Rice water is the starchy water left over after rice is cooked or left to soak. It is thought to make the hair smooth and shiny, as well as help it grow faster. This article looks at the beauty benefits of rice water hair treatments and whether scientific research backs up the purported results. Using rice water for hair Rice water may increase the shine of hair, make it stronger, and detangle it. Rice grains contain 75–80 percent starch. Rice water is the starchy water that remains after soaking or cooking rice. Rice water is thought to contain many of the vitamins and minerals contained in rice. These include: amino acids B vitamins vitamin E minerals antioxidants Benefits Advocates of using rice water for hair believe it: detangles the hair makes hair smoother increases shine makes hair stronger helps hair grow long How to make rice water There are several different ways to make rice water, including Soaking Rinsing rice thoroughly is part of the soaking process. Soaking is the quickest way to make rice water. To use this method: take ½ cup of uncooked rice rinse thoroughly place rice in a bowl with 2–3 cups of water leave to soak for 30 minutes strain the rice water into a clean bowl Fermented vs. plain rice water Some rice water advocates claim fermented rice water has more benefits than plain rice water. According to a 2012 study, fermented substances have a higher amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants may combat hair and skin cell damage, which is why they are typical ingredients in beauty products. To ferment rice water, follow steps 1–4 of the soaking method. Before straining, leave the rice water to stand at room temperature for up to 2 days, allowing it to ferment. Strain the rice water into a clean bowl before use. Boiling Another way to make rice water is by boiling the rice. Cover ½ cup of rice with double the water typically used for cooking. Cook the rice in boiling water and strain the rice water into a clean bowl before use.