Lately, my inbox has been buzzing with rice water questions like this one, “You’ve covered a lot on benefits of rice water and how to prepare, would you please also talk about – How to use rice water for hair? ”
This is a very interesting topic because I have been experimenting with different ways of using rice water other than just using it as a final rinse.
There are very many creative methods on how to use rice water for hair but in this article I will cover the top 7 (fun & creative) ways.
How to use rice water for hair
- Use rice water for detangling hair
- As a final hair rinse
- For pre-poo
- Make interesting rice water blends
- Use rice water as a shampoo
- Add rice water to your conditioner
- Infuse rice water in your oils
With that summary out of the way, lets delve into the details 🙂
The easiest and most effective ways on how to use rice water for hair growth include:
1. Use rice water for detangling hair
Did you know you can use rice water for detangling the hair?
Rice water smoothens the hair cuticles thus making it easier to manage hair. It works like acidifiers in commercial hair detanglers.
Rice water smoothens the hair cuticles by acidifying its surface. The hair cuticle tightens up making all the scales present on the hair’s cuticle melt down.
Absence of scales on the hair cuticle reduces the surface friction and prevents the tightening of tangles.
With a pH of between 5.5-5.0, fermented rice water helps balance the hair’s pH and strengthen the hydrogen bonds existing between the keratin molecules in the hair.
As a result, the hair strands become stronger and more flexible making detangling easier.
How to use rice water for detangling
- Divide the hair into sections
- Use a spray bottle to spritz rice water on the hair
- Use a wide tooth comb or fingers to work through the knots and twist up the section to prevent further tangles when you are done
- Repeat the process for the other sections
Bonus tip: Add an oil such as Olive oil in your rice water to give it a boost in nutritional composition as well as added moisture and slip.
2. As a final hair rinse
When rice water is used as a final hair rinse, nutritional components present are absorbed better.
How to use rice water as a hair rinse
- Shampoo the hair then rinse it with clean warm water. Warm water helps open up the hair cuticles.
- Apply rice water on your hair as you massage it into your hair and scalp.
- Leave it to set for up to 20 minutes.
- Proceed to rinse the hair thoroughly with cool water. Cold water helps close the hair cuticles.
3. For pre-poo
Pre-pooing is the process that involves application of a treatment to your hair before shampooing.
Shampooing the hair can be harsh if the shampoo strips the hair strands leaving extra dry or damaged hence why pre-poo is an important step to include in your hair regimen.
The treatment should provide a protective layer/coat on your hair’s surface which acts like a barrier against moisture loss.
Rice water can give the protective coat as the protein and starch content is rice water is perfect for this.
For pre poo, rice water can be used alone or mixed with an oil to make it more effective.
4. Make interesting rice water blends
Rice Water & Fenugreek Blend
Fenugreek is a powerhouse when it comes to hair care. Making a blend with rice water takes it to the next level.
Here are the benefits of a rice water & fenugreek blend:
- Fenugreek nourishes the hair follicles thus promoting faster and healthier new growth. It’s a good source of nicotinic acid which can act as a stimulant for hair growth.
- Contains lecithin which controls frizz, adds shine and boosts the hair health.
- Provides minerals such as copper, iron, zinc and calcium which are also good for hair growth.
- Has vitamin B-6, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine and folic acid for healthy hair growth.
- Fenugreek is a rich source of the plant compounds flavonoids and saponins. The two compounds play a major role in fenugreek’s anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties thus help fight scalp infection and follicular damage.
- It has a DHT blocker to treat hormonal hair loss.
- Rice water is loaded with amino acids, about 8 of them, vitamins (B, C, E and K) and trace minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium.
- It also richly contains inositol, a carbohydrate that repairs damaged hair.
- It has antioxidants,
- Combats oxidative hair damage
- Contains traces of pitera, a substance produced during the fermentation process which strengthen hair strands and treat hair loss and breakage.
These two, fenugreek and rice water, create a powerful blend which will help you achieve stronger, thicker and longer hair which breaks less frequently.
How to prepare Fenugreek & Rice water blend
- Fenugreek seeds
- Rice water
- Take 10 grams of fenugreek seeks
- Soak them overnight in already prepared rice water
- Strain the mixture to remove the fenugreek seeds
- Apply the Funugreek + rice water in your hair and leave it one for about 15-20 minutes
- Proceed to rinse it off
Rice Water & Aloe Vera Blend
When Aloe Vera is combined with rice water they complement each and the result will be healthier and stronger hair. (1)
Here are some of the benefits of Aloe Vera
- Improves hair health, reduces breakage and promotes hair growth.
- Has rich amounts of fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins A, B12, C and E all of which play an active part in keeping your hair follicles healthy.
- Aloe vera has enzymes which help breakdown excess fat present on the scalp. This helps unclog blocked hair follicles which when left may cause hair thinning and eventually breakage.
- Has soothing properties, hence can help reduce dandruff and any other scalp infections.
How to prepare Rice Water & Aloe Vera Blend
- Aloe vera leaf obtained from a healthy aloe vera plant
- Rice water
- Cut the leaf
- Use a spoon to collect the gel
- Blend the gel with prepared rice water
- Apply the mixture on hair and scalp while massaging it in gently
- Leave it on hair for at least 20 minutes
- Rinse it off before shampooing
5. Use rice water as a shampoo
Did you know rice water can be used as a hair shampoo to grow hair?
The Yao women of Huangluo village in China are famed for having long, grey-less and shiny hair. With hair that averages 6 feet long, they have even made an appearance in the Guinness World Book of Record. The Yao women credit the length and color of their hair to the fact that they use fermented rice water to wash their hair. (2)
Here is how they prepare their rice water shampoo
How Yao women use rice water as a shampoo
- Plain white rice
- Orange peels
- Tea bran which releases oil in the rice water
- Cleansing herbs such as aritha and shikakai
- The rice is washed
- The water used to wash the rice is put in a barrel and boiled together with orange peels, tea bran and cleansing herb.
- Rice water is left in the barrel to ferment for a half a month, a month or even three months
The fermented rice water obtained is used as a natural hair shampoo. The rice water is left in the hair for at least 20 minutes before it is washed off with clean water from the river
6. Infuse rice water in your oils
Adding rice water to your oil boosts the nutritional qualities of the oil being used. The hair follicles will be able to receive a wider variety of nutrient in significant levels hence the hair grows health-wise and length-wise.
Oils also help mask the foul smell that comes about while fermenting rice water.
7. Add rice water to your conditioner
High water content of rice water increases the hydrating quality of your hair conditioner. After using a mixture of the two, your hair will feel more moisturized and nourished at the same time. The blend is especially good for people with dry hair or scalp.
Finally, watch how Mercy Gono uses rice water using the Yao women rice water recipe. Totally love the results she got in this video! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
And….before you leave, you may find this recommended products page useful. Here you will find the natural hair products that my friends & I have found to be very good for natural hair.