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How to make rice water at home

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Did you know? Rice Water Rinses strengthen hair, add shine, boost hair growth and so much more! Read on to find out how you can use a rice water rinse on your curly hair. Check out one of my BEST results! This is my virgin curly hair.

When would you need/benefit from Rice Water Rinse?

  • If you’ve never actively had any protein treatments.
  • You suffer from color damage, sun damage or heat damage.
  • You’ve got split ends
  • Slow hair growth
  • For more shine
  • Better curl clumping action!

Rice Water Rinse Benefits

Any damage like sun damage, heat damage, or colouring makes your hair more porous. That is it creates more holes in your hair. The rice water essentially fills up those holes and makes your hair stronger. These rinses restore shine and benefit your scalp too!

  • 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.

Although there is no concrete evidence but upon further research I found the fermented Rice Water is NOT recommended for the following:  

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

When to do the Rice Water Rinse?

  • Preferably on non-buildup hair, after shampoo and before deep conditioning. 
  • By itself for a mid-week rinse, if you wash your hair frequently.
  • Before Styling your hair.

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.

Pro Tip: If you have coarse curly hair like mine, use a moisturizing shampoo or cowash before applying Rice water. If you have thick hair, try deep conditioning after your rinse out. Rice water has minimal protein. So these tips will help you achieve the much-needed protein-moisture balance. For fine hair that needs more protein leave the rice water in and apply your hair mask over it. Try both ways (keep or rinse) to see which works better for you. 

How to make the Rice Water

  1. Boiling – Boil rice with extra water until cloudy. Strain and use that water as your rinse.
  2. Soaking – Keep in a jar or Collect the water you wash your rice in, not the first rinse.
  3. Fermenting – This is the easiest way to prepare your water and the most effective way too.

Caution about Fermented Rice Water

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 fermented method then here’s a helpful Epoc Times article that shows you how

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.

Type of Rice

I use White rice since it has the least amount of protein and also gives the shiniest hair of all other types. Red rice has selenium to treat hairfall so it’s best for those with PCOD or menopause. Black rice is super high in antioxidants and vitamin B complex to make your hair stronger. 

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 judgment.

Can we add things to rice water to make it EXTRA? YES! If you have parched hair, you can add a few drops of your favourite oil/honey/coconut water into it after straining the liquid. However, experts recommend you use the rice water as is. 

How to apply the Rice Water Rinse (video)

Work the rice water in your hair and scalp, and roots and everything! Maximum penetration 🙂

  • Flip your BUILDUP-FREE 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 protein-free Deep Conditioner (DC)
  • Finish as usual.

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 in your regular deep conditioner and keep that for 20 minutes. Curl train your hair at this point to enhance definition. 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. Products don’t touch my scalp, except for oil/cowash/shampoo.  For maximum benefits, I recommend following the classic method only: rice water worked into hair and scalp first; then deep condition after.


Verna advises when in doubt, leave the rice water 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, increase the time for up to 20 minutes. Leave it in too long and you’re asking for trouble. Too much protein causes Protein Overload (feels rough, dry and brittle). Put a timer on. Don’t sleep on it!

How often can we do the rice water rinse? This depends on how much protein your hair needs and how much it can take. Weekly is ideal. Don’t do it too much, I say. High Porosity wavy hair like @powerdomi generally needs more protein anyway so in that case you can do one every wash.

Can I use rice water as a deep conditioner? No.

Can I mix ACV with rice water? No. Never mix two special treatments together, ill say. Use your discretion. 

Can I use it to rinse my conditioner out maybe?  Rice water rinse is more like a repair treatment to be used alongside a deep conditioner for best results.  However, looser hair textures like wavy hair or fine hair can benefit as the last rinse right before styling.

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. 

Thank you for watching & reading!

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7 thoughts on “How to make rice water at home”

  1. I read your article and it is really good, simple and on point which I loved the most about this article. But I have a doubt as what I use to do is collect the cloudy water after cooking the rice and keep it aside for 1.5 days…till then the denser particles settle down and then I strain and use just the water and not the denser I doing it wrong? Any suggestions?

    1. Thank you for your comment! I found using warm rice water better since its more liquid. Using traditional red rice from Kerala is very starchy and it gets very dense as it cools down. You can warm it up and use it 🙂 You’re rinsing it out anyway. Hope this clears the confusion

    1. Hey Mariam, I have tried that in the past and it left a funky smell in my hair. I don’t recommend it because it’s homemade and we don’t add any preservatives to DIY things like this.

        1. It is important to note that store-bought rice water usually contains preservatives, which extend its shelf life. However, I would advise against leaving it in your hair for too long, as too much of a good thing can have negative consequences. It is recommended to rinse it out after use.

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