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Ricing Hair: Rice Water For Hair


So what exactly is rice water ? This is the starchy liquid that is left over after rice is cooked or soaked for a long time. The rice water promises great benefits for your hair. Apart from adding the gloss to your hair, it also expedites the growth of your tresses. Surprised !!! we do admit it is quite an unlikely addition to the long list of home grown hair remedies. It is the unique combination of the elemental and the phenomenal, as the ingredients are easily available and yet promises a world of benefits to your hair. This rice water hair treatment process offers comprehensive solutions for your hair problems as we will find out.

The practice is quite ancient and was believed to have started in Japan, where the secret of the amazingly long tresses of their ladies, was revealed to be rice water. The magical qualities of rice water were all due to the presence of inositol, a nutrient that could enter the hair and strengthen it from within. In India too, Rice water or kanji has also been a popular Ayurvedic remedy for eczema apart from being an effective bodywash. Rice bran is used to enhance hair growth as well.

Even today the Yao women in China are believed to have hair almost 6 ft long. And as a further endorsement of its benefits, the starch water apparently has helped preserve the dark colour of their long tresses, almost till their eighties. As if that was not all, their village Huangluo has also earned itself a mention in the Guinness Book as the ‘world’s longest hair village’. However the single biggest point to be said in favour of rice water for hair is that, unlike most products, clinical trials have shown it to largely incapable of producing any allergic reactions. This makes it completely safe and the chosen solution for many, who wax eloquent about its promised rewards and suggest rice water for hair growth. Given the sort of benefits that this liquid brings, it is almost incredible to see how amazingly easy, it is to make.

Benefits of Rice Water For Hair

The benefits of rice water for hair are plentiful, and it is almost like a panacea for all hair ills. But as is the case with all hair treatment methods the results are realized only with consistent and correct use. Hair is the result of 18 different amino acids coming together to form protein and keratin. Rice water contains at least 8 of them, making it extremely good for healthy hair. Not only does rice water protect your hair from heat pollution and dust it is also helps maintain the moisture levels of the hair shafts. Following are some of the benefits of rice water:

  • Helps detangle hair: The rice water contributes to the smoothening of the cuticles thereby reducing surface friction and stops your hair from tangling.
  • Hair becomes smoother and shinier: The amino acids help in facilitating the new and faster development of hair and makes it smooth and shiny.
  • Hair grows stronger and longer: The carbohydrate inositol present in rice water works its magic and protects your hair even after you wash it off. It stops hair fall and augments hair growth.

Apart from this using rice water for hair is also believed to increase its elasticity and also adds volume. Experts speak for its efficacy as a conditioner, after a shampoo, as it enhances the texture of the hair. The presence of elements like potassium, iodine, manganese, zinc,  magnesium, selenium, and fibre also add to the effectiveness of rice water as a health giver to hair. Fermented rice water has even greater advantages as compared to plain rice water as it as it is a very good anti-itch and anti-dandruff agent. Rinse your hair 3 times a week with the liquid and you will find the effects of the vitamins B,C and E showing in your new and lustrous hair. No wonder experts are extremely keen to promote the benefits of rice water for hair.

How to Use Rice Water For Hair?

There are many methods suggested for the use of rice water for hair. It could be used as a hair treatment that you could try out every week, or applied to rinse your hair whenever you decide to take a shampoo. You could start by using the rice water once a week, monitor the results before taking the next step. There are yet others who debate the efficacy of rice water extracted after simple soaking arguing that it definitely needs to be boiled for best results. But as they say, if the product is excellent, a lot of variations are possible and the results have all been proven to be good. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to administer the magic dose to your hair.

The water when used as a hair mask works brilliantly in adding that silkiness to your hair. Wash the hair mask off after 20 minutes. This will help the inositol to cover each strand of your hair and the protective layer will remain even after you rinse your hair. Use shampoo and conditioner after that and feel the  effects of rice water on hair.

Other variations of rice water are also possible. You can make a shampoo by doing the following.

  • Add a spoon of shikakai powder and a quarter cup of aloe vera gel to a cup of rice water.
  • Mix well before adding a couple of tablespoons of baby shampoo to it.
  • Store this mix and use it as and when convenient.

You will be totally impressed and will end up promoting rice water for hair as the ultimate remedy. These are the magical rice water benefits for hair.

A word of caution however - for the individuals with hair that does not allow easy absorption and retention of oils - try and restrict the duration for which you allow the water to remain in your hair. You could suffer from a protein pile up and your hair might become stiff and brittle. This is one of the side effects of rice water on hair.

The protein content in rice water is quite high and depends on the particular variant of rice being used, averaging from 7 to 16 percent. Also, rice is starchy (almost 75% to 80% is starch) and grows quickly. This allows it to build a layer in your hair making t susceptible to breakage.

A possible negative effect of rice water on hair is a flaky buildup on the scalp. The following are the probable side-effects:

  • Patches of dry, itchy or flaky skin might result.
  • Hives or rashes that could develop after using rice water
  • A painful open wound, fever, a wound that would not heal.

Swelling in the face or nose or difficulty in breathing, should definitely be treated as bad news and a trip  to the doctor, if such a possibility arises, is recommended. Also, most rice water users have found out that leaving it overnite in their hair, did not produce very favourable results.

How to Make Rice Water?

The process of preparing rice water is also very simple and can be done with minimum fuss and effort. Though minor adjustments might be necessary, depending on the rice type, the general procedure remains the same and so do the uses of rice water for hair.

  1. You need a cup of rice and a cup of water. You should take care to clean the rice thoroughly to ensure that none of the dirt remains to damage your hair later.
  2. Mix the rice with the water and soak it for 15-30 minutes, until the water becomes cloudy. This is an indication that the carbohydrate inositol is now present in the water. Then strain the rice and preserve the water. Ensure that there are no rice grains remaining in the water. Another alternative to do this is to boil the rice with a little more water and strain it out when it come to a boil.
  3. Take the rice water out in a container and keep it covered for about 12 hours to 1 day. The fermentation takes place whereby all the nutrients, the minerals and vitamins, are formed and you are ready to use the rice water for hair.
  4. Take out a required amount for current use and refrigerate the rest. However refrigeration for a period exceeding 7 days is not recommended.
  5. You need to figure out how to use the sample according to your washing schedule. The recommended procedure is to apply it after your shampoo and conditioning, whenever you do it. But if you have a problem of dry hair then you can skip the shampoo and apply the rice water straightaway. This is the best way to realize the benefits of washing hair with rice water.
  6. When you apply the water, the trick is to concentrate on your scalp as you drag it towards your tips. Let it settle down and sink in for at least 5 minutes. You will recognize the change as soon as you run your hands through your lustrous hair, and end up mouthing superlatives endorsing the qualities of rice water for hair. The thick strands feel as if a very thick layer has settled on your hair, and given it a super-protective coating.

Is Fermented Rice Water Better?

While most are in agreement that rice water impacts the condition of your hair very positively, opinions seems to divided when it comes to the relative efficacy of rice water vis-à-vis fermented rice water. The pH of plain rice water is higher than that of your hair but that the fermented version reduces the pH value of the rice water to that of your hair. This facilitates the closure of the cuticles and thereby helps protect the hair.

Apart from that fermented rice water raises the levels of the nutrients that provide nourishment to the hair. The process of fermentation leads to the formation of a substance ‘pitera’ which is blessed with amino & organic acids, minerals and vitamins that help in the renewal and restoration of cells. Fermented rice water has more antioxidants than rice water and they help fight against hair and skin problems. The proteins present in the rice also help seal split ends. Use it and find out the benefits of rice water for natural hair before and after.

Fermented rice water is also a very good antifungal agent and works very well to remove dandruff. The vitamin E in it has the capacity to repair and rejuvenate damaged hair. The fermented rice water made from red rice is very useful in restricting the growth of Malassezia, a fungus responsible for dandruff, apart from moisturising the scalp and hair. In other words rice water for hair is the perfect solution for you.

After you shampoo your hair prepare a mix of a cup of fermented rice water with an equal amount of plain water. Add some drops of essential oil to your hair and scalp, massage it gently and rinse it off after 4-5 minutes. The essential oils are for their aromatherapeutic benefits. While rosemary oil is good for hair loss, rose is very useful for an itchy scalp and dandruff issues and also helps regulate hair porosity. Opt for this remedy and find out more about the benefits of fermented rice water for hair growth.

All the experts appear to be unequivocal about the benefits of rice water for hair. But one has to see how the individual responds to it, as different people might react variously to rice water treatment. Remember there is no substitute for medical care. But even if this does not work, fret not, for help is always at hand with Traya. Take that appointment for a consultation, as we conduct a detailed analysis of your problem, and come up with those long lasting solutions.

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