We know that good hair is healthy hair. That gospel has been preached over and over to us naturalistas. But gosh darnit, can’t I have healthy AND long hair?! Why do I have to choose? So as soon as I heard that fermented rice water could give my 4c hair both, I had to know more. So I did my research and now I’m sharing everything I’ve learned with you.
What is rice water?
Rice water is the starchy leftovers after rice is either soaked or boiled. And Asian women have been using this concoction for centuries as a hair treatment. A lot of us have gone to great lengths and spent a whole lot of money on this same hair for weaves and extensions, so there must be something to this ancient hair treatment.
Benefits of rice water for hair
Scientists have not been able to prove the benefits of rice water but, they also once thought that the earth was flat and are still going back and forth about whether Pluto is actually a planet so, what do women who have been using it for years have to say?
- Detangles hair
- Makes hair smoother and shinier
- Reduces hair breakage and makes it stronger
- Helps hair grow and increases volume
- Delays hair from greying
Specifically, fermented rice water has a number of hair nourishing vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, E, amino acids and antioxidants.
These benefits add up to everything a 4c girl like me is looking for in a treatment so it’s definitely worth a try.
How do you prepare rice water?
There are 3 ways to prepare rice water, you can soak it, boil it or ferment it. But, fermented rice water is the best way to draw out all of the benefits.
Tools Needed: Strainer, Rice, Water, airtight glass container
It is important that you thoroughly wash your rice before you begin to ensure all the dirt is removed. The simplest of the three methods is to soak the rice. Simply take a cup of rice, pour it into a container and then add 2 cups of water. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then strain the water and it’s ready to be used.
In this video, Youtuber Igbocurls breaks down the benefits and how she makes rice water.
How to make fermented rice water
- Wash the rice thoroughly until the water is no longer dirty
- Combine 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water in your container and let it sit for 24-48 hours to ferment
- Once the fermentation process is complete, strain the water from the rice and the water is ready to use.
How do you use rice water?
Before you apply rice water to your hair and scalp, you should do a 24 hour patch test. Even if you don’t think you have sensitive skin, test the rice water mixture out on your skin and wait 24 hours to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
If your skin passes the test, rice water is best used as a rinse out treatment after your hair is shampooed and conditioned. Pour or spray the rice water mixture onto your hair and scalp, gently massage it into your scalp and then cover it with a plastic cap for 10 minutes. Then rinse it out completely with water.
Is rice water good for 4c hair?
Type 4c hair tends to be dry and prone to breakage, which is why many people find that their 4c hair doesn’t grow. And so the strengthening benefits of rice water is exactly what our hair needs.
Does rice water help 4c hair grow?
Scientists say that they can’t prove that it grows hair, but centuries worth of Asian women, the litany of vitamins and minerals that it contains and many, many advocates of today say otherwise.
Like The Chic Natural. She details her hair growth results after trying out the rice water treatment for one month.
How often should you use rice water?
Use it as often as you would/do a protein treatment. My hair loves protein, so I can safely use it weekly during my wash days. But if your hair is sensitive to protein, I recommend only using it sparingly like once a month.
Can you leave rice water in your hair overnight?
Rice water should be used as a rinse out treatment after your hair is washed and conditioned. Applying too much protein to your hair by leaving it in overnight may have the opposite effect than intended and leave your hair hard and brittle.
Products formulated with rice water
Rice water sounds too good to be true right? All of these wonderful benefits in such a easy and inexpensive package. Well, there is one drawback to rice water. It smells terrible. Like horrifyingly horrifically horrible. But there are two brands I want to highlight, that have found a way to eliminate that smelly problem and incorporated all of the benefits of rice water into hair care products.
They are Mielle Organics and another black woman owned brand designed specifically for 4c hair Ivie Beauty.
Ivie Beauty actually reached out to me and gifted me their hair growth moisturizer and black water rinse to try. Both products have no trace of a bad scent and in fact the hair growth moisturizer not only has a silky smooth whipped texture, it smells delicious. I love sweet scents and it smells like candy, yum.
And I saw an immediate difference in my hair after using the rice water rinse for the first time. I’m used to having quite a lot of hair fall out during my wash day, but I noticed a huge decrease in the amount of shed hairs. I wasn’t expecting such a quick difference but it was too drastic not to notice.
After all of my research and firsthand knowledge of the benefits of fermented rice water, its a no brainer to add it into my regular wash day routine. The vitamins, minerals, hair strengthening and length retention abilities give 4c hair the boost to achieve long and healthy strands.
Will you be giving rice water a try? And will you DIY or buy?