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The Ins and Outs of Rice Water for Hair Growth | Is It Worth The Hype?

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The Ins and Outs of Rice Water for Hair Growth is an article for anyone looking for an alternative (all natural) hair growth aid. In this in-depth article, I will spill all the tea on how rice water for hair growth can be a beneficial added step to your natural hair care regimen.

Origins of Rice Water for Hair Growth

Rice water for hair growth?? I know that sounds a little unconventional right, but the RED YAO women of Huangluo, China could show you a thing or two when it comes to the benefits of rice water for hair. These beautiful women hold the world record for longest hair (longer than 6ft)…so I mean I’m all eyes and ears, how about you? 

rice water for hair
Yao women combing their jet-black tresses

 

The women of the “Long Hair Village” have sworn by this conditioning/strengthing hair treatment for centuries. Their mesmerizing hair makes these women real life Repunzels. An excellent diet, pollution free air, and daily exercise all play a role in their extreme hair growth too, but they religiously use the fermented rice water, left over from the rice they cooked earlier in the day to wash their luxurious locs daily.

The RED YAO women usually don’t show any signs of gray hair until they hit 80 years young. I guess you could call it an “Ancient Chinese Secret”! The ancient Japanese women from the Heian Period (794-1184 CE) were also known for their long beautiful, flowy floor-length hair as well and Yep you guessed it rice water was their secret weapon! BOOM!!!

fermented rice water
Yao woman wearing hair in a protective style

 

WHAT IS RICE WATER?

Its simple, rice and water…lol. How you make the rice water rinse and the quality of the ingredients you use is what will determine how potent the treatment will be. I will touch on all of that later on in this article.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF RICE WATER FOR HAIR?

The benefits of using rice water for hair is out of this world. I never knew there was so much hair goodness in such a little tiny grain. The ingredient Inositol is one main component that sets the rice water treatment apart from the rest. It has the ability to be absorbed and stay in the hair shaft even after the treatment is rinsed out. It also reduces friction allowing each strand of hair to flow more freely by each other. I can definitely see this helping us natural girls with them damn SINGLE STRAND KNOTS!! This natural hair treatment also promotes stronger, shinier, softer, frizz-free hair as well as stimulating hair growth.

This rice water rinse treatment is packed with proteins, amino acids, vitamins B, C, and E. Some rice water benefits is the fact it is full of nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, folic acid, and thiamine. Rice water is known for increasing hairs elasticity. Fermenting the rice water adds an extra boost to the conditioning treatment because it activates the Pitera yeast, which aids in anti-aging and cellular rejuvenation.

Now like I stated previously there are many different factors that go into hair growth including genetics.  Some people use hair vitamins to speed up hair growth but who needs an expensive hair vitamin when you can quickly mix this magic potion up right in your kitchen and see results after the first application? I’m here for it!

benefits of rice water for hair


 Some of Rice Waters Nutrients/Vitamins: 

~ Folic acidHelps with tissue growth and cell work, thickens and strengthens hair
~ MagnesiumStimulates hair growth, soothes the scalp and helps prevent gray hair
~Proteins/Amino acidsStrengthens and repairs damaged hair by filling in gaps along the hair shaft. Can increase elasticity.
~SeleniumHelps treat dandruff and promotes hair growth
~ThiamineClaims nerves and helps with stress
~NiacinImproves blood circulation to the scalp and helps improve dull, weak hair
~ B2,4Antioxidants, works side by side with B6 and helps prevent hair loss and enhances shine
~Vitamin C– Aids in normalizing Ph balance builds collagen and helps prevent breakage
~Vitamin EReduces inflammation of the scalp, repairs hair follicles and is an antioxidant


The lovely Ask Debbie About Hair has an excellent video on How to Use Rice Water to Grow Long Thick Hair. 

For more information on healthy hair care go check out Ask Debbie About Hair’s site.

HOW TO MAKE RICE WATER?

When making rice water for hair, organic rice and distilled water are preferred. You can use any kind of rice though white, brown, jasmine any rice will do. The rice water for hair growth treatment can be prepared a few different ways.  Fermented rice water without or with heat. Or Non-Fermented rice water without or with heat. The first method is the method I will be using, Fermented rice water without heat. It is the easiest yet most effective method, in my opinion. But first what is fermentation?

Fermentation is basically the process used to make alcohol, beer or wine, turning sugars into ethyl alcohol. It is the chemical breakdown of yeasts, bacteria or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and giving off heat. Lets Toast to Fermented Rice Water…lol!


Methods for Making Rice Water for Hair Growth

* Fermenting without Heat

1. Add Rice (1 cup) and water (1 cup) to a glass bowl, swirl to mix up dirt then rinse off dirty water.
2. Add more water and swirl again, at this point you can transfer rice and water to a glass jar and close or cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
3. Let rice and water sit in a dark place for 12-24 hrs. You can let this mixture sit for longer if you want, the longer, the more potent the water will be.
4. Once the treatment has fermented, the water should have a cloudy appearance and a slightly sour smell. At this point, the mixture is ready to be strained.

* Fermenting with Heat (Boiling)

1. Add Rice (1 cup) and water (1 cup) to a glass bowl, swirl to mix up dirt then rinse off dirty water.
2. Add more water and swirl again, at this point you can transfer rice and water to a pot and bring to a boil.
3. After the rice has come to a boil, you can put cooled rice and water back into glass jar or bowl and cover.
4. Let rice and water sit in a dark place for 12-24 hrs. You can let this mixture sit for longer if you want, the longer, the more potent the water will be.
5. Once the mixture has fermented, the water should have a cloudy appearance and a slightly sour smell. At this time it can be strained. This method is believed to be the most effective.

* Non-Fermented No Heat

1. Add Rice (1 cup) and water (1 cup) to a glass bowl, swirl to mix up dirt then rinse off dirty water.
2. Add more water and swirl again, let rice and water sit for 30mins
3. Strain rice from water
4. Use rice water immediately

* Non-Fermented with Heat

1. Add Rice (1 cup) and water (1 cup) to a glass bowl, swirl to mix up dirt then rinse off dirty water.
2. Add more water and swirl again, at this point you can transfer rice and water to a pot and bring to a boil.
3. After the rice has come to a boil, you can put cooled rice and water back into glass jar or bowl
4. Use rice water immediately

 


Princesa Roe does a great job showcasing a couple different ways of making Rice Water.

It is your own personal chose on how to make rice water, find which preparation best fits you. Finished rice water can be stored in a covered glass container for up to 3 days. You can also add essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and t-tree to the mix if you would like. Some may argue that any additions to the water can decrease the potency though.

 

HOW TO USE RICE WATER FOR HAIR GROWTH?

Rice water helps restore the hairs ph level back to normal so it should be used as a rinse after you shampoo and condition your hair. You can directly pour the water over your head or add it to a spray bottle, it is up to you but make sure the message the water into your scalp and down your hair strands. After you have massaged the mixture into your hair put on a plastic cap and let the mixture sit for 30-60 mins. Then rinse hair and continue with your regular hair regimen.

rice water benefits

 

HOW OFTEN CAN YOU USE RICE WATER FOR HAIR GROWTH?

Now the RED YAO women use this water daily as a shampoo but I would not recommend this practice every day if you are a kinky-curly hair woman. If your hair texture is straight to maybe a loose curl or you are a natural that does wash n gos on the daily, then rinsing your hair every day with this water might work in your favor. I personally would only use this mixture one or 2x a week or when you would usually wash your hair. Rice water is very rich in proteins so keep that in mind if you are protein sensitive you might have to cut back on the rinses.

IS RICE WATER FOR HAIR WORTH THE HYPE?

I say hell yea it is!! It is super affordable to make, the ingredients are not hard to find, it is easy to use, and the benefits of using rice water can be traced back centuries through the RED YAO women of China and other Asian countries. Now we know nothing works overnight but with consistency, I believe this ancient hair treatment can be extremely beneficial to anyone’s hair care regimen especially naturals looking for some frizz relief. I plan on trying to use rice water for hair growth myself and updating you guys in a later post so stay tuned ladies and gents! Oh, yea don’t be shy comment below if you have used rice water and what your personal experiences where.

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