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Can Rice Water Really Help Your Hair Grow Longer? We Investigate

rice water in a bowl

Every few months, a new Holy Grail ingredient takes the hair industry by storm. From coconut oil to peppermint oil, each ingredient claims to solve countless hair woes (and doesn’t). Rice water for hair is the new Holy Grail ingredient everybody can’t stop talking about, but can it really make your hair grow longer?

We decided to investigate and find out for ourselves.

What is rice water?

Rice water is the milky liquid you’re left with after soaking and rinsing grains of rice. While it is customary in many countries to rinse your rice and dispose of the water, people in Japan have been saving the rice water and using it on their hair for centuries. Researchers have found evidence of Japanese women using rice water on their hair as far back as 794 A.D.

The court ladies of the Heian period had floor-length hair, and are said to have combed their hair using rice water every day. The court ladies credited their great lengths to the rice water increasing their hair elasticity.

Further research has found that inositol, a compound found in rice water, has the ability to gradually permeate the hair shaft, allowing the beautifying effects of rice water to remain in your hair long after you’ve rinsed the rice water out. Researchers say this helps the hair look and feel healthier for a longer time.

Should you use rice water for hair?

Although all of this research sounds promising, the information is relatively new and the scientific community is still mostly undecided on whether or not rice water can actually help your hair grow longer. While there is no definitive answer as to whether or not rice water can help your hair grow longer, you can apply it your mane if you’d like to channel your inner Heian period court lady.

If you’re taking excellent care of your hair but still feel like it isn’t reaching its length potential, you might be dealing with major breakage. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your hair grows on average a half an inch per month. If your hair is breaking off at the same rate, it can seem like your hair isn’t growing at all. Putting an end to breakage is the key to achieving princess-length locks.

If you’re experiencing significant breakage, consider making a few of these changes to your hair care routine:

Upgrade your hair care products.

If you’re experiencing breakage, swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system formulated to repair damaged locks. We recommend the extreme repair shampoo and conditioner from Shu Uemura’s Ultimate Reset Shampoo and Conditioner.

Incorporate a weekly deep conditioning mask.

Dry, brittle hair is one of the leading causes of breakage. Make your parched locks a thing of the past by adding a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment to your weekly routine. We suggest Shu Uemura’s Ultimate Reset Mask which is an extreme repair mask for very damaged hair.

Swap out your cotton pillowcase for a satin one.

Cotton isn’t always as soft to your hair as it is to the touch. While cotton pillowcases can rough up hair and may lead to breakage, your hair will gently glide over your satin pillowcases without a snag in sight.

Eat your way to healthy-looking hair.

Applying rice water to your hair may not give your the long mane of your dreams, there are certain foods you can add to your diet for hair that looks and feels extra shiny and strong. Your hair needs lots of protein and healthy fats to thrive, so include foods like salmon, eggs, nuts, and avocado in your diet.

Interested in a personalized hair care consultation? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.