Rice water has been touted as a secret to long and healthy hair since ancient times. Women in the Heian period in Japan and the Yao women in China have credited their luscious locks to rice water bathing. In recent times, rice water has gained popularity as a natural remedy for hair growth. But does rice water really work? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using rice water for hair growth, so you can make an informed decision before trying it out yourself.
The Science Behind Rice Water
Rice water is not just starch, as many people believe. While rice is composed of about 75-80% starch, rice water also contains amino acids, B vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and a unique type of sugar called inositol, which is responsible for cell membrane structuring. Inositol has been found to reduce surface friction of hair and improve hair elasticity, which can potentially lead to less hair fall.
How to Prepare Rice Water
There are several methods to prepare rice water. One common method is to soak ½ cup of uncooked rice in 2-3 cups of water for 30 minutes and then strain the rice into a clean bowl, keeping the water. Another method is to ferment the rice water by leaving it at room temperature for 2 days before straining it and then applying it to the hair and scalp. Some people even prefer to boil the rice water and add essential oils for added benefits.
The Pros of Rice Water for Hair Growth
There are several potential benefits of using rice water for hair growth. One of the pros is the presence of inositol, which can reduce surface friction of hair and improve hair elasticity, potentially leading to less hair fall. Another benefit is the presence of magnesium in rice water, which can dissolve calcium buildup on the hair from hard water. Rice water can be used to treat calcium deposits in the hair follicles, which can lead to hair loss. Additionally, rice water contains niacin or vitamin B3, which can reduce inflammation by increasing blood flow to the scalp and bringing oxygen to the hair follicles, as shown in a pilot study on females with pattern alopecia.
The Cons of Rice Water for Hair Growth
While rice water has its potential benefits, there are also potential downsides to using it for hair growth. One of the cons is protein buildup, which can occur if you have low-porosity hair. Low-porosity hair has cuticles with few pores, which makes it resistant to absorbing water or treatments. In such cases, rice water may sit on top of the hair and cause extreme dryness and damage.
In conclusion, rice water has been praised for its potential benefits for hair growth, including the presence of inositol, magnesium, and niacin. However, it is very important to result potential downsides, such as protein buildup for those with low-porosity hair. If you decide to try rice water for hair growth, it is crucial to stay consistent with the method you choose and monitor your hair’s response. Always Remember, what works for one person may not work for another, and it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a dermatologist before trying any new hair care regimen.