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How To Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water

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For many rice is food BUT for some, rice is a beauty product! Have you seen blogs titled: Rice water for Hair Growth? If you haven’t then you are in the right place because I will share my experience of using rice water on 4C hair. How to Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water

Before we just into it, Let me introduce myself if you're a newbie here!

Hi There! I am Queen, I would like to warmly welcome you to my Natural hair Blog! Here I share great information and valuable tips that will help you maintain your natural hair, after all, we all want a beautiful crown, right?! :)

I made a special page for you all (my lovely queens!) with helpful resources like coupon codes, discounts and products that will help you and me in our hair journey! I'll also be sharing different Best Selling Products for natural hair as i discover them!

Natural hair cheat sheet - grow your natural hair

I think we can learn to embrace and have fun taking care of our hair, so join me and let's do it together(Join My Exclusive Facebook Group to get instant access to me, and let's build a community beyond hair)! 

Lastly, I have a gift for you! We've all been there, The struggle to grow and maintain our hair Long! Ugh, i know trust me! My hair was stuck at shoulder-length for the longest till I finally passed it :) Now my hair is all the way to my bra strap!

I made this to help a sista out! You can get your free Natural hair cheat sheet guide to longer hair here

Quick Tip❤️--> If you are experiencing lots of breakage or shedding... maybe you need to solve it from the inside out! I Remember I experienced shedding and breakage and when i strategically started taking specific vitamins it stopped (well, this supplement makes things soooo much easier instead of taking 5 vitamins a day, haha!). Or  you can try this hair formula which i think targets more hair problems. I helped me and I hope this tip helps you dear .

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's continue!

Can rice water be used to grow natural hair? Consistent and correct use of rice water promotes healthy hair growth, improves shines and elasticity and effectively conditions the hair by smoothing the cuticles and reducing the surface friction which prevents the strands from tangling.

Asian women, for a very long time have used rice water to enhance their skin and hair beauty. Traditionally, female rice farmers in China, Japan, and other Southeast Asian countries used to bathe and wash their hair in the water used for cleaning rice.

In this article I will cover the following: (i) What is rice water? (ii) Benefits of rice water, (iii) How to prepare rice water, (iv) How to use rice water and (iv)Answers to popular questions on using rice water on hair.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

How to Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water

How To Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water

How To Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water

What is rice water?

Rice water is the milky liquid left over after soaking, washing or boiling rice. Rice water is believed to be beneficial to both the skin, as a toner and hair as a conditioner.

Rice water for natural 4c hair growth

The rice water craze has recently been trending among hair bloggers especially natural 4C Hair bloggers, I personally came across the rice water terminology 3 years after going natural! I wish I discovered it earlier!

Since the very first time I rinsed my natural 4C hair with rice water, I have never looked back. I currently use rice water once in every two weeks but when I started out, I would use it on a weekly basis during wash days.

The most remarkable thing I noticed when I started using the rice water was that it instantly conditioned my hair, making it super soft and super easy to detangle. In fact, these days I primarily use rice water for detangling and as a conditioner.

Benefits of rice water in hair

What makes rice water such a phenomenal hair product? This is a questions that so many natural hair enthusiasts are asking. Below we will explore the various benefits you will get from using rice water on your natural hair care regimen.

1. Promotes hair growth

Rice water contains amino acids that helps in hair regeneration. Rice water also contains Vitamins B, C and E which further promotes hair growth. Consistent use of rice water has been proven to promote hair growth as evidenced in Asian women.

It is no wonder the Yao women have an average length of over 1.5 meters. Not only do these women have long hair, the hair is luscious and very healthy.

I have consistently used rice water for over 6 months and I have noticed faster growth. My breakage has also reduced significantly.

2. Protects hair from damage

Research shows that rice water contains inositol which is a carbohydrate that can repair damaged hair.(1) Even after rinsing off the rice water, Inositol stays in the hair acting as a protective shield.

In addition to the carbohydrates present in hair, rice contains between 7-16% proteins. The rice proteins form a protective coat on your hair hence preventing breakage.

3. Increases shine and improves hair elasticity

The amino acids contained in the rice water strengthens the hair roots, increases the hair volume and makes the hair smooth and shiny.

4. Detangles hair

Rice water smoothens the cuticles and reduces the surface friction which helps the strands of the hair not to tangle.

If you’d rather eliminate all the headache with using rice water but still want to get all the goodness from rice water, you could try products that have rice water

Mielle Organics just dropped the Mielle Rice Water Collection: This collection has 5 products: 1. Rice Water Moisturizing Milk 2. Rice Water Clay Masque 3. Rice Water Split End Therapy 4. Rice Water Hydrating Shampoo and 5. Rice Water Shine Mist. You can try the line and see if it works for your hair.

How to make rice water for 4C hair growth

There are several method to prepare rice water. In this article I will share 4 recipes for making rice water for hair.

One of the most recommended methods of preparing rice water is the fermentation method, the process of fermentation results in a solution that is very potent for the hair. In fact some people find it too strong that they have to dilute the fermented rice water.

Below are 4 methods of preparing rice water for hair growth.

1- No Boil Method


½ cup of clean raw rice
2-3 cups of water
3-7 drops of an essential oil (Where to buy)

Place clean rice in container and add water.
Swirl it using a spoon in a round motion.
Leave it to sit for 30 minutes in room temperature, the longer the better so that all nutrients are obtained from the rice.
Strain the rice water and add 3 drops of an essential oil
Rinse your hair with the rice water

2- Minimalist/simple life hack method

Are you already worried that after soaking the rice there is going to be wastage? I had a similar concern until I discovered a simple ‘life hack’ in preparing rice water.

On the day you are cooking rice, start by washing your rice. Pour out the water from this wash as it may contain impurities depending on the quality and where you purchase your rice.
Proceed to do a ‘second’ wash but this time do not pour away the water. Store the water in a jar for up-to 24 hours and voila! you have rice water and no wastage.
Why this works: When you are washing the rice you intend to cook, because of quantity, the water resulting from the wash has a lot of minerals in it hence can be used for your hair.


3- Fermentation Method


½ cup of clean raw rice
2-3 cups of water
3-7 drops of an essential oil (where to buy)

Place clean rice in a container and add water.
Swirl it using a spoon in a round motion.
Cover and leave the rice water to sit in room temperature for 1-2 days.
Strain the rice water and add 3-7 drops of an essential oil.
Rinse your hair with the rice water.
Store the fermented rice water in the fridge to stop further fermentation.
Whilst fermented rice water is more beneficial than plain rice water, the challenge that comes with fermentation is the bad smell. The recipe above includes an essential oil, this will help in making the rice water smell better.


There are several other ways you can take away the bad smell from rice water. Read this article to learn about 8 different ways to make fermented rice smell better.


4- Boil Method


½ cup of clean raw rice
2-3 cups of water
3-7 drops of an essential oil (where to buy)

Boil water as you normally cook rice
Add twice the amount of water as you normally measure.
When the rice nearly cooked, strain the water out and let it cool under room temperature
Add 3 drops of an essential oil
Rinse your hair with the rice water
**You can vary the quantities based on your hair volume, frequency of use and your desired concentration of the rice water. The quantities below are what I have found to work best for my hair type and volume**


How to use rice water on 4C hair

I have experimented with several methods for using rice water and I have found the following to be the most effective ways. You can get as creative as you want after you have tested how your hair reacts with rice water.

1- Use rice water for detangling hair

When applied to hair, rice water instantly conditions the hair making it soft and easy to detangle. Rice water smoothens the cuticles and reduces surface friction which prevents the strands from tangling.

Use your preferred preparation method (from the list above) to prepare your rice water
Spray your hair with warm water to make it damp not wet.
Using a spray bottle, apply the rice water generously to your hair until you starts feeling the softness. (if you don’t have a spray bottle, slowly pour the rice water on your hair using a jar, contain the overflow by using a basin. You can reuse the overflow during the same session)
Leave the rice water in for about 5 minutes and then proceed to gently finger detangle your hair.
Rinse your hair and proceed with your hair care routine.

3- As a shampoo/Add it to your shampoo

Because of its effective conditioning properties, adding rice water to your shampoo makes a big difference in your wash day. The hair will be much easier to manage as you wash it.
Another way to use rice water as a washing agent is to prepare your own shampoo using rice water. If you are a DIY person who prefers to carefully examine what is in your products, then you should try this. To make the shampoo, simply add liquid castile soap to your fermented rice water. For added benefits, you can add an essential oil to your mixture.
3- Hair Rinse/Conditioner
One of the most popular ways the natural hair community is using rice water is as a hair rinse. This is achieved by using the rice water to rinse your hair after shampooing. Leave the rice in for about 10 minutes and then rinse off with plain water. For a more pleasant smell, add an essential oil to your rice water.

4- For Pre-poo

This is for people whose hair can stand Rice Water for longer periods.
You can use rice water as pre-poo or overnight spray. To do this, add your usual pre-poo oil such as Olive oil and an essential oil to diluted rice water. Spray your hair with the mixture and leave overnight if your hair can stand the hair proteins for long or for 30 – 45 minutes if rice water makes your hair hard when left in for long, don’t try this.

Is fermented rice water better than plain rice water?

A 2012 Study has shown that fermented rice water is more effective than plain rice water and here is why:

The PH of plain rice is higher than that of your hair, fermentation brings down the PH level to that of hair and helps close the cuticles hence protecting the hair.

During fermentation, a substance called ‘Pitera’ which is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and organic acids forms in the rice water. Pitera is known to promote cell regeneration and keep your skin and hair healthy.

How Long should you leave rice water in your hair?

Rice water should be left on the hair for at least 15 minutes so that the nutrients are absorbed into the hair strands and not too long that it may lead to damage.

How long you leave the rice water depends on several factors such as hair porosity and the concentration of the rice. Some people, especially those with low porosity hair find that leaving rice water on hair for too long, e.g overnight, leads to drying of the hair.

In this article, we have done a case study of 7 Influencers who have shared their experiences on using rice water in order to determine on average how long they left rice water in their hair. Check the article out to find out the results of the case study and to understand the different factors that determine how long to leave rice water on your hair.


Can I leave rice water in my hair overnight?

As mentioned above, If you have low porosity hair or if your hair is protein sensitive, you should rinse off the rice water after a maximum of one hour.

Even after rinsing off the rice water, Inositol stays in the hair acting as a protective shield. So really, there is no added benefit of leaving it on for too long. I found that when I leave rice water in for too long, my hair starts to feel extremely dry.

There are obviously many schools of thought on this but this is my view based on my experience. You can experiment by leaving the rice water for long and see what happens. Your hair may behave differently.

How often should I use rice water on my hair?

Using rice water too often on hair may result in damage especially if you have low porosity hair or if your hair is sensitive to the rice proteins.

Rice water contains a significant amount of proteins and hence should be treated as a protein treatment. Therefore using of rice water on hair should not overdone.


When you are just starting on the rice water treatment, you will need to experiment on the frequency but ensure you start off with once a week or after every two weeks. With time you may adjust to once a month especially if you are treating your hair with other types of treatments.

Should I use a conditioner after rice water?

Rice water is a conditioner in and of itself and it does a perfect job at conditioning your hair. I therefore find no added benefit of using a store bought conditioner after using rice water. Use the rice water as the last rinse after you have shampooed your hair.

Here is an important note on rice water….

It is extremely important to manage your expectations on using rice water. We all react differently to rice water. Just because you saw a Youtuber claim that their hair grew 4 inches in a week after using rice water, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same for you.

You will need to learn how your hair behaves when you use rice water, determine how long and how long often to use this natural remedy and most importantly, be patient on your journey!

I have found rice water to be extremely beneficial to my hair, it is natural, cost effective and easy to make. This does not mean that I entirely rely on rice water to grow my hair, I have developed a simple realistic routine that considered all the important hair care factors. You can check this detailed guide on how to grow 4C hair to learn more about natural 4C hair care.


How To Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water

How To Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water




There you have it, How to Grow Natural 4C Hair Using Rice Water

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