Together with being a straightforward facet dish and a handy strategy to save a waterlogged iPhone, rice is now being touted as a standout hair care ingredient. In accordance with proponents, rice water has the power to make hair shinier, strengthen strands, and encourage hair development, amongst different alleged advantages. (Even celebs resembling Kim Kardashian and Cardi B. have shouted out rice water as a hair care savior.)
When you’re pondering that every one these supposed rice water advantages sound too good to be true, we’re proper there with you. That’s why SELF requested hair care consultants to interrupt down what’s behind the hype—so you possibly can decide if utilizing rice water in your hair is a pattern price making an attempt. Right here’s what they needed to say.
What’s rice water? | What are the advantages of rice water? | Can rice water improve hair development? | Does rice water work for all hair varieties? | The way to use rice water for hair | The underside line
What’s rice water, precisely?
Rice plus water equals rice water. Sure, it’s that easy. 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 Mission in New York Metropolis, tells SELF. Whereas utilizing this liquid as a hair therapy has solely just lately turn into a viral TikTok pattern, there’s really nothing new about it.
“Utilizing rice water for hair is a centuries-old Japanese and Chinese language observe,” Jeannette Graf, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Nice Neck, New York, and assistant medical professor of dermatology on the Mount Sinai College of Medication, tells SELF. Rice water has additionally lengthy been used for magnificence and hair therapy in Southeast Asian nations, 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 stated, how a lot of that good things leads to the water and the way, precisely, it may well have an effect on your hair stay to be seen. Whereas there are some research within the works, the science that’s exploring the anecdotal claims continues to be within the early levels, she provides.
Nonetheless, it’s truthful to say that rice water possible incorporates lots of the identical vitamins as entire rice and due to this fact might supply some beauty advantages for hair, probably bettering issues resembling shine, elasticity, and total hair well being, Dr. Graf says. For instance, vitamin B5 (often known as panthenol) will help soften hair, whereas fiber would possibly theoretically coat your strands and make them really feel thicker. Antioxidants, together with ferulic acid, could supply safety from oxidative stress—an imbalance of unstable molecules within the physique that may be attributable to issues like publicity to solar and air pollution—which may contribute to hair graying and breakage.2,3 Rice can be loaded with amino acids (eight to be actual), 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 great strengthening therapy too.
Oh, and in case you’ve heard that fermented rice water is much more potent than its normal counterpart, know that the proof is generally 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 sort of microorganism. Fermentation could improve the quantity of antioxidants in rice water, notes Dr. Graf, however there’s no analysis to help that this increase will profit your hair.5
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What about utilizing rice water for hair development?
Right here’s the place issues get a bit of dicey. Simply as all the consultants SELF spoke with agreed on the potential beauty advantages of rice water, additionally they all beneficial taking its supposed hair development advantages with a grain (pun meant) of salt. “Rice incorporates inositol, often known as vitamin B8, and there may be some science indicating that it might 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, moderately than used topically.6 “It’s fairly doable that it might be helpful for hair development, however extra medical research have to be carried out earlier than we might make that bounce,” she says.