Aiyo, omg, please, it’s the most natural, the easiest thing to do to strengthen your hair, grow it fast, and get those curls POPPIN’. Let me explain everything you need to know about the holy Rice Water Rinse here.

But first – This is the result of my FIRST rice water rinse. EVER.

When would you need/benefit a Rice Water Rinse?

  • If you’ve not actively had any protein treatments.
  • You suffer from color or heat, sun damage is real!
  • You’ve got split ends/slow hair growth.
  • You want more shine.

Is Rice Water good for you?

Think of all the holes in your hair, and how sun damage, heat damage, and using unsafe products creates more holes in your hair. So doing the rice water essentially, fills up those holes. So that way you get hair strengthened, the shine restored and rice water massaged into scalp has hair growth benefits too. Here are the other benefits:

  • Protects hair
  • Removes lice!
  • Smoothens hair
  • Cures dandruff
  • Makes hair shiny
  • Reduces split ends
  • Strengthens hair roots
  • Repairs damaged hair
  • Drink it for more health benefits for your body.

What is Rice Water Rinse?

This method was first popularized in early 2018 to the Instagram curly hair community by Verna, @themestizamuse Her YT video is below but read her Instagram post for a detailed description of how the rice water rinse works “scientifically”.

When should you do the Rice Water Rinse?

Preferably on cleansed hair.

Use a moisturizing shampoo to cleanse your hair before applying Rice water. You can cowash too before you apply the rinse.

Cowashing adds moisture to your hair, so following it up with the rice water will help you achieve the much-needed protein-moisture balance. Learn more about cowashing here

If your hair doesn’t have build up, isn’t greasy or dirty then you can apply the rice water rinse on your day 3 or day 4 hair as well. I tried it on my day 4 hair and it works just as well!

How to make the Rice Water

There are three methods.

  1. Boiling – Boil rice with extra water until cloudy. Strain and use that water as your rinse. I follow Verna’s method. Here’s her YT video. Make sure you subscribe to her channel to learn more!

2. Soaking – Collect the water you wash your rice in, not the first rinse. Or follow how Felicia does it in her video here.

3. Fermenting – I haven’t tried it and I don’t intend to because this process is very complicated. Moreover, Verna wouldn’t recommend this fermented Rice Water for the following: 

  • Immunocompromised patients
  • lactating mothers
  • Scalp conditions such as yeast infection or fungal infections.

Verna says fermented rice is very potent so the process gets complicated here because then you need to dilute it with water before using it.  If you still wanted to try this fermented method then here’s a helpful Epoc Times article that shows you how. 

Which method is better and why?

Although the boiling option is less risky than fermenting (risk, as in, if you let the rice water ferment too much it smells bad) Fermented rice is rather potent because this sour fermented water is rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamin E!

If you don’t want smelly water in your hair, you can still make fermented water for your face, hands, feet, and neck! All those nutrients act as an anti-aging elixir! I always apply the rice water rinse to my face and keep it on for a few minutes, after I’m done with my hair.  

Which rice to use?

Use White rice.

How long to store it?

I make a batch and store mine in the fridge and only take what I need for each rinse. It would not ferment in the cold environment so mine went two weeks before I used it all up!

If you keep it outside, it may ferment, but that’s ok too. Use your judgement.

Can we add things to rice water to make it EXTRA?

YES! If you have parched hair, you can add a few drops of coconut oil/honey/coconut water into it after straining the liquid. However, experts like Verna, recommend you use the rice water as is.

I like to add a few drops of coconut oil, inspired by another beautiful curly I met on Instagram @glorirovi – follow her! Gloria told me the rice water and coconut are compatible and go very well together and I agree. Plus, she is hair goals 🙂 

How to apply the Rice Water Rinse (video)

I prefer this method because you get to work the rice water in your hair and scalp, and roots and everything! Maximum penetration 🙂

  • Flip your hair down
  • Pour the water gently over scalp and let it drizzle down your hair.
  • Squish and massage it into your scalp and hair.
  • Be sure to put a pan under to catch the falling rice water and
  • Repeat process for 5-6 times.
  • Keep 5-10 min under a shower cap
  • Rinse out and follow up with a conditioner/DC OR keep it in and DC over it.

Here’s a video of how I do it!

The Modified Rice Water Rinse

I suggest you try this method only if you were hard-pressed for time. Introduced by Curly Cailin, this method encourages you to mix rice water with your regular deep conditioner and keep that for 20 minutes. the modified rice water method is timesaving and effective to some extent.

However, I would never massage this mix on my scalp or roots – it’s a store bought DC right? Nope. No Products should ever touch your scalp, except for oil. 

For maximum benefits, I recommend following the classic method only: rice water worked into hair and scalp first. kept in a shower cap; then DC after.

How long to keep the Rice Water in your hair

When in doubt, leave it in your hair for 5 minutes only and rinse it OUT.

This was Verna’s golden tip for me and it works so so well for any beginner.

As you get to know your hair and how it reacts and what it needs etc, you could increase the time for up to 20 minutes.  On the scale, if you think about it, 20 minutes is the maximum for rice water.

If you leave it in too long, there’s trouble. Too much protein causes Protein Overload which causes breakage and that’s the last thing you want. 

Make sure you put a timer on. Don’t sleep on it!

What to do after the rice water is in?

You either rinse it out and follow with a conditioner/deep conditioner (DC).

If you have dry hair, to begin with then I recommend you follow your rice water rinse with a protein-free/moisture DC.

You can also apply your deep conditioner over the rice water that is already in your hair and keep that for 20 minutes. But use discretion there, do this only if your hair needs more protein, or else stay safe with the 5-minute-rule.

Can I clarify using rice water?

No.

Rice water rinse functions more like a protein-conditioner. It smoothes, detangles, and repairs. However, fermented rice water –  the sour-smelling one – acts as a shampoo! Learn more from this Epoc Times article.

Can I use the rice water as a deep conditioner?

No.

Can I use it to rinse my conditioner out maybe?

No. Rice water rinse happens in between your shampoo and conditioner/DC. It’s NEVER the last rinse. Don’t confuse this method with ACV Rinse, Tea Rinse or Beer Rinse. They all are different and should be done differently and if you subscribe to my website now, you can read more about these rinses in future posts! Stay tuned. 

How often to do the rice water rinse?

You have to judge; this depends on how much protein your needs and how much it can take. Weekly once is ideal. Don’t do it too much I say. 

For me, since I do other rinses, I do the rice almost every alternate wash. High Porosity hair like @powerdomi generally needs more protein anyway so in that case you can do one every wash. 

The key is to balance the protein with moisture.

Always condition or deep condition after your rice water rinse. This is a protein treatment so you want to balance by using moisture in your product cocktail. Here are a few options to help you balance:

Cleansing

  • Cowash to balance moisture before rice water
  • Use a moisturizing shampoo that won’t “dry” out your hair. Example, Bounce Curl
  • Follow rice water with a protein-free DC (protein + protein can be too much!)

Styling

  • Use a moisturizing leave-in. Example, TGIN Green Tea Leavein
  • Use a curl cream or smoothie to balance the moisture again
  • If you use both leave-in and curl cream, then use a protein gel to balance (moisture+moisture can be too much)

Get it? Remember to use this article as a guideline. Ultimately, you have to decide the right method based on what your hair needs. You are in charge here. 


Think I covered most of your questions about Rice Water Rinse? If you have any more, please DM me on Instagram NOW!!!

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Author: Liz

Child of the King. Wife. Mother. Writer. Lover of all things sweet and honest.

One Reply to “I figured out the Rice Water Rinse!”

  1. Really informative !! I tried the rice water rinse, not the fermented one, but my hair kinda dried out. Then I tried the modified version and yes it’s bouncy and with much more definition. I’ll try it with co washing and then DC later on. Thanks for this info.

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