rice water

How To Make Rice Water For Curly Hair

If you have curly hair and have spent any amount of time researching how to care for it, you’ve surely come across the idea of a rice water rinse. Today, I’m going to share with you how to make it, and why it is tending within the curly community.

Doing a rice water rinse is huge in the curly world because of its many benefits. 

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Below are my results after my first time experimenting with a rice water rinse. I was shocked at the difference it made in my curls after just one rinse.

Fermented Rice water

Part of the huge rise in popularity for rice water is because of it’s many benefits to hair growth and overall health, is cost-effective, and super easy to do.

Pretty much everyone has rice in their cabinet and it’s super cost effective.

Key Benefits Of Rice Water For Hair

Rice water is known to contain key nutrients that your hair needs such as….

  • amino acids
  • B vitamins
  • vitamin E
  • minerals
  • antioxidants
  • detangles the hair
  • makes hair smoother
  • increases shine
  • makes hair stronger
  • helps hair grow long and thick

But does it really increase hair growth?

According to Medical New Today, woman in the Heian period (194 to 1185 CE) in Japan kept their hair floor-leangth and used rice water to keep it healthy.

Present day, the Yao woman in China who live in a village called Huangluo are famous for their hair averaging 6ft long.

They are also known for keeping their hair color longer (typically don’t grey until their 80’s) and they credit their hair length and color to rice water. You can watch the video here. It really is amazing.

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Coincidence? Maybe. 

But I can’t help but think there has to be some truth behind these tales and it seems to easy to not give it a go.

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There are several different ways to make a rice water rinse including soaking, boiling, and fermenting. 

Important note:

One HUGE mistake I see curly girls make is jumping into their curly girl journey with no plan of tracking their progress. 

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to re-create a bomb wash day but failing miserably because you didn’t follow the same steps. 

After many wash day fails, I decided to develop a detailed system that helps me keep track of what works and what doesn’t work for me hair.

My Miracle Curls Daily Tracker is a customized, detailed, daily tracking system to be able to look back on and see how far you’ve come, and exactly what works and doesn’t work for your curls.

Curl Tracker

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Important note: it is suggested to only use white long grain rice. Other rices contain higher amounts of protien which can be too much for your curls.

Soaking Method:

Soaking is the quickest way to make rice water.


  • Add ½ cup of uncooked rice to a bowl
  • rinse thoroughly and strain
  • Return to bowl and add 2-3 cups of water
  • leave to soak for 30 minutes
  • strain the rice water into a clean bowl

Boiling Method:  


  • Rinse ½ cup long grain rice thoroughly
  • Cover rice with 2-3 cups the water 
  • Cook the rice in boiling water 
  • Strain the rice water into a clean bowl before use

Modified Boiling Method:


  • Cover 2 cup of rice with 9 cups of water
  • Cook the rice in boiling water 
  • Cook until the rice becomes mushy
  • Pour rice into a fine-mesh strainer and press down to get a thick, conditioner like texture. 
  • Apply in the shower as you would a deep conditioning treatment

Fermented Rice Water:


  • Rinse 1 cup long grain rice thoroughly
  • add 3 cups of water 
  • Strain and let rice water ferment for 48 hours
  • Pour through your hair in the shower while using the scrunching method to encourage clumping

Note: Research has shown that fermented substances contain higher amounts of antioxidants. Because of this, fermented rice water is more potent. Depending on your hair type, you may need to dilute it.

Side note: You can use fermented rice water as a face cleanser,  skin toner, and to condition your hair. The nutrients found in fermented rice water are believed to shrink pores, reduce fine lines, tighten, and brighten skin!

Take The Frizz Finder Quiz Here!!

Fermented Rice Water

How to Use Rice Water for hair growth and health

  • It can be used once or twice per week as a way of cleansing, conditioning, and balancing your curls pH level
  • Since it helps balance the pH balanced it can be used as a leave-in conditioner
  • Rice water is concentrated (especially fermented) so it is important to dilute it with 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
  •  Women with postpartum shedding have reported excellent improvement after including rice water rinsing in their regimen.

How do you do a rice water rinse for curly hair?

  • Pour rice water through your hair 
  • Massage into hair and scalp
  • Scrunch to encourage curl clumping
  • Plop hair in a shower cap and let sit for 30 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly with cold water to help hold in moisture
  • Style as usual

NOTE: Depending on your hair type, you may not be able to use rice water as a final rinse. If not, use it and follow up by the rest of your regimen. You also need to experiment with whether or not you need a leave-in conditioner after doing a rice water rinse. 

Commonly asked questions about rice water

Is rice water good for curly hair?

Rice water is a great way to reduce frizz and add structure to your hair. It contains an ingredient called inositol which acts as a protein and helps give your hair structure.

Rice water is a great way to determine if your hair likes protein.

Keep in mind that if not balanced properly with moisture, rice water can cause a protein moisture imbalance which can lead to excessive frizz and other issues. Read more here.

Be sure to carefully track how your hair reacts to the treatment and follow up with a deep conditioner.

How often can you use rice water?

It totally depends on what your hair needs.

Early on in my curl journey (when my hair was extremely damaged), I did a rice water rinse twice per week.

Now I do them any time my curls aren’t holding their form, are stringy or have lost their spunk.

It will vary from person to person.

Can you leave rice water in your hair?

I don’t advise it. Leaving any product that contains protein and is not designed to be left in your hair can cause damage to your hair shaft.

Always rinse and follow up with a deep conditioner.

Does rice water go bad?

Yes! Be sure to keep it in the refrigerator until you use it. Mine typically lasts one week.

In Conclusion: 

Rice water is a great rinse to start incorporating into your weekly routine. 

It is packed full of nutrients, has many health benefits and is super affordable!




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