TikTok user swears by this rice water hack for shiny hair

A viral TikTok shows before and after shots of rice water for hair – but what do experts say about the method?

models with shiny hair
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The link between rice water and hair is fairly well known, with lots of anecdotes floating around the internet from people who swear by the method. So, if you're looking for some visual proof of what it can do for your hair, a new viral TikTok is just the ticket.

TikTok user Bekkii Vosper shared the results of using both rice water and apple cider vinegar on her hair, and there's no doubting its serious *shine*. So shiny was it that the video went viral, racking up more than 302,000 views and 20,000 comments. 

After washing the rice in cold water, Vosper added the rice to a mason jar with more water before shaking. She then tipped this into a spray bottle with a little apple cider vinegar.

Describing her hair as "super dry and damaged" beforehand, she spritzed the mixture all over after shampooing and conditioning her hair, rinsing it after 10-15 minutes.

Regarding the impressive results, she said: "Oh my god, my hair looks so good. It's so silky and shiny, I can't believe it!"


Shiny hair who? Hahah I would absolutely recommend doing this!! ##hair ##hairstyle

♬ original sound - Bekkii vosper

Is rice water good for your hair?

While some findings support the benefits of rice water for hair, more research is needed. However, research conducted by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science says that the Japanese practise originates from the Heian Period. Court ladies would comb their floor-length hair daily using Yu-Su-Ru, or water leftover from washing rice.

The IJCS found that Yu-Su-Ru did yield results like reducing surface level friction and improving hair's elasticity – but it was only when "extracts" of the water were used that it didn't cause flaking of the hair surface. 

According to Medical News Today, rice water understandably contains many of the vitamins and minerals found in rice, including amino acids, which make up proteins. It's for this reason that washing in rice water is a bit like a DIY protein treatment. 

Protein treatments are excellent at helping to restore damaged hair, but it's important not to overload the hair with protein as you may cause more breakage and shedding. Yes, you really can have too much of a good thing! 

Many TikTok users warned Vosper of this in the comments, but she confirmed this would be a job for only every 2-3 weeks.

Will you be giving the technique a try?