Asian women have been using rice water as a natural hair treatment since the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE) in Japan. In modern-day China, the Yao women of the Huangluo village are renowned for their long, long hair – and they swear by rice water rinses.
Why rice water?
Rice water is starchy, and rice itself contains many nutrients, including:
- Amino acids
- B vitamins
- Vitamin E
Our version adds the goodness of pummelo peels to enrich the traditional formula. Pummelo peel is also rich in nutrients and other beneficial compounds.
- Vitamin C
- Flavonoids (antioxidants)
Adding fermentation to the process increases the antioxidant concentrations.
While the scientific evidence is scant, the anecdotal evidence is strong – and it can’t hurt your hair. Here’s how to do it.
What you’ll need
1 cup organic rice
1 pummelo, peel only
4 drops essential oil of choice, optional
- Rinse the rice out 2-3 times with cool water.
- Place it in a pot, and cover with water. Leave to soak for at least 1 hour, and when it’s ready, strain the water into a saucepan.
- Cut the pummelo peel into small pieces, and add to the rice water in the saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, and allow it to simmer gently for a minute or so.
- Transfer the water, peels included, to one or more clean, resealable glass jars or bottles.
- Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature, and add the essential oil of your choice. Lavender or mint are lovely options.
- Cover the jar with the lid, and place it in a cool, dry area. Allow it to ferment for two days up to a week.
- Strain out the pummelo peels, and it’s ready to use.
- It can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 10 days.
How to use it
Use it once a week for four weeks for best results.
- Wash your hair
- Apply the fermented rice water to your hair from roots to ends, saturating it.
- Put on a shower cap, or wrap loosely in plastic wrap, and allow your hair to absorb it for up to 1 hour.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Let your hair air dry.