Thanks to TikTok, using fermented rice water on your hair has become one of this year’s major beauty hacks- and with proven scientific results, this trend shows no signs of going anywhere. The hashtag #ricewater now has 437.1 million views on TikTok, while #ricewaterforhairgrowth has 115.7 million. Google searches for ‘how to make rice water for your hair’ have also surged by 450%. 

So, what’s all the fuss about? This age-old tradition has been practiced by the Yao women of China, who famously have long, shiny hair that extends well below their knees. Packed with amino acids, Vitamins E, C and B, rice water is a wonder ingredient for hair growth. Dr. Marie Drago, founder of beauty brand Gallinée, adds, “for your hair to grow, you need keratin. Keratin needs a mixture of amino acids to thrive in the body – eighteen acids to be exact. Rice water contains an impressive eight of these acids, giving the hair the nourishment, it needs to grow.” 

The milky white starchy water left behind after soaking rice, coats the hair shaft to add strength. But if hair growth isn’t your concern, it will make your hair look shinier, healthier, and fuller and easier to detangle too. Drago adds “it’s like a primer for your hair.” So, it comes to no surprise that haircare brands are jumping on the rice water bandwagon launching products packed with the stuff. Plus, it’s great for all hair types, including colour-treated hair. 

Here, we’ve rounded up the rice-based haircare we rate…

Kiehls Rice & Wheat Volumising Shampoo, £19.50

Add a nutritious burst of goodness with this lightweight shampoo that deeply hydrates from root to tip leaving thin, fine, and flat hair looking fuller. Pure honey and rice bran condition and clean without weighing the hair down. Plus, it smells like Kellogg’s Honey Nut Loops (in a good way!)

Lush Coconut Rice Cake Shampoo Bar, £9

Don’t be too fast to dismiss this shampoo that comes in a solid form. It lathers up surprisingly well and it’s loaded with a host of hair rescuers to soothe, smooth, and rejuvenate tired tresses. White rice acts as a scalp exfoliator while coconut and cocoa butter hydrate and cleanse and give this eco-bar it’s delicious, sweet scent. This is a great introduction if you’re thinking of going down the shampoo bar route. 

Aveda Brilliant Finishing Gloss, £18.38

Consider this a detangler and shine spray in one that gives a glass-like finish to hair while also keeping tresses, even tough curls, knot-free and beautifully fragrant. A great hair refresher. 

Ouai Wave Spray, £24

Create effortless chic beach hair without a styling tool in sight! This weightless mist adds texture, body and shine without leaving any crunch or stiffness to your hair. Infused with rice protein to add hold and memory for that “just got out of the ocean and my hair dried perfectly” look.

Innersense Hydrating Cream Hairbath, from £9

Thick and thirsty hair will benefit most from this foaming shampoo (sounds more luxe calling it a hair bath!) with its strengthening and nourishing ingredients (rice, avocado and shea butter) that floods hair with hydration and reduces static. Parched strands will sing! 

Gallinée Scalp & Hair Serum, £26

Working with your natural microbiome to feed hair with good bacteria to give you your best hair EVER. Formulated with a patented mix of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics that creates a healthy mini ecosystem of goodness to nourish and support your hair and scalp.  Expect super shiny hair with none of the nasties. 

Briogeo Curl Rice Amino & Avocado Shampoo, £24

Curly, coily and wavy hair types will often feel weighed down by their curls especially after washing, but this shampoo removes all the heaviness while adding softness and shine. Plus, the addition of rice ensures that hair cuticles are sealed which locks out fizziness and unwelcome moisture in the air, so hair feels light and looks well-tamed.

Frank Body Dry Clean Volume Powder, £14.95

Basically, this is a dry shampoo but in a powder formula. The main difference is it spills out like a talc (but it’s talc-free) rather than sprays from a traditional aerosol can. Formulated with rice bran that mimics talc by soaking up excess oil in its path and extending your in-between washing days to the max. Think of this as your eco-friendly oil absorber. 

The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some of the products purchased through affiliate links.

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