Tried and Tested: 'I tried the TikTok rice water trend for shiny hair. Here's what happened.'

I’m a sucker for a good TikTok hack. Can't get enough of them. And if you're anything like me, you usually come across most of TikTok's beauty gems when you're laying in bed, having a scroll before going to sleep. Am I right?

This, friends, is where I landed on #HairTok (a section of TikTok dedicated to everything hair), and came across a video of another user washing her hair with... wait for it... rice water! 

Why? Because apparently rice water is the latest way to nab thick, shiny and strong hair.

Watch: Five easy ways to lift your hair game. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

In case you missed it, people all over TikTok are sharing before and after snaps of their results, with the hashtag #ricewater hitting up more than 150 million views. 

And look, I'm not going to to deny it – people's hair looks amazingly shiny and luxe post-wash. I'm hooked!

So naturally, I did a little bit more research and gave it a go for myself!

What are the benefits of using rice water on hair? 

Research tells us that rice water is packed with hair-loving ingredients like natural proteins, vitamins and minerals that help to detangle, strengthen, and hydrate your hair. 

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Wondering where this whole trend comes from? Well, there's an ancient city in China that is often referred to as "the land of Rapunzels" (give it a Google!), because the women are known for their strong, shiny and lengthy hair. 

And you know what they use to wash it? These women have been keeping their locks long and luscious for years with the help of, you guessed it, rice water!

How to prep your rice water.

When I prepped the rice water for my hair, I pretty much just followed the instructions on TikTok. However, there are lots of different videos out there, and the prep differs slightly. For example, some people add essential oils to the rice water, while others use Jasmine rice because it’s naturally a bit more fragrant.

I used good old Basmati rice as my go-to, for no other reason than it was already in my pantry. 

To prep, I basically just soaked one cup of rice in one cup of water and let it sit for about a day and a half. 

The process.

Now for the fun bit! 

I washed my hair with shampoo first (I just used Toni & Guy’s Damage Repair Shampoo) and rinsed with normal shower water. I then used conditioner (Toni & Guy Damage Repair Conditioner) on my ends and rinsed. 


I then went in with the rice water and poured it over my hair afterwards. I won’t lie, it reeked. BUT it’s all worth it in the name of beauty, right? 

Here's a quick video of my husband pouring the rice water over my hair:

After jumping out of the shower and towel-drying my hair, I added the tiniest bit of hair oil just to help mask the smell (who knew rice water could be so... fragrant).

I then dried the ends with a hairdryer and let the rest of my hair air dry.

The verdict.

Looking back, I probably should've rinsed and strained my cup of rice to remove any dirt or impurities prior to the experiment. I did read about this, but to be honest I completely forgot to do it! I'm not too sure it would've affected the results, anyway.

Another thing to note is that unlike the TikTok video I initially came across, I also didn’t soak my hair in argan oil for half an hour (they did this to moisturise and condition the scalp and hair). I personally don’t feel like I needed to do this. 

As for the actual results, after rinsing and drying my hair I found it was... SOFT AF! Yes, really. I was actually super surprised. I honestly don’t think I've ever felt my hair this soft after washing it at home! 

While I obviously can't speak to the results in terms of hair growth, my hair did feel healthier and looked nice and shiny.

Will I do it again? Most probably. 

To be honest, I don't think this is something I would do every week, but I would love to try to work it into my regular hair care routine often enough to see the difference. 

Would you try the rice water hair trend? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Supplied.  

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