SheKnows posted "Kim Kardashian Swears by Rice Water for Hair Growth & Dermatologists Explain Why It’s a Treatment Worth Trying." The article features Visha Skincare founder, Dr. Purvisha Patel. Though preparation is far from simple, Dr. Patel agrees that bi-weekly rice water hair treatments could be good for your hair.
Hollywood has no shortage of celebs with good hair, from Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston, to Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren. But no other celeb gives us hair envy like Kim Kardashian. Whether she’s blonde, brunette, sporting a glam updo or keeping it simple, her hair always looks so good. Because of this, we did some digging to figure out what she does to keep her looks looking shiny, smooth, and in great shape overall. As it turns out, Kim K swears by the rice water for hair growth and thickness. In fact, she saw a “noticeable difference in growth and thickness” thanks to the treatment, per Poosh.
If you’re constantly browsing through social media, you may be familiar with the DIY hack. Rice water is a TikTok-viral solution that many claimed has led to “extreme hair growth” and “unbelievable results.” While it may seem like one of those too-good-to-be-true type of situations, dermatologists say it’s a hair growth treatment that can be effective if done correctly.
“Rice water has been used as a hair treatment for centuries in many cultures, particularly in Asia,” Dr. Purvisha Patel, dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, tells SheKnows. “It is believed to be a natural remedy for promoting hair growth, preventing hair breakage, and improving the overall health of the hair.”
If you want to try using rice water for hair growth, here’s everything you should know to achieve the type of results you want.
So, What Exactly Is Rice Water?
As Dr. Alain Michon, dermatologist and Medical Director of Project Skin MD Ottawa, tells SheKnows, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s basically water that’s been strained through rice after it’s been cooked or soaked. “It’s very starchy and contains other nutrients like amino acids, minerals, vitamins B and E, which can be beneficial to hair health,” he says. “People use it as a sort of natural hair treatment, washing it into their hair and letting it rest for 15 to 20 minutes to absorb the nutrients.”
How Rice Water May Help With Hair Growth
As Dr. Michon says, rice water and particularly rice bran extracts, may help improve hair loss by encouraging hair to stay in the growth phase by inhibiting the enzyme called 5alpha-reductase. It’s an enzyme that’s responsible for hair thinning and alopecia. “Rice water also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with hair graying and growth,” he shared. That’s right, rice water also has the potential to help prevent grays. Since rice water is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it can help nourish and strengthen the hair. According to Dr. Patel, the amino acids in rice water may repair damaged hair and reduce split ends. “This is the reason why it is so helpful,” she says. “It helps physically repair damaged hair.”
How to Use Rice Water for Hair Growth
Fortunately, the process is super simple. All you really need is long grain white rice as it “releases more into the water,” Dr. Patel says. However, patience is key as it takes some time to actually make rice water. These are the steps you’ll want to follow:
- Rinse 1 cup of rice with water to remove any dirt or impurities.
- Place the rice in a bowl and add 2 cups of water.
- Let the rice soak in the water for at least 30 minutes.
- Strain the rice and keep the water.
- Apply the rice water to your hair and scalp, gently massaging it in.
- Leave the rice water on your hair for at least 20 minutes.
- Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water.
Dr. Patel recommends using rice water as a hair treatment about one or twice a week. This may help promote hair growth and improve the health of your hair overall. Any more than that could lead to residue on your hair, making it heavier and difficult to style. Using too much might also cause your hair to dry out.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating your own rice water, Amazon has a few budget-friendly products that you may want to consider trying.
Luv Me Care Rice Water Shampoo
Luv Me Care’s Rice Water Shampoo was specifically made to be a hair growth shampoo. Not only does it contain rice water, it’s also infused with biotin, caffeine, and other ingredients that are known to help with hair growth, thinning, and damage. According to one shopper who experienced “extreme hair loss,” this shampoo helped reduce shedding and strengthened fragile and damaged strands.
Kitsch Rice Water Protein Shampoo Bar
This Amazon best-seller contains rice water protein, pure essential oils, and other natural ingredients to help keep your hair healthy-looking and “smooth as silk.” One shopper saw “significant hair growth” on their “very fine, thing hair” after a few months of use. Another reviewer said it also
ProBlíva Rice Water Spray
This biotin and caffeine-infused rice water spray was made to help stimulate hair growth, improve dry and damaged hair, repair split ends, and prevent breakage. According to reviews, it’s a product that’s easy to use and effective. One shopper wrote, “I started using this product about a month ago and can already tell a difference in the quality of my hair. I have thinning postpartum hair and am hoping this will help promote hair growth. This product is very easy to use. No harsh smell. I am already on my second bottle and excited to see how my hair continues to improve!”
While rice water can be a good natural treatment for hair thinning, loss, breakage, and graying, and it is a treatment that has been used in some cultures for centuries. However, Dr. Michon notes that there’s not a ton of scientific backing for it. More research needs to be done in order to truly prove its effectiveness. Because of this, he recommends staying away from premium priced products that contain rice water as an ingredient.
“Try the natural route just to see if your hair responds positively,” he says. “But always remember to include your dermatologist in conversations about what you will be doing with your hair or skin.”