Having spent a lot of time indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic people have been experimenting with a lot of different things at home. 

One of the popular ones on social media has been the century-old practice of using rice water as a hair treatment. 

If you think you read that wrong, you did not, according to reports, for centuries women in China, Japan and Southeast Asia have used rice water as a hair treatment. 


Rice water is the starchy water left over after rice is cooked or left to soak. It has been said that this water can make the hair smooth and shiny, as well as help it grow faster.  This is because the water is said to contain amino acids, vitamin E, minerals, antioxidants and B vitamins. 

Using the water as a treatment could help detangle your hair, help it grow and even make it shinier according to an article in the Medical News Today.

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. 

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 though, 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.