DIY,  You

What is a Rice Water Rinse & How Do I Use It?

If you are wondering why you don’t seem to be able to get your own hair to cooperate, it’s probably because, you don’t know what kind of hair you have. And if you are asking yourself what is a rice water rise & how do I use it then read on.

I have low porosity hair, which translates to trying to manage hair that doesn’t like to get wet, and once wet, takes forever to dry. 

It gets a C- retaining moisture, which could easily be a D since I live in a humid climate.

There are many other hair characteristics I could get into; a rice water rinse has changed my hair (or should I say my scalp pH) dramatically. 

That translates to the benefits below.

If you are not sure of your hair type, end your frustration in one step (and get the hair you’ve always wanted) by reading this post

So, What is a Rice Water Rinse & How Do I Use It?

You’re going to want to know all the bennies of a rice water rinse to get committed to this regimen first – and they are vast.

The Benefits of a Rice Water Rinse

Think of your hair cuticle like the cuticle of your nails.  If your nail cuticle is healthy your nail will grow out healthy. 

Of course, if your cuticle is damaged then your nails are vulnerable – peeling/thin, not growing and so on. 

Your hair is similar in the concept: keep the cuticle healthy and it protects the hair shaft and retains moisture.

Rice Water Contains:

  • Vitamins B, C, and E, which promote hair growth
  • Amino acids to help repair split ends
  • A carbohydrate, inositol, that repairs damaged hair and improves hair elasticity by reducing surface friction
  • Natural saponins that work as a natural cleanser
  • Starch that can kill bugs (e.g., lice and nits)

Rice water helps restore your scalp’s pH levels or aids in retaining healthy and happy hair. 

It will aid in closing your cuticles to protect your hair shaft – reserving moisture and preserving color/highlights.  It can also restore shine when used as a hair mask. 


On a side note, but to also demonstrate the pH powers of a rice water rinse, you can eliminate the smell of new paint, remove sauce, fruit and sweat stains from fabrics, and eliminates unpleasant odors. 

It is a powerful agent when used correctly.

What is this little miracle anyway…

What is Rice Water?

Rice water is just that: rice and water.  It looks like cloudy water.  You can find the recipe below

There are many benefits to using rice water, not just for your hair, but for your skin (and home) too!  Beware, things are going to get sciency.

First pH stands for Hydrogen – a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 – 14.

  • Acidic = pH below 6.9
  • pH 7 = Neutral
  • Alkaline = pH 7.1 -14

You should know water has a 7 pH level.  Cooked and uncooked rice pH levels range from 6 to 6.7.  Your skin’s pH value is 5.5.

You can see how small good pH window level are and how just one processes can throw your scalp’s pH out of whack.  

Also, rice water has a higher pH level than your hair’s natural pH levels.

If you are not sure of your hair type, end your frustration in one step (and get the hair you’ve always wanted) by reading this post

Is a Rice Water Rinse Right for My Hair?

Here are a two questions to determine your hairs health. 

If you answer yes to one or both questions below, you can benefit with a rice water rinse by the second use – returning your pH levels to 5.5.

One:  Do you suffer from scalp fungus/bacteria?

This can manifest itself through dry itchy scalp, eczema, stinky scalp and dandruff.  Each is a sign of high alkaline. 

Your shampoo could be agitating the symptoms above; therefore, you should check your shampoo label to determine if the product has high (more than 7) pH levels. 

Two: Have you used color, bleach or relaxers?

Each process manipulates the cuticle (opening and closing) to achieve the desired result. 

High alkaline products open the cuticle and highly acidic products are used to close it/make it lay down.

Bro.  Is it becoming clear yet?

How to Use a Rice Water Rinse?

  1. Store your rice water in the fridge. In addition, to preserving the rinse longer, the cold temperature closes the cuticle naturally.
  2. Before you jump in the shower get enough rice water to rinse all of your hair. 
  3. Determine your frequency based on your hair type.

I have low porosity hair, so I use an appropriate shampoo and conditioner for my hair type. Then I use my rice water interchangeably between washes. 

For example, one wash I will use low porosity shampoo followed by a rice water rinse and the next wash I will use conditioner only.

The frequency of your rice water rinse should be determined by your hairs response. 

It will take a minimum of two rice water rinses to begin to restore pH levels to your scalp.

  1. Apply your regular product (e.g., shampoo, conditioner or both)
  2. Rinse out the product with water
  3. Rinse again with your rice water
  4. You can stop here or rinse the rice water out, preferably with cold water to help close the cuticle.

Note:  Whether you rinse the rice water out of leave it in the inositol in the rice water remains behind, continuing to protect the hair. 

To rebuild protein bonds outside of a rice water rinse, proper acidic products should be used, hence product labels that read pH Balanced.

If you’re ready, follow the recipe below.

Rice Water Rinse Recipe

There are two recipes for making rice water: 1) soaking and 2) cooking.

Soaking is the easiest way to make rice water.

NOTE: If you want to cook the rice, be aware there is a small 10 minute window when rice is boiling that can lead to cooking out the benefits.

The fermented rice water technique is the best, because it has more antioxidants.

What you’ll need to get started right now:  rice, container that will hold four fluid cups with a lid and water.

  • Rinse 2 TBL – 1/2 cup raw rice (brown or white) thoroughly to eliminate unwanted sh…tuff
  • Place your clean rice in a bowl with 2 cups of water and cover
  • Soak rice for at least 24-48 hours
  • Strain the rice from the water into a clean bowl (use the rice as a face mask!)
  • Dilute the rice water with 2 cups of clean water

You are ready to use your rice water as a rinse. 

Store it in the fridge for one week.  Use it on your hair and face to achieve any of the benefits above.

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