period.  With its abundance of nutrients and natural properties, rice water has garnered widespread acclaim as a potent ingredient for hair care.

 In this blog post, we will delve into the incredible advantages of rice water for hair, as well as shed light on the merits of the Yu-Su-Ru hair care technique—a natural and highly effective method of utilizing rice.

What is Yu-Su-Ru hair care practice?

The Yu-Su-Ru hair care practice is said to have been used by the court ladies of the Heian Period in Japan, and it is still used by some people today. Studies show that rice water can help to reduce hair loss and promote hair growth. 

To make Yu-Su-Ru, simply wash some rice as you normally would, and then collect the water that is left over. You can then use the water to rinse your hair after shampooing and conditioning. You can also leave the water in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing it out. [1]

Properties of rice water

Here are two main properties of rice water.

1. Anti-aging

Rice water has excellent anti-aging properties, making it a sought-after component in skincare. It contains vitamins and minerals that help with skin elasticity and firmness. [3]

2. Antioxidant

The antioxidant properties of rice water make it valuable in the fight against oxidative stress. Antioxidants in rice water help neutralize free radicals that can affect skin cells. [3]

Benefits of Rice Water For Hair Growth

Strengthens Hair:

Rice water contains amino acids that strengthen the hair roots and inositol, a carbohydrate that helps fortify the hair strands. Regular use of rice water makes the hair less prone to breakage, leading to stronger and healthier locks. [2]

Enhances Shine and Luster:

Using rice water as a hair rinse adds a protective layer to the hair, shielding it from pollutants, heat, and chemicals found in hair care products. This natural conditioner gives the hair a beautiful shine, smoothness, and a healthy bounce.  [2]

Promotes Hair Growth:

One of the key benefits of rice water is its ability to stimulate hair growth. The proteins present in rice water provide a boost to hair follicles, aiding in faster hair growth. Regular use of rice water can result in visible improvements in hair length and thickness within a short period.  [2]

Combats Dandruff and Flakes:

Fermented rice water, especially when made from red rice, inhibits the growth of the fungus called Malassezia, which is a common cause of dandruff. By using rice water as a hair rinse or treatment, you can effectively eliminate dandruff and nourish your scalp, preventing dryness and flakiness.  [2]

Acts as a Chemical-Free Cleanser:

Unlike commercial shampoos that often contain harsh chemicals and preservatives, rice water provides a natural and chemical-free alternative for cleansing your hair. It gently removes impurities and excess oil while maintaining the hair’s natural balance, leaving it clean and refreshed.  [2]

Balances Scalp pH:

Rice water has a pH level similar to that of the scalp, making it an ideal choice for maintaining a healthy scalp environment. By preserving the hair’s natural oils and pH balance, rice water helps prevent dryness, itchiness, and scalp-related issues. Additionally, you can enhance the benefits of rice water by adding a few drops of your preferred essential oils for a personalized and aromatic hair care experience.  [2]

Tames Frizz and Improves Texture:

Research published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science has shown that rice water offers multiple benefits for hair, including improved elasticity, texture, and reduced friction and frizz. The presence of inositol, a carbohydrate, contributes to these positive effects, resulting in smoother, more manageable hair.  [2]

How to Prepare Rice Water for Hair

Now that you know the benefits of rice water for hair, let’s see a few steps on how to prepare rice water for hair. 

Prepare Rice Water

Begin by pouring ½ cup of uncooked rice into a strainer and rinsing it thoroughly. Transfer the rinsed rice to a bowl and add 2 cups of water. Allow the rice to soak at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

Strain the Rice Water

Once the soaking time is complete, strain the rice water into a clean bowl.

Store the Rice Water

Use a funnel to pour the rice water into a spray bottle and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it.

How to use rice water on hair

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use rice water for your hair.

1. Dilution

Dilute the rice and plain water in equal amounts to prevent it from being too concentrated, which may be harsh on the hair. Adjust the dilution based on your hair type and sensitivity.

2. Application

Shampoo and pour the diluted rice water onto your hair. Ensure to saturate your hair thoroughly with the rice water, from roots to tips. Gently massage the scalp to ensure circulation and even distribution.

3. Massage and Soak

Massage your scalp for a few minutes to stimulate blood flow and allow nutrient absorption by the hair follicles. Let the rice water sit on your hair for 10–20 minutes.

4. Rinse

Thoroughly rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Ensure to wash out all the rice water to prevent residual stickiness.

5. Condition (Optional)

Follow up with your regular conditioner if essential.

How to create a DIY hair mask with rice water

Follow these steps to make and use your DIY rice water hair mask.


  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • Essential oil (optional for fragrance)
  • Aloe vera gel (optional for added hydration)


1. Dilution

Dilute the rice water with equal plain water to create a hair-friendly concentration. Adjust the dilution based on your hair type and preferences.

2. Add optional ingredients

Enhance the hair mask by adding a few drops of essential oil for fragrance or a tablespoon of aloe vera gel for added hydration. Stir it well to ensure even distribution.

3. Application

Wet your hair thoroughly and shampoo as usual. Pour the diluted and enhanced rice water onto your hair, ensuring it’s fully saturated from roots to tips. Let the rice water hair mask sit on your hair for 10–20 minutes.

4. Rinse thoroughly:

Rinse your hair thoroughly to remove the rice water. Ensure there is no residue left in your hair.

Precautions to keep in mind about rice water

Here are some precautions to keep in mind when using rice water.

1. Allergic reactions

Individuals with rice allergies should avoid using rice water. If uncertain, perform a patch test with a small amount to a small skin area to check for adverse reactions.

2. Dilution is key

Rice water can be potent, and using it in its concentrated form may lead to dryness or potential protein overload for some hair types. Always dilute rice water with plain water before applying it to your hair or skin.

3. Fermentation odor

If you ferment the rice water, be aware that it can develop a strong odor. While this is a natural part of fermentation, some individuals may find the smell unpleasant.

4. Avoid prolonged soaking

Avoid leaving it on your hair or skin for excessively long periods. Extended exposure may lead to over-conditioning or potential protein build-up, which could affect hair texture.

5. Rinse thoroughly

Ensure you rinse your hair or skin thoroughly after using rice water to prevent any residue, which can lead to stickiness or an unpleasant texture.


Rice water has long been cherished in various cultures for its exceptional properties in promoting healthy skin and hair. As we’ve explored in this blog post, rice water provides numerous benefits for hair, including strengthening the hair roots, enhancing shine and luster, promoting hair growth, combating dandruff, acting as a chemical-free cleanser, balancing scalp pH, and taming frizz. 

Using rice water in your hair care routine can lead to beautiful, strong, and nourished hair. Embrace this ancient beauty secret and unlock the transformative power of rice water for your hair.


1. What is rice water for hair, and how is it beneficial?

Rice water is the starchy water left over after rinsing rice. It has been used for centuries as a hair treatment in Asian cultures. Its benefits include promoting hair growth, strengthening hair strands, adding shine, reducing hair breakage, and improving overall hair health.

2. How does rice water promote hair growth?

Rice water contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B, C, and E, amino acids, and antioxidants. These nutrients nourish the hair follicles, leading to improved hair growth and thicker, fuller hair over time.

3. Can rice water prevent hair damage and breakage?

Yes, rice water forms a protective barrier around the hair strands, helping to reduce damage caused by environmental factors and styling tools. Its protein content also helps fortify the hair, minimizing breakage and split ends.

4. How do I make rice water for hair at home?

To make rice water, rinse 1/2 cup of uncooked rice thoroughly with water to remove impurities. Then, place the rinsed rice in a bowl, add 2 cups of water, and let it soak for 15-30 minutes. Strain the water into a clean container, and it’s ready to use.

5. What are the different ways to use rice water on hair?

There are several methods to use rice water for hair:
a. Rinse: After shampooing, pour rice water over your hair and scalp, massage gently, and rinse thoroughly.
b. Leave-in Treatment: Apply rice water to your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing.
c. Fermented Rice Water: Allow rice water to ferment for a day or two at room temperature before using it on your hair for added benefits.
d. Rice Water Hair Mask: Mix rice water with other natural ingredients like yogurt, honey, or aloe vera to create a nourishing hair mask.

6. Does Zandu sell any hair care products with Rice Water?

We do not offer rice water as a hair treatment. However, we have an alternative solution for you. You can try our Ayurvedic Hair Growth Vitalizer Capsules. These capsules are carefully formulated with a blend of natural ingredients and herbs, including Bhringaraja, Amlaki, Manjishtha, Nagkesara, Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Abhrak Bhasma, Godanti Bhasma, and more. Our vitalizer is specifically designed to address hair fall issues and promote hair growth effectively. Give it a try and experience the benefits of this Ayurvedic remedy for your hair health.


This article is written from a health and lifestyle perspective. It is for general information and is not meant to substitute any medical advice. Please consult your doctor for appropriate medical consultation.


  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-2494.2010.00605_3.x
  3. Rice Water: A Traditional Ingredient with Anti-Aging Efficacy

Dr. Jyoti Lakhani

Dr. Jyoti has 15 years of experience in Clinical Practice, Research & Education in the field of Ayurveda with competency in acute & chronic conditions like Arthritis, Spondylitis, Osteoporosis, Sciatica etc. She has also expertise in treating Female Infertility disorders, other Gynecological Problems & General disorders.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here