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Rice Water for Hair Growth: Benefits and Side Effects

The use of rice water for hair growth dates back to an ancient Chinese village called Huangluo. This village is nicknamed ‘long hair village’ because the women in this village, named the Yao women can grow their hair up to six feet long. The Yao women's hair is so long that it has made it into the Guinness Book of Records. The people of Huangluo believe that rice water can prevent their hair from turning gray and brittle. To them, long hair symbolizes health, wealth, and good fortune. However, despite rice water being very beneficial to their hair type, it isn't the case for everyone.

Yao women demonstrating their shiny, silky long hair.

Benefits of Rice Water

  • Rice water is filled with vitamins such as vitamins B and C.

  • It contains nutrients like manganese, selenium, zinc, magnesium, iodine, potassium, and fiber.

  • It is known to nourish hair follicles and helps repair damaged cells.

  • It helps with dark spots, acne, and dermatitis.

  • Rice water can be used as a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner.


Rice Water Side Effects

  • Fermented rice water smells, therefore, you can be left with an unpleasant smell and stiff hair.

  • At a minimum, it takes about a month to see results. This regime must be used on a weekly bases over a long period of time to see long-lasting change.

  • Depending on your hair type, rice water can be drying.

  • This is not a side effect, but a downfall to using fermented rice water for hair growth is it takes two to three days to make.


How Often Should You Use Rice Water?

  • Even though, externally using rice water is deemed safe. Using rice water for hair growth has not been scientifically proven to be a beneficial method to grow your hair. It has been reported that using rice water to wash and rinse your hair consistently, can be drying. Women with dry hair should not overuse rice water. You should only rinse your hair one to two times a week.


How Long Can You Keep Rice Water Before it Goes Bad and Spoils?

  • Fermented rice water spoils within three to four weeks if you refrigerated it. However, regular rice water that is kept in a spray bottle up can last up to twelve hours and if you refrigerated it, it will spoil within a week.


Now that we've gone over the benefits and side effects of using rice water for your hair. Let's discuss the three popular rice water recipes to use on your hair. Out of these three methods, it is recommended to use fermented rice water because it has more nutrients compared to the other two methods.


1. Fermented rice water

  • Place two cups of rice into a bowl and add double the amount of water to the bowl.

  • Let it soak for 20-30 minutes.

  • Pour the water into a glass container or bottle.

  • Then seal it and place the container or bottle in a dark area at room temperature for 2 days.

  • After two days, the rice will begin to smell sour and that is when it is time to stop the fermentation.

  • Move the container or bottle into the refrigerator to preserve all the beneficial properties that occurred during the fermentation.

It has been reported that the process of fermentation reduces the pH level of rice water, this means it becomes more nourishing and filled with more vitamins.

2. Soaked rice water

  • Choose any rice of your choice and measure one cup of uncooked rice.

  • Then, rinse the rice thoroughly.

  • Measure and use two to three cups of glasses of water.

  • Leave for 30 minutes to soak.

  • Strain the rice water into a clean bowl.

  • After, pour the rice water into a spray bottle or container, and then it will be ready to use.


The third method is the faster and easiest method, however, the nutrients and nourishment will not be the same.


3. Boiled rice water

  • Use ½ cup of rice.

  • Place one glass of water into the bowl of rice and mix.

  • Cook the rice in the boiling water.

  • Strain the rice water and place into a spray bottle or container.


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