The quest for full, healthy, and luscious hair is one that we can all relate to. But, trying out product after product to achieve the beautiful hair you’ve been dreaming of can quickly become frustrating (not to mention expensive). After all, even the most high-end beauty products aren’t guaranteed to work for your hair type.

Believe it or not, there’s a make-at-home treatment that works wonders for the look, feel, and health of your hair: rice water! That’s right; the water left in the pot after you cook rice can be applied to your hair and provide an array of awesome benefits. The practice of using rice water as a hair treatment is an ancient tradition and has been around since 794 CE in Japan–to say that it’s tried-and-true would be quite the understatement!

Ready to take a new approach to hair care? Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of incorporating rice water into your beauty routine. 

Give Your Hair a Dose of Vitamins and Minerals

Rice is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it a staple in the diets of many health fanatics. As rice is cooked, many of those vitamins and minerals are transferred to the water that’s left behind. So, when you apply rice water to your hair, you’re giving it a serving of antioxidants, vitamin E, B vitamins, and amino acids.

Thanks to these vitamins and minerals, rice water fights inflammation, making it an effective treatment for skin conditions, too.

Boost Hair Elasticity and Shine

Rice is a starchy food, so rice water is a starchy substance. When massaged into your hair, the starch in rice water helps to smooth out frizz, combat dryness, and boost shine. In fact, it reduces friction at the surface of your hair, making for a smoother feel and appearance. Rice water will also increase your hair’s elasticity and work to detangle knots, making any head of hair far easier to maintain.

Lock In Strength, Length, and Color

Among women in China, rice water is widely known to maintain hair health at exceptional lengths and keep away gray hair for decades. You too can easily adopt this habit to increase the strength of your lovely locks, whether they fall to your shoulders or to your waist. Rice water will also help maintain the vibrancy of your hair color for a shade that truly pops.

Rice Water Application

To reap the many benefits that rice water has to offer, you can use it in place of a typical conditioner or leave-in treatment. After washing your hair with shampoo, apply rice water to your hair, rub it into your scalp, and leave it in for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing.

Rice water is gaining momentum as a trend in hair care, and with good reason. This low-cost beauty trick is a practical way for anyone to boost their hair’s strength, shine, and smoothness. So, the next time you’re whipping up rice for a meal, save the water and put it to good use; your hair will thank you!