What is Rice Water?
Rice water (aka Kanji) is essentially the stiff left-over of water after the rice is cooked and left to soak. It is believed that rice water can help make the hair smooth and shiny and also help it grow faster.
Some types of rice water are fermented so it has to sit longer in order to develop some beneficial aggregates, similar to other fermented foods.
Rice itself includes several nutrients. When you soak rice in water, some of the nutrients are discharged into the liquid, and can later be applied to your hair or skin.
Women in China, Japan, and generally Southeast Asia have been using the rice water technique to treat their hair for centuries. However, the question is does rice water have any scientific beauty and hair benefits?
In this article, we will take a look at the beauty benefits of rice water, hair treatments, and whether or not there is any proof of its benefits.
Washing Your Hair with Rice Water
Some studies have shown that rice water contains a compound called inositol. Inositol is a type of sugar molecule that includes radical fighting-capabilities that can protect your hair from breaking. Also, it contains the pitera, a compound beneficial for yeast fermentation that is also often linked to cellular renewal.
One of the best parts about using rice water is that it is very simple to make. Rice and water are basically all you need. The most complicated part of this process is probably how to apply it evenly to your hair.
Benefits of using rice water for your hair include increased hair growth, shinier hair, rinses hair of impurities, softens your hair, and strengthens the hair strands to defend against damage.
Although there hasn’t been a large number of studies examining how well rice water works for your hair, there were several types of researches that gave compiling evidence suggesting that it can be beneficial for maintaining healthy hair.
How to do a Rice Water Rinse?
One of the most common ways to use rice water for hair is as a rinse for hair cleaning. Before you start shampooing your hair, add a small amount of rice water to your hair, massage its way in and let it sit for approximately five minutes. After that, you can condition as usual.
Another option is to use it as a hair mask by applying it to clean hair for 20 minutes or longer before you rinse it nicely.
How Often Should You Use Rice Water
Similar to other hair treatments, using rice water once or a few times a week will probably give you the best results. However, there isn’t really a limitation on how often you should use it, so it mostly depends on your preference.
If you plan on using rice water for your face, you should spread it on clean skin after using a gentle cleanser but before applying a moisturizer. This should be helpful in sealing moisture and softening your skin.
You can use this method daily or a few days a week depending on other skincare products that you apply.
How to Grow Your Hair with Rice Water
If you use rice water on your hair you shouldn’t expect an immediate result or evident differences in your hair length. However, after several weeks of applying it, you should notice that your hair feels more full, thick, and more voluminous than it did before.
Since rice water prevents breakage it should lead to your hair growing in a more healthful manner. It should grow out longer without having to cut off split ends.
Is Rice Water Good For Low Porosity Hair?
Low porosity hair types can definitely benefit from rice water. If you use it in the right way, rice water can help change your hair completely into a stronger, healthier, and shinier mane.
Rice Water Recipe
This is one of the typical rice water recipes that people use nowadays:
1 cup rice (organic rice is ideal, you can choose between white or brown rice)
1 cup water (filtered water works best since the finished product shouldn’t have impurities)
Firstly, make sure you rinse the rice well under running water for approximately a minute. After that, strain it to remove the water.
Take a bowl and add both rice and water to it. You should let it sit for more than a few hours. Percolate the rice, and leave the leftover water in the bowl.
Place the rice water in a glass, find a lid to cover it with, and let it sit at room temperature for about 12 to 24 hours. In this stage, fermentation takes place which leads to beneficial nutrients developing in the water.
After it is fermented, place the jar in your refrigerator. You should aim to use it in the first week.
Rice water can be applied to your hair or face and it can be mixed with other products, like shampoos or hair masks. If you aren’t keen on making it yourself, you can find commercially sold products that include rice water. Hair and skincare products that are made in Korea and India are usually the best choices.
Risks and Side Effects of Rice Water
Overall, rice water seems to be safe for most people, considering the simple ingredients.
It’s generally suitable even for those with sensitive skin. However, if you are allergic to rice it can cause irritation.
Like other skin products, use a small amount to see your reaction. Depending on the result, you can increase the intake.
If you see side effects like itching, redness, or increased dryness start to appear you should stop using rice water immediately.
Rice Water – The Verdict
A large number of people find rice water to be very beneficial for their hair. Historical examples suggest that rice water could enhance the strength, texture, and growth of hair.
Although the benefits for hair remain unproven and more research is needed, using rice water is considered safe for both hair and skin application. People with dermatitis also claim that it helped them with their overall skin health.