When it comes to natural hair and beauty, we’re always searching for the next remedy to make the detangling process easier or even help with retaining moisture. Especially during the colder months, because experiencing dry hair can be frustrating.
Natural hair is full of tricks, tips, and surprises. There are so many remedies for taking care of your natural hair today. More brands are becoming inclusive of natural hair but many hair solutions can be found right in your kitchen.
From conditioners to hair masks, even hair growth recipes, there’s an ingredient for it all. One in particular, rice water, helps with hair growth and achieving length. If you’re a natural girl, you know about the struggles of shrinkage and hairstyles not looking their best because your curls come up a bit short.
Rice water is the new phenom that is taking over the natural hair community and ladies with all hair types are hopping on the bandwagon and seeing what the hype is about.
Before Beginning, Always Research
If it’s one thing that natural girls love, it’s a good hair technique and a way to make our natural lives somewhat easier to manage. However, with any DIY method it’s important to do your research on the process and what’s involved.
All it takes is for one mistake to happen when experimenting with new hair methods. Be sure to read instructions as well as ingredients thoroughly to avoid causing irreversible damage to your hair.
Thankfully, when it comes to tutorials and ‘at home’ regimes, there are people that have already tested out the methods and can save you time on making any potential mistakes. But remember that everyone’s hair is different and certain ingredients have different reactions and results; Rice water is no different.
TIP: Know your hair type and scalp type before using rice water. If you have a dry or sensitive scalp, don’t overuse rice water. If your hair is protein sensitive, do not use rice water more than once a week.
Rice Water, What Is It?
True to its name, rice water is the starch water that’s left over from cooking rice. The water left behind is very rich in minerals and vitamins that help promote hair growth. The rice water even helps protect your curls from damage and annoying factors like breakage. If you’re someone that experiences split ends and hair breaking off more than others, this is definitely a remedy you’ll want to try.
Using rice water is different from simply washing your hair with traditional shampoo, it doesn’t replace it but can be added to your wash routine. While shampoo cleanses your hair, the rice water, in addition to the shampoo will protect your hair from being stripped of its natural vitamins. Typically, rice water is used after shampooing and restores vitamins C, B, and E.
Fermented vs. Non-Fermented Rice Water
Rice water can be prepared two different ways: fermented or non fermented. Rice water is full of starch but when it’s fermented, it becomes acidic which helps restore and balance the pH of your hair.
Fermented rice water is achieved by letting the rice soak in water for a few days before using it.
Fermented rice water tends to give better moisture and shine to hair as well because of the probiotic elements it holds -- amino acids are a main element from the rice that promotes hair growth.
On the other hand, if you want to test out rice water immediately and and use it as a lightweight conditioner, you don’t have to ferment it. Simply boil the rice in plain water, let the water cool off before draining it, and place it in a bottle of your choice before using. Non fermented rice water won’t have all of the vitamins but it will make detangling your hair easier and keep your hair shiny.
Benefits, Let’s Talk About Them
You want to know why you should be using rice water on your hair and exactly how it’ll help your natural hair flourish. Sis, we got you!
For starters, rice water keeps your hair follicles strong and protects against hair breakage and split ends. If you don’t have time to go see a stylist, soak your ends in rice water for at least 15-20 minutes and watch your hair gradually improve. If you experience brittle hair, especially during colder weather, rice water makes your hair softer and easier to maintain.
Wait. There’s more. If you love to experiment with color and make your natural hair pop with blonde, brown, or even blue highlights, rice water preserves the color of hair and unlike traditional conditioners, it won’t fade your natural hair colors.
Aside from hair growth, using rice water as a rinse also helps bring volume to your hair -- a curly girl’s dream! Getting a combination of growth, healthy hair, and volume can be achieved by adding rice water to your hair regime.
What’s also a great thing about rice water is that even when you rinse it out, your hair still holds on to the strengthening and softening properties the rice water contains. Unlike shampoos or conditioners, 15-20 minutes after rinsing the rice water out, your hair is still moisturized, shiny, and strong.
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Myths, Have you Heard These?
Of course when it comes to tips and tricks for your hair, there are always naysayers and myths that come along with the benefits.
MYTH: Rice water is believed to instantly make your hair grow.
Rice water and its benefits will strengthen your hair, fight against breakage, and keep it hydrated which in turn will help your hair retain length. Remember, with anything that’s going into your hair, your diet and water intake is also important and influences hair growth in addition to the products you use.
MYTH: Rice water keeps your skin looking flawless.
Our skin is exposed to many things and there are many beauty regimes we adapt to to fight off oils and excess dirt. Rice water isn’t the end-all be all to skin care but it has been tested as a working antioxidant in skin care products.
MYTH: You can only use organic rice to make rice water.
While organic is always a great food option, you can use regular rice because you only need the rice to ferment the water. You can use organic rice at another date when you actually have more time to really pay attention to brands. For now, any store brand of rice will work.
Rice Water You can DIY
Source: iStock Photo
Until further notice, rice water isn’t bottled and packaged to be bought in the stores. Some brands do add rice water to their products but rice water isn’t sold individually.
But, you don’t have to wait to get longer and healthier hair. You can head into your kitchen and make your own rice water today. Don’t worry sis, you don’t have to be an expert cook to make this.
Since fermented rice water has the most benefits for your hair, it’s the most common one that women make themselves. Want the details on the process? We’ve got them covered below:
- Begin by taking half a cup of rice and soaking it in 2 cups of water, keep it aside between 15-20 minutes or you can boil it for 15-20 minutes until it’s a milky, white liquid
- Extract the water by straining the rice and transfer the liquid you’ve obtained to a jar or container
- Once you notice a sour smell coming from the fermentation, place your container in the fridge
- Add a cup or two of warm water to the fermented rice water because it will be highly potent and direct use is not recommended
Remember, you don’t need to add any additional ingredients to your rice water. Unlike making rice as a side dish, rice water doesn’t need a scoop of butter or a pinch of salt. Your hair only needs the vitamins and starch, not the flavor.
Now, to store and preserve your rice water, simply pour it in a spray bottle or pour it into a bottle if you want to use it as a deep conditioner. You can also keep the rice water in a bowl to pour it over your hair for a deeper condition.
Other Benefits of Rice Water
Have some rice water left over after you’re done with your hair? While the ingredients are a commodity with hair, it’s also great to use on skin. As mentioned before, it is a myth that rice water can make your skin flawless. While it may not give you perfect skin, it’s still an effective ingredient for your face regime since it’s packed with antioxidants and no harmful chemicals.
Rice water is an inexpensive and effective beauty balm that can be used for cleansing, toning, and even help fight against hyper-pigmentation, and sun spots. You can place the rice water in a spray bottle or keep it in a regular bottle and use a cotton ball to apply it over your full face.
A two-for-one bundle that’s inexpensive? Sounds like a win-win! Have you tried rice water before or thinking about using it on your hair? Tell us your results and how you enjoyed it!