Black Rice for Hair : 10 Incredible Benefits (Forbidden Rice)

15 Min Read
10 Incredible Benefits of Using Black Rice for Hair


For centuries, rice has been a dietary staple across the globe. But not all rice is created equal when it comes to health and beauty benefits. Black rice, often referred to as “Forbidden Rice” in ancient China, stands out for its exceptional nutritional profile that’s particularly beneficial for hair.

This unhulled heirloom rice gets its signature blackish-purple hue from anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidative pigment also found in blueberries and blackberries. Researchers are now discovering that pairing black rice’s amazing antioxidative activity with vital nutrients gives it incredible potential to improve hair growth, texture, sheen, and more.

One study published in the Research Gate showed that black rice contains Vitamin E. This important antioxidant found in black rice is beneficial for maintaining eye and skin health, improving skin firmness, restoring elasticity, and promoting hair growth.

Keep reading to learn 10 science-based ways that adding black rice to your diet or hair care routine can strengthen, condition, and improve your locks.

Let’s deep dive into the benefits of using black rice for hair.

Do read the People Also Ask (FAQs) about this topic.

Key Takeaways

  • Black rice is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other hair-healthy nutrients that can benefit hair in numerous ways.
  • Eating black rice regularly or using it as a hair treatment can boost hair growth, condition damaged strands, reduce hair loss, detangle hair, add softness and shine, prevent early greying, cleanse the scalp, add volume, and help combat dandruff.
  • The vitamins, fatty acids, amino acids and antioxidants in black rice are responsible for most of its hair-enhancing effects. They nourish the follicles, smooth the cuticle, reduce inflammation, stimulate growth factors and more.
  • Black rice is very budget-friendly compared to expensive salon treatments and products that make similar claims about the health benefits of hair. It’s a natural, chemical-free option.

10 Benefits of Using Black Rice for Hair

10 incredible science-based ways of using black rice for hair are as follows:

  1. Boosts Hair Growth
  2. Conditions Dry, Damaged Hair
  3. Reduces Hair Loss
  4. Detangles Knotted Hair
  5. Adds Softness & Shine
  6. Prevents Premature Greying
  7. Cleanses Scalp & Hair
  8. Adds Volume & Fullness
  9. Prevents Dandruff & Scalp Issues
  10. More Affordable Than Salon Treatments

1. Boosts Hair Growth

One of the top reasons people turn to black rice for hair care is because of its ability to boost hair growth. Black rice is loaded with hair-healthy vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin E, and vitamin B1.

Iron helps carry oxygen to your follicles which aids hair growth and prevents breakage, while vitamin E strengthens hair by sealing in moisture. Vitamin B1 stimulates blood circulation in the scalp to encourage new hair growth.

With its nutritional profile, regularly eating black rice or using black rice water can give your hair the nutrients it craves for faster, healthier growth.

2. Conditions Dry, Damaged Hair

The anthocyanins that give black rice its signature dark colour are also excellent for improving hair condition. These pigments are powerful antioxidants that can help repair damage from over-styling, chemicals, pollution and more.

Studies show anthocyanins protect hair protein structure from damage while also conditioning and sealing in moisture. This keeps strands strong, smooth, and shiny instead of dry and brittle which leads to fewer split ends and less breakage over time.

For best results, create a weekly conditioning hair mask by steeping black rice to harness these reparative antioxidants.

3. Reduces Hair Loss

Hair loss can be detrimental to confidence and extremely frustrating to deal with. Thankfully, early studies show black rice may help reduce hair loss when consumed regularly.

This effect comes largely from its generous helping of vitamin E, a nutrient renowned for stimulating blood circulation and promoting hair regrowth. Black rice also provides vitamin B1 and iron which similarly boost blood flow to hair follicles as well as deliver the oxygen and nutrients needed to maintain growth.

By incorporating black rice water rinses or increasing black rice food sources, you fuel your follicles to prevent excessive shedding over time.

4. Detangles Knotted Hair

If tangles and knots leave you struggling to brush your hair, black rice can come to the rescue. Using black rice water as a rinse introduces amino acids that help detangle strands from root to tip with ease.

These amino acids smooth down the cuticle while also plumping hair for more slip and less friction as you brush. Plus, by preventing tangles in the first place, black rice decreases friction and breakage over time.

For best detangling results, rinse your hair with room temperature black rice water after shampooing and let it soak for 5-10 minutes before conditioning. The difference will amaze you!

5. Adds Softness & Shine

In addition to strength and growth, softer, shinier hair is also a top priority for many people. Here too, black rice delivers exceptional benefits that get your hair looking its best.

The secret lies in black rice’s ample supply of fatty acids, vitamin E, amino acids, and antioxidants. As these nutrients attach to and penetrate strands, they fill gaps in the cuticle to create smoother, softer hair that reflects more light.

Use black rice regularly as a meal ingredient or hair treatment to achieve lush softness and mirror-like shine within weeks.

6. Prevents Premature Greying

While going grey is a natural part of life, premature greying can damage confidence, especially in younger people. As it turns out, the B vitamins and antioxidants abundant in black rice may help tackle greying hair.

Research shows that deficiencies in iron, vitamin B12, folate and more contribute to early pigment loss, while oxidative stress accelerates this process. Black rice boasts high amounts of these same pigment-preserving nutrients to nourish follicles and possibly delay grey hairs.

Try massaging fermented black rice water into your scalp or drinking black rice tea daily to ward off premature greying from within.

7. Cleanses Scalp & Hair

Product buildup, excess oil production, and other impurities can weigh hair down and irritate the scalp. Though often overlooked, black rice can provide a deep, clarifying cleanse for hair as part of your self-care routine.

Thanks to its mildly abrasive texture when whole, black rice acts as a gentle exfoliant to clear pore-clogging debris when massaged into the scalp. This promotes circulation and balances oil production for a refreshed feel.

Additionally, the amino acids in black rice water help lift dirt and oil accumulation from even the finest strands without stripping natural oils. Rinse hair with it weekly when washing for optimally cleansed, fresh-feeling hair.

8. Adds Volume & Fullness

Flat, limp hair that lacks body can create a dull look and feel. Using black rice is an easy trick to pump up the volume and fullness for lively, vibrant hair that commands attention.

As previously mentioned, black rice’s amino acids and vitamin E nourish individual hair strands with bonding nutrients. As these compounds attach, they create plumper, more filled-out strands that expand for amplified volume and lift at the roots.

Maximize volume by blow-drying hair upside down after applying black rice water for extra lift, wave and movement.

9. Prevents Dandruff & Scalp Issues

Troublesome scalp conditions like dandruff, dermatitis and psoriasis can make styling and feeling confident difficult. Applied topically or consumed as a food, black rice possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity that may help treat these issues at the source.

Early lab research indicates black rice fractions inhibit bacterial pathogens like staphylococcus that are linked with worsening dandruff and scalp infections. Its antioxidants also calm inflammation to relieve associated redness and itching.

Try using fermented black rice water as a pre-wash scalp scrub or eating black rice salad regularly to minimize dandruff and other scalp woes potentially.

10. More Affordable Than Salon Treatments

With all these incredible benefits, it’s easy to see why black rice is gaining popularity for at-home hair care regimens. Not only does it restore hair well-being, but using black rice is also extremely cost-effective.

Incorporating black rice costs a fraction compared to expensive salon treatments that offer similar perks. Since black rice is natural, it’s free from harmful chemicals that may do more harm than good too.

A bag of black rice from your local market can supply all the nutrients you need for lush locks for just a couple of dollars. Pair it with other hair-healthy kitchen staples like eggs, olive oil and Greek yoghurt (yogurt) to save even more.

Key Nutrition Facts About Black Rice

Serving Size and Calories

  • 1 cup cooked black rice has about 160 calories.


  • Black rice is a high-carb food, with about 34 grams of total carbohydrates per cooked cup.
  • It has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t lead to spikes or crashes in blood sugar.


  • A serving of black rice contains about 3 grams of fibre.


  • Black rice offers modest amounts of plant-based protein, with around 5 grams per cooked cup.

Fat Content

  • Black rice is very low in fat, with only 1.5 grams per serving.
  • It contains healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Rich in iron – a 1-cup serving meets about 15% of your RDI for iron.
  • Also provides magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, folate, and more vitamins and minerals.


  • A major benefit of black rice is its high antioxidant content, including anthocyanins and other polyphenols.

In addition to vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and healthy fats, black rice supplies beneficial plant compounds like oryzanols and phytosterols that offer health and hair benefits.

So in summary, black rice delivers a nutritional package of complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, key hair-healthy vitamins/minerals, and plant compounds for an overall healthy addition to one’s diet or hair care regimen.


In case you weren’t convinced already, black rice truly reigns supreme when it comes to natural hair repair and growth remedies. It delivers a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids essential for strong, youthful and abundant hair.

Combine black rice into your meals, smoothies, overnight oats or fermented hair rinses to start experiencing the amazing effects firsthand. Don’t be surprised when people start asking for your haircare secrets!

Black rice stands out as a top superfood choice for anyone struggling with lacklustre hair or common issues like greying, thinning or dandruff. Its unique nutritional profile supplies key compounds that research shows can strengthen the hair, improve growth, minimize hair loss triggers, increase shine and deliver other beautifying effects.

While research is still ongoing, the early results demonstrate incorporating black rice through dietary intake or topical application has multiple advantages for lustrous, youthful hair. Allowing the nutrients to work from the inside out provides longer-lasting effects. Give black rice a try – your hair will thank you!

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Q) Does black rice help hair grow faster?

Yes, black rice can boost hair growth thanks to nutrients like iron, vitamin E, and amino acids that nourish follicles and improve blood circulation to stimulate growth. Using black rice water rinses provides the best results for faster growth.

Q) Can I use black rice water if I colour-treat my hair?

Yes, black rice water is generally safe to use on colour-treated hair. But to be safe, first, do a strand test on a small section to check for any discolouration before applying it all over. The antioxidants may help lock in hair dye.

Q) How often should I eat black rice for healthy hair?

Aim to incorporate black rice 2-3 times per week in meals like stir-fries, salads, pilafs or porridge. Eating it regularly will bestow internal nourishment over time for shinier, stronger hair. Using it in rinses boosts effects.

Q) Is black rice water effective for reducing grey hair?

Early research suggests black rice could help minimize premature greying thanks to compounds that preserve hair pigments, such as catalase, iron and copper. No studies prove reversal for fully grey hair though.

Q) Does fermented black rice work better than regular?

Allowing black rice to ferment increases amino acids like lysine and makes nutrients more bioavailable. This strengthens hair better. Ferment black rice in water for 12-24 hours before rinsing hair for full effects.

Share This Article
Healthmeg is a team of curious fitness enthusiasts with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for sharing it. Our curiosity fuels our research, and our love for health and fitness guides our writing. We blend these ingredients with a skill for clear communication, crafting informative and engaging content for readers seeking to boost their health. We rely on accurate, evidence-based information and deliver trustworthy, science-backed knowledge to empower your fitness goals.
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *