IMG 20220720 132524 edited natural hair care and growth

How to properly use rice water to grow Type 4 Natural hair.

It’s been a minute since I featured a fellow natural hair blogger. If you are skeptical about trying out rice water, you may want to read this through,  she’s got all the tea. Almostperfecthair whose official name is Caroline is our guest. She is a mom, wife, business owner, employee and a natural hair enthusiast who you ought to follow on Instagram cos she’s got really amazing content.

“Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.”

To start off Why almosterfecthair? ​ 

Sometime in February 2020, I realized that I had not been taking much care of my hair and it was heat damaged and weak. I started researching how to “reverse” or “fix” the damage and through extensive research, I realized that I could go the easy way and chop my hair again or the long way which involved a lot of care, protein treatments, and deep conditioning weekly to at least make it healthy while growing the damage out. 

I wanted to share my journey with other people and I had to come up with a name for my page. 

Despite my hair being damaged, I still felt pretty in it. I loved it! And so when I started thinking of a name, almost instantly, almostperfecthair came to mind. Tried to think of any other names but nothing felt like a good fit apart from almostperfecthair! Damaged hair but still making me feel pretty! Lol! 

How to use Rice water on 4C Natural Hair

What are the properties and benefits of Rice water?

Rice water has a high amount of protein. 16% to be precise. It is pretty much a natural protein treatment. It contains; Magnesium, Folic Acid, Thiamine, Niacin, B1, B6, Vitamin B, Vitamin K, etc. All these in liquid form which means easily penetrating your hair, hence the visible results even after one use.  

According to a study done in a facility in Japan, it was found that there is an ingredient in rice water called “INOSITOL” that benefits your hair in two ways; 

1. Increase elasticity that makes your hair more flexible and helps define your curl pattern and also decreases hair surface friction which means it helps to smooth out the surface of your hair so that your hair strands can glide past each other without having too much resistance. Less friction means less tangles, knots, and breakage! 

2. Another benefit is that the rice water can stay in your hair for longer and continue to work, even after rinsing it out! This means you will notice some improvement after the first use. 

Other benefits include;​ increases shine and make your hair stronger.

 Rice water has been used in Japan and China for many centuries as hair growth and strengthening aid. 

We are talking average lengths of up to six feet! The Chinese Yao women who have been using this recipe are known to have the longest hair in the world! On top of that, the Yao women are also known to live in the remotest parts of the world, eat healthy food, are active, and also drink and use spring water which is known to have a lot of other benefits and fewer toxins. All these combined could be additional reasons as to why they are known for having the most black, healthy long hair in the world! 

That said, we must set realistic expectations when using rice water and avoid getting tricked into one of those challenges like​  five days to grow your hair long!​ Etc. Instead, treat this treatment as a nice addition to your already established healthy hair regimen! 

Does it work for all hair types?​ 

Yes, rice water works for all hair textures, colored, relaxed, and even locked hair. It adds strength, moisture and makes your hair smooth and shiny too. 

How can one use Rice Water?

Depending on your regimen, rice water can be used as a; 

Detangler;​ ​ Section your hair into 4 or 6 sections, and spray each section with rice water, gently combing your hair from ends to root to remove the tangles and knots. 

Pre Poo;​ Leave it on your hair after detangling or spray-on hair after detangling and leaving it covered with a shower cap for an average of 15-20mins, then rinse off and continue with the rest of your process. A quick video on how to use rice water to pre poo.

Conditioner; ​ Adding rice water after shampooing and leaving it for 15mins, rinse off, and proceed with a moisture-based conditioner or deep conditioner to add moisture back into your hair. 

Rinsed natural hair

Rinse; It’s best to use a Rice water rinse on clean hair that is free of product build-up, spray your rice water on your hair, in sections, comb it to even out the rice water and to coat all hair strands, leave it on for 30mins under a shower cap and then rinse it out. ​ (Optional)​ Use a conditioner after or moisturize your hair using moisture-based products like hair milk, Hair lotion, moisture cream, butter, etc. 

Type of Rice to use:​

 You can use any kind of rice you want but make sure that it is organic. Additionally, Black and brown rice are known to have the most hair-loving nutrients and minerals. White rice, long grain or short grain still works the same as they have the same components in them. 

How to prepare rice water: ​ 

There are many ways to prepare rice water and the most common ones are; Wash, Ferment, or Boil. All these options are correct and beneficial to your hair. A quick tutorial on how to prepare rice water.

For the Boil method,​ the rice water can be stored in a dark place for 1 week, 1 month, or up to 3months before use. 

For Fermented rice,​ store in a dark place for upto 1 week. 

For Wash only method, ​ store in a dark place overnight and after use, in the refrigerator for 3 to 5days. 

Remember to shake it during each use. 

Does Rice water smell after some time?

Yes. Especially Fermented rice water. Adding orange or lemon peels usually aids in curbing off the smell. Also, essential oils like peppermint, Eucalyptus, and even Tea Tree aid in decreasing the terrible smell at the same time are beneficial for your scalp. 

Which Rice water is best, Fermented or Boil?

All these methods have the same benefits to your hair. My advice, try all three methods, take notes of how your hair feels after each method, pros, and cons. Stick to the method that fits your schedule best and also makes your hair feel the best! I prefer the boil method. It doesn’t make my hair super dry, considering I have low porosity hair. 

How frequently should one use rice water to avoid protein overload? 

The protein molecules in rice are too large to soak into your hair, so they create a coat on the surface of your hair. This is not necessarily a bad thing but too much too often can block your hair from receiving moisture. The main reason that rice water helps you retain length is that it leaves a thick protective coat around your hair strand that stops them from breaking that much and reduces natural shedding. So, rice water doesn’t make your hair grow faster, it just stops your hair from breaking, so the growth you naturally have is kept and retained. 

This protective coat eventually dries and hardens. If you keep adding new layers without washing, you can create a bad case of protein overload. 

Rice water is a protein treatment. If you have high porosity hair, you can afford to use rice water once or twice a week on wash days. You can also use rice water as a leave-in if your wash day is weekly. Avoid stacking new layers of rice water before washing your hair. 

If you have low porosity hair, you may want to space out rice water once or twice a month on wash days. 

Or you can just use rice water on your ends. 

If you are experiencing dry hair after using rice water, feel free to add more water to the rice water before use, space the use to once a month. It will still give you the same benefits. 

If you are experiencing a bad case of protein overload, don’t panic. Everything will be back to normal after a few wash days. Stick to a wash day schedule. Do more moisturizing treatments and conditioners for a while. Avoid protein-based treatments and any strengthening treatments/products. Wear your hair in low manipulation styles and focus on keeping your hair from drying out by moisturizing often. 

If you noticed that your hair was thriving while using the rice water before the overload, don’t let this minor setback stop you from using rice water again. Adjust accordingly, and proceed in using the rice water treatment. 

P.S. Rice water is a protein treatment but never skip doing proper protein treatments with store-bought products. This is because rice water protein molecules are too big to soak into your hair strands whereas the store-bought products have protein molecules that are so small they easily penetrate deeper into your hair shaft. That said, always set a wash day aside to do proper/professional protein treatments. 

Most common proteins found in Hair Care products include; 

  • Hydrolyzed wheat, soy, or oat protein. 
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein 
  • Hydrolyzed Keratin 
  • Hydrolyzed Collagen 
  • Amino Acids e.g. Silk, Milk, and wheat, etc 

Thank you so much for this educative & being part of my blog. I hope we do this again, maybe post onion juice?

Sure, this has been fun and thank you for having me.

Rice water

Have you tried rice water before? Did it work for your hair?

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