Nourishing and taking care of your hair takes a lot of work. You get maintenance trims, wear protective hairstyles, and provide nutrients to keep it soft and healthy. Your hair is part of your identity, helping symbolize who you are as a person. However, it can feel frustrating not getting the results you want, even after putting in the hard work.
You’ve probably seen rice water pop up on your social media or throughout the Internet as the next big thing for hair care. So what’s the big deal about rice water? Here’s everything you need to know about rice water and your hair. Next thing you know, your hair will feel softer and bouncier than ever before.
What Is Rice Water?
Rice water is water collected from washing rice, and it’s used as a treatment to keep hair feeling soft and smooth. It has a history in Japanese culture, where women first used rice water on their long strands. They had a haircare routine called suberakashi—meaning floor-length hair—that promoted the growth of their hair.
Additionally, women in ancient Chinese culture introduced rice water to their beauty routines. The Yao women from the Huangluo village in the Guangxi province used fermented water to wash their long, luxurious hair. The estimated known use of rice water for hair care extends over 1,000 years ago, becoming more relevant than ever today.
The Benefits of Rice Water
Rice water offers many benefits, helping the hair become stronger by nourishing the follicles. It provides a healthy environment for hair to grow by promoting scalp health with many vitamins and minerals. Since rice water is high in starch, it contains highly beneficial nutrients, such as amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin E, and minerals, including magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants.
Rice water helps increase hair elasticity, moisturizes the scalp, and adds volume, shine, bounce, strength, and curl definition. Specifically, rice water contains an inositol mineral, which lowers the DHT level (Dihydrotestosterone) associated with alopecia. It provides aid in hair growth and helps heal damaged strands. So, not only does your hair look incredibly shiny and smooth, but it also assists in promoting hair regeneration.
Hair Type Considerations
Before applying rice water to your hair, it’s good to understand everything you need to know about rice water and your hair health. While many people use rice water for hair growth, it also offers moisturizing properties. However, rice water has different results depending on your hair’s porosity. If your hair has low porosity, there’s a chance it’s already protein sensitive.
So, it’s necessary not to overload your delicate hair. A good way to know if it will work for you is by doing a patch test. Otherwise, rice water will help remedy fine, dull hair and dry, brittle, curly hair. It’s also good for high porosity hair, as it locks in moisture.
Fermented vs. Plain Rice Water
When it comes to the benefits of rice water, it’s necessary to understand the differences between plain rice water and fermented rice water. Simply put, plain rice water is collected by washing rice in a bowl of water and then used directly on the hair. It’s a quick and easy way to provide nourishment to your hair without taking up too much time.
As for fermented rice water, it provides additional benefits compared to standard rice water. Fermented substances have a higher amount of antioxidants, which can help combat hair and skin cell damage. As for the fermentation process, leave the unstrained rice water mixture out at room temperature for up to two days. Once the rice water has been set for an appropriate time, strain the rice water into a clean bowl before use.
How Do You Make Rice Water?
Creating rice water only requires two ingredients—rice and water. You will need two bowls, a strainer, a container with a lid, and a spray bottle. There are two methods of collecting rice water: soaking and boiling. The soaking method begins with pouring a half cup of uncooked rice into a strainer. Make sure you rinse it thoroughly, then place the rice into a bowl with two cups of water. Let it soak for 24 hours at room temperature, then strain the rice water into a clean bowl. Lastly, funnel the rice water into a spray bottle and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.
As for boiling rice water, rinse a half cup of rice in a strainer. Afterward, boil two cups of water and pour the cleaned rice into the boiling water. Boil the rice water mixture until the water becomes cloudy, then let it cool. Strain the rice water and funnel it into a spray bottle; refrigerate after.
How To Apply Rice Water to Your Hair
Now that you have your rice water ready to go, the next step is to prepare your hair and apply the mixture. Firstly, make sure you gently cleanse your hair with shampoo and rinse it thoroughly. Gently towel dry after to prevent dripping, then pour the rice water mixture onto the hair. After you’ve applied the rice water, gently massage it thoroughly on the scalp and hair.
Once you have massaged the mixture in, place a plastic cap or shower cap over your hair and scalp. Make sure you leave it for 20 minutes—you can take care of a few things while you wait. After 20 minutes, gently rinse your hair and style it as desired.
How Often To Use Rice Water on Hair
Ideally, rice water treatment for your hair depends on its porosity. If you’re trying rice water for the first time, apply it at least once or twice a week for optimal results. From there, decrease it to once a month, especially if you are using other hair treatments in your haircare routine.
Using rice water too often can result in buildup, and too much protein can cause the cuticle to fray or lead to breakage. So for best results, make sure you aren’t overdoing it.
Rice Water Alternatives
Sometimes, making a rice water mixture takes too much time, or you don’t like the idea of cold rice water going on your head. Thankfully, there are products you can find with rice bran oil in their ingredients. Rice bran oil offers similar benefits to rice water, as it’s rich in antioxidants that will help you maintain a healthy scalp and nourish your hair.
Taking care of your hair requires providing it with nutrients and wearing protective styles to keep it soft and hydrated. We at Instant Arewa Hair provide protective Ankara bonnets and knotless braid wigs to lock in moisture and keep your hair healthy all day. We strive to offer high-quality wigs to any wearer at any time. If you have any questions, please reach out to us today.