Rice water has emerged as the ‘it’ ingredient for hair (and hair growth) in the recent past. We’ve seen a handful of influencers and beauty bloggers shed light on the benefits of rice water for hair and how you can use them both – naturally and synthetically. However, this is one cultural practice that prevails among the Yao women in China who have surprisingly long hair. They swear by rice water to boost hair growth and improve their overall health. Today, we can spot rice water as a key ingredient in many hair care products. Since the market and beauty space are all praises about this ingredient, we thought of getting a quick fact-check done with an expert. Here’s what Dr Kalyani Deskhmukh, dermatologist at Traya Health had to say.
“Rice water for hair became a popular trend a few years ago. It has been used in certain South-Asian communities to grow long, thick, and straight hair. Rice water is 70-80% starch, however, it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. And the most beneficial component is Inositol, which is believed to combat hair loss and promote hair growth. However, the concentration in homemade rice water would be too low, especially now, when inositol supplements are available. Rice water is believed to help with ageing, oxidative damage, detangling, adding shine and volume. However, there is no scientific evidence of it boosting hair growth. The only evidence is anecdotal, like any other ‘dadi maa ke nuske’. However, once again there isn’t any harm in trying it as a fun DIY experiment,” quotes Dr Deskhmukh
Today, the internet is flooded with hacks and DIY recipes for including this powerful ingredient in your hair care routine. However, in beauty, it’s never one size fits all so we found out the dermat-approved (universally) best way to use rice water for hair. “You can use it fresh or fermented. In either case, make sure to rinse the rice thoroughly to clean it. Then either soak it for about 30 minutes or boil it and let it ferment for a day or 2. Apply it after rinsing your hair with shampoo. It is best to use it in the same way as you would use a conditioner. Massage it into your hair strands but not on your scalp and then rinse it thoroughly after 10-15 minutes,” shares Dr Deskhmukh
Rice water is not clinically proven to have benefits or formulated to perform a function in hair care. Anyone with hair loss should consult a dermatologist to understand the root cause of their hair loss condition and to get a holistic solution. This will include clinically proven solutions, treatment for root causes, and a change in nutrition and lifestyle to promote hair health,” suggests Dr Deskhmukh. Well, there’s no harm in religiously using rice water for hair, don’t expect to achieve miraculous results from it
One can incorporate rice water as a leave-in mask. Simply drench your scalp and locks in rice water and leave it on for about 30 minutes before you wash it off well. The absorption of the water in your scalp could promote hair growth, if it has to plus endow shine and smoothness to your mane
Anyone who has low porosity hair should not use rice water. Fermented rice water can be acidic and thus damage your hair. Excessive use, especially in dry hair can cause stiffness. And if used on the scalp and not cleansed properly, the residue buildup can lead to an increased risk of scalp infections, dandruff, and dryness,” shares Dr Deskhmukh