Rice Water: The Miracle Growth Potion in Guangxi China

The Yao Women Of Guangxi And Their Rice Water Tradition

Asia has been known for centuries for its abundance in rice, wheat and grain. There is even a specific ethnic group in China known as the Yao women who take a special advantage of the miracle grain. Women of the Yao group use rice water to grow their luscious locks to an astounding length, it’s literally the most beautiful thing you will ever see in this crumbling world.


Yao Women of Guangxi With Their Hair Up
Yao Women of Guangxi China

The women of this village only cut their ONCE in their entire lifetime, and that is at the age of 18. The hair that was cut is then preserved by an elder of the village until the women are married. The hair is then sewn into the fabric of their clothing as a symbol of union. The hair of the Yao women traditionally was thought to be sacred and the only the husband is ever allowed to see it in its full length. Nevertheless, the Yao women wear their wear in one long (and I mean LONG) protective styled braid. Rice water has also taken a huge stance in the hair growth community as people turn to use it fermented, boiled or stagnant.

Yao Woman Of China Braid

5 Step Guide To Making The Perfect Rice Water

Now before we start this recipe it is important to note that there are diverse types of rice, and different methods to make the rice water. The type of rice doesn’t necessarily matter as I’ve used wild rice as well as white rice to make the rice water.

The first method of preparation I am going to talk about is the fermented method.

Fermented Rice Water Preparation

  1. Pick your rice and throw it in a decent sized container
  2. Fill the container with water and shift it around until the water becomes milky or murky (or you can just leave it alone since its fermenting)
  3. Separate the rice from the water, and put the rice water in a separate container (preferably a jar or spray bottle)
  4. Let the rice water sit in a warm environment to ferment (the warmer the environment the quicker the rice water ferments).
  5. After 1-2 days put the rice water in the fridge to stop fermentation.

And that’s pretty much how you make fermented rice water!

Bowl of rice for rice water

Fermented rice water is more acidic than regular rice water, obviously because it’s been fermenting. So, before you think of dousing your hair in this stinky concoction (yes, it stinks too), dilute the rice water by adding fresh water. This way you won’t burn your scalp off, and you still reap the benefits of the rice water. If you’re worried about the scent of sour socks filling up your bathroom, bedroom or wherever you choose to apply the rice water to your hair and scalp, then add a bit of natural oil to the mix and that should help. I tend to use Black Jamaican Peppermint Castor Oil for this purpose and peppermint works wonders for your hair and scalp. I also have a huge mint addiction too, so peppermint is a go-to for me. But feel free to use whatever oil you want, I’ve heard wonderful things about lavender oil. The Yao women are known to put orange peels in their rice water, which is mainly fermented.

The second method I am going to walk about is the boiling method. This method is the standard in the natural hair care community…

Boiled Rice Water Preparation

  1. Pick your rice and throw it in the pot
  2. Fill the pot with water and proceed to bring to a boil until the water turns milky
  3. Separate the rice water from the rice (be careful it’ll be hot)
  4. Put the rice water in a container that won’t melt right away (a glass spray bottle should do or a jar)
  5. Let it cool, and there’s your rice water!

The issue with the boiling method is said to be that chemically the proteins and vitamins in the rice deactivate at a certain temperature so some say that it is less effective than just letting the rice sit for fermentation or shifting it around to extract the nutrients. However, it is quicker than the fermentation method if you’re looking for a quick spritz session with your spray bottle.


The Rich Person Method

This is an alternative method to obtaining rice water if you’re not in the mood for any of this and happen to have access to a computer, internet, and a product name. Many online retailers sell both the fermented and the unfermented rice water pre-made in a bottle. I kid you not, this is a real thing!

5 Incredible Benefits of Rice Water For Hair and Skin

Yao Woman Elder Guangxi

Many people are unaware of the benefits of rinsing rice to make rice water. The nutrients that come from rinsing rice are ten-fold compared to cooking it. Let’s see, you’ve got Vitamin A, Iron, Zinc, Folic Acid, Protein … can you imagine applying all of that to your hair or even your skin? You would be glowing from head to toe. HEAD – TO – TOE.

  1. Get a beautiful complexion – The ph. balance in rice water when applied to your skin will assist in getting rid of dark spots and tightening loose skin.
  2. Softer Hair: When rice water is applied to your hair it feels like you’ve been bathed in a tub of milk and honey, rice water makes your hair more pliable and less susceptible to breakage.
  3. Shinier Hair: This one is a giveaway.
  4. Diarrhoea: Rice water is said to help prevent and cure diarrhoea. Although there is little research done on this statement, there are plenty of personal testimonies.
  5. UV Protectant: Rice water acts as a natural sunscreen when applied to the skin and can help soothe itchiness, redness or flaking.

HINT: Try Drinking It. No, you won’t die, rice water is edible… unless it’s fermented. In that case, you may just want to stick to the external application only.