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Natural beauty remedies are all the rage right now, some of which are rooted in age-old traditions. A hair treatment that has been used for centuries in central and southeast Asia is rice water. Not only is it a cheap alternative to most store-bought hair masks, but it's also easy to make. With a few simple steps, you can turn a pantry staple into an at-home spa treatment for your luxurious locks.

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1. What is rice water?

Rice water is the water left over after you cook or soak rice. This starchy water is rich in the vitamins and minerals found in rice, including vitamin E, B vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants. The use of rice water as a hair treatment dates back to the Heian period in Japan, where women were famed for having floor-length hair.

Soaked rice, grain, cloudy liquid water in glass bowl on wooden background Savany / Getty Images
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