Hello Hivers and my fellow Natural Medics!
I would like to share the amazing wonders of Rice water treatment on my hair.
About 6 months ago, I got frustrated with hair, it was stunted, had split ends and was always breaking! I got so tired that I even wanted to get a haircut.
Cutting my hair would definitely save me alot of stress, because taking care of this afro-textured type 4c hair was seeming so difficult.
But then this meant I would have to deal with the ridicule of being looked at or referred to as a "small girl". I know this doesn't seem like a big deal but trust me it is. On my most matured look, I'm Neanimorphic. I would literally look pre-teen on a hair-cut.
In a nut-shell, I finally decided to trim it and try the famous rice water treatment I'd been hearing about.
What is Rice Water?
Rice water is simply the starchy water that you use in soaking or cooking your rice.
Why Rice Water?
You probably don't know this but, rice water contains more than just starch. It contains rich nutrients found in rice such as proteins (amino-acids), vitamins like vitamin B and E, minerals, inositol and even antioxidants.
A little History on Rice Water
It has been found by researchers that in a village in China, Huangluo Yao village commonly referred to as the "Land of Rapunzel's". The Yao women are known to have a hair length of about 6 feet long and their hair also retained its colour and didn't get gray till they were in their 80's. Interesting right? Want to know the secret? The women use rice water to bathe their hair.
Also, hundreds of years ago in Japan, it was found that the Japanese women had floor-length hair which was healthy by washing it with rice water. I mean I don't mind having to sweep the ground with my hair.
How to make Rice Water
There are very easy ways of constituting rice water
Soaking is the fastest method of making rice water.
Take 1 cup of raw or uncooked rice (any type of rice), rinse the rice very well, add 2-3 cups of water and allow to soak for about 30mins, strain the rice water into a bowl or jar.
Cook 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water. Allow the rice to boil and strain the water into a clean bowl or jar.
Add 4 cups of water to 2 cups of rice and leave the rice to soak for 30 minutes. Strain the rice water into a jar or bottle and seal it.
Leave the rice water in a cool dark place for about 2-3 days till you perceive a sour smell.
To stop the fermentation process, put it in a fridge to preserve.
Fermented rice water Vs Plain rice water?
A study conducted in 2012, revealed fermented products have increased amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants is necessary in combating hair breakage.
It had also been found that fermented rice water enhances the nutrients in plain rice water, thereby increasing the benefits of rice water such as its anti-dandruff, anti-itch, anti-hair breakage properties and helps in retaining oil and moisture on the scalp.
Personally, I prefer using the fermented rice water because of this enhanced property.
How does Femented Rice Water Work?
Let me take you back to "the land of Rapunzels", which Guinness book of records declared "the world's longest hair village". Okay, these women used fermented rice water as shampoo. So fermented rice water was the natural shampoo, they used in achieving their long hair and shiny black hair!
During the process of fermentation, the pH level of rice water decreases (it becomes acidic). This drop in pH restores and balances the pH of the hair, which closes the hair cuticles thereby protecting the hair. Pitera, is a substance formed in fermented rice water which is rich in organic acids, amino-acids, vitamins and minerals. This substance is known to cause hair regeneration.
How Can Rice Water be Used In Hair Treatment?
In essence, rice water can be used in place of a conditioner.
After washing your hair with shampoo, rinse with clean water, then rinse again with your rice water and massage the rice water into your hair and scalp. Leave for about 30 minutes, then rinse again with clean water.
How to handle fermented rice smell
Eager to try out rice water treatment? Take a chill pill. Fermented rice water stinks.... alot!
Never mind, there are remedies to this "not-so-little" problem.
To make it smell better, add a few drops of essential oil, or infuse an herbal tea or add orange, lemon or lime peels to the fermentation rice water mix and it will smell better.
Benefits of Rice Water Treatment
So it's been barely 6 months since I started the rice water therapy and yes I've noticed changes.
I'll share some of these changes with you
Increased volume and elasticity: I rinse my hair with rice water after washing it with shampoo, in other words, rice water has replaced the use of conditioner in my hair treatment, since then I noticed the rate at which my hair was breaking has reduced because it is now more elastic.
Hair Growth: Thanks to fermented rice water, I no longer suffer stunted hair, because my hair isn't breaking like before, it is growing longer. And this is because the amino-acids, just the way protein functions, helps in hair regeneration. The Vitamins also helps the hair grow further.
Anti-dandruff: In order to remove dandruff, use fermented rice water as a hair mask (rinse your hair with rice water) twice a week and leave for a few hours. It has antifungal actions which will work against dandruff and help eliminate it.
Increases shine and Makes Hair silky and smooth: This is one of the immediate effects of rice water. All you need to do is use it as a hair mask, leave it for 20 minutes. Then wash with shampoo and conditioner.
Protects hair from damages: due to its antioxidant property, it decrease friction between hair strands and improves elasticity. Also the inositol in rice water remains in your hair even after rinsing it and protects your hair from damage
Reduces split ends: I suffered from split ends for a long time, infact, that's why my hair wasn't growing. The hair needs protein to avoid split ends and guess what? Rice water has plenty amino-acids. Just a simple rinse with rice water can reduce the occurrence of split ends.
Back to my rice water journey
It's been almost 6 months and I've enjoyed this drastic hair growth. I'm no-where close to being called a Rapunzel but I'm enjoying my hair and I'm no longer frustrated!