Beauty trends come and go but there are a few that have stood the test of time.

Rice water has remained one of the most popular DIY haircare trends because of its ability to penetrate through damaged hair to strengthen it from the inside out.

Rice water is essentially the starchy water left over after rice is cooked or left to soak. It has been reported that this water can make the hair easy to detangle, smooth and shiny, as well as help it grow faster.

rice grains with measuring scoop in container

Photo by Matthew Lakeland on Unsplash

The haircare treatment has been in use for centuries by women in China, Japan and Southeast Asia and has grown in popularity in the past couple of years with over 350 million people using the hashtag #ricewater on TikTok.

It is really easy to make and contains amino acids, vitamin E, minerals, antioxidants and B vitamins which are beneficial for most hair types.

I had to put this to the test just to see if there was any truth to it. As a 4C haired girl, I was a bit apprehensive because it could have gone either way. Things that work for other hair types do not always work on 4c hair. 


Here is the ‘recipe’ I followed to make the rice water: 

  • ½ cup of uncooked rice
  • rinse thoroughly
  • place rice in a bowl with 2–3 cups of water
  • leave to soak for 30 minutes

Some people replace their conditioner with rice water but I opted to add it after conditioning. 

@wiglife2020This is what rice water did to my hair after 1 week. IMPRESSIVE😎❤️##hairgrowth ##ricewater ##ricewaterhairchallenge ##foryoupage♬ Girls – Marcus & Martinus

I followed the following steps;

  • Washed my hair with shampoo and rinsed it. 
  • Conditioned and slightly detangled hair before rinsing out. 
  • Poured rice water on the hair and massaged it into the hair and scalp. 
  • Left it on for about 20 minutes before rinsing 


Rice water has also been proven to have positive benefits on the skin, with some people using it to get rid of acne and others use it as a facial cleanser. 

After trying it on my hair once a week for 4 weeks (a bit excessive for me) it seemed to have some of the benefits, my hair definitely looked shinier. I did not, however, notice any extreme growth, and for all the work I had to put in I was looking forward to some quick hair growth.

The results might differ for everyone depending on their hair type but I would say it is definitely worth a try. Will I throw out my usual hair treatments now? Not at all, but I will continue to use rice water sparingly and see if I get the somewhat unrealistic hair growth I desire.