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Rice Water - What's all the fuss about?

Posted by Adria Marshall on

Everywhere you look, you hear about it. You watch people preparing it on You Tube. They rinse their hair in it. They sleep in it. Sometimes they let it ferment. Sometimes they don't. They mix it into their conditioners. More and more hair products are including it in their formulas( *cough* Ecoslay's new Rice Pudding is awesome *cough*). But what exactly IS Rice Water and why all the buzz? Well, if you're looking for answers, you've come to the right place! In this month's blog, we're going to talk about the history behind Rice Water, its benefits, how to tell if it might be good for you and how to prepare it.

What is Rice Water?

Rice Water is the starchy water left over after rice is cooked or left to soak. Its use as a hair treatment dates back to the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE) where women in Japan used Rice Water to care for their FLOOR-LENGTH - let THAT soak in (pun intended!) Fast forward to today and the Yao women of China. They live in the Huangluo village and credit Rice Water with growing their hair an average of 6 feet. In addition to its incredible length, the Yao women’s hair is said to keep its color for longer, as they do not begin to get gray hair until they reach their 80s.


The Benefits

Rice water contains many nutrients:
  • Amino acids, the building blocks of protein
  • B vitamins
  • Inositol
  • Vitamin E
  • Minerals
  • Antioxidents

These nutrients are said to promote:

  • Easy detangling
  • Increased shine
  • Stronger hair
  • Deferred greying

Too Much of a Good Thing

If you're sensitive to or overuse Rice Water, you may experience some undesirable effects. These can include:
  • Buildup 
  • Dryness 
  • Breakage 

    So, if you notice these effects discontinue to back off your Rice Water use!


    If you look online, you'll find approximately 15 million methods to prepare your Rice Water. Here are some basics to get you started.


    Soaking is the quickest way to make rice water.

    To use this method:

    • take ½ cup of uncooked rice

    • rinse thoroughly

    • place rice in a bowl with 2–3 cups of water

    • leave to soak for 30 minutes

    • strain the rice water into a clean bowl


    By nature, fermented substances contain a higher amount of antioxidants which combat hair and skin cell damage. This is the reasoning behind the effectiveness of Fermented Rice Water.

    To ferment rice water, follow steps 1–4 of the soaking method. Before straining, leave the rice water to stand at room temperature for up to 2 days, allowing it to ferment. Strain the rice water into a clean bowl before use.


    To make Boiled Rice Water, cover ½ cup of rice with double the water typically used for cooking. Cook the rice in boiling water and strain the rice water into a clean bowl and allow to cool before use.




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    • Thank you for the brief history and different ways to make it. I’ve only seen the fermented way but may try to boil method

      Angela on
    • Don’t know where I got this but think I’ll give rice water a go. It came up on my feed so it must be what I need! Thx!

      connie land on
    • What guidance would you offer for using the Rice Pudding? Instructions just say apply liberally. Use alone or before/after a moisturizing conditioner? Everyday or 1x/month? I know everyone has different hair, but some general guidance would help 😊

      Michelle on
    • I am now devoted to Ecoslay’s Rice Pudding! The past couple of days I’ve refreshed my hair in the shower so it’s about 60% wet. I take two pumps of Ecoslay’s Rice Pudding and squish to condish, leaving that until I hop out of the shower and add two pumps of Ecoslay’s Orange Marmalade with praying hands. My 2B/2C/3A/3B are defined with minimal frizz and I’m on day 5 hair as I type this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! xoxo

      Kathleen Donaldson on

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