We have all heard of several all-natural hair treatments and questioned how wise it would be to use them on our hair. One such treatment that I have been thinking about is the use of rice water. After developing an obsession with its use, I decided to explore the topic further, especially with regard to low porosity hair. Read on, and let’s go on this journey together…
Is Rice Water Good for Low Porosity Hair?
Rice water is good for low porosity hair, but it should be used in moderation. Rice water coats low porosity hair with a protective layer that keeps it from breaking, but this layer can cause brittleness and breakage on low porosity hair if rice water is overused.
What Is Rice Water?
Rice water is simply the water you get when you soak or cook rice. According to Medical News Today, this water is expected to contain minerals and vitamins such as amino acids and B & E vitamins.
This water also contains antioxidants, all of which are believed to be good for hair. If you are like me and didn’t know that this water has cosmetic uses, now you know, and maybe next time you won’t waste it.
What is Low Porosity Hair?
Another question I had to answer in my research was, “what is low porosity hair?” Physics will tell you that porosity is the state of having tiny holes that can hold water or air.
To understand this, think of a sponge; when you put it in water, it soaks in a great deal of it and becomes all spongy (fully soaked), but when you drop in a raincoat, it soaks in less water.
In this case, the sponge has high porosity while the raincoat has low porosity.
This same analogy applies to hair. Low porosity hair tends to repel moisture because its cuticles are too tightly closed, making it difficult for water to get in.
These flattened cuticles make it difficult for your hair to soak in water/moisture when washed. Low porosity hair repels moisture and has problems retaining the little moisture that it absorbs.
This means that when you are washing your hair, it takes too long to become fully saturated with water.
Low porosity hair has high keratin protein content, which is one of the reasons for its limited capacity to absorb moisture.
How to Know if You Have Low Porosity Hair?
Another thing I needed to answer on this journey was how to find out the porosity level of my hair. Healthine.com gives a simple step-by-step process for finding out the true porosity of your hair. The procedure involves
- Wash your hair with shampoo to remove any product buildup
- Put a strand of your hair (now clean) in a glass of water and observe
- Observe what happens,
If the strand sinks = high porosity hair
If the strand floats at the top = low porosity hair
If it floats in the middle = medium porosity hair
Other characteristics of low porosity hair include i) difficulties getting your hair saturated with water, ii) hair products are not easily absorbed, and they simply sit on the curls, and iii) your hair doesn’t dry easily.
Overall, low porosity hair has a difficult time absorbing water and other products.
How to Make/Prepare Rice Water
After understanding hair porosity, the next step was finding out how to prepare rice water. I discovered that it is easy to make rice water, and there are two methods.
The first approach is the soaking method. This means washing your rice to remove impurities and dirt, then soaking it.
Soaking a cup of rice in two cups of water is ideal. Let the rice sit for around 30 minutes and stir every 10 minutes or so.
Wait until the water turns cloudy, then strain the rice. Save or proceed to cook the rice. Your rice water is ready for use, but you can save it for 12 to 48 hours.
The second approach is to wash your rice to get rid of dirt and other contaminants. Once your rice is clean, put it in a saucepan and add 2 cups of water or more, then bring it to a boil.
Boil until the rice is fully cooked and strain the rice to save the remaining water. Your rice water is ready for use.
Is Rice Water Good for Low Porosity Hair?
If you have low porosity hair, don’t worry, you can still use rice water on your hair. However, my research shows that if your hair is low porosity, you need to be careful because, as mentioned earlier, low porosity hair is protein sensitivity.
As I discovered earlier, rice water contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, and using rice water could prove detrimental.
These “proteins” from the rice water cannot soak in and penetrate the hair, so they will simply coat the strands. However, low porosity hair already has high keratin protein content; adding more protein can be damaging.
If you over-use rice water on your low porosity hair, the extra protein is likely to make your strands too brittle and dry. When your hair is coated with these proteins, it doesn’t absorb moisture, which makes it too dry.
How do You Use Rice Water with Low Porosity Hair?
To use rice water for your low porosity hair, you need to wash and shampoo your hair as usual and rinse thoroughly.
After that, you pour rice water on your hair and massage it into the hair and scalp. Leave for at least 20 minutes before rinsing again with warm water.
How Often Should I Use Rice Water on Low Porosity Hair?
Limit your use of rice water to once a month, twice a month utmost. When you use rice water on your hair, it forms a protective outer coating for each strand. This coating makes it silky and strong when you are combing it through or detangling it.
Thanks to the coating, your hair will not experience as much breakage or frizz. It will also look shinier with the coating.
Since rice water forms a coating on your hair, if you use it too often, you are going to experience protein overload, which will make your hair brittle, with extreme breakage, and if you want to avoid that, use rice water in moderation on your low porosity hair.
Benefits of Rice Water on Your Hair
Prevents Irritation and Improves Scalp Health
Research shows that rice water can stop the growth of dandruff-causing fungus, which is an advantage for those of us with dandruff.
Thus, it calms potential irritation and kills fungus on the scalp. Rice water has been shown to have a positive impact on the skin, which can help keep the scalp healthy.
Improves Manageability of Hair
Additional research showed that rice water helped to reduce surface friction and increased hair elasticity. This can make it easier to manage your hair, especially when you have to comb and detangle it.
It improves Shine and Adds Strength to Hair
My research showed that using rice water on your hair can improve elasticity and enhance shine. Rice water provides a coating that protects your hair cuticles, making them stronger and softer without frizz or breakaways.
With added strength and reduced breakage, your hair is able to retain its length, which is why your hair grows longer with rice water.
As my research proved, rice water is good for low porosity hair, but as with everything good, moderation is encouraged.