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5 Amazing Things to Know About Rice Water for Curly Hair

If you’re on the lookout for a natural hair treatment that works wonders for your curly locks, you need look no further than rice water. This starchy liquid is packed full of nutrients that will nourish and strengthen the hair, leaving you with shiny, healthy curls. 

Curly hair can be a challenge to manage, from dryness to breakage, but rice water provides a solution to these issues. So, if you want to know why to use rice water for curly hair, read on for five amazing things that you need to know about this hair treatment!

Key Summary

  • Rice water is an affordable, natural hair treatment that works well for curly hair. 
  • This nutrient-rich formula can reduce frizz, strengthen hair, treat scalp conditions, and improve elasticity for healthier, more defined curls. 
  • We recommend using a rice water rinse 1-2 times a week and gradually increasing if required.

Why Choose Rice Water for Curly Hair?

curly hair woman holding a glass jar of rice water

Rice water is a fantastic choice for curly hair because it is a natural, affordable and effective treatment that can help nourish and strengthen your curls. 

Unlike many popular hair products that often contain harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients, rice water is gentle and free of harmful additives. Instead, it’s full of nutrients like amino acids, ferulic acid, and vitamins B and E. These components work to improve hair elasticity, reduce frizz and promote healthy hair growth. 

Not only does it have plenty of hair health benefits, but this purse-friendly choice is easy to make and use at home making it a great choice for those with curly locks!

Is Rice Water Good for Curly Hair? 5 Facts

hair loss due to stress

1. Rice Water is Rich in Nutrients

One of the main benefits of rice water is that it’s packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can nourish and strengthen curly hair. A key nutrient within rice water, and one that’s great for curly locks, is amino acids. These so-called building blocks of protein can help repair damaged hair, improving its overall health and appearance in the process.

Rice water also contains ferulic acid; this is another nutrient found in rice water which can also help prevent breakage and promote healthy hair growth. The nutrients in rice water work together to provide a natural and effective treatment for curly hair, leaving your curls looking and feeling healthy, strong and shiny.

2. Rice Water Can Improve Hair Elasticity

As a result of the natural helix shape of curly locks, this hair type is naturally more prone to breakages. The bends and curves of curled hair create weak points in the strands that are more susceptible to damage.

Hair elasticity is particularly important for curls as it allows them to stretch without breaking. Thanks to the high levels of a carbohydrate called inositol found within rice water, which penetrates the hair shaft deeply, elasticity of curly locks can be vastly improved.

Inositol works to repair and strengthen the hair fibres, making them more resilient and less likely to break which results in hair that’s more flexible, less prone to breakage, and more able to withstand styling and manipulation.

Improved hair elasticity also means that your curls will hold their shape better and bounce back more easily after being stretched or pulled.

3. Rice Water Can Reduce Frizz

The structure of curly hair makes it more frizz-prone, leading to an increase in breakages and damage. Introducing rice water into your hair care routine will work to reduce curly-haired frizz issues by smoothing the hair cuticle and preventing moisture lock.


The smoothing of the cuticle, which is the outermost layer of the strand, occurs thanks to the presence of nutrients in rice water, including amino acids and inositol, which penetrate the hair shaft, repairing and strengthening the hair fibres. A smooth cuticle reflects more light to make the hair look shinier and healthier.

The carbohydrates in rice water also work to lessen frizz as they form a protective film around the hair strand, helping to retain moisture and reduce the effects of humidity.

4. Rice Water Can Make Your Curls More Defined

Defined curls give a more polished, put-together look that perfectly showcases the natural texture of these locks, but it can be hard to achieve. Rice water offers a great solution thanks to its nourishing and strengthening qualities that support the hair’s elasticity, but the presence of vitamins B and E in rice water also make a difference. 

These vitamins help to improve the overall health and appearance of curly hair, making it shinier, smoother and more lustrous, overall. Keeping curly hair hydrated and moisturised with rice water will help to enhance the natural curl pattern of your hair, making it more defined with plenty of volume.

Using a rice water spritz in between washes will help to refresh and revitalise curls, maintaining moisture, shine, and definition. We would recommend the Rice Water & Green Tea Hair Tonic and Detangler.

Rice Water and Green Tea Hair Tonic and Detangler

The Rice Water and Green Tea Hair tonic is jam-packed with natural, detangling and hydrating botanicals for refreshing hair daily. It is very effective on gym days when the hair is dried out from sweat so you can feel confident after a workout. The Rice Water and Green Tea hair tonic is also effective when used for detangling hair on wash days to save hours before applying the cleanser.   

Finish off your curls for a long-lasting result with a mousse, gel or styling cream. You could also consider using a product, such as the Marula Leave-In Conditioner, to increase moisture and hydration in the hair which will prevent dryness and frizz to support the natural curl pattern of the hair.

Marula Oil Leave in Conditioner

The Marula Oil Leave in Conditioner is jam-packed with natural high performing goodness, it can be used on its own without extra oils or butters. Say good-bye to the hassle of LOC or LCO method of conditioning. The Marula oil leave-in is a 3-in-1 as it works as a leave-in, is based on an oil and it’s a cream, saving yu time and money. 

5. Rice Water Supports Scalp Health

Rice water is highly effective at supporting scalp health, reducing irritation and dandruff which are common issues for those with curly locks.

The anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties of rice water can help to soothe an itchy or inflamed scalp, while the presence of vitamins B and E in rice water, can help to nourish the hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth.

Scalp health is key to keeping curly locks more manageable and defined as all hair growth starts from her, so this is another great reason to introduce rice water to your hair care routine.

When Might Rice Water Not Be Suitable for Curly Hair?

While rice water can be a great natural treatment for many people with curly hair, it may not be suitable for everyone. Some reasons to avoid using rice water include:

  • Protein sensitivity: If you have protein-sensitive hair, rice water may not be the best choice for you. Rice water is rich in amino acids, which can be beneficial for many types of hair, but can cause dryness, brittleness or breakage in hair that’s sensitive to protein. 
  • Low porosity hair: For those with a low porosity hair type, rice water may be ineffective as it may not be able to penetrate the hair shaft. 

Allergies: If you have an allergy or sensitivity to rice, you should avoid using rice water on your hair. In these situations, there are other natural hair treatments that may be more suitable for your hair type and needs, including apple cider vinegar or marula oil.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do You Prepare Rice Water for Curly Hair?

Follow our simple step-by-step to prepare rice water at home for your curly hair:

  1. Rinse 220g of rice with water to remove any dirt.
  2. Soak the rice in around 230ml of water for 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how strong you want the rice water to be.
  3. After soaking, strain the rice from the water and collect the rice water in a separate container.
  4. You can then boil the rice water to sterilise and prolong its shelf life! Allow to cool and then it is ready to use!

How Do You Use Rice Water On Curly Hair?

To apply rice water to curly hair, you can use a spray bottle or an applicator bottle to distribute the rice water evenly throughout your hair. Although you can apply the rice water on wet or dry hair, we would recommend using it on freshly-shampooed locks for maximum benefit, using a rice water mist to spray over dry hair in between washes.   

Start by sectioning your hair then, apply water from root to tip, massaging it into the scalp and hair strands. When it comes to how long you should leave rice water on curly hair, we would suggest around 10-20 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Finish with a leave-in conditioner for an extra dose of hydration.

How Often Should You Use a Rice Water Rinse for Curly Hair?

Generally, using a rice water rinse once or twice a week would be sufficient for curly hair, but the frequency can vary depending on the condition of your hair. We would recommend starting gradually and increasing over time if you feel it is needed. 

You do need to be careful to avoid overusing rice water as it can cause a protein overload which will result in dry, brittle hair that’s prone to breakages.


Rice water is a natural, affordable, and effective treatment that helps to manage, define, and restore notoriously challenging curly hair. Packed with various nutrients including amino acids, ferulic acid, and vitamin B, this easy-to-use treatment supports hair health, growth, and elasticity as well as reducing frizz, scalp irritation, dandruff, and breakages. 

There’s no doubt about it, rice water is an amazing addition to your curly hair care routine that will leave you with strong, shiny curls that are the envy of all!