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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

If you’ve ever searched for “DIY hair masks,” you’ve most likely heard of using rice water as a hair mask. Rice water is as simple as it sounds; it’s water that has picked up vitamins and starch from mixing it with rice. Although this hair mask is only made out of one ingredient, it can provide numerous benefits for your hair. After using rice water every week for only two months, my hair has noticeably become shinier, smoother and stronger. Without a doubt, you need to start including rice water in your hair care regimen. I’m sure you already have the one ingredient in your kitchen!

To start off, you need to make the rice water one day in advance before you plan to use it. The only ingredients you need for this mask are one cup of uncooked rice and one cup of cold water. I personally suggest making two cups of rice water at a time so it’s ready on hand. The steps to make your rice water hair mask are as follows:

  1. Quickly rinse off the rice for a few seconds to get the surface level dirt and grime off. 

  2. Strain the rice. This water can be used to water plants or go down the drain.

  3. Add the unused one cup of cold water into a bowl with the rice. Mix the rice and water together for several minutes, making sure the water turns cloudy. 

  4. Strain the rice and collect the water into a sealable container. Leave your container of rice water out at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

  5. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

If you plan to incorporate rice water into your hair care routine, I strongly suggest ordering spray bottles to fill with the rice water. Spray bottles allow for an easy application of the hair mask and don’t take up much space in the fridge. 

Now that the rice water mixture is made, it’s a good idea to write down the days you want to use it. Personally, I apply the mask one time a week, so I normally choose Sunday as my application day. If I have something going on a certain week and want to give my hair that extra boost of strength, I’ll choose that day to apply it. It all depends on your schedule and when you enjoy giving yourself some self-care time. 

woman applying skin care
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

There are many different ways to apply the mask, but I’m only going to discuss the two most popular methods. My favorite way is lathering it onto my hair (scalp included) an hour before showering and rinsing it off before starting my normal shampoo and conditioner routine. I have found that this method gives the best results for my hair. Furthermore, many people also apply the mixture in the shower after using shampoo. If you choose this method, make sure to leave the mask on for at least five minutes! The longer the mask is left on, the better. 

As mentioned earlier, after only using rice water for two months, I can already tell a huge difference in the health of my hair. My hair is shiny, smooth, strong and less frizzy. After trying countless different hair masks and DIY trends, I can for sure say that nothing comes close to rice water. The rice water hair mask is extremely convenient and budget-friendly, yet still has a huge impact on hair. If you’ve been wanting to give your hair a boost and try something new, this is your sign to start using rice water!

Lacy is currently a sophomore at the University of Central Florida studying information technology. Although born in Florida, her favorite place to be is Washington, D.C. She loves trying new places, cooking, and getting outside. She is passionate about caring for the environment and helping others. When she's not in front of a screen, she is getting coffee or volunteering. You can keep up with her on Instagram @lacybrookeh.
UCF Contributor