We are finally on the last masks and rinses post before we take a break from the series. This week we are going to look at the rice water rinse.
Although the rice water rinse has been used in Japan and China for centuries, it has gained popularity in the natural hair community only recently (the past two years). Like every other ‘miracle’ for hair growth, it started as a rumor, moved to the phase where all hair gurus, bloggers and YouTubers try it out. It is now widely used and people have some positive results: less breakage, length retention and significant growth. But how is this possible?
The Science of it
Most of the reliable folks who have written about the rice water rinse refer to this study. You can check it out if you would like to get the finer details on how the rinse works. However, we can have a general look right here.
The rice water rinse works by:
- Increasing your hair’s elasticity which leads to a more defined curl pattern
- Reducing surface friction which leads to less knots and tangles
- Strengthening hair roots promoting volume and sheen
The reason why the rice water rinse works is because it contains Inositol – a carbohydrate that helps repair hair and protect it from damage. Inositol remains in the hair even after the rice water is rinsed out. That means that you start enjoying the benefits of the rinse even after the first use. the amino acids in the rinse also help to strengthen your hair.
How to Prepare the Rice Water Rinse
There are two methods of preparing your rinse:
- Boiling Method
This is much faster. All you need is rice and water. Usually, you use one cup of rice to two cups of water when making lunch or dinner. To make the rinse, add an extra cup of water. Bring the rice to a boil and let it simmer for about five minutes. Strain the extra cup of water and proceed to make your rice as usual. The strained water will serve s your rinse.
- Washing Method
For this, you will need to wash your rice under running water to get rid of any impurities. You then need to wash the rice in a bowl, strain the rice and set the white-ish water aside. Pour the water into a mason jar or any other airtight container and let it sit for about a day. Ensure that the container is in a warm environment, away from direct sunlight so the water can ferment. The water should be murkier after 24 hours. You can now use it for your rinse.
How to Use the Rinse
This is a final rinse so you need to use it after you have washed and conditioned your hair. Pour it all over your hair, ensuring that every strand is coated. Place a plastic cap over your hair and let it sit for about thirty minutes before rinsing it out. The Green Beauty Channel recommends using the rinse on days when you aren’t doing a protein treatment.
I have been incorporating this rinse into my regimen since 2017. I haven’t taken before and after pictures since it is hard to assign progress to one specific thing when you’re using different store-bought and DIY products. However, since I started using the rinse, I have definitely felt my hair feeling smoother (less rough) even when it’s dry.
Anyway, enough about me. Have you tried this rinse? Let me know in the comments section. If there are any other rinses or masks you would like to read about, let me know and I’ll get to it.