In this article, we’re going to be talking about how to use rice water for hair growth, and why you should try this treatment on your 4C hair!
This is probably not the first time you’re hearing about using rice water for 4C hair growth. For centuries, Asian women have used rice water in their hair and skincare routines.
The famous Yao ethnic women of China, with their hair lengths averaging 6 feet, are proof of just how effective rice water can be in hair care!
Though genetics may play a part in their hair growth rates, they primarily cite rice water as the secret to their hair’s health and luscious appearance!
As you know, here at Hibiscus Roots, our mission is to translate these ancient remedies and recipes that Asian and middle-eastern women have used for centuries to be applicable for Afro-textured natural hair (specifically 4c hair).
If you’re skeptical about the benefits of rice water for hair and how effective it can be for hair growth then keep reading.
Why Rice Water is Good for 4C Hair
Here are 3 main reasons why rice water is good for 4C Hair:
1. It coats the hair and reduces friction between the strands.
Friction is often responsible for breakage and thinning, so this alone is already a critical solution to problems with length retention in 4C hair.
2. It improves hair elasticity and repairs already damaged strands.
This is thanks to a component of rice water called inositol, a carbohydrate. Specialized scientific imaging techniques have also proven that these molecules of inositol remain in hair even after final rinsing. This ensures that hair strands remain protected and the benefits of the treatment are enjoyed long after wash day.
3. It contains amino acids that strengthen hair.
These amino acids (proteins) strengthen from the roots to the ends. Hair strengthened at the roots means thicker and stronger new growth. This ultimately translates to fuller and more voluminous hair over time.
How to Use Rice Water for 4c Hair Growth
Now that you’ve read about the benefits of rice water for hair. Here’s how you can use rice water in your 4c hair growth regimen.
1. As a pre-poo or detangler
- After making your rice water, pour it into an applicator bottle for easy application.
- Apply it to the hair and massage it into the scalp for about 2-3 minutes.
- Cover it with a shower cap and let it sit on the hair for 10 minutes then proceed with wash day as usual.
- Wash with a moisturizing shampoo and deep condition with a moisturizing deep conditioner.
Rice water should be considered a medium-strength protein treatment and treated accordingly.
2. As a post-shampoo protein treatment
- After making your rice water, pour it into a spray bottle for convenience.
- After shampooing the hair with a moisturizing shampoo, soak off excess water with a microfibre towel or a t-shirt. We advise against normal bath towels because these often cause a lot of unnecessary friction to the hair. This same friction that the rice water is supposed to combat.
- Spritz the hair with rice water in sections and ensure that all the strands are covered from root to ends.
- Cover the hair with a shower cap for a maximum of 15 minutes. Rinse hair and continue with washday as usual.
- Follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner to maintain the moisture-protein balance of your hair.
How to Make Rice Water for 4C Hair
Rice water is one of the simplest Ayurvedic recipes to make at home. Especially if you already eat rice often!
When making rice water, opt for organic black rice in your recipe for best results. Here are 2 relatively easy ways to make rice water!
1. The Boiling Method
This is the simplest and quickest way to make rice water.
- Wash, and boil rice as usual (without salt)
- Save the water you would usually pour away when your meal is done
- Pour your collected rice water into a clean jar and store it in the fridge for up to 7 days.
2. The Fermentation Method
This is usually the method that produces the more-nutrient rich and beneficial rice water.
What you will need for a small-batch recipe:
- 2 tablespoons of rice
- 1 cup of water
- Few orange peels to cut the smell of the rice water
- Wash the rice and place the grains into a glass jar to start the process
- Add the water and the orange peels
- Cover the jar and let it sit in a cool dark place for 12-24 hours
- Strain out the water and add your favorite essential oils to it
- Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days (it will get more potent with time)
How Long Can I Leave Rice Water in My Hair?
We don’t ever recommend using the rice water in 4C hair as a leave-in conditioner. Rice water should always be washed or rinsed out. This is because rice water is just so drying that the risk outweighs the benefit of using it as a leave-in! This excessive dryness caused by rice water could also lead to protein overload and excessive breakage! As a result, we suggest that every time rice water is used in hair, it should be rinsed out.
Does Rice Water actually GROW 4C Hair?
Rice water doesn’t grow your hair, rather it promotes length retention. It does this by coating the strands and protecting them from friction and breakage.
Thus, if you experience breakage less often, then you will see your hair finally get longer overtime!
How Many Times Should You Use Rice Water for 4C Hair Growth?
How many times you need rice water for your 4c hair growth will depend on your hair’s porosity. If you have high porosity hair and need to strengthen your hair more often, then you can use rice water more often (every 2 weeks – once a month). However, if your hair is low porosity or protein sensitive, then you will need fewer rice water treatments (aim for once a month – every 2 months at most)
Ayurveda is about maintaining balance after all. So you should still experiment to find a schedule your hair likes! Understanding these needs will come from a close and deep understanding of your hair profile and its specific needs.
Here’s a video from one of our favorite Youtubers that shows how to make rice water, and use it for 4c hair growth:
featured image: source