- The YouTube Buzz
- The Yao Women’s Rice Water Tradition
- Benefits of Rice Water
- Research Revelation
- Rice Water Preparation Methods
- Final Considerations
- Video Testimonials
Though rice water has been around for generations in the Asian culture, the western world is just now playing catch-up to try and capitalize on this well-kept hair secret. More companies are trying to make shampoos and other cosmetics with rice water as the base ingredient because they are becoming more aware of its benefits for hair care. These benefits include:
- Anti-inflammatory properties which fight bacteria and scalp conditions such as eczema of the scalp.
- Antioxidant properties which limit the effects of free radicals that contribute to aging cells.
- Bond repairing capabilities which are made possible by the presence of protein and other minerals in rice. This aids in strengthening of the strands which lead to length retention.
- Elasticity enhancing capabilities.
- pH balancing that matches our bodies
- Instant relief from dandruff
Wow! All that from little old rice water?
Even though old cultures like the Yao have been knowledgeable about rice water as a hair care product, there are not many scholarly papers on it. In fact, we found evidence of just one: “ The Effect of Rinse Water Obtained from Washing of Rice (Yu-su-ru) as a hair treatment.” The study is published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.
Basically, research confirms that rice water contains a carbohydrate called inositol, also called the anti-alopecia factor, which seems to promote cell regeneration and makes rice water potent as a restorative treatment for hair. Inositol acts like a vitamin and is found in many plants and animals but as with many things, it can be replicated in the lab. It has been found to help mitigate against the effects of PCOS and anyone who has PCOS knows it has a huge impact on hair growth, so inositol looks great in that regard.
Using infrared synchrotron radiation absorption spectroscopy, researchers were able to create a visual of what happens when the hair is treated with rice water. The fluorescence imaging technology was used to track the movement of inositol in the hair as it worked its magic there. It revealed that inositol continues to work in the hair even after the rice water is rinsed off.
What is still unknown is the quantification of the effects of inositol on the hair. In essence, they can’t tell the exact measurement of inositol that must be present for the rice water treatment to be potent or the time-frame in which the product will work. Even so, this is groundbreaking for all of us who have a vested interest in hair care studies.
The study credits rice water as having B vitamins*, vitamin E*, and traces of piteria which is a substance that results from fermentation. Piteria is said to have anti-aging and regeneration properties. Researchers theorize that washing with fermented rice water may be more beneficial than rinsing with plain unfermented rice water since the process of fermentation lowers the pH to one that better suits our bodies and promotes follicle health.
Though any rice can be used, organic rice is considered the best. It has also been found that the protein levels in rice differ, which is significant since the protein is of great benefit to hair. White rice reportedly has 3.5 – 4.6 grams of protein in comparison to wild rice which has a staggering 25 grams of protein and brown rice has just 3.6 grams. While not a fact proven by scientific studies, it is speculated that though rice water will work regardless of the rice used, the difference in protein levels will have some effect on the potency of the rice water used to treat the hair.