Rice Water Rinse pt. 1 & 2
Disclaimer: I want to make myself clear by saying this is all about options. There are many ways to grow your hair, many DIY recipes, treatments, etc. Again, this is all about options and one that you can add to your hair library if you wish.
I took this post right from my IG page so for those who are new to the rice rinse craze, I hope you find this helpful.
The internet is a weird and wonderful place. It seems like every few months there is a new craze taking the natural hair world by storm. Some have staying power and others fizzle out as quickly as they appeared. I've have noticed another trend way out on the horizon and wanted to bring you all of the facts so that you can try or pass it by.
Most people will wash their rice before cooking and will discard the milky water. However, now people are taking this and putting it to work on their skin and hair.
The scientific research on this topic is quite limited but women in Asia have been using this method for centuries and we all know that modern technology is only just catching up to what Africans and Asians have known since the beginning of time.
Key Component: Inositol
There has only been one study conducted on this method. It focused solely on a very small sample size and found a casual relationship between beauty methods (Yu-Su-Ru) and hair length. It was a retrospective study and did not account for genetic/ regional disparity. It also commented on the difficulty and side effects of using rice water alone, as it tends to promote flaking (possible from the high starch content). However, it did note that extracts from the rice water may be useful when combined with other products and techniques. According to the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, a research study was done on the effectiveness of rice water rinse. They have come to the conclusion that extracts from rice water were EFFECTIVE in maintaining hair health.
The key component of rice water, Inositol, is found in almost all plant and animal foods. Inositol is a carbohydrate that repairs damaged hair. It is able to stay in the hair shaft even after rinsing and shampooing your hair (See photo slide). This means that it will continue to act as a shield and protect your hair after the hair has been washed. It has been proven to improve the elasticity of hair and reduce friction. There is no set daily requirement and it is used supplementally to treat conditions such as PCOS and Neurological disorders. In these cases a surge of hair growth is often secondary to the treatment of the initial condition and restoration of health.
Brown rice has a protein content of about 2.6/100g. Of these proteins it contains the highest amount of the Amino Acid Cystine which is a crucial part of hair, when compared to other tubers. However this molecule is too large to penetrate the hair shaft and can be made by the body during the keratinization process.
strengthened hair roots
amino acids improved
penetrates damaged hair to repair it from the inside improved elasticity
decreased surface tension
improves overall condition of hair
protects hair from future damage
stimulates blood flow to the scalp, nourishing hair follicles
There are 3 Popular Ways to Prepare:
It's best to use after shampooing your hair and before applying conditioner or deep conditioner.
1. The soak method: This method's pH is around 5.5 which is slightly higher than your hair's pH. To begin, place rice in a jar, cover completely with water and let it soak for approx. 30 to 40 minutes. To help release the nutrients, swirl it around a few times. What you want to look for is cloudy water. After allowing it to set awhile, swirl it around to check for the cloudiness. Then strain the water out into a separate bowl.
2. Fermented goods have been shown to have a beneficial effect on the body such as Kefir and Kombucha. Making fermented products at home can be tricky as it is very easy for them to become contaminated with other harmful bacteria and there is no real way to tell. Rich in antioxidants, pitera (promotes cell regeneration & keeps hair healthy & occurs during the fermentation process), minerals and vitamins. It helps to lower the pH, which is similar to our hair's pH and is slightly acidic, which means it restores the pH balance of your hair. A lower pH will help smooth down the hair's cuticles. I love this method for all the reasons given.
⚠️Caution: I would not recommend this particular method for immunocompromised patients, lactating mothers and people with scalp conditions such as yeast or fungal infections. Fermented rice can be very potent so you may need to dilute it with water until it's slightly cloudy. You can store it in a jar/container at room temperature for approx. 24-48 hrs, depending on how warm it is. If the room is a bit warm, it will speed up the fermentation process. To decrease the fermentation time, leave the rice sitting in the water and strain once it has fermented.
3. If you are not keen to the sour smell of fermented rice, then try the boil method. I found this method to be my "go to" because it's quick and easy. Due to the high temperature of boiling, it helps to extract the high concentration of nutrients from the rice.
Side note: If your hair is more on the protein sensitive side I would suggest diluting it with plain water before applying it to your hair because it's very concentrated or use the soak method with added diluted water as well. I make sure I use more than enough water to cover the rice so the water doesn't boil all out. Once done, the rice water will be concentrated and it'll have a slight creamy texture to it. Once cooled this can be combined with essential oils such as tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint (love this one), and lavender which have antifungal and antibacterial properties.
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week. Make sure to shake it well before each use. This can be left on the hair for up to an hour but then should be washed/rinsed out thoroughly to prevent any adverse effects from the high sugar content. For beginners, start with 5-10 mins. then increase time as needed.
Conclusion: I wouldn't suggest using the rinse for more than once a week. What I love about the rice water rinse is that it works, it's affordable, it's pretty darn easy, and I haven't had to use any separate protein treatment. I used Olaplex once while trying it, but it didn't make any noticeable difference.
My hair feels stronger, has shine after every use, and my hair has grown...has it grown faster than any other method like scalp massages? Not really. I think it's about the same amount of time.
1. Inamasu, S., Ikuyama, R., Fujisaki, Y. and Sugimoto, K.-I. (2010), Abstracts: The effect of rinse water obtained from the washing of rice (YU-SU-RU) as a hair treatment. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 32: 392–393