Our hair is very prone to damage as we use colorants, bleach, tie our hair for too long and expose them to UV rays. We are always trying out new products to repair our hair. But these products ironically have many harsh chemicals in them that can ruin the scalp while healing hair strands or vice versa.
Remedies can be found anywhere in nature and we see so many beauty products these days with natural ingredients in them. Since the ingredients are the main attraction to selling a product, why not take the beneficial ingredient as it is without the chemical additives to overpower its properties.
One of the common ingredients used to promote beauty products, is rice extract. Rice comes with a lot of benefits, especially when fermented. This practice is common amongst ancient Chinese people. That explains their strong healthy hair.
What’s Good in Fermented Rice Extract?
- Rice contains water soluble vitamins and minerals. It is especially abundant in B-vitamins; One of the best known vitamins for hair growth is a B-vitamin called biotin. Other B-vitamins help create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. These processes are important for hair growth.
- Rice water boosts hair elasticity and decreases surface friction. It is rich in inositol– a carbohydrate that you should not miss out on. Not only it protects hair against damage, but it also repairs it. The inositol remains inside hair cells even after rinsing which you can benefit from long term.
- Fermentation lowers the pH of the rice extract to the same pH as our scalp. This aids in maintaining the pH level of our scalp, promoting the best condition for hair growth.
How to Make Fermented Rice Water Rinse
When you intend to cook rice, do not throw out the water used from rinsing. Here is how to fully make use of that water.
- Rinse rice grains with water to get rid of the dirt, and strain out dirty water.
- Rinse clean rice grains the second time but this time, let the water sit in for 30mins until the water turns really cloudy.
- Strain out rice and keep the water in a jar or container. You may cook the rice as per normal. To avoid food waste, we do not recommend throwing it away.
- Keep the rice water extract at room temperature for 1-2 days. You can use it straight away or if you have to store it, stop it from fermenting further and keep it in the fridge. Shelf life: 5-6 days.
Final additional step:The extract is very potent. Dilute a portion that you are using with a cup of water before rinsing your hair with it. Some people may not be able to tolerate the smell, for that, you can add essential oils to the mixture to give your hair a nice scent such as lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary and etc.
You can also skip the fermenting process and use the rice water after step 3. However, fermented rice water has more benefits due to its different level of pH
How to Apply
This can be a replacement to hair conditioner. After shampooing, onto clean damp hair, pour rice water and massage into your scalp and hair strands for about 3-5 mins. Then rinse off with cold water. Do not dry your hair with heat, and let it dry naturally. Practise this twice a week. Results will not show overnight but with consistent use, it can surprise you with dramatic results as good things take time.