Let’s talk about Fermented Rice Water and the ‘pungent’ smell that comes off the fermentation process. Most of us with natural hair can go to any length such as putting up with the pungent smell of fermented rice water in order to grow long and heathy hair. The good news is that we don’t have to put up with the smell when there are ways of making the rice water smell better! In this article we will discuss how to make rice water that smells better.
You can learn more about the benefits of Rice Water and how to prepare it in this detailed Rice Water article.
If you prefer not to deal with the fermentation process smell, you can make plain rice water by soaking rice in water and leaving it to sit for up-to 30 minutes ONLY that you will miss out on the added benefits of the fermentation process.
Research has shown that indeed fermented rice water is more beneficial than plain rice water. The fermentation process changes the pH level of your rice water and brings it closer to that of your hair. During fermentation, a substance called ‘Pitera’ which is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and organic acids forms in the rice water. Pitera is known to promote cell regeneration and keep your skin and hair healthy.
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How to Make Fermented Rice Water Smell Better
To take away the pungent smell and make fermented rice water smell better, you can either add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, infuse the fermented rice water with an herbal tea or add lemon/orange/lime peels to your fermented rice water mix. Using either of the three methods will not only give your rice water a better smell but also give the rice water a nutrient boost.
In this article we will explore 8 different ways you can make rice water that smells better.
1. Add Vanilla Essential Oil to make Fermented Rice Water smell better
Adding vanilla essential oil helps mask the sour scent of fermented rice water. In addition, vanilla essential oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and relaxant. After the rice has fermented, you can add vanilla essential oil to the water to mask the strong smell. Always do a patch skin test of any essential oil to test for irritation before using it in your natural hair DIYs.
If Vanilla essential oil is one that you would like to consider, ensure you get one that is pure and if possible organic. You can get if from a local store that stock it or purchase it online.
2. Adding Citrus peels to Fermented Rice Water for a better smell
The aroma of citrus fruit can be used to take away the pungent smell of fermented rice water. Citrus fruits include lemon, orange and lime. To make better smelling rice water using citrus, add a few peels of either lemon, orange or lime to your fermented rice water mixture. Let the peels stay in the rice water until the fermentation process is complete and proceed to strain the rice water before using it on your hair.
3. Lavender Essential Oil for better smelling Fermented Rice Water
Apart from additional nourishment, you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil in your rice water after fermentation to take away the pungent smell. Lavender is also soothing as much as it has aroma therapeutic benefits. Take a cup of any type of clean rice put it in a plastic bowl, add distilled water and swirl it in a round motion. Cover and leave the rice water to sit at room temperature for up-to 48 hours. Thereafter, strain the rice water and add a few drops of lavender Essential Oil.
Lavender essential oil can be purchased at your local store or online.
4. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil for better smelling Rice Water
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is commonly used in fragrances; no wonder it is one of the floral essential oils that can be used to turn your rice water from pungent to heavenly. Ylang ylang oil is made from the flowers of the herb Cananga Odorata. Add a few drops of Ylang essential oil to your fermented rice water. You can vary the quantity you use depending on the amount of rice water you are making or as per your liking. I personally use between 3-7 drops. In addition to improving the smell of rice water, Ylang Ylang essential oil will give the rice water a nutrient boost.
5. Add Lemon Grass Essential Oil for better smelling Rice Water
Lemongrass is a perennial plant from the tropics from which the Lemon grass essential oil is extracted. The name lemongrass is derived from the fact that it has lemon-like odor. Lemon Grass essential oil has several benefits to hair such as strengthening hair follicles, reducing dandruff, adding shine, relieving scalp irritation and itchiness. Imagine adding all these benefits to those of fermented rice. Add a few drops of lemon grass essential oil to the fermented rice water to give it a nice refreshing scent.
6. Add Peppermint Essential Oil to improve the smell of Fermented Rice Water
One of the best ways to keep down the smell of fermented rice water, is to add Peppermint essential oil to the water before leaving it to ferment. The good thing about Peppermint oil for hair growth is that it also has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which help to cool the scalp, despite the fact that its main role in this process is to help the fermented rice water to smell good instead of stinking.
Peppermint Essential Oil can be purchased at your local store or online.
7. Jasmine Oil for better smelling Rice Water
Jasmine oil is an anti-septic, meaning it helps fight any microbial infection in the scalp, especially dandruff. It has moisturizing properties essential for hair growth. Add a few drops of Jasmine oil in your rice water to help reduce the smell of the fermented rice water.
8. Chamomile Essential Oil for better smelling Rice Water
Who doesn’t like the sweet scent of Chamomile? Try adding a few drops of Chamomile essential oil to give your fermented rice water to give it a better smell. Chamomile oil has antiseptic and antibiotic properties which do not let biotic infections develop. With essential oils as already discussed the preparation is the same including this one.
With several options of making your fermented rice water smell better available, don’t fear trying this wonderful natural hair DIY. As you know, with DIY, there are several variations. If you have tried a different way of making your rice water smell better, we would like to hear about it. Feel free to share ideas in the comments below.
Lastly, when you start using rice water correctly and consistently, you will realize that the story of women in Japan and China having floor-length and healthy hair, attributed to using rice water isn’t just a myth.
While rice water has been praised by many because of the results they have seen, it also comes with its fair share of disadvantages. The major one, apart from the bad smell from fermentation, is that that you may be one of the unlucky few who are allergic to proteins and hence you may find that the rice water hardens your hair or makes it feel like straw and prone to breakage.
There are ways to overcome this challenge such as (i) ensure you rinse off the rice water after 30-45 minutes (avoid leaving the rice water on for too long), (ii) use dilute rice water and (iii) reduce the frequency of using rice water to whatever you find to work, e.g using the treatment once every two weeks or even once a month.