Together with being a straightforward facet dish and a handy option to save a waterlogged iPhone, rice is now being touted as a standout hair-care ingredient. In line with proponents, rice water has the power to make hair shinier, strengthen strands, and encourage hair development, amongst different alleged advantages. (Even celebs similar to Kim Kardashian and Cardi B. have shouted out rice water as a hair-care savior.)
Should you’re considering all these supposed rice water advantages sound too good to be true, we’re proper there with you. That’s why SELF requested hair-care specialists to interrupt down what’s behind the hype—so you may decide if utilizing rice water in your hair is a pattern value attempting. Right here’s what they needed to say.
What's rice water? | What are the advantages of rice water? | Can rice water enhance hair development? | Does rice water work for all hair varieties? | How you can use rice water for hair | The underside line
What's rice water, precisely?
Rice plus water equals rice water. Sure, it’s that straightforward. Rice water is the nutrient-rich water that’s leftover after rice has been soaked, Rick Wellman, a hairstylist and coloration professional at The Salon Challenge in New York Metropolis, tells SELF. Whereas utilizing this liquid as a hair remedy has solely lately change into a viral TikTok pattern, there’s truly nothing new about it.
“Utilizing rice water for hair is a centuries-old Japanese and Chinese language follow,” Jeannette Graf, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Nice Neck, New York, and assistant medical professor of dermatology on the Mount Sinai College of Drugs, tells SELF. Rice water has additionally lengthy been used as a magnificence and hair remedy in Southeast Asian international locations together with Korea and Thailand.1
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What are some potential rice water advantages?
There’s no denying that rice is nutrient-dense—it’s wealthy in minerals, nutritional vitamins, and antioxidants, says Dr. Graf. That being mentioned, how a lot of that great things leads to the water and the way, precisely, it could actually have an effect on your hair stays to be seen. Whereas there are some research within the works, the science that’s exploring the anecdotal claims remains to be within the early levels, she provides.
Nonetheless, it’s truthful to say that rice water probably comprises most of the similar vitamins as entire rice and subsequently may supply some beauty advantages for hair, doubtlessly bettering issues similar to shine, elasticity, and total hair well being, Dr. Graf says. For instance, vitamin B5 (also called panthenol) will help soften hair, whereas fiber would possibly theoretically coat your strands and make them really feel thicker. Antioxidants, together with ferulic acid, might supply safety from oxidative stress—an imbalance of unstable molecules within the physique that may be brought on by issues like publicity to solar and air pollution—which might contribute to hair graying and breakage.2 3 Rice can also be loaded with amino acids (eight to be precise), that are the constructing blocks of protein, together with keratin, the first protein that makes up our hair, says Dr. Graf.4 That’s why rice water has the potential to be a superb strengthening remedy, too.
Oh, and for those who’ve heard that fermented rice water is much more potent than its customary counterpart, know that the proof is usually anecdotal and theoretical there, too. Fermentation is a chemical course of throughout which starches or sugars are transformed into an alcohol or acid, through enzymes from some kind of microorganism. Fermentation might enhance the quantity of antioxidants in rice water, notes Dr. Graf, however there’s no analysis to help that this enhance will profit your hair.5
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What about utilizing rice water for hair development?
Right here’s the place issues get somewhat dicey. Simply as the entire specialists SELF spoke with agreed on the potential beauty advantages of rice water, in addition they all really helpful taking its supposed hair development advantages with a grain (pun meant) of salt. “Rice comprises inositol, also called vitamin B8, and there may be some science indicating that it could help wholesome hair development,” says Dr. Graf, including that it’s been proven to deal with alopecia—however solely in mice and when taken orally, slightly than used topically.6 “It’s fairly doable that it could be helpful for hair development, however extra medical research should be performed earlier than we may make that leap,” she says.