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In parts of the world, the word ‘eat’, literally means - ‘to eat rice’.
The reason is that rice feeds a large part of the world’s population but it’s not only that.
Rice is also very important in our diet, it is a component in virtually every culture in the world.
But rice is not only important to just to people’s diet, but to their daily routine. For centuries, Asian women have used rice to beautify their faces, bodies and hair.
In Asian tradition, the village women from China, Japan and other countries in East Asia, used the water from which the rice was cleaned to wash and rinse their bodies with.
The Yao village women and bungalow culture in China are living proof of this tradition. The average length of a woman's hair is two meters, which earned them a Guinness World Record, ‘the village with the longest hair’.
In addition, women's hair goes grey in the village at approximately aged eighty!.
The women of Miao believe that when the rice is fermented, the solution that is then used to wash their hair, is a substance that helps keep the hair long, dark, clean and healthy.
Women who use the rice water also do not need to use hair ties, their hair is collected into a hairstyle known as the ‘ponytail that looks at the sky’ or ‘cloud bun’ which holds itself together.
Rice water use for hair and skin: Evidence and Benefits
Rice has incredible benefits for the hair as the recent evidence shows. A recent study shows that rice is proven to have a positive effect on the hair, such as improving flexibility and reducing hair ‘bounce’.
The rice water element includes the solution ‘inositol’, a carbohydrate that helps rehabilitate damaged hair and protect the hair from damage.
An advanced mirroring technique proved inositol remains in the hair even after washing and keeps the hair naturally shiny.
Therefore, there is no doubt that washing and bathing the hair with rice water can improve the quality of the hair and protect it from future damage.
In addition, amino acids in the rice water strengthen the hair roots, adds volume and makes hair silky smooth. These amazing benefits explain how the beautiful women of the Miao culture with their two metre long hair keep it so shiny and lush. .
But those who use rice water find more advantages. Rice water has a cooling effect and is great for soothing the skin and is often used to relieve sunburn and skin burns.
The rice water also has restorative properties, antioxidant ingredients and a wealth of natural moisturuisers which all help to improve blood circulation, help prevent age spots and fight inflammation.
These are all factors that promote healthier looking skin, moisturise and appear free from age defects.
Fermented rice water
Fermented rice water is really sour. The rice that is fermented, is rich in antioxidants, minerals, B-vitamins, vitamin-E and a substance called ‘Peter’ that is secreted during the fermentation process.
Peter is the material that became very popular after it was revealed to the general public as having anti-aging properties. It also aids cell renewal and helps the skin look radiant, younger and healthier.
You can use fermented rice water as a toner for the skin. The nutritional value of rice water means it is capable of reducing pores, reducing lines and wrinkles, and to strengthen and clarify the skin - this is the perfect recipe for younger looking skin which is full of shine.
Washing the hair with water and fermented rice is better than ordinary water as the fermentation process reduces the PH levels. The balance of the acid generated in the process, helps balance the acidity in the hair, nourishes the hair roots and works to strengthen the hair, improving the general condition and healthy growth of new hair.
Using the rice water for full benefits -
To enjoy the benefits of this Asian beauty secret, all you have to do is collect the water that you regularly wash the rice with.
To prepare rice water, you will need:
Half a cup of cooked rice (brown, grain, jasmine or any other type you have)
2 cups of water.
To prepare the rice water, first rinse the rice with a glass of water to remove dirt and clean the rice.
Then, put the rice in a bowl and add water. Soak the rice for 10-15 minutes, stir the water and gently rub the rice until the water turns murky. The material secreted is precisely the combination of minerals and vitamins needed to then apply to the hair and the skin.
Then strain the water into a clean bowl and behold, you have a ready-to-use rice water!
You can then wash your face or your hair with the water, or you can leave it to ferment further which upgrades the rice water and giving it more benefits.
Fermented rice water
Leave the water out for several days at room temperature until the water becomes sour and fermented. It will take between 24-48 hours, depending on the temperature, the warmer the room is the quicker the fermentation.
Then boil the rice in order to stop the fermentation process. After boiling, allow the water to cool - now your water is ready for use!
Note: The fermented rice is powerful stuff so check if you need to dilute it before it is used. If your hair is dry then dilute less, if it is oily then use a greater amount of rice water.
There is another method, where you can boil the rice in order to achieve great results. To achieve the desired result, boil a larger amount of rice than you would do usually.
As soon as the water boils, collect this water and allow it to cool. You can then prepare the rice and use the murky waters that are remaining. It is important to note that this method is going to be very concentrated and it is recommended to dilute this solution before using.
If you keep the water rice in the fridge, it can be stored for about a week, always mix the solution before using on the hair and skin.
How to use rice water skin and hair care
Rice water can be used daily to to the skin for great results but for hair care, we recommend application once or twice a week with shampoo.
Rice water can be used as an ingredient in tonics - lavender oil mixed with lemon juice and rice makes excellent face and body soap
Rice water is an excellent alternative to conventional toners and it helps reduce facial pores.
Washing hair with rice water keeps your hair shiny and helps keep hair strong and healthy.
It can be used as an ingredient for a natural rice face mask.
Use it with bath soap made from natural herbs and you can give yourself a home spa!
To make the skin feel soft, grind hard rice to create a natural scrub.
Washing the hair with rice water
The fermented rice water can be used to serve as an excellent hair conditioner. The rice strengthens the hair, contributing to its flexibility and nurtures the scalp and hair roots.
To give hair extra care, add some drops of natural oil like Rosemary oil, lavender or chamomile.
After washing the hair with shampoo, rinse with the rice water. Rub the rice water on the hair and leave it for 4-5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly, use the solution twice a week until you have used it all.
Rice shampoo: the rice water has a natural ingredient named Sfonis, which is used as a natural mild cleaner.
Note: Rice water can create a layer of film on the hair if you do not wash it properly. If you're in a hard water environment, you should mix the shampoo with lemon juice, Shikaki powder, amla powder, powdered orange peel or apple juice.
The solution will help remove any residue left on the hair and the hair will look shiny and soft. Add a teaspoon of any component with a cup of rice water and rinse your hair for this perfect effect.
Lotion with natural grain milled rice
If you have rice left over, do not throw it, grind it and make it into a grain lotion, this will nourish and clean the skin. Use natural ingredients to create a superior grain to wash your skin:
Add your choice of a teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, drops of lavender oil or sweet orange, with the milled rice and mix well. Use once a week or fortnight.
Some rice to use?
Rice has all these advantages for the skin and hair. In addition, the way in which the special rice water - by rinsing, boiling, fermenting, etc.- this changes the nutritional value and the pH of the water when mixed with the rice water.
Feel free to experiment freely, there is nothing to fear! Find what is the perfect combination of ingredients for better looking hair and skin