What is Rice Water?:
Literally, rice water is rice water, you leave the rice to soak in water to ferment, and then drain the rice but keep the water to soak your curls in. But why? Well if you haven’t heard, it all started in Asia. Women in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia have used rice water as a hair treatment for centuries, one of the most famous modern stories is about the Yao women, who live in a village called Huangluo in China. In this village their hair averages 6 feet long, which is incredible. The Yao women credit their hair length and colour (it doesn’t get grey till they reach their 80s) to the fact they bathe it in rice water. Rice water apparently contains the vitamins and minerals contained in rice. These include:
- amino acids
- B vitamins
- vitamin E
THE GOOD: THE FEEL
It seems that online, loads of people have been raving about the correlation between rice water and insane hair growth but I found out about this technique from my friends mum. She was telling me how she had been using it on her hair and her sons hair to help it grow, so I thought I would give it a go. I watched some YouTube tutorials to learn how to ferment my rice and then left my hair sat in a container, after washing my hair. This left my hair feeling so soft, like silk. You can clearly see the visible difference between the first photo where my hair that had just been washed with my usual shampoo and conditioner and the second photo where my hair had been rinsed with the rice water after washing.
THE BAD: THE METHOD
I am going to start by admitting, the fault here was all mine. I definitely didn’t do enough research before starting this. As I mentioned, I found out about this method from my friends mum, and she told me how to do this. The first problem began with fermenting the rice water. I put some brown rice into a Tupperware plastic container filling it about 1/3 with rice and 2/3 water. Now everything said leave it 1-2days. I did not. I left it for a week!
I know that it is completely stupid and way too long to leave rice soaking in water but I kept pushing my wash day back and that is what happened. So when I lifted the lid off of the container the pungent smell of vomit filled the air and I felt sick. I immediately binned the old tub and started a fresh one with the same ratio of rice to water and left it to ferment a day this time. My hair hadn’t been washed for 2 weeks, and to make matters worse, most of this time it had been left in a bun so was in a really matted state.
So I washed my hair with shampoo, and conditioned it as normal before leaving it to sit in the tub of rice water while I laid in the bath, watching a movie on my Ipad.
I left my hair to sit for around an hour and a half and I loved how it looked when I came out the bath. My curls were defined and my hair felt soft, I thought I had a winner on my hands, despite the rocky start. However, although my camera showed my hair looking amazingly soft and silky while it was wet, the moment my hair began to dry it became extremely frizzy.
THE UGLY: THE SMELL
Now I know that everyone who does this method definitely mentions the sour smell but I wasn’t phased by that. Most people that know me, know I have a terrible sense of smell. I’m ill 90% of the time so my nose is always blocked, but even when it isn’t my nose is useless. When I took the lid off of my second batch of rice water, the smell wasn’t that bad at all, it was like everyone had said, a little sour. The issue came when I put it in my hair. The sour smell hung to my hair and I was not pleased. While my hair lay in the container, the smell was extremely distinctive so I made sure I thoroughly rinsed it out with water but the unpleasant smell definitely stayed behind. It left in a few days but I didn’t enjoy its stay.
Overall, I score this hairstyle a 1.5/5 Stars. I can’t really say that this worked for me, but it definitely might work for you after all it worked for the Yao Women. In hindsight, leaving your hair soaking in starchy water for the best part of two hours isn’t the smartest thing in the world so in no way should this stop you from trying this on your hair.
I hope you enjoyed the second post in my ‘The Good The Bad and The Ugly’ series. Please comment below what you would like me to try out next.
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