What is Rice Water?
Rice water is the starch water left over after rice is left to soak or after cooking. Popular in Asia, it is a natural skin toner which promotes cell growth, stimulates blood flow and keeps the skin smooth and bright. In this article you will learn how to make rice water for hair growth as well as how to use rice water for hair.
Amongst other benefits, it contains vitamins which helps to reduce dark skin pigmentation, minerals which tighten the skin’s open pores. And has amino acids which are essential for beautiful hair and skin. It also contains ferulic acid, a powerful antioxidant and allantois which contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Rice Water for Hair
In China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, using rice water to maintain healthy hair is a very widespread practice. Women in Asia have been using rice water on their hair for decades, according to Dr. Mclee Tembo, with the Yao women being the most well-known for doing so for both hair and even skincare benefits.
Dr. Mclee Tembo adds, “Proponents assert that rice water can improve hair smoothness, add gloss, and lessen breakage. According to popular belief, rice water includes healthy components including vitamin E, B vitamins, and proteins that are frequently included in shampoos and conditioners.
While these valuable vitamins and proteins are present in rice water, Dr. Mclee Tembo is quick to point out that there is no scientific proof to back up the claims made about rice water’s advantages for hair. Any effects reported are only anecdotal, he asserts.
The following are some of the alleged benefits of rice water for hair:
- Strengthens damaged hair strands preventing breakage for overall healthier hair
- Revitalizes dull strands by removing buildup, thus increases hair shine and softness
- Prevents (and can neutralize) “hygral fatigue” or overly moisturized and vitamin-rich hair
- Promotes hair growth and regeneration through vitamin C, B, and E and amino acids
According to Dr. Mclee Tembo, rice water helps balance the pH levels of your scalp, which can aid to minimize oil accumulation and frizziness. Creates a smoother hair texture and detangles.
How to Make Rice Water for Hair Growth
You will need rice, of course, to make rice water. There isn’t general agreement on one kind of rice performs better than another, though, if you’re wondering which kind does. Although any sort of organic rice may be used, the DIY recipe on Poosh advises sticking with organic rice. A bowl and a sieve are also required to make the rice water.
2. Rinse the rice
Take one-half cup of rice and rinse it thoroughly before draining it. Once the rice has been drained, put it in a clean dish with two to three cups of water. Dr. Mclee Tembo advises boiling the water for your rice as an extra precaution since “raw rice might contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.” It’s better to be safe than sorry even if I haven’t heard of any food illness linked to rice water rinse.
3. Soak the rice
The rice will need to soak in the water between 30 minutes to an hour, though Dr. Mclee Tembo notes you can let it sit for up to 24 hours. If you’re eager to use the rice rinse as soon as possible, you’ll leave it in for a shorter amount of time. But if you really want to reap the benefits of this hair care hack, you’ll want to make fermented rice water for hair.
4. Fermented rice water for hair
Traditionally, the Yao women use fermented rice water for hair. Studies have demonstrated that the high concentration of antioxidants in fermented rice water can help prevent hair damage. To ferment your rice water, you’ll follow the same steps above, but instead of letting the rice soak for an hour, leave the rice to soak at room temperature for up to two days. This is what creates the starchy consistency.
5. Strain the rice
It’s time to strain the rice after letting it soak in the water for the specified amount of time. Make careful to pour the strained rice water into a tidy, dry bowl. You can even place it into a Mason jar or any reusable container you have lying around to make storage easier.
6. Shampoo your hair
You should wash your hair before using the rice water. Any shampoo will work as long as you rinse it off completely.
7. Douse your hair with the rice water
After shampooing your hair, you’ll use the rice water as a kind of hair rinse. Make careful to work the rice water into your hair, possibly even your scalp. For people with “sensitive skin, an itchy scalp, or scalp issues, such as dermatitis or psoriasis,” Dr. Mclee Tembo advises that “It’s prudent to steer away of home remedies in case of discomfort.”
8. Let the rice water stay for 20 minutes
In order to prevent further irritation, Dr. Mclee Tembo advises “not leaving rice water on the hair for more than 20 minutes.” Although opinions on how to use rice water vary, many advise letting it on your hair for no longer than 20 minutes. Once your 20 minutes are up, you can rinse out the rice water.
9. Lastly, apply conditioner
Once all of the rice water has been removed from your hair, finish your hair-washing procedure with your preferred conditioner and take in the glow of your newly enhanced natural hair.
Rice Water Ratio
What is the water ratio for 2 cups of rice? To cook rice, the general rule of thumb is to use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. So, for 2 cups of rice, you would need to use 4 cups of water.
How much water do you use with 1 cup of rice? Combine rice and water in a pot: For most long-grain and medium-grain rice, pair 1 cup rice and 1 1/3 cups water. For short-grain rice, use 1 cup rice and 1 cup water. For most brown rice, combine 1 cup rice and 1 3/4 cups water.
How much water do I use for 3 cups of rice? It’s easy and will come out right every time if you follow a few simple steps. There are several keys to cooking perfect rice. The first is the ratio of water to rice: For plain white rice, use 2 cups of water for 1 cup of uncooked long-grain rice. This will result in 3 cups of cooked rice.
Is 1 cup of rice a cup of water? The basic water to white rice ratio is 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. You can easily, double and even triple the recipe; just make sure you are using a pot large enough to hold the rice as it cooks and expands.
Brown rice water ratio: While this process follows the one on the back of many bags of rice, the key difference in our technique is the ratio of water to rice: We recommend 1¾ cups of water for every 1 cup of brown rice.
Beauty Benefits of Rice Water
1. Relieves acne and dermatitis
It naturally soothes skin inflammation, rashes and other skin problems. According to research, patients suffering from atopic dermatitis are able to improve the condition by bathing in rice water for at least 15 minutes twice a day.
It heals acne and calms the redness of an outbreak as it acts as an astringent on the skin by tightening the pores. It is advisable to refrigerate the water, then apply it on the face using a cotton pad. Leave it for at least 10 minutes and rinse with water.
2. Treats damaged, aging skin
It helps to get rid of the dark age spots and to minimize free radical damages from the environment such as sun rays and aging. It also smoothens the skin texture, addresses hyperpigmentation, tightens skin, reduces pore sizes and leaves a soft porcelain-like finish for the face.
3. Facial cleanser
This is achieved by dipping a cotton pad into the liquid and gently massaging it into the skin for two minutes and let it air dry. Its regular use makes the face supple, soft, tight and radiant. It also contains vitamins and minerals which help revitalize skin and keep it smooth and bright.
4. Softens and makes hair grow healthy
The rice water helps to detangle and improve hair elasticity. According to researchers, using rice water as a hair treatment offered significant benefits such as reducing surface friction and increasing the mass of hair. After using shampoo and conditioner, rinse your hair with rice water to add shine to it. And it also helps to keep it strong, healthy and growing longer.
5. Hair conditioner
This is achieved by adding rosemary, lavender or geranium essential oil to the rice water and apply it to the hair. Allow it to stay for 10 minutes, then wash it off. It is important since it is rich in amino acids that will improve the volume and strength of the hair. It also balances the scalps PH levels as it doesn’t have any chemicals nor preservatives.
Side Effects of Rice Water on Hair
Let’s keep it real, please. Even though the rice water hair treatment is popular right now, if you’re not careful, it might still have some negative side effects. Does that imply that using rice water on your hair is bad? Not necessary, I say.
There are a lot of benefits associated with rice water, in fact. Those who adore it claim that it aids hair moisture, taming frizz, and preventing split ends. Not to mention promoting organic hair growth and perhaps offering some anti-aging defense.
As a result, the subject of whether rice water is healthy for hair is once more raised. In actuality, almost every hair product you use has the potential to harm your hair in some way. For this reason, selecting high-quality natural hair products is crucial. And be sure they are created to meet the needs of your particular type of curly hair.
To help out, we’ve outlined the top six potential side effects of using rice water on your hair so that you can stay fully informed and experiment safely.
1. Potential protein overload
A respectable quantity of protein may be found in rice water. This won’t be a concern for the majority of individuals. It could ultimately become a problem, though, if you have hair with poor porosity. This occurs because they will cling to your hair rather than absorbing the proteins in low porosity hair.
In contrast, if your hair is highly porous, it will simply absorb the protein, making it stronger and healthier. But if you do experience that minor issue.
This attachment of proteins to your hair can then prevent other hair treatments that you use from penetrating the follicles. This renders those hair products virtually useless. Additionally, the proteins become harder over time, which can lead to brittle and dry hair.
Does this mean you can’t use rice water hair products? No, it means you just have to be mindful. That means if you have low porosity hair, the key to success is moderation when working with this protein treatment.
For instance, instead of using rice water as a conditioner every day, try cutting it down to one or two times per week and see how your hair responds. Using any type of hair treatment requires some experimentation to get it right. And find what works best for your curly hair type.
2. You could make dry scalp worse
It’s true that for many people that use rice water to treat their scalps, the results are encouraging. However, some people mistakenly think they should apply it more often when it comes to more extreme cases and/or leave it on for longer. Some even go so far as not rinsing it at all or leaving it on overnight.
The reality is that all of the rice water benefits your hair can absorb will be absorbed within the first half-hour. After that, you simply open yourself up to unwanted chemical reactions with your hair roots and scalp, which may not end well.
Keep in mind that a dry, flaky scalp typically stems from an overproduction of yeast in the system. Leaving that in contact with all of the starch and sugars contained in rice for too long is bound to make things worse.
So, if you have a bad dry scalp problem or experience dandruff, you should probably limit yourself to a maximum of two applications per week and see how your hair and scalp respond. If it seems to be going well, you could try using it more often.
3. Rice water smells interesting
Many people swear by the use of fermented rice water. And there are multiple pro beauty products that contain fermented rice water. While there may be some added benefit to the fermentation process, fermented rice water also comes with the treat of a distinctly pungent scent.
This can be problematic for some, especially if you are one of those people who likes to leave it on your hair for long periods of time. Additionally, your hair can become stiff and hard after using fermented rice water, which probably isn’t the texture you were going for!
You can try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your homemade rice water mixture to help mask the smell, but your mileage will vary as to how successful that will be.
Remember that chemistry is all about ratios. If you add too little, it won’t have any effect, and you (and anyone close to you) will still experience the pungent smell. If you add too much, you could end up with an overbearing scent that isn’t any more pleasant than what you started with.
There is also the possibility of adding too much essential oil. And then the oil prevents other nutrients from being absorbed into your hair follicles. Remember that the nutrients you want your hair to absorb are all transported and absorbed in water. If the oil starts attaching to your hair, it makes that absorption difficult.
If the odor of fermented rice water is a problem, you can avoid allowing your rice water treatment to ferment by keeping it cold and using it right away. Or, consider using a trusted product with rice water for hair.
4. It requires consistent use
While some products produce instant results, using rice water on your hair usually takes a month or more before you see any worthwhile results. You have to use it consistently to reap the most rewards.
This could make it a difficult hair treatment if you’re one of those naturally impatient types. It could also be difficult for those of you who find it hard to stick to a regular hair care routine.
Moral of the story? If you don’t have the patience to wait for results, or you aren’t committed to using it faithfully from week to week, a rice water treatment may not be the best bet for you.
5. Efficacy is anecdotal
Besides the 2002 Belgian university study done on rice water’s effects on atopic dermatitis, the last substantial scientific research appears to have been done more than a thousand years ago in Japan.
Obviously, back then, research was probably not the well-oiled machine it became in the last few decades. While that doesn’t mean that using rice water for hair growth doesn’t work, it does mean that there are many variables that still need more research.
- What are the effects of using rice water on different types of hair?
- What are the effects of using it with different skin types?
- And what are the effects of using it on people with different scalp conditions?
The bottom line is that, even though there is enough anecdotal evidence that rice water is beneficial, you will probably still have to do some experimenting of your own to see how you can best use this trending product to your advantage.
6. Rice water can contain arsenic
Wait, though, before you freak out, there are those that are fine with that and those that are not. The truth is that not all rice is equally bad.
Rice that’s grown in the US is often grown in former cotton fields. Those cotton fields were—back in the day—sprayed with insecticides that contained arsenic. The residue of those insecticides is absorbed into the water which feeds the rice. For some reason, brown rice seems to absorb more of it than white rice, probably about twice as much.
However, these trace amounts are clearly not large enough for the government to take them off the shelf. So you’ll have to use your own best judgment for that.
If you feel you would prefer to minimize your exposure, you can use Basmati rice instead. It’s imported from countries like India and Pakistan, and they don’t have the arsenic problem. To avoid this altogether, use a natural rice water hair product by a trusted brand.
While there can be side effects of rice water on hair, they are fairly benign side effects and won’t be a problem for everyone. You can avoid some side effects by simply being careful. And fully understanding exactly how to use rice water for hair.
Additionally, start using a trusted and natural rice water hair product for the healthy hair you’re searching for. Ultimately, you know your hair best. So proceed with eyes wide open, but don’t be afraid to give rice water a shot. You might just discover your new favourite hair treatment! Read How To Use Onion Juice For Hair Growth