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Motherhood

Rice Water for Postpartum Hair Loss: An Ancient Recipe for Healthy and Shiny Hair

It’s common knowledge that hair will fall out after giving birth. After all, your body is going through a lot of changes, and it’s just another thing to deal with! Not only do we have to deal with lack of sleep and sore nipples, but now we have to deal with bald spots?!!

While some new moms experience more hair loss than others, we are all desperate for a solution. Rice water may be the answer to hair loss for many moms during the postpartum phase and beyond. Keep reading to learn more about what rice water is and how to use it to prevent and treat postpartum hair loss.

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What is rice water?

Rice water is the cloudy water that is left in the rice pot after you cook rice. It has all the nutrients and vitamins from the leftover rice. This “water” has all the goodness that you would normally just throw away. Rather than waste it, it can be used to help your hair regain its natural state.

Bowl of rice soaking in water to make rice water on cutting board

Benefits of rice water for hair

Anecdotally, rice water has many benefits for hair and hair growth. Just doing a simple internet search will return many articles on this topic. Many new moms swear by the results. Some women are even making rice water part of their regular beauty routine, postpartum or not. This is because of its benefits to fingernails and hair!

Benefits of rice water include:

  • makes hair shinier and stronger
  • detangles strands
  • helps hair become healthy so it grows long

Rice water also helps with itchy scalp, dryness, and dandruff on new moms who are experiencing postpartum hair loss due to hormone changes.

woman applying rice water rinse for postpartum hair loss

How does rice water work?

Rice water has been used in many Asian cultures since the 18th century to grow hair down to the floor 😲. It has a high concentration of nutrients such as iron, protein, vitamins A and B, which are all essential for healthy hair growth. Rice water also strengthens the roots of your hair follicles so you can grow luscious locks again.

Who knew we were wasting so much goodness down the drain every time we cooked rice!

How to make rice water

There are two main ways to make rice water:

Soaking

The soaking method is the easiest, quickest way to make rice water. To make rice water using the soaking method:

  1. Rinse 1/2 cup of uncooked rice
  2. Place in a bowl with 2-3 cups of water
  3. Allow to soak for 30 minutes
  4. Strain the rice water into a clean bowl
  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use
Hand rinsing rice in water to make rice water

Boiling

To make rice water using the boiling method:

  1. Cover 1/2 cup of uncooked rice with double the water typically used for cooking.
  2. Cook the rice in boiling water
  3. Strain the rice water into a clean bowl
  4. Allow to cool
  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use

Fermented versus plain rice water

Fermented rice water is said to have more benefits than plain rice water. This may be due to a higher level of antioxidants and concentrated nutrients.

To make fermented rice water, follow steps 1 and 2 of the “soaking method” above. Yet, instead of soaking for only 30 minutes, you can soak it for up to 2 days, allow the rice water to ferment. After soaking, strain the rice water into a clean bowl before use.

What kind of rice do you use to make rice water?

To make rice water, you can use any type of rice. There are many options, such as white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, short-grain rice, jasmine rice, or organic rice. Brown rice is recommended because it has the highest amount of nutrients and vitamins. You can also use white rice if brown rice isn’t available to you.

different types of rice that can be used to make rice water, such as white rice, brown rice, black rice

How to use rice water and how often

To use rice water for postpartum hair growth, you can simply use it as a rinse:

  1. Shampoo and condition your hair as normal
  2. Apply or pour rice water onto hair
  3. Massage rice water into hair and scalp
  4. Leave on for up to 20 minutes
  5. Rinse rice water out thoroughly with warm water

With rice water, you can use it as often as you wash your hair now – whether that’s once a week or every other day. There is no special schedule needed!

How to store rice water

You can store rice water in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You may need to shake it up before using it. You can also store it in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Does your hair smell after using rice water?

One concern about using rice water is if your hair will smell after using rice water. This is especially a concern with the fermented version. New moms already have to deal with postpartum body odor, so stinky hair is not desirable. But rice water does not necessarily have a smell. If it does, it is very mild and dissipates over time as your hair dries.

People who have used rice water state that basmati rice or jasmine rice smells the best.

Other uses for rice water for postpartum hair loss

Rice water can also be used to make DIY shampoos and rinses. It can also be added to other products like homemade conditioners or leave-in hair masks.

Homemade hair masks are great for changing up your postpartum haircare routine. And there’s no better way to try new things without having to break the bank.

To make a homemade hair mask, mix rice water with aloe vera gel, a store-bought hair mask, or any other leave-in conditioner. You can also add in your favorite fragrance to make it smell nice!

Final thoughts on rice water for postpartum hair loss

Rice water is an all-natural way to prevent postpartum hair loss and promote healthy hair growth. If you are experiencing hair loss after having your beautiful baby, rice water may be a solution. It is a great, natural way to grow your hair back without spending money on other products.

Rice water is loaded with nutrients, can be easily made at home, and will not cost you much when using it as often as needed for hair loss after giving birth.

mother and daughter combing hair after applying rice water to prevent postpartum hair loss

The first time I made the rice water, I found that it was really easy to make! The trickiest part was waiting for the rice water to cool off before using it. After soaking, my hair felt softer and felt like it had more volume. It also looked shinier than before, which is something that I didn’t know could happen with just a quick rinse!

Would you try using rice water for postpartum hair loss? If you decide to try rice water, let me know how it worked out for you in the comments below!

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