The ‘Secret’ Yao Women Rice Water Recipe

Margaret MutheeDIY Hair Products, Hair Care, Rice WaterLeave a Comment

Yao Women Rice Water Recipe

The Yao Women who come from Huangluo Yao village in China , have the longest hair in the world . They’ve even been recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the ‘World’s Longest Hair Village.’

There are several factors that can be attributed to their extremely long and healthy hair but there is one thing that stands out:  It’s rinsing their hair in Rice Water.

In this article we will analyze the Yao Women Rice Water Recipe and other Yao women’s hair secrets to understand what makes them work.

The Yao Women Rice Water Recipe

Yao women rice water recipe

You know the phrase, Less is More ? The Yao women’s approach to hair care is a typical less is more situation. They do not use complicated, over-processed products. They use rice water as their main hair product.

Here is the Yao Women Rice Water Recipe:

Ingredients

  • White rice (preferably sticky rice)
  • Water
  • Pomelo Peels
  • Tea Bran
  • Fleece Flower Root
  • Ginger

Method

  • Wash the rice properly to remove any dirt or other impurities.
  • Add water. Rub the rice in between your hands so as to extract the content of the rice. When the water becomes cloudy sieve it into another pot.
  • Heat the water until it boils.
  • Add the other ingredients including the pomelo peels, fleece flower root, tea bran and ginger to the boiling rice water.
  • Let the rice water cool at room temperature.
  • Strain the rice water and let it sit in a sealed jar. Store the jar in a cool dark place for 3-4 days to allow fermentation to take place.

Some of the women use fermented rice water that is left for a month before use.

The Yao women wash their hair by lowering their heads into the rice water. A wooden comb is used to spread the solution from the roots to the tips of the hair.

To the Yao people, long hair is cherished as it symbolizes prosperity, longevity, wealth, and good fortune. Amazingly, the Yao women only cut their hair once in their lifetime at the age of 18. After that, the hair is allowed to grow to extreme lengths.

The hair tradition is passed on from generation to generation with their secret being in the hair care technique that they use to grow their hair being practiced over the years.

What makes the Yao women rice water recipe effective?

Yao woman

The technique of preparing the rice water through fermentation and the individual ingredients used in the Yao Women rice water recipe makes it work.

Here are the health benefits of the ingredients used in this recipe.

1. Rice Water

Rice water contains the same vitamins and minerals contained in rice. It also has important starch,  amino acids and antioxidants that are beneficial for hair. (1)

Rice water also has anti-aging properties. This in combination with the antioxidant properties makes it great in growing a long, healthy, and lustrous mane.

The enhanced protein in rice also helps with improving hair elasticity, and the prevention of hair breakage. (2)

The Yao women ferment their rice water which is more potent than plain rice water as it contains more antioxidants. These antioxidants help to combat hair and skin cell damage hence their benefits for the hair scalp.

2. Pomelo Peels

Pomelo is a super-rich fruit of the citrus family just like the grapefruit.

It contains vital nutrients including dietary fibers, vitamin C, and minerals such as iron, potassium, manganese, zinc, and others that are beneficial for hair growth.

Pomelo peels contain essential amino acids that help build healthy cells and reduce swelling on the skin that has been exposed to harsh environments.

The high flavonoid contents provide antioxidants that help in combating free radicals in hair thus protecting it from damage.

Pomelo contains spermidine an element that aids in delaying skin cells from the process of aging. It also helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles on the skin. This is beneficial for scalp health.

The pomelo fruits are known for their anti-bacterial properties.  They are therefore important in combating dandruff problems in hair and promoting healthy hair. (3)

Pomelo peels also help to boost the production of collagen a protein that is essential in maintaining elasticity and the firmness of the skin.

It can be combined with other ingredients such as rice water, ginger roots, and tea seeds to form a leave-in product that promotes hair growth.

3. Tea Bran

The Yao women use tea bran as one of the ingredients in their secret shampoo.

Tea bran is a by-product of processing Longjing tea. They have a lot of bran discarded in the process of making the tea.

The Longjing tea is a variety of green tea is rich in antioxidants that come from compounds known as catechins in the tea. (4)

Tea bran can help in preventing in preventing hair loss and relieving itching on the scalp.

4. Fleece Flower Root

Fleece flower root is one of the most prominent herbs in Chinese medicine. It has anti-aging and rejuvenating properties which makes it beneficial for hair. It’s effectively used in hair regrowth and is an effective defense from hair fall.

5. Ginger

Ginger is packed with nutrients and antioxidants which help in solving problems like dandruff on hair and even preventing hair loss.

Ginger has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it great in promoting scalp health.

Ginger promotes blood flow into the scalp hence promoting hair growth. Ginger contains nutrients including fatty acids that help in nourishing and strengthening hair.

Gingerol an antioxidant in ginger help in combating free radicals in hair that would otherwise cause damage.

Related Article: Ginger for Hair Growth

6. Water

The importance of water in keeping your strands thriving cannot be underestimated! Water is a natural moisturizer and is in fact, the best moisturizers have water as the main ingredient.

Water contains minerals that are beneficial for hair. These include zinc, copper, iron and calcium.

Copper helps in hair pigmentation. A deficiency in this element can lead to abnormities. A deficiency in iron and zinc can lead to hair loss. Calcium helps in maintaining the shine on the hair.

Water soaks up hydrates and replenishes your scalp leaving it free from dryness, itchiness, or dandruff.

The water used to prepare rice water is  an important consideration. Studies indicate that hard water can easily lead to hair damage as it contains as it forms a film on the hair that makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate. (5)

Other Yao Women’s Hair Secrets

Yao women

The Yao Women’s hair secret can be attributed to rinsing their hair in rice water that has been prepared with special ingredients, rinsing the hair in stream water and having their hair in a protective style for most of their lives.

Here are the 2 other secrets to the Yao women’s long hair:

1. Rinsing hair in a river

The Yao women have been using this trick over the years. After washing their hair with their special rice water shampoo, they rinse it off in a river. 

This helps in giving their hair more volume. Rinsing in the river also helps in cleansing the scalp and the tresses. It also affects the hair curl pattern positively.

2. Maintaining hair in a protective style

The Yao women are known to maintain their hair in one protective style for long periods of time. There are styles that distinguish single and married women and even married women with children.

Before marriage, the Yao women wear a headscarf as traditionally, only the bridegrooms can see their hair.

Married women don’t wear scarves. Instead, they hold their hair in different coiled hairstyles after having a child.  The women use hair to tie up their hair turning it around in their heads twice or thrice to make a bun.

Protective hairstyles help in limiting the stress of environmental factors on hair by keeping the ends of hair tucked away in order to discourage tugging, pulling, and over-manipulation.

If you are looking to grow long lustrous tresses, it is time you tried the Yao women rice water recipe. It is easy to prepare and the major ingredients are readily available.

Other missing ingredients can be replaced with what is available. For example, the pomelo fruit can be replaced with grapeseed fruit while the tea bran can be replaced with tea seed oil as they have similar benefits.

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.

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