Friday Health Corner

Rice Water and Natural Hair

Really? Why would you use rice water on your hair? Why not dip your hair in a pot of soup to give it nutrients.

This may be news to you or you are probably familiar with the fact that rice water is incredibly beneficial to hair. It has been commonly used especially among women in China, Japan, and South East Asia for centuries. The Yao women of China have grown up to 7 feet of hair!

Rice water, the starchy water after soaking or cooking rice, contains vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, Vitamin E and amino acids, and antioxidants.

Even though you have 4c hair which is characterized by its tight curls, using rice water is also beneficial to you.

Benefits of Rice Water

1. Rice water is often used as a deep conditioning treatment as well as a protein treatment. This strengthens and repairs your hair.

2. It also makes your hair more flexible.

3. It contains inositol which strengthens hair and reduces friction thereby avoiding damaged hair.

4. It also makes the hair shiny. The cuticle is closed by the starchy water giving your hair a shiny look.

5. It also improves hair length. As a result of all the nutrients your hair is getting from rice water, the length also improves.

You may not have 7 feet of hair but the length will be considerable. There are other factors that contribute to the length of the hair of the Yao women in China. They have a healthy lifestyle and are exposed to less pollution. They wash their hair in natural spring water which also adds more micronutrients to their hair. So be realistic with your expectations when you are using rice water to grow your hair. Hair grows averagely half an inch every month.

How to Make Rice Water

It’s quite simple

  1. Rinse half a cup (or a cup) of rice to reduce the debris.
  2. Put rinsed rice in a bowl (or jar) and add 2 to 3 cups of water to cover the rice
  3. Let it sit for about 30 minutes
  4. Sieve the rice and your water is ready to use.

For more benefits, you can leave it to ferment for 24-48 hours. Put your jar in a dark area at room temperature. Hot weather may make it ferment faster. Fermenting reduces the ph levels which makes it closer to that of your hair. It also enhances more nutrients in the water and there is a higher amount of antioxidants that combat hair damage. During fermentation, Pitera forms in the rice water which promotes cell regeneration.

You can also use boiled rice water. Just add double the water and boil. Strain the boiled water into a bowl for use.

How to Use

  1. Wash hair with shampoo and rinse well
  2. Apply rice water to your scalp and bush it out over your hair. Pour the rice water and massage it well into your scalp and hair.
  3. Cover hair with a shower cap for about 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse it out with water.

Use rice water on clean hair for better results. Rice water is basically a protein treatment so it is not a good idea to use it every day. Have you used rice water before? Are you going to try it? Share your thoughts.

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