Wonderful rice water; intensive care for damaged hair


Rice water is the secret to gorgeous Asian hair

Kuva Sasin Tipchai Pixabaystä

Rice water is one of the secrets of Asian beauty care. There is no need to scientifically prove the benefits of rice water.  People having the longest hair in the world do live in the village of Huang Lou, China. They use local rice and pure natural water for hair care. How does rice affect hair and how is it used? Next, I will give you the easiest cosmetics recipe in the world. This time we will take a look at the ways of making rice water and its use.

Rice is an important cosmetic ingredient in Asia

Rice has a long history as an ingredient in cosmetics. In Asian cosmetics, rice has been used in many ways. One article on rice is not enough to talk about its properties and how to use it. In the future, I will certainly talk more about rice.

Read my article on rice bran oil here

Rice is particularly suitable for skin care and can be used in many formulas. This time we are just focusing on rice water. Rice water is also widely used in Asia. It works well for both hair care and skin care. However, the best-known use for rice water is when used in hair care.

Benefits of rice water for hair

Rice water is especially considered as a product that increases hair growth. At the same time, rice water also increases the shine and smoothness of the hair. Why does rice water make hair grow and shine?

The use of rice in cosmetics is making a strong comeback, especially in Asia. Today, consumers may not know that rice has been used in cosmetics for hundreds of years. Natural ingredients are also closely studied in laboratories. Indeed, many skin care and hair care compounds have now been found in rice. Thanks to research, we now know exactly why rice has been such a popular ingredient in Asian beauty care.

Rice water contains inositol

Inositol is an ingredient that strengthens hair. Inositol is a carbohydrate that works well on damaged hair. Hair can be damaged not only due to intense chemical treatment but also for other reasons. The combination of seawater and sun or excessive drying of the hair may weaken the hair. Excessive drying of the hair is caused by the use of curling iron. A really common cause of hair damage is using too much shampoo as well as frequent, excessive washes.

You will recognize damaged hair easily; they do not shine and are usually tangled. Often the hair is damaged only at the tops. When combing, the tops feel tangled and dry. This kind of hair will be broken easily.

Inositol is able to penetrate into the hair and repair damage. Because inositol penetrates the hair, it also does not come off the hair during rinsing. Inositol remains in the hair to strengthen it. In this way, inositol also protects your hair from future damage.

Isn’t that an amazing ingredient! Rice water is just the perfect product for weak, brittle and damaged hair.

Rice water contains amino acids that are important for hair growth

Rice water is also suitable for anyone who wants to increase the length of the hair. Rice water contains numerous amino acids that pamper the scalp. Amino acids are particles of proteins. Amino acids also affect the look of your hair, making them shiny and smooth.

What rice do I choose to make rice water?

To make rice water, you can use whatever rice you want and what you happen to find in the kitchen closet. All rice contains inositol as well as the same useful amino acids.

Personally, I always choose organic quality because organic production does not use strong and harmful plant protection chemicals. Some also like to choose whole grain rice because of the nutrients it contains. I think these are good points.

Some may find the smell of rice water unpleasant.  Jasmine rice is a really good rice for making rice water. It has a naturally pleasant, floral scent. Because of the scent, some have also added a small piece of orange peel or some other good-smelling plant to the rice water during the making process.

There are many ways to make rice water

Rice water is an ancient beauty product. There are countless number of recipes how to prepare it. So, there is no real, one and only correct way to make rice water. There are two main methods for making rice water; boiled rice water and uncooked fermented rice water. Both methods are correct. Just choose your own way.

Boiled rice water

Boiled rice water is literally made by boiling rice in water. You just need more water than you would use for cooking. Boiled rice water is thick and slightly gel-like.

  • 1 litre of water
  • 1 dl (95 gr) of rinsed (washed) rice, always wash the rice yourself before cooking, as it is very dusty

Do like this:

  • Let the water to a boil and add the rice. Boil the rice for about 5 minutes in water.
  • Turn the plate off, put the lid on and let the rice simmer until the water is lukewarm.
  • Strain the rice out of the water, bottle and put it to the refrigerator.
  • Use rice water during next 24 hours as it spoils easily.

How to use the boiled rice water?

Boiled rice water acts like a hair conditioner. Always use boiled rice water on washed hair. I like to pack products like this in an empty, plastic (ketchup) bottle. It is convenient to apply this slightly porridge-like product to the hair by using a plastic bottle. Plastic bottles are also safe in the shower.

  • Spread the product into washed hair throughout and rub it tightly into the scalp as well.
  • Leave the rice water on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Fermented rice water

You can choose any variety of rice for making rice water
Kuva Darío Méndez on Unsplash

Fermented rice water is made without heating. The advantages of fermented rice water are its mild acidity, which works better in hair care.

In addition, a number of useful chemicals are generated in fermentation. The combination of these chemicals, kind of an yeast, is named Pitera. Pitera is a registered trademark of an Asian cosmetics giant (SK-ll) ™. In research by the cosmetics laboratory, Pitera is found to be rich in amino acids, minerals, organic acids and vitamins. All of these nutrients are in a very advantageous form due to fermentation. Pitera closely resembles skin moisturizing factors.

Making of fermented rice water

The amount of rice and water is completely selectable. You should try and find the right ratio of water and rice for your own use. If you want to leave the rice water on your hair, without rinsing it off, I recommend mild rice water. If you rinse rice water off, you can use thicker and at the same time more effective rice water.

  • 1-2 decilitres (95-190 gr) of washed rice of your choice
  • About 1 litre of water

Do like this:

  • Measure the ingredients in a glass jar
  • Let the rice soak in water for a couple of hours.
  • Close the lid tightly and shake gently until the water becomes cloudy from the rice.
  • Strain the rice out of the water. You can use the rice in cooking if you want.
  • Leave the rice water to ferment in a bowl, at room temperature for 6-12 hours or even for the whole day. You will notice fermentation from the bubbles on the surface of the liquid.
  • Do not close the container tightly, as the fermentation needs oxygen
  • You can also ferment rice water for longer (3-4 days). Then it becomes very sour. Always dilute very acidic rice water with water. Too acidic products may dry out the hair. Only by experimenting will you find the right acidity.
  • The rice water is now ready for use.
  • Fermented rice water survives well bottled in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Lactic acid fermentation continues and the product acquires more acidity. Remember to dilute it.  I myself use the product right away because I don’t like very acidic hair rinses.

How do I use fermented rice water?

Fermented rice water is suitable for both hair washing and treatment rinsing. In China, in a long-haired village, hair is always washed with just fermented rice water, never with shampoo.

Washing hair with rice water

For hair wash, you need enough rice water, a bowl and a big spoon to scoop rice water into your hair. Sour, fermented rice water is mildly cleansing. You can also put the rice water in a spray bottle.

Rice water rinsing

  • You can wash your hair as usual with a very mild shampoo, yolk, rye flour or other product. Avoid strong shampoos.
  • Then rinse your hair and dry it with a towel.
  • Spread the rice water into your hair and leave on for a few minutes. You can also use a spray bottle and go through your hair carefully. Do not forget the scalp.
  • You can either leave the rice water in your hair without rinsing it off or you can rinse the hair, as you wish.
  • Unwashed rice water rinse brings in a little texture and more shine to the hair. You can also leave the rice water in your hair for a while and later on rinse it off.

Unfermented rice water

Kuva Jane Palash on Unsplash

You can also make rice water without boiling and fermenting it. You can use this kind of rice water just like you would use the fermented one. Unfermented rice water just doesn’t have as many hair-pampering ingredients.

How often should rice water treatment be done on the hair?

If you have very damaged hair, you can first do a rice water treatment with each wash. I personally do a rice water treatment for my hair about once every 3 weeks. If your hair is in good condition, try rice water, for example, once a month. Everything, of course, is very personal so I cannot give any precise instructions here.  Just try the power of rice water yourself. It is unbelievable how such a simple and inexpensive product can be so effective.

Have you tried rice water for your hair care?

4 answers

  1. Good morning from Australia. Thank you for this wonderful article. I want to make rice water but the quantity of the rice is a bit confusing. We don’t use decilitres in Australia. Could you give to me in grams please? Thank you.

  2. No, I haven’t and I am going to try, thank you very much. Interesting and even amazing information.

  3. Thank you Christina for your useful comment.
    One deciliter of rice weighs 95 grams. I used Thai Jasmin rice, but I believe that other rice varieties weigh roughly the same. I also added the grams to the instructions.
    Regards Outi

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