Are you keen to know if rice water is good for low porosity hair? Or how you would use rice water on low porosity hair? If so, we have the answers you’re looking for. As weird as it may sound, using rice water for hair treatment is not new.
Rice water is suitable for all kinds of hair because it is rich in vital vitamins, minerals, and inositol carbohydrates. These nutrients can revitalize and strengthen damaged hair, detangle and make hair smooth, help hair grow long, and increase shine. However, excessive use can cause hair breakage, itching, and dryness occasioned by protein build-up. So, don’t use too much.
Understanding Hair Porosity
Hair has a simple structure comprising the medulla, cuticle, and cortex. The medulla is the deepest layer of the hair shaft, visible only in thick hairs. The middle layer is the cortex which contains a fibrous substance that gives hair its texture, color, and strength. The cuticle is the exterior layer that shields the cortex.
Hair porosity refers to the ability of your hair to soak up and maintain moisture. It is often determined by the hair structure and categorized as low, medium, or high porosity.
Low vs. High Porosity Hair
The cuticles of a low porous hair tend to be closely bound together, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate. In contrast, high porosity hair comprises loosely spaced cuticles that allow moisture to penetrate with ease. Normal or medium porosity hair is characterized by cuticles that are neither loose nor tight. Note that hair porosity can be genetic or externally acquired.
How to Know If Your Hair Has Low Porosity
- Takes a long time for water to penetrate your hair
- When the hair gets wet, it takes time to fully dry it off
- Reduced hair volume
- The hair may appear dull and less shiny
- Presence of product build-up due to partial uptake
- Consider conducting a porosity test if still not sure.
How to Make Rice Water
If you have ever cooked rice, you must have come across rice water. It is that starchy water that’s left when rice is soaked or boiled. However, for rice water to be considered fit for hair treatment, it must be prepared in a certain way.
There are 3 main methods of making rice water for hair treatment. These include plain rice water, fermented rice water, and boiled rice water.
Plain Rice Water
This is the easiest to prepare and the least nutritious of the three.
You can prepare plain rice water in 5 simple steps below.
- Take 1 cup of uncooked rice (though any rice can fit the bill, organic rice is highly recommended since it is chemical-free)
- Rinse well to remove any chemicals
- In a separate bowl, add 4 cups of water to the clean rice
- Soak the mixture for 30 minutes
- Strain the water into a spray bottle or clean bowl ready to use.
Fermented Rice Water
The procedure is similar to method 1 above, but the end product is not considered ready for use. It is kept in an sealed container for 12 to 48 hours to aid fermentation.
The sour-smelling rice water is more nutritious than plain rice water. The fermentation process produces pitera, balances the product acidity, and improves the quality of antioxidants, minerals, B vitamins, and Vitamin E.
Boiled Rice Water
While cooking plain rice, let water boil until it forms a thick starchy concoction. Just before it dries out, strain the rice to extract the starchy rice water. Leave the extracted water for a few minutes to cool, and then transfer to a clean bowl ready for use.
Using Rice Water on Low Porosity Hair
The following steps will enhance your chances of getting optimal results when using rice water on low porosity hair.
- Ensure your hair is clean. Wash it thoroughly to eliminate oil build-up and other dirt hindering rice water absorption and scalp access.
- Dry excess water and massage enough rice water into your hair.
- Leave it for approximately 20 to 60 minutes.
- Wash it off and rinse with running water.
This application can be done once a week or after your wash routine. Leave-in hair spraying routine with rice water is highly discouraged. This is to avoid build-up that could lead to excessive nutrients and consequent hair damage.
Please note that excessive rice water use can also lead to protein build-up that may cause hair breakage, itching, and dryness.
The remainder of rice water can be refrigerated for later use, but not longer than 5 days. If you notice a foul smell due to bacterial action, you are advised to discard the rice water.
Rice Water Pros and Cons
- The presence of vital vitamins, minerals, and inositol carbohydrate helps strengthen damaged hair, promotes growth, detangles, and helps it shine.
- The ingredients are readily available and affordable.
- It can accommodate most if not all types of hair.
- Rice water can be infused with other products such as essential oils if need be.
- Excessive/leave-in use of rice water could lead to product residue accumulation.
- The protein contained in rice water may damage your hair if used in excess.
- Some people might find the smell of fermented rice repulsive.
Rice water is suitable for all hair types, but be sure to use it in moderation if you have low porosity hair. If you are unsure of your porosity, conduct a hair porosity test. It is sometimes advisable to experiment with a section of your hair to observe the reaction before going all out. This will allow you room to observe any allergic reactions.
If you notice dryness and fall out, you are advised to stop using this DIY remedy and seek medical attention. As a general rule, the fact that it is working for others is not a guarantee that it will work for you.