Is Rice Water Your Afro’s New Best Friend?

If you want to experiment with your natural hair, different products, and routines that work for you and your schedule, you might go broke. As a matter of fact, you might end up mal up with an eviction notice and diagnosis of malnutrition. One way to save yourself from this is by experimenting with products that you already have in your home.

One of these products is rice! Or rather, rice and water to make rice water. Rice water is a hidden gem that’s been cherished for centuries for its hair-strengthening properties. This is a simple yet effective product that you can make at home without spending much – if anything at all. Whether it is infused with herbs or used plain, rice water has been celebrated in cultures worldwide for its remarkable benefits for hair, especially for those with kinky and curly hair. What are the benefits of rice water and discover how it can transform your hair care routine.

Rice water is the starchy water that’s left behind after rinsing, soaking, or boiling rice. While it may seem like a humble (or even useless) byproduct of cooking, rice water is packed with nutrients and compounds that work wonders for natural hair. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, rice water nourishes and strengthens hair strands. Its high content of antioxidants also helps to protect hair from damage caused by environmental stressors. These characteristics of rice water also help promote growth growth retention by reducing hair fall.

Benefits of Rice Water for Natural Hair:

Promotes growth retention: rice water contains inositol, a carbohydrate that can penetrate the hair shaft, strengthening and repairing damaged hair. Regular use of rice water can stimulate hair growth and reduce breakage, leading to longer, healthier hair.
Strengthens hair: the amino acids in rice water help strengthen hair strands, making your hair resistant to damage and breakage. This results in hair that is less prone to split ends and breakage.

Improves scalp health: rice water has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the scalp, reducing itchiness and irritation. It also helps to regulate sebum production, keeping the scalp balanced and healthy.
Adds shine and softness: the vitamins and minerals in rice water, such as vitamin E and ferulic acid, nourish the hair, leaving it soft, smooth, and lustrous. Regular use can enhance the natural shine and texture of your hair.

Four DIY Rice Water Treatments for Natural Hair:

Fermented rice water: Simply soak uncooked rice in water for 24-48 hours until it becomes slightly sour. Strain the water and use it as a rinse after shampooing for maximum benefits.

Rice water rinse with green tea: Brew a strong cup of green tea and mix it with rice water. The antioxidants in green tea complement the nourishing properties of rice water, promoting healthy hair growth and scalp health.

Coconut-rice water rinse: Combine rice water with coconut milk for a deeply hydrating treatment. Coconut milk moisturises and conditions the hair, while rice water strengthens and fortifies.

Lavender-infused rice water: Add a few drops of lavender essential oil or lavender leaves to rice water for conditioning, calming, and aromatic treatment. Lavender oil soothes the scalp and smells great, making it perfect for a pampering hair care ritual.

All Best Friends Have Boundaries:

While rice water can offer various benefits for Afro and natural hair when used in moderation, excessive use may lead to some adverse effects such as:

  • Protein overload: rice water contains proteins that can strengthen the hair shaft. However, excessive protein use without adequate moisture can lead to protein overload, causing the hair to become brittle, dry, and prone to breakage.
  • Dryness: using rice water too frequently or leaving it on the hair for extended periods can strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and dehydration of the hair and scalp.
  • Buildup: rice water has a starchy consistency that may leave residue on the hair and scalp if not rinsed out thoroughly. Over time, this buildup can weigh down the hair, making it appear dull and lifeless.
  • Scalp irritation: some individuals may experience scalp irritation or sensitivity to rice water, especially if they have pre-existing scalp conditions such as eczema or dermatitis. Excessive use of rice water can exacerbate these issues.
  • Altered hair texture: Afro and natural hair textures vary widely, and while some individuals may benefit from the protein-rich properties of rice water, others may find that it alters their hair texture, making it feel stiff or coarse.



Incorporating rice water into your hair care routine may be the solution to stronger hair and a healthier scalp that you have been waiting for. Experiment with the DIY treatments in this blog post to discover the transformative power of rice water for your natural hair journey. Remember not to go overboard with the rice water. To avoid the potential adverse effects, it’s essential to use rice water in moderation and incorporate it into a balanced hair care routine. 

Experimenting with different herbs and essential oils in the rice water can help you figure out what works best for your hair type and needs. It’s essential to listen to your hair and scalp and adjust your regimen accordingly to maintain optimal hair health.

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