We have all had hair of various lengths throughout our lives. It may have been super short, like a pixie or a bob, or it may have been up to our waist. But did you ever manage to make a record with your hair? East Asian culture is famous for using rice water for hair care treatments. So here is a blog explaining why you should take a cue out of its book today.
Southeast Asian beauty treatments are all the rage these days, and this includes hair care treatments too, particularly the use of rice water for hair. Women in countries like China, Japan, and Korea have been using this home-based remedy for not just years but centuries!
It Started with Ancient China
Historians have reported that royal women of the Heian period in Japan had hair that reached the floor, called kurokami. Their secret was to wash their hair in rice water regularly, giving it that gorgeous length. And it is not just something from the ancient past; today, you can find women with such long hair in a village called Huangluo in China.
These women have hair with an average length of 6 feet – yes, 6 FEET! So, it is no wonder that they hold the place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the ‘World’s Longest Haired Village.’
In this case, too, the secret is rice water, or more specifically, fermented rice water. They add herbs to rice water and cleanse and condition their hair. Not only does rice water for hair help grow long and strong hair, but it also keeps grays at bay – the women of Huangluo do not get gray hair till the age of 80!
Even though these women are not royals, they treat their hair as their most precious accessory. The rule in the olden days was that no one was allowed to see a woman’s hair other than her immediate family members. If you would like to get hair like them by including rice water in your hair care routine, read on!
East Asian Hair Care Remedies: Using Rice Water for Hair
The benefits of using rice water for hair come from the nutritional profile of rice. 75-80% of rice is starch, and they also contain other nutrients like Vitamins B, E, amino acids, antioxidants, and several minerals. Rice water is the water leftover after soaking or cooking rice, and the nutrients of rice seep into the water. Here is a look at some of the benefits of using rice water for hair.
Benefits of Rice Water for Hair
1. It makes hair stronger
Rice water contains inositol, a compound that can penetrate the hair shaft and help repair damaged hair. It can also protect hair against future hair, strengthening it in the process. Another nutrient in rice water is protein, which is essential for healthy hair and can prevent breakage and hair loss.
2. It promotes better hair growth
The protein in rice water not just strengthens existing hair but also promotes new hair growth. Besides protein, it also contains Vitamins B, C, and E, which encourage better hair growth. In addition, rice water on the scalp also stimulates blood circulation, promoting better growth.
3. It makes hair smoother
As mentioned earlier, nearly 80% of rice water is made of starch, which coats the hair strands, making it appear thicker and smooth, making them easy to detangle. What is more, rice water reduces friction between hair strands, so your hair strands do not get caught among themselves.
4. It fixes hydration issues
Rice water helps hair stay hydrated, thus fixing the problem of overhydration or hygral fatigue. Too much moisture can hurt hair, and rice water can fix it.
How to make Rice Water?
It is easy to create a home-based hair care schedule for a top-notch experience, especially if you are looking for something as simple and effective as rice water for hair.
Here is a simple 3 step process to get going with it:
- Soaking – The easiest way to make rice water is to soak half a cup of uncooked, washed rice in 2-3 cups of water for about 12-24 hours. Strain the rice and what you have left is rice water.
- Boiling – This is also an easy way to make rice water, and you can do it while also cooking the rice. Boil half a cup of washed rice in 2 cups of water till the water turns cloudy, or the rice is cooked. Then, strain the cooked rice and store the strained rice in water.
- Fermenting – Fermenting can be done to increase the nutrient content of rice water for hair. The technique is like soaking, but the rice needs to be left for two days before straining the rice water.
Safe and gentle hair care products you can buy online
The rice water should be stored in a bottle and used for a week. This means that you may have to make fresh batches frequently if you have made up your mind for rice water. In addition, some experts think that homemade rice water may also have lower concentrations of the compound inositol. Another problem is that fermented rice water may have an unpleasant smell that may transfer to your hair. So, an effortless way to overcome these problems is to use a readymade rice water hair care product, like the Mamaearth Rice Water hair pack.
- Mamaearth Rice Water Hair Mask contains fermented rice water, ensuring it has all the nutrients of rice water and more. In addition, fermented rice water has a higher antioxidant content fights cell damage, and encourages healthy hair growth, making this an ideal hair pack for hair fall. It also makes the pH level of the rice water in line with the pH level of the scalp, ensuring better absorption of the nutrients.
Besides rice water, this hair pack also contains milk protein for extra shine and thicker hair. In addition, Keratin in the pack provides an additional boost of protein that works with the rice water to add fullness and volume. If you are looking for another hair pack for hair fall, you can try the Mamaearth Onion Hair Mask to tackle this specific issue.
- Mamaearth Onion Hair Mask contains onion oil, a hot favorite among everyone who prefers natural hair treatments. Onion oil is extracted from onion seeds and contains Sulfur, a powerful nutrient that stimulates the follicles on the scalp. The onion oil is accompanied by coconut oil for intense moisturization and rosemary oil, promoting hair growth.
Follow these steps to use these hair masks:
Step 1: Wet your hair and scalp to damp but not dripping.
Step 2: Part your hair into two halves.
Step 3: Apply an adequate amount of the hair pack on the scalp and along the hair lengths.
Step 4: Leave the mask on for 15-30 minutes.
Step 5: Wash it off with a gentle shampoo. Condition if necessary.
Rice water is generally safe for all hair types and skin types, but you may have to exercise caution if you suffer from inflammation. Since rice water is rich in protein, it should not be used with other protein treatments to prevent overuse. When using it for the first time, it is recommended to do a patch test, then use it once a week and increase the frequency slowly.