Rice water has taken the natural world by storm in the past few years. Natural hair loving women on YouTube swear it gives them longer stronger healthier hair FAST! Let's break it down and unveil the truth of whether rice water does actually help your hair.
1. Does rice water help grow your hair?
Rice water alone is not to be attributed to hair growth. Hair growth scientifically relies on several factors. Rice water used as a hair care treatment may reduce surface friction and increase the elasticity of hair strands, strengthen the inner cortex of the hair, where-in protein exists and thus make hair appear to be stronger.
Rice water is primarily made from the starchy substance that is left behind in the water when rice has been soaked or boiled, since rice itself contains a mix of Amino proteins, B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. These nutritional extracts are thought to give rice water its unique hair strengthening benefits.
Stronger hair coupled with low manipulation styling of kinky afro hair textures can lead to a retention of the hair growing from the root.
Kinky curly, coily type 4 hair textures (many heads are in fact a mix of type 4a-4c or even type 3) may benefit from treatments such as rice water. As such, hair textures requires greater protection at the surface level.
2. Does rice water work for 4c hair?
As mentioned above, most heads of hair that are type 4, will be a mix of type 4a-4c so yes, rice water is a benefit to such textures when used in the right way with the appropriate length of time left between each application. Type 4c hair is very coily, varied in density from head to head but uniquely fragile. This texture requires regular strengthening treatments in the form of hydrolysed protein.
As rice water contains amino proteins, one could argue that this treatment is beneficial for type 4c hair. However, each head of hair reacts differently to treatments. Porosity plays a huge factor in determining whether a treatment will work, even more so than hair typing.
3. Does rice water work on natural hair?
Rice water could possibly benefit natural hair as mentioned prior. Natural hair needs a delicate balance of moisture + protein, but more so hydrolysed protein sources to keep it happy and healthy.
Rice water coats the hair and reduces the friction natural hair may have when being styled and generally being handled. This is a benefit.
4. Best ways to use rice water to help your hair
Rice water, like many treatments that are a mix of protein extracts, can be drying- in fact very dehydrating- to hair that is curlier or coily in nature.
Type 4 hair needs water on a regular basis to remain healthy. Rice water can overload the hair with protein if used too frequently.
This will leave textured hair feeling straw-like and stiff, this in turns leads to breakage, which is never a good thing.
I would suggest using it just before a deep conditioning treatment. That way, the hair receives the balance of strengthening from the protein in the rice water.
However, that ‘drying effect’ is counter-balanced with a hydrating deep treatment or hair mask, (ensure the masque is protein free!)
Alternately, mix your rice water with your hydrating leave-in spray. Our Honey-rain juice is a great option for this! If you are wearing a protective style like braids, rice water may be used weekly with a hydrating spray to strengthen your hair and fortify the scalp.
However, if your hair starts to behave adversely to this, in that it feels drier than usual, stop.
Step by Step Usage:
My favourite method is to use it as a pre-deep conditioning treatment.
- Wash hair,
- Section hair. Apply rice water liberally
- Let it sit for 30-45 mins, cover hair with a plastic cap
- Rinse thoroughly from hair
- Follow up with a protein-free moisturising deep conditioner/masque
5. Regular Usage
Rice water can be left on the hair for 20-45 mins each time. Depending on how you implement it into your hair routine, you may wish to leave it on for a few days if you follow up with moisture to prevent dryness.
Rice water is to be used with caution. It can have a drying effect on hair that is deemed to be type 4.
Rice water can be used in a fermented form also. In fact, studies have indicated the fermentation of rice water increases its benefits.
Rice water like many home-treatments should be tested on the hair and scalp in a small section before being used fully, to see whether any adverse effects arise.
Rice water is said to contain inositol also. This can be attributed to its hair strengthening properties.
Although most rice water benefits are deemed to be historically anecdotal, science is still trying to prove whether the reported advantages are legitimate.
I would suggest the proof is in the pudding!
To order our moisturising Leave-in conditioner to use with rice water, click here!
How To Make Rice Water: