There’s been a growing interest in natural beauty products for some time now, with the likes of honey, olive and coconut oil replacing conventional haircare.
Some people encounter hair problems during winter; they find their hair becoming so fragile because of the dry weather.
When hair grows beyond half a meter, the strands tend to turn yellow and frayed.
But this is not a problem among the women of Huangluo village in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which the Guinness Book of World Records has called “the world’s longest hair village”.
Women from the Yao ethnic group who live in this village have an average hair length of over 1.5 meters. Even grannies in their 70s sport shiny black hair, instead of the typical silvery gray color.
What’s their secret?
You have probably never considered washing your hair with fermented rice water—the milky-colored liquid left over from washing or boiling rice.
For one thing, they use rice water – the water after rinsing rice – together with natural ingredients such as tea seeds and ginger. The fermented solution is Yao women’s shampoo.
The Yao minority ethnic women from Huangluo Village, in Guangxi Province, in southern China, have one striking feature in common – their extraordinarily long hair that stays black until they are around 80 years old.
For the Yao people, their long hair is their most prized possession, believing that long hair symbolizes prosperity, longevity, wealth and good fortune. They wear their hair in different styles to represent landmarks in their life, such as marriage.
You can use rice water for your face, body, and hair. Washing your face with rice water helps soften the skin and improve your complexion by firming the skin and reducing the size of pores.
Fermented rice water is rice water that has gone slightly sour. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamin E, and traces of pitera, a substance produced during the fermentation process. These nutrients in the rice water helps to heal scars and reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and inflammation, leaving the skin with a healthy glow.
Washing the hair with fermented rice water brings more than just the shine to your hair. It makes hair soft, strong, and healthy.
Inositol is a pretty special nutrient. This carbohydrate can both remedy and prevent damage to hair, by increasing elasticity and reducing surface friction.
Whether you use styling tools regularly, dye your hair or get perms, inositol could really help get it healthy again. Best of all, it needn’t cost you a fortune – you can find it in rice water.
How to Make Fermented Rice Water
By now, you might be anxious to know how to make fermented rice water.
- Rinse a cup of rice then throw away the water you use to wash it the first time.
- Steep the rice in 2 cups of water for about 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so.
- Afterward, strain the water into a bottle and set aside for a day until it turns slightly sour & starts to ferment
- Boil it & allow it to cool
- Add a few drops of your preferred essential oils such as lavender essential oil & store it in your fridge.
Fermented rice water wash
- Rinse a cup of rice to get rid of any dirt.
- Place in a bowl and cover with water for 15 minutes – stirring occasionally.
- Strain the water into a plastic bottle.
- Leave it at room temperature for a day or until it turns slightly sour and starts to ferment.
- Pour into a pan, boil it then allow to cool.
- Add a few optional drops of tea tree, lavender or rosemary essential oils.
- Use the water as an alternative to shampoo by gently massaging it into your scalp and through the length of your hair.
- Rinse thoroughly.
If you want to reap the benefits of rice water, you need to stick at it! Thicker, shinier and more voluminous hair won’t happen overnight and you’ll need to use rice water regularly to really see a difference.
Try and make a habit of using rice water to wash your hair – rice is an extremely cheap and healthy food source, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem! Three or more times a week is desirable.
Photo credit: javi_indy