Fashion & Beauty

Rice Water Shampoo: What’s The Deal With This New Hair Trend?

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There are so many different types of hair products on the market that when we find one that works for us, we tend to stick with it.

You have your favorite deep conditioner. You’re never without your Argan oil. You have a holding spray you love, a styling gel you can’t live without, and a texturing spritz that makes your hair look ah-ma-zing!

No matter how much you love the products you currently use, ask yourself this question:

Do you honestly think you’ve tried enough different products to say that the ones you’re using are really the best ones for your hair?

For most people, the answer is no.

If you’re using the same shampoo you’ve been using for decades, now might be the time to try something new.


Because you might be missing out on rice water shampoo.

From what it is to why it’s beneficial, here’s everything you need to know about rice water shampoo (and why you should try it now).

Our Favorite Rice Water Shampoos:





mamaearth Rice Water Shampoo

mamaearth Rice Water Shampoo

Viori Shampoo Hair Bar Citrus Yao

Viori Shampoo Hair Bar Citrus Yao

MIMOSU Rice Water Shampoo Bar

MIMOSU Rice Water Shampoo Bar

Royal Herbal Organics Fermented Rice Water Shampoo

Royal Herbal Organics Fermented Rice Water Shampoo

Mielle Rice Water Hydrating Shampoo

Mielle Rice Water Hydrating Shampoo

What is Rice Water Shampoo?

wooden bowl with rice water shampoo, bamboo brush and a washcloth

Rice water shampoo is a cleansing hair care product made with water that’s either been used to boil or soak rice. There are different applications of it, including dry bar formulas, dry formulas that don’t require water, and liquid versions that come in squeeze bottles or pump bottles like traditional shampoo.

For centuries, people in Southeast Asia have relied on rice water as a nourishing product to stimulate hair growth, reduce breakage, and repair damaged hair. The Red Yao tribe in China is most notable for this practice.

The women of the Red Yao tribe let their hair grow more than five feet long. They uphold a tradition of only cutting their hair ONCE in their lifetime, which explains why they’re sometimes referred to as real-life Rapunzels!

But it’s not just long hair that they have – Red Yao women have unbelievably healthy, shiny, and strong hair. As if that’s not enough, for many of the Yao women, their hair never even turns grey!

The secret to the Yao women’s hair?

It’s gotta be the rice water.

By adding rice water to your daily hair care routine, you can enjoy all sorts of benefits – benefits that you’re probably not getting with your regular shampoo.

Rice contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals, and the water used to make rice retains some of those vitamins and minerals. From vitamin E to amino acids, there are all sorts of proteins, acids, and vitamins in rice water that can make your hair look incredible.

Related: 6 Benefits Of Sea Moss Gel [And How To Make Your Own]

The Benefits of Rice Water Shampoo

Rice water shampoo can make your hair feel amazing! Whether you have dry hair, frizzy hair, natural hair, or curly hair, rice water aids with:

  • Hair growth
  • Detangling your hair
  • Reducing hair loss and breakage
  • Improving elasticity
  • Smoothing frizz
  • Strengthening the hair
  • Healing and preventing split ends

Just like our skin and nails, hair needs hydration, and you can provide added hydration by washing with rice water shampoo or adding a rice water rinse to your hair care routine.

You can find shampoos made with different types of rice water, but fermented rice water shampoo packs the biggest punch.


Because fermented rice water has even more antioxidants, which help to make your hair look and feel even better than water that hasn’t been made with fermented rice. If you choose to make your own rice water rinse, the fermentation process is a super easy one that you can do right now.  

Rice water shampoo isn’t just for the ladies, either. Ian Turner with Gentleman Haircut also recommends rice water shampoo. “Rice water shampoo is a great option for those who have sensitive skin or scalp issues. It contains nutrients like vitamin B and amino acids, which help to keep your hair healthy and strong. Rice water is known to work as a moisturizing agent and can help repair damaged hair. It is also great for people with sensitive skin and scalp conditions like psoriasis or eczema.”

How to Make Your Own Rice Water Rinse

Making a rice water rinse requires only two natural ingredients:

Rice and water.

It’s that simple.

To DIY your own rice water rinse, just boil a pot of rice and pour the leftover water on your hair once it cools down. All that starchy goodness left in the water is what makes it so powerful.

Another option is to soak the rice in water. This is the method required if you want to make a rinse with fermented rice water.

For fermented rice water, you’ll want to soak uncooked rice in a bowl or pot of water for approximately two days. At the two-day mark, strain the water into a clean bowl and use it as a rinse when you take a shower.

Related: How To Stop Hair Loss With 7 Tasty Fruits & Veggies 

The Best Rice Water Shampoos to Try Now

Ready to see for yourself if rice water shampoo is the secret to strong, shiny, healthy hair? Here are some rice water shampoos to try now! 

1. mamaearth Rice Water Shampoo

mamaearth Rice Water Shampoo

If you’re always trying to fight dry, frizzy hair or tame split ends, mamaearth Rice Water Shampoo is for you. In addition to rice water, this shampoo includes keratin to smooth the hair and reduce the appearance and feel of frizz. With regular use, this rice water shampoo will also prevent further split ends and protect the hair from future damage.

Cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and made with all natural elements, this mamaearth shampoo works best on dry hair, but it’s suitable for all hair types.  

2. Viori Shampoo Hair Bar Citrus Yao

Viori Shampoo Hair Bar Citrus Yao

The Viori Shampoo Hair Bar Citrus Yao references the Yao women in its name because it’s actually formulated with the same Longsheng rice that the long-haired Yao tribe has been washing their hair with for centuries.

One bar is the equivalent of approximately 20 ounces of liquid shampoo, so depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you can get as many as 60 washes out of one bar.

The Citrus Yao variety is recommended for people with normal to oily hair, but Viori also makes versions for people with dry hair. Pair with a rice water conditioner bar for even better results.

3. MIMOSU Rice Water Shampoo Bar

MIMOSU Rice Water Shampoo Bar

The MIMOSU Rice Water Shampoo Bar provides a different way to cleanse your hair with rice water. This unscented cleanser is actually a shampoo & conditioner bar in one. In addition to what MIMOSU calls “fertilizing” rice water, it’s formulated with Argan oil, olive oil, and coconut oil, all of which work together to nourish the hair and promote hair growth.

Just wet your hair, work the bar into a nice lather, and wash your hair and scalp as you would with any other type of shampoo.  

4. Royal Herbal Organics Fermented Rice Water Shampoo

Royal Herbal Organics Fermented Rice Water Shampoo

Royal Herbal Organics Fermented Rice Water Shampoo is soap-free and suds-free, which makes it an awesome choice if you have braids or dreadlocks. It’s a liquid texture that you can massage right into the scalp without making your braids frizz. Like most natural rice water shampoos, this product is phthalate-free, paraben-free, and crafted without any harsh chemicals.

It’s also 97% organic, vegan, and color safe, so it won’t strip your color if you have color-treated hair.

5. Mielle Rice Water Hydrating Shampoo

Mielle Rice Water Hydrating Shampoo

Get rid of split ends and encourage hair growth with the Mielle Rice Water Hydrating Shampoo. This product creates a nice and sudsy lather when rubbed into the scalp, making it as easy to use as any regular shampoo. It’s super hydrating to give your hair the nourishment it needs, and the addition of citrus peel extracts makes it smell amazing! 

Is Rice Water Shampoo Good for Your Hair?

The women of the Red Yao tribe (and others) have been using rice water for hair growth for centuries. No matter what your hair type or texture is, rice water shampoo offers a slew of benefits. Whether you’re hoping to grow your hair faster or make your hair shinier, stronger, or smoother, this is one product that’s worth trying.

Rice water shampoo is not a miracle elixir, and it won’t change your hair overnight. But with regular use, the results can be amazing!

You might also be interested in: Our 9 Favorite Vitamins for Hair Growth [Say Goodbye To Breakage]

Best Rice Water Shampoos: 

  1. mamaearth Rice Water Shampoo
  2. Viori Shampoo Hair Bar Citrus Yao
  3. MIMOSU Rice Water Shampoo Bar
  4. Royal Herbal Organics Fermented Rice Water Shampoo
  5. Mielle Rice Water Hydrating Shampoo

Jessica Heston

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