Rice is versatile in the kitchen, making it easy to make delicious meals. But did you know that the water you use to rinse it can also be used to strengthen hair, clean your house, and heal skin conditions? We should all stop wasting rice water's many benefits.
Submerge the rice in water and give it a good shake. Then strain and repeat the process. Experts recommend that you rinse the rice at least five times to remove any cloudiness. Extra rinses can also remove starch, which can cause a sticky texture when the rice is cooked. Rice has many benefits, so it is important to keep some of the starchy water from the third or fourth rinse.
Rice water for hair
The reputation of rice water for strengthening hair dates back to centuries. It was first discovered in the Japanese Heian period (794-1185). This era was known for its long, flowing hair which could reach the floor. Researchers believe the "yu-suru" practice, which involves rinsing hair with rice water, is what gave rise to this era's fame.
Brittany Ladin, a writer, made a stronger case for rice water while trying it out for Healthline. With her blonde hair and fragile strands, she could not use regular hair ties without breaking. Lardin discovered that rice also contains vitamins, minerals, as well as other nutrients that can leach into water. A study also revealed that rice contains inositol which is a compound that repairs damaged hair from the inside. She was optimistic that this would give her hair some life.
Lardin began by washing her rice and then letting it sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. She explained that this allows the rice to ferment, and all the delicious vitamins and minerals to be released. It is important to not let the rinse water set for more than 24 hours, as she did with her first attempt. Otherwise it will turn bad. After letting the rinse water ferment you can place it in the refrigerator, where it will last for at least a week.
After shampooing and conditioning her hair normally, she used rice water to treat her hair. She concentrated on her scalp and worked her way through the strands. She noticed an immediate improvement after letting the hair sit for about two to five minutes before washing it.
"My hair already felt different. Lardin stated that the hair felt like it had an outer layer, or a thin skin, covering each strand. This protected my hair while I was brushing through it. My hair usually breaks as I go through my hair with my detangling brush. My hair was fine this time.
These results were only made better when she continued to use rice water throughout the week. She even went as far to say that she was grateful to the "rice gods", for her hair's restoration.
Curly Cailin, the blogger behind Curly Cailin, modifies this process by boiling her rice rather than soaking it. The water has been mostly absorbed by the grains so she strains the rice through a strainer to make a creamier paste. After it has cooled, she adds some of her favorite deep conditioner for extra moisture. She then applies the conditioner to her hair and let it work its magic for about 30 minutes to an hours before washing it off. The results are comparable to Olaplex No. 3 (Buy at Sephora for $28) -- But it's a more affordable option.
Your hair will be different so results may vary. However, finding the right rice water method for you might just be what you need to save your hair.
Rice Water for Skin
These benefits for hair may not be enough to convince you that rice water is worth saving. But, consider the benefits for your skin. According to a 2018 study, the liquid's antioxidant properties can reverse the effects of sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles and sunburn. Researchers found that it was just as powerful as vitamin C-rich products in antioxidant power. A 2013 study also found that fermented rice water contained collagen which can help prevent and soothe wrinkles.
In 2002, research also showed that rice water could help eczema sufferers repair skin damage caused by using harmful sulfates. The results showed a 20% improvement in the healing process.
It's easy to make the same fermented rice hair water by rinsing twice and straining. The second batch of rice water should be left at room temperature for 12-24 hours. After that, you can refrigerate the water for up to one week.
Apply the cream to your skin with a cotton pad or other suitable tool. Allow your skin to soak the product for about half an hour before you rinse it off. Every person is different so test it first on a small area of your skin before spreading it across your entire face.
Rice Water for Cleaning
JinJoo, a Korean food blogger, claims rice water has beauty benefits and can also help with housework. Rice water can be used as a natural cleaner by forming colloidal micelles. It is also useful for cleaning, she says. These uses don't require that the water be fermented. Just save the water after the third or fourth round of rinsing to start cleaning.
JinJoo suggests adding the water to an aerosol bottle and using it for wiping down windows and mirrors without leaving any streaks. It can also be used to remove lingering food smells from plastic containers. You should see any unpleasant smells disappear after letting it sit for half an hour. You probably won't want it to be used for hair or skin because it has absorbed the odor.
JinJoo recommends rice water for hydrating your plants, even though it isn't related to cleaning. She credits her friend, a green thumber, who used it with her vegetable garden. The nutrients that we want to absorb in our hair and skin can also help them grow stronger.
There are many reasons to reconsider before you flush your rice water down the toilet.
This article first appeared on First for Women.
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