Hair Growth with Fermented Rice Water

Hair Growth with Fermented Rice Water

Fermented rice water has been known to promote rapid hair growth, strengthen hair from the roots, promote hair elasticity and lustre, prevents gray hair, prevents split ends and provides nutrients like proteins, minerals and vitamins. This simple 2 ingredient recipe is inspired by the Yao women of China who have an average length of 6 feet of healthy hair. The key component of fermented rice water is a substance (called inositol) that can remain and work in hair even after rinsing out. 
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Although you may  achieve results by simply boiling and using the rice water immediately afterwards, fermenting enhances the effectiveness, especially as it relates to lowering the pH level to better match the natural pH of your hair and providing additional nutrients. Fermented rice water has been used by persons of different hair types, ranging from curly / Afro / black hair to straight hair.

To make fermented rice water, you will need

  • 1 part organic rice, white or brown
  • 5 parts water for the fermentation process
  • 1 day, 2 at most, especially in warm climates
  • A cup for pouring
  • A bowl for catching the poured rice water
  • shower cap or plastic shopping bag that is large enough to contain your hair
  • Optional: essential oils that promote hair growth like rosemary essential oil. If you are using the rice water on your face, lavender oil is a great example since it is great for both the skin and hair
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Here is how to make fermented rice water

  • Rinse the rice, especially if you do not have organic rice
  • As an option, boil the rice until the water becomes opaque. Boiling the rice water before fermentation seems to make it more potent.
  • Leave the rice water to stand in an uncovered bowl at room temperature to ferment it slightly. The fermentation process should sour the water, thereby making it slightly more acidic and closer to the natural pH of the hair. In addition to the sourness, fermentation is apparent by bubbles that rise to the top of the liquid. In short, among other things, fermented rice water helps to restore your hair's natural pH. Although you can expect rice water fermentation to take 1 to 2 days, you can influence its speed by altering one or both of the following 2 factors. 
    • Higher temperatures speed up fermentation of rice water. Consequently, fermentation may begin within shorter periods in warmer climates or warmer parts of your environment. 
    • Leaving the rice in the water can speed up fermentation. However, it an option that is alternative to straining off the rice grains beforehand.
  • As an option, boil the fermented rice water. People who skip and keep this second boiling option state that they enjoyed success as it relates to softness of the hair. However, there appears to be debate over whether boiling the fermented rice water reduces the nutritional quality of the rice water to a significant extent. I confess; I do not fully understand the science for this process and will be happy for comments. However, my understanding is that the apparent creators of this process used the second boiling to stop fermentation. Since they are a tribe that is unlikely to have refrigeration, I tend to agree with proponents against the second boiling who prefer refrigeration as the means of stopping the fermentation process.
  • De-tangle your hair
  • Ideally, your hair should be dry hair as this improves the absorption of the fermented rice water
  • Dilute the fermented rice water with roughly 2.5 parts of water to 1 part rice water
  • Lean your head over the bowl while pouring the rice water over your scalp and allowing the rice water to run through the length of your hair before settling in the bowl below. If your hair is sufficiently long, allow the ends of your hair to remain in the bowl so they could soak in the settling rice water.
  • Massage the rice water through your hair and scalp. 
  • Use the pouring cup to collect fermented rice water from the bowl. Pour that water over your hair as many times as you need to allow your entire scalp and hair to be soaked through.
  • You may leave the fermented rice water in your hair as a leave-in conditioner. However, if you wish, you may rinse it out. 
    • In the case of the latter, allow the fermented rice water to stand on your hair in a shower cap or even plastic shopping bag for roughly 20 minutes while massaging your scalp
    • Wash your hair as usual with shampoo and conditioner. For instance, you can use my DIY aloe vera shampoo recipe 
  • If you have hard water, fermented rice water can build up on your hair if you do not rinse it out thoroughly. Consequently, you can use a natural clarifier like apple juice or lime juice
  • Use this fermented rice water repeatedly. For instance, most people do so with a frequency of once weekly
  • You can store remaining fermented rice water for up to a week in the refrigerator. FYI, refrigeration can stop the fermentation process.

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