The latest ingredient to make waves in the beauty industry is rice water. The starchy liquid left over after soaking rice is believed to be filled with elements that can improve the health and appearance of hair. According to Dr. Fraser Bell, science insights leader at haircare brand Nexxus, using rice water on hair originated in the Huangluo village in China, where he says women with locks over a metre in length regularly washed their hair with fermented rice water. “It’s said that this habit is so effective that some undergo just one haircut in their entire lifetime,” he says.
There are online tutorials on how to make your own rice water hair rinse, but a DIY approach may not be for everyone. As a result, haircare brands are incorporating it into their products. Nexxus’s Keraphix line contains black rice, which Bell says is a rich source of key protein building block glutamic acid, along with other components such as keratin protein that were selected for their ability to help damaged hair replenish proteins it has lost. Bell says that black rice can be beneficial to all hair types, in particular anyone who bleaches, colours or regularly uses hot tools to style their hair. “All of these habits can cause significant damage and protein loss,” he says.
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