Rice Water Hair Rinse

Who would have thought that my first post back in 2021 would be about fermented rice water? Not me, but here we are.

If you're on HairTok ( i.e. videos on TikTok that are all about caring for or growing your hair) you'll know that rice water rinses have exploded in popularity and truthfully I had never heard about them before. It all started for me a week before Thanksgiving. I was minding my own business, cooking dinner when my hair suddenly caught on fire. I burnt a good bit off and singed the ends beyond recognition. It was then and there ( and after a professional cut away all the fire bits) that I determined 2021 would be a year of good hair.

Today I want to walk through a few things about rice water including:

  • How to make it
  • How to use it
  • The benefits
  • What to expect

How to Make Rice Water Rinse At Home

It really couldn't be any simpler. There are a few ingredients you'll need but likely you'll find them in your pantry.


  • Rice. Really any rice will do. I've used Jasmine Rice the past few weeks but I've seen other people use just regular white rice. I don't honestly know if you could use brown rice and get the same result. Maybe stick to white rice.
  • Water. I prefer using filtered water from your fridge.
  • Glass jar with a lid. I just use a regular canning jar.
  • Squeeze bottle. Buy it off of Amazon if you don't have one around.

  1. Get about 3/4 cup of rice
  2. Rinse off your rice in a strainer or colander
  3. Take 2 cups of filtered water and add it and your washed rice to a glass jar
  4. optional step: add a drop or two of essential oil to the rice + water for a nicer smelling rinse
  5. Screw the lid on the jar and leave it on your counter for 24 hours
  6. Transfer the liquid (rice water) into a squeeze bottle and throw the soaked rice away
  7. Keep the squeeze bottle of rice water in your refrigerator until you're ready to use it
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How to Use Rice Water

It's incredibly easy to use with just a few steps to note:

  • Pick a day of the week (let's say Sunday evening) and determine to use your rice water rinse every Sunday.
  • Take your squeeze bottle of rice water out of the fridge and apply the entire bottle to your hair about 20-30 minutes before your shower
  • Take care to apply it to your scalp, roots, and even the ends of your hair

This is why I love using a squeeze bottle. It allows for a bit more precise application than merely dumping it on your head.

  • Hop in the shower and give yourself a bit of a head massage then shampoo and condition as usual
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The Benefits of Rice Water for Your Hair

Hair Growth – this was the biggest reason I wanted to try rice water. My hair grows decently fast on its own, but a little extra boost never hurts. I mentioned above that I got a hair trim after burning my hair on my stovetop. I think we took about 2 inches off and since Thanksgiving my hair has grown those 2 inches back + about an inch more.

Shiny Hair – I definitely can see the shine in my hair. I have switched up pretty much everything else about my haircare routine so I think the rice water is contributing to the shine but may not be the entire reason for it.

Thick & Healthy – Ever time I do a rice water hair rinse (which is about once per week now) I can tell my hair is thicker and healthier. Maybe stronger is the right word.

So the reason this rinse is so good for your hair is because of the rice proteins that leach into the water when you leave it sit out for the 24 hours. You're essentially pouring fermented rice proteins onto your hair – and not many things are better for it!

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What to Expect When Using Rice Water Rinse

  • It may smell a little funky. It's fermenting rice, after all. Some people use orange, peppermint, or eucalyptus essential oil in the water to mask the scent.
  • It'll work at varying degrees and levels for different people.
  • Try to be consistent with your usage.
  • You can't really mess it up. If you forget to rinse it, don't worry. If you don't soak it for exactly 24 hours, don't sweat it.
  • Make a new batch every time you want to use it. I make mine on Fridays and use it on Sunday evenings.

For a video version of how to make rice water – check out my Instagram Reel

To shop the items needed for this DIY hair rinse, visit my Amazon storefront

You can find me on Instagram at
Emily Lewandowski @emilyjlewandowski