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Try a Fermented Rice Rinse for Stronger, Longer Hair

Try a Fermented Rice Rinse for Stronger, Longer Hair

We’re always looking for ways to strengthen and beautify our tresses, right? Fads come and go, of course, but one hair care method has withstood the test of time. The fermented rice rinse is beloved by many women with all hair types who swear it gives them long, healthy hair!

 It’s a practice that began in ancient Asia, but it has swept the modern world, promising to bring soft and lustrous locks to those who try it. Many devotees around the globe swear by the treatment’s ability to improve the look of their locks.

Women in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia have used fermented rice water rinses for centuries to beautify their hair. Japanese women of the royal court, in the Heian period (794 to 1185), were known for their beautiful hair that was so long it dusted the floor. They achieved this length through the use of, you guessed it, fermented rice rinse.

To this day, the Yao women of southern China, who believe that long hair is key to a long life as well as prosperity, use fermented rice rinses to add length and beauty to their locks. The women only cut their hair once in their lifetime, and they keep their long hair healthy with rice rinses. 

While there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to back up claims of better hair through rice, the anecdotal evidence seems strong, and there’s one possible bit of scientific reasoning we’ll get to in a minute. 

But first, perhaps you’d like to dive right in? First, make your potion:  

  • Give one cup of uncooked rice a quick rinse, straining it to let the water drain. 
  • Put the rinsed rise in a bowl with one cup of water. 
  • Mix it thoroughly; the water should become cloudy.
  • Let the rice/water mixture sit at room temperature for 24 hours. 
  • Strain the rice again, but save the water this time. 
  • Put the rice water in an empty shampoo bottle. 
  • Refrigerate your rice water until you’re ready to use it. 

You can also add to your rice water a drop or two of lavender oil, which is said to promote growth and prevent thinning. 

When you’re ready to rinse, shampoo and condition your hair as usual, and then apply the rice water to your hair; massaging the rice water into your scalp. Let it sit for about five minutes and then rinse it out. Be sure to put any unused rinse back in the refrigerator. 

If you’re like many people, you’ll notice right away that your hair feels softer. It may feel stronger and thicker. Why? Some experts attribute rice water’s benefits to inositol, a carbohydrate that appears to repair damaged hair and prevent further damage. Rice also contains several beneficial amino acids,  which can strengthen hair roots, add shine and make hair feel softer.

A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, in fact, found that fermented rice water rinses “exhibited hair care effects, such as reducing surface friction and increasing hair elasticity.”

Science aside, the anecdotal evidence is strong: fermented rice water benefits the hair in many ways. It’s inexpensive and easy to do, so why not give it a try?

And the Yao women claim that the rice rinse has another benefit: They say they retain their natural hair color well into their senior years, with some not seeing gray hair until their 80s! 

Have you tried a fermented rice rinse? Share your story in the comments, below! And if making your own rinse seems a bit too time-consuming, you can purchase a ready-made rinse on Amazon!

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