If you pay any attention to haircare trends, you’ve probably heard about the latest food-based fad: rice water for hair. And if you haven’t, it’s exactly what it sounds like—so don’t drain that precious starchy solution the next time you give your grains a rinse.
Master Colorist Sharon Dorram of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger salon says the process of soaking hair in rice water has gained popularity because “it is essentially a protein treatment that easily works to penetrate damaged hair and repair it from the inside out.”
Hair is made up of mostly keratin protein, adds Shab Reslan, HairClub hair health expert and trichologist, and rice water can help replenish what it frequently loses.
As a result, tresses are more radiant, fuller, thicker, and infinitely more manageable, says Dorram. And the best part of all: The transformation can be accomplished at essentially zero cost with everyday kitchen essentials.
<h3″>Do rice water hair treatments work?
In addition to its protein-packed properties, rice water is full of nutrients like amino acids, inositol, vitamins B, C, and E, minerals, and antioxidants, explains Dorram, “which all work together to nourish the scalp and leave strands smoother, fuller, and longer.” She adds that rice’s starches act as a sealant on hair follicles, banishing frizz and fly-aways and preventing breakage, therefore encouraging hair growth.
How to make (and use) your own rice water hair treatment at home
“You can either use the water leftover from boiling your rice, or the water from soaking overnight,” says Reslan. She recommends using a ratio of one part rice to two parts water. If you boil the rice, allow it to reach room temperature before applying.
“The best way to use rice water is to shampoo your hair, wring it out very well, tilt your head back and pour the room temp or cooled rice water onto your scalp down to the ends of your hair,” explains Reslan. Dorram recommends allowing the mixture to soak on the scalp for 10 minutes before rinsing.
If you shampoo daily, Reslan says you can treat your hair around once a week—bi-weekly if you wash less often. Whatever you do, don’t overdo it. “If rice water is used too frequently or left in your hair for too long, it can cause a protein overload, which can lead to irritation and breakage,” says Dorram.
Is rice water good for all hair types?
People with most hair types can safely try a rice water rinse, but those with thin hair may want to tread lightly, as the proteins might weigh it down, Reslan warns. On the other hand, Dorram says rice water is a gentle, effective treatment for those with highly porous, bleached, or damaged strands that are looking to bring their manes back to life.
Hair products that contain rice water
To no one’s surprise, the haircare market has caught up with the hype, and you can already find rice water-packed products on store shelves. Reslan deems them unnecessary, as you can get the purest, most concentrated formula in your very own home. But Dorram says some manufactured treatments bring the benefit of added moisturizers, like coconut oil or shea butter, which makes them worth a try. Her go-to is Shu Uemura’s Izumi Tonic Strengthening Rice Water Treatment. “The lightweight spray is great for those with sensitive scalps and it strengthens, hydrates, and nourishes the hair,” she says.
Dorram adds that a starchy soak is especially in order as the weather warms. “The sun breaks down hair proteins,” she says. “So a weekly rice water rinse during the spring and summer months is a great hack to help achieve the healthy, radiant, frizz-free strands.”
Originally Posted at: https://www.prevention.com/beauty/hair/a39516149/rice-water-for-hair/
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