Using Japanese rice water for hair strength and body with NEW Izumi Tonic

Have you ever thought about using rice water for hair? According to ancient Japanese tradition, this humble starch water infusion is the secret to longer, stronger, glossier locks. You can integrate this centuries-old beauty secret into your own hair routine thanks to Shu Uemura's brand new bodifying, fortifying spray infused with rice water.

Introducing Izumi Tonic; a leave-in spray to help restore your hair's strength and condition, while giving it a fuller, thicker appearance. We've been testing this innovative product in our Paul Edmonds London salons and are already obsessed with the results. Keep reading to find out why this ancient beauty tradition deserves a place in your home hair care ritual.

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Discover Izumi Tonic: the secret to stronger, fuller, thicker hair 

Izumi Tonic is the newest creation from holistic hair and beauty brand Shu Uemura. It's a fortifying, bodifying water designed in Tokyo labs. The tonic is inspired by the ancient Japanese beauty hair tradition of 'yu-su-ru': bathing hair in rice water. Izumi Tonic aims to bring this same tradition to a new generation in the form of a sensorial spray.

The power of rice water

Rice water is the starchy water that you get after soaking or cooking rice in boiling water. Here in the Western world, we think of rice water as disposable, but in Asia, it's a prized hair beauty secret.

Rice water is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals that promote strength and fullness when used regularly as part of your hair care routine. 

The benefits of rice water for hair

  • Rice has 'hygroscopic' properties, so it can help hair retain and capture moisture. 
  • Rice water has been scientifically proven to contain inositol (also known as Vitamin B9), an ingredient that can penetrate and repair damaged hair from within. This makes it an ideal hair strengthener.
  • Rice water contains high levels of starch — a complex sugar molecule known to contain amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. Together, these nutrients can repair damage and improve hair health.
  • The ceramides in rice water instantly seal hair cuticles to give a glossy, strong finish.

Paul says: "Treating the hair with rice water is known to make it glossier — lots of Japanese people do it. They've been doing it for centuries and now Shu Uemura have turned this ancient technique into a rice water spray that anyone can use."

According to researchers, women in ancient Heian-period Japan were able to grow floor-length hair because they regularly bathed it in rice water ('yu-su-ru'). Geishas would also use rice water in their hair routine before combing. Now you can bring this historic beauty tradition into your own haircare routine.

Innovative farming techniques

Shu Uemura use their innovative duck-cultivation system for the precious rice water ingredient in their formulation. This eco-friendly Asian farming technique uses wild ducks to fertilise the rice plants and eliminate weeds and insects from the paddy fields. 

The technique reduces the need to use chemical pesticides and helps towards sustainable farming practices in Japan. Better yet, it results in a superior quality ingredient for your hair!

Rice extract - duck cultivation

The breath-taking scent of a rice-field horizon

Izumi Tonic is an invigorating sensorial experience. Its woody citrus musk scent was blended to appeal to all genders and invoke the breath-taking image of Japanese rice-field horizons.

Izumi Tonic FragranceExperience base notes of sandalwood, vanilla, and rice powder, layered with a heart of rice water, ylang-ylang, and floral iris. Top notes of lemon and bergamot lift the infusion and cut through the musk to revive the spirit. 

Care for your hair, care for the planet

Environmentally conscious consumers can rest easy — there's no need to choose between supreme quality haircare and environmental ethics. Izumi Tonic comes in bottles made from 100% recycled plastic and an outer box that can be fully recycled. Even the ink is eco-friendly! To recycle your finished bottle and box, remove the pump from the bottle and remove the stripping from the outer box. Done!

How to use Izumi Tonic in your homecare ritual

Izumi Tonic is a leave-in thickening spray designed for use on freshly washed hair at the pre-blow-drying stage. Here's how to incorporate it into your homecare routine and which products pair well with it.

1. Wash your hair with your favourite Shu Uemura shampoo, then rinse. We love Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Shampoo to help with hair repair or Shu Uemura Urban Moisture Hydro Nourishing Shampoo for extra hydration.

2.Condition with Shu Uemura Shusu Sleek Smoothing Conditioner to protect against frizz or try Shu Uemura Color Lustre Conditioner for coloured hair. Rinse thoroughly.

3. Apply Izumi Tonic to damp hair and blow dry into your desired style.

Izumi Tonic at Paul Edmonds London

Are you ready to indulge in the ancient art of yu-su-ru? We'd be delighted to help you. There are several ways you can enjoy Izumi Tonic at our Paul Edmonds London salons in Battersea Power Station and Knightsbridge. You can book a bodifying blowdry at our salons as part of your appointment or pick up a bottle at the salon during your visit. 

"We've been trialling the Izumi Tonic rice water spray for a while and it's really good. Really, really good," says Paul. "I can't wait for our clients to try it for themselves — I think they'll like it as much as I do."


Can't wait until your next appointment? You'll find new Izumi Tonic in our online shop alongside other Shu Uemura hair products.