Rice water for hair growth: Does rice water make hair grow? Fact-checked

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Using rice water on the hair to stimulate growth has exploded on social media over the last two years, with everyone from Kim Kardashian to Cardi B claiming they have tried and tested the so-called hack. The trend, which has widely circulated on video-sharing platform TikTok, sees people using fermented rice water to add vitamins to their hair.

Searches for the trend grew by 22 percent in July 2021, and in Look Fantastic’s 2021 TikTok Beauty Index report, “rice water for hair growth” was listed among the top 19 TikTok hair trends.

The hashtag #ricewater currently has 506.2 million views on TikTok, with countless people posting their own experiences to the app.

One used named Audrey Victoria said she was “shocked” by the results of this viral trend.

Another user, posting under the name Abbey Yung, reported her experience after using rice water once a week for a month.

She said: “It’s definitely grown quite a bit longer, and aside from the growth I feel like I’ve seen a lot of other benefits as well.

“My hair is shinier and softer, and it just feels overall healthier and less manageable.

“Overall this is a win for me and something that I will keep doing in my weekly hair washing routine.”

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How do you wash your hair with rice water?

To create the rice water, pour clean rice into an air-tight container, add some cold water, and mix them together.

Allow it to soak for 15 to 30 minutes until the water looks “milky white”.

Any type of rice can be used.

Then strain out the rice and set the water aside. Some people who do not like the smell alone add in a few drops of juice from a freshly squeezed orange or lemon.

According to Medical News Today, there are six steps to washing your hair with rice water.

Begin by washing your hair as usual with shampoo.

Then, rinse thoroughly with clean water from the tap.

Pour the rice water onto the hair, and then massage into the hair and scalp.

Leave to sit for up to 20 minutes, then rinse the hair thoroughly using clean warm water.

Does using rice water really work to help hair growth?

Although this is a viral social media trend, there is quite a bit of evidence to back it up.

In fact, this trend has been around since the Hein period, which started in around 794 and ended in 1185 in Japan.

Japanese women, who were known for their long and thick hair, used the very same trick.

According to Healthline: “Studies have found that inositol, an ingredient found in rice water, is able to penetrate damaged hair and repair it from the inside out.

“It even protects hair from future damage.”

Rice water is also packed with amino acids, vitamins B and E, minerals, and antioxidants which all boost hair health.

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