Are you surprised knowing that you can use rice water for hair growth? Well, a lot of people are because they do not know about the ancient secret that rice water holds. To prepare rice water, you will need only two ingredients- rice and water available in our kitchen. It is a simple formula that overlooked even a few years ago. But now, people are gradually discovering the benefits of using rice water for long and strong hair.
The Interesting History of Rice Water Usage for Hair Health
Rice water is the water that is left and often drained after cooking rice in it. It appears almost like a translucent fluid without any color. During the Heian period of Japanese history, between 794 and 1185 CE, the ancient court ladies would use it to wash their long and healthy mane. Also, women from the Chinese ethnic group of Yao used rice water on their hair as they believed it rendered healthiness and robustness to the hair, thus slowing greying. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized this hair care routine to maintain the longest hair in the world.
Understanding the Science behind Using Rice Water for Hair
Let us now understand the science behind it. Rice water consists of amino acids, antioxidants, Vitamins B&E, minerals, and inositol, which is also the ingredient of rice water. The amino acids nourish the scalp and act as building blocks for hair growth, whereas the vitamins present in rice water improve hair health. The antioxidants of rice water fight the free radicals that cause aging, and the inositol can repair damage from inside. Minerals present in rice water make the hair stronger and longer. Using rice water for your hair is equivalent to doing a protein treatment on your hair.
Preparing Rice Water
It might be easy for the rice-eating people, but for the rest of the world, it might be a little confusing. Here we are to help you through the process. You require only two ingredients for preparing rice water at home- rice and water. Different types of rice are available in the market that you can choose from. You can choose either white or brown rice, short-grain or long-grain rice. Whichever you choose, the result remains the same. You need to soak rice after washing for around 30 minutes. The rice water becomes cloudy as the nutrients seep into the water. Use a clean bowl to filter the rice, and use that water on your hair. The amount of water depends on the rice you take to soak.
After you have filtered the rice into a clean bowl, boil it. Usually, one boils rice in double the amount of water as the rice, but in this case, you have to take more water because you wish to collect that boiled rice water for your hair. After cooking, when pouring that extra water out, collect it in a bowl because that is the water you want for your hair. Some people also use fermented rice water, while others cannot due to the smell. Fermented rice has a strong pungent smell, which is not easy to apply on the hair. But, it is your personal choice that matters. Fermented rice water usually has more antioxidants.
How to Use Rice Water for Your Hair?
You can use rice water before or after shampooing your hair. Some people also ask, “Can I use shampoo after rice water?” the answer is this: If you use it before shampoo, apply it on your scalp and hair and leave it for 20 minutes before washing it off with your shampoo. It makes your hair resilient. You might also consider using it after shampooing. In that case, apply it on the hair and scalp and massage gently. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and wash it off with warm water, followed by a conditioner. It will make your hair shiny and soft.
How long should I leave rice water in my hair?
To achieve best results, leave rice water on your hair and scalp for 15-20 minutes. Ideally, after apply it on the scalp, a gentle massage is necessary to rejuvenate the follicles. Once you have done that, leave the water for 20 minutes and wash it off with shampoo or warm water, whichever you prefer. You will feel the difference.
Side Effects of Using Rice Water Regularly on Hair
While using this largely safe homemade product on your hair to improve its health, you should also be wary about using it extensively. The amount and frequency depend on your type of hair and also on what you wish to achieve. Usually, once a week is sufficient, otherwise you might end up with stiff and dry hair with excess protein build-up. Moreover, rinsing it off is extremely important. Rice water contains a lot of starch and can make your hair stiff and smelly once dried. So, rinse it thoroughly to get rid of these issues. If you use fermented rice water, applying a few drops of essential oil is mandatory. Only an essential oil can tackle the stiffness and the smell of a post-rice water treatment to your hair.
A word of caution for people with dry, frizzy, and brittle hair – use rice water every 15 days and in smaller amounts; that will be helpful. Overuse should be avoided.Overall, rice water is gradually becoming a trend due to its benefits and easy availability in our households. From the ancient Japanese to the current generation of people, everyone vouches for the effectiveness of rice water. Just like rice can provide several bodily benefits, it can improve hair health by delaying aging, making it healthier and shinier. It is easily the most affordable hair protein available on the market today.