We’re all about staying up-to-date on the latest beauty trends, and if you’re here, then you must be, too. A longtime trend that picked up some buzz in the past couple of years is rice water for hair growth. You’ve likely heard about the purported benefits of rice water for hair, especially natural Afro-textured hair, and want to know if rice water really helps with hair growth. After all, who doesn’t want to grow their hair faster for a luscious, healthy-looking head of long hair? If you’re curious about the talk surrounding rice water for hair growth, as well as other beauty benefits of rice water, we’ve gathered the facts. Is rice water worth adding to your hair care routine? Read on to find out.
DOES RICE WATER MAKE YOUR HAIR GROW?
Before we dive into if rice water really does work for hair growth, let’s have a little history lesson. According to a study from the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the use of rice water for healthy, long hair dates back to the Heian Period in Japanese history, where court ladies were said to have combed their hair each day using Yu-Su-Ru (the water obtained from the rinsing of rice), resulting in beautiful, long hair that reached the floor.
Sound too good to be true? Well, not quite. The study found that Yu‐Su‐Ru did provide positive hair care effects, including reduced surface friction and increased hair elasticity. However, according to the study, Yu-Su-Ru extracts were found to be a better option than applying the rice water directly to hair, as they also offer hair care benefits without some of the difficulties of direct application.
Beyond this one study, there’s more research out there suggesting the benefits of rice water for hair. Rice bran extract, and components of it, including linoleic acid and gamma oryzanol, were examined in a study from the Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. The study found that linoleic acid and gamma oryzanol induce the formation of hair follicles and promote hair growth. Backing this up, a study from the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences notes that ferulic acid is present in gamma oryzanol and that ferulic acid stimulates hair growth.
SHOULD I USE RICE WATER ON MY HAIR?
After reading the facts, chances are you’re ready to use rice water on your locks. But whether you should use rice water on your hair and how often depends on the rice water you’re using. Many people have been DIYing a rice water rinse, but we wouldn’t be able to tell you the final outcomes. Others opt for one of the rice water rinses available on the market. If you’re purchasing a rice water rinse, you should always follow the directions found on the product you’re using.
Editor’s Note: Still not sure about rice water but looking for a great hair care system to promote healthy hair and a healthy scalp? Grab the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Scrub as a pre-poo treatment to the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Shampoo and L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Scalp Care + Detox Conditioner to give your scalp and hair a soothing detox from product build-up, excess oil, dry flakes and even dandruff.
IS RICE WATER GOOD FOR SKIN?
Aside from hair, rice water has been found to have skin benefits as well. Remember the ferulic acid we mentioned earlier? Well, according to the same study from the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, this acid has also been found to impact the appearance of skin positively. Additionally, rice bran contains tocotrienols, which have been found to have their own skin benefits. Tocotrienols penetrate the skin’s surface when applied topically and get absorbed rapidly, per the study. The tocotrienols, which are members of the vitamin C family, help stabilize free radicals that can be caused by exposure to oxidative rays—and can help to protect the skin surface.
Photography: Matthew Zach, Senior Art Director, Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay