The use of Rice Water for hair growth has been for the past few years the in thing in the world of health and beauty. Be it natural or treated hair, you can use it to better your hair health as well as the length. Never heard of it? Well you are in the right place to get information about what the hype is all about right from where the whole idea came from.
The idea of using rice water rinse for healthy hair and growth has for decades been implemented by the Yao women from Huangluo (Long hair village) in the Guangxi region of China. They are known to have the longest and beautiful shiny hair in the world. They even appeared in the Guinness book of World records. Their hair is their most priced possession and is cut only once in their lifetime, at 18, and gifted to grandmother who then gives it back to her after her wedding to wear it as extension alongside her natural hair.
Benefits of Rice Water
Rice water is known to have a lot of benefits including Hair growth, removal of hair lice, treating dandruff among others. Here is a short breakdown of the components and the benefits.
- Vitamin A – Nourishes the scalp and hair by helping in the production of sebum which strengthens hair to reduce breakage.
- Vitamin C – Helps in the creation of collagen, a protein that protects the cells within the hair follicles.
- Phenolic compounds – Help minimize free radicals damage by protecting the hair from harsh weather conditions like extreme heat and cold.
- Flavonoid – Promotes hair growth by improving blood circulation through strengthening of the capillary walls of the blood vessels that supply hair follicles.
- Ferulic Acid – Prolongs the growth phase of the hair cycle and boosts the functioning of antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C and E.
- Allantoin – Helps moisturize the scalp improving its softness and elasticity. Also, helps speed up wound healing.
- Inositol – Also known as Vitamin B8 strengthens the hair follicles by helping in moisture retention thus preventing hair breakage.
In a nutshell, the compounds found in rice water prevents hair breakage which in turn promotes hair growth and the presence of Allantoin may help sooth scalp wounds caused by scratching due to dry scalp or dandruff.
How to prepare and use Rice Water
Rice water can be used as a final rinse, deep conditioner or leave in conditioner. It can be prepared in 3 different ways namely :-
In this method, you will need :-
1/2 Cup Rice of your choice
2-3 cups of water, purified, distilled or tap water.
A clean container, preferable glass with an air tight lid.
- Wash the rice thoroughly to remove impurities like dust and pesticides. You can rinse it multiple times until the water is clear. We just want what’s in the rice and not outside.
- Put the rice into the container and add the measured water in it. Cover it with the lid and let it stand at room temperature for 24 – 48 hours.
- After the given time, stir the rice so you can get all the nutrients and use a strainer to sieve the water through into another clean container. You don’t want rice on your hair, right lol. Voila! Ready to use and feel free to cook the rice.
Note: After fermentation, if you are not ready to use immediately, you should store the water in the fridge to stop the process.
1. As a final rinse.
– Do your regular wash routine.
– You may need another container to tap the water so you can rinse twice for better penetration. On clean hair, soak the ends of your hair in the rice water for a minute or so (These are the oldest and weakest part of your hair.).
– Pour the water on your hair preferably from back to front for better tapping.
– Repeat once or twice with the tapped water and proceed with your after wash routine.
2. As a deep conditioner.
– Follow the final rinse steps and after repeating with the tapped water, squeeze the water out a bit with your hands so that it isn’t dripping a lot.
– Wrap your hair with a plastic cap or foil and go about your business for a few hours or sit under a dryer on medium heat for about 30minutes then rinse off with lukewarm water and proceed with your after wash routine.
3. As a leave in conditioner.
– Put rice water in a spray bottle and add a few drops of essential oils like Litsea Cubeba, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemongrass, Tea tree, Rosemary just to mention a few.
– Shake well and spray on clean hair after your normal wash routine just before applying your routine products.
To maximize results, use rice water once or twice a week and if you take longer to wash your hair, use it every time you do.
In this method you will need :-
1/2 cup rice.
2-3 cups of water .
Pot for boiling.
– Wash the rice thoroughly to remove impurities until the water is clear.
– Put in the pot and add the measured water.
– Bring to boil for 20 – 30 minutes until the water turns into a milky white liquid.
– Strain it into a clean container and let it cool. Voila!
You can use this rice for a pudding by adding some honey, cinnamon, raisins and milk.
You can use this as a final rinse or as a deep conditioner.
In this method, you basically use the proportions and preparation of the fermenting method but instead of letting it stay overnight, you let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour and you are good to go.
I would however recommend the fermenting or boiling method because they tend to release most of the needed starch as compared to the soaking method.
You can use this as a final rinse, deep conditioner or leave in conditioner.
Tip – You can put a small amount of the rice water in a small bottle, add 2-3 drops of essential oils like lavender and rose and use it as a facial toner. To use, shake the bottle to mix well and use a cotton pad to apply on your clean face. No need to rinse off.
I have used the fermented method a number of times and my hair felt silkier and softer compared to the other times when i had a normal rinse. For growth, i`m gonna have to give it some time and practice this rinse as regularly as possible then i can give a feedback .
I mostly did the deep conditioning and leave in method because i think it works best considering what the commercial deep conditioners state as the directions of use. Rise water rinse is worth a try since it is inexpensive, readily available and easy to prepare.
Rice water for hair growth has been a hype in the hair and beauty areas for a while now but most of the evidence of its benefits are anecdotal. There are several before and after photos and videos about the benefits of rice water but we cannot be sure if it is only because of the rice water or other factors like genes and regimen also contributed to the changes especially the growth part.
That said, the Yao women have been practicing it for generations for their hair health and growth but what we really don’t know is whether their hair grows that long primarily because of the rice water practice or other factors like genes, environment or diet also contribute.
There isn’t a conclusive study that claims that the rice water practice is the reason why Yao women have such hair and the evidence is anecdotal.
All in all, rice water as we have seen has many benefits for the hair and it won’t hurt to give it a shot.
Have you done a rice water rinse before? For how long and what was your experience? Feel free to share your experience or concerns in the comment section or you can contact me. I will be glad to write back.