If you’ve ever heard anything about rice water or have made your own, you know that it can smell really bad. I’ve found a way to make odourless rice water and it doesn’t require the use of essential oils or citrus peels.
Used across Asia as a face and hair tonic, rice water has become popular in the natural hair care community as a means for strengthening our hair and growing it quickly.
Rice water is believed to aid in faster hair growth, improve elasticity, and to lend healing properties to the scalp, thereby preventing premature alopecia and grey hair. It contains amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin E, and anti-oxidants which are beneficial for both hair and skin.
You can make rice water by using the rice of your choice. White rice is a popular choice. I have personally made rice water using brown basmati rice, black and mahogany rice, and jasmine rice. Each type of rice will yield different softening and strengthening results.
Caution Using Rice Water on Natural Hair
Rice water is quite strengthening and so use caution if you have low porosity hair or hair that is protein sensitive.
Making Rice Water
1. Wash ½ cup of rice until the water starts to run clear. 2. Place the rice into two cups of distilled water and let it sit on the counter from 30 minutes.
3. Strain the rice out of the water and place the water into a lidded jar.
4. Allow the water to ferment for at least 24 hours before use.
I’m left with virtually odourless rice water when I prepare this tonic in this way, even after 7 days fermentation.
Why Ferment So Long?
Stronger Rice Water
When I make my rice water, I allow it to ferment for seven days before using it. My rice water is potent, though not as potent as the Chinese recipes that suggest 30 days fermentation before use.
Reduced Chance of Incorrect Fermentation
Fermenting rice water incorrectly can cause major hair setback. Incorrectly fermenting your rice water leads to mold formation which can be detrimental to your scalp and hair. It’s easier for me to determine if my rice water has spoiled if I ferment for longer than a day or two.
Using Rice Water
I mainly use my rice water as a hair treatment after washing my hair. I make sure to keep any unused rice water properly sealed and refrigerated.
Have you ever used rice water on your hair? If so, which rice does your hair really like?