Category Archives: Science Lab

Fermented Rice Water Rinse: Can It Grow YOUR Hair?

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.),  which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

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Historically, in China, Japan, and other southeast Asian countries, rice water has been used for skincare (e.g., to bathe in) as well as in various hair care routines (i.e., in lieu of shampoo). The Yao women of the Huangluo village in China are a testament to the wonders of this simple liquid. They have been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as “the world’s longest hair village.” The average hair length of the women in this village spans 6 ft. long!  What do these women have in common? They all use fermented rice water to rinse their hair. According to them, this practice keeps their hair black, silky, shiny, and long. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Chemists found that the use of rice water as a hair care regimen aided in the reduction of surface friction on hair follicles and helped to improve the overall elasticity of hair. This means that those lengthy detangling sessions could be a thing of the past … Goodbye, breakage!

So, how do we obtain gorgeous locks from rice water? Rice contains inositol, a carbohydrate. Thanks to a specialized imaging technique, we know that inositol can help repair damaged hair.  This is because inositol not only remains on the exterior shaft of the hair but has the ability to gradually penetrate into each strand’s cortex (the middle), even after rinsing, offering continued hair protection. As a result, rinsing or washing your hair with rice water can improve manageability and, as a bonus, prevent any future damage. Besides, the amino acids, B vitamins, minerals, and vitamin E found in rice is thought to help strengthen the hair’s roots, add volume and lustre to the hair, and make hair silky smooth. With such amazing hair benefits as these, it’s no wonder the Yao women can obtain 6 feet of healthy, long, beautiful hair.

In addition, rice water is also believed to create flawless skin due to its cooling and soothing effect. Thanks to its moisturizing, antioxidant, and healing properties, it is also believed to improve overall circulation, prevent signs of aging (i.e., age spots and discoloration), soften and smooth skin, and ease inflammation. A study conducted at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium found that taking rice water bath  increased damaged skin’s ability to heal by as  much as 20%.

General Recipe

There are two ways to make rice water, with heat (via boiling water) or without heat (sans boiling). My sister likes to boil her rice  water, but I prefer the no-boil method (to keep as many of the rice’s nutrients in tact).

To make rice water, you will need:

Instructions

1.    To make rice water, first rinse the rice with water (to remove any dirt or impurities).

2.    Place the rice in a container and cover with (distilled) water.  I used a glass bottle with a flip-top lid to create a vaccum seal  and to prevent contamination (i.e., from something inadvertently falling into the vessel). Let the rice soak for 1 to 2 days at room temperature.  (The warmer the room, the faster the fermentation process will be). Occasionally swirl the water around to help the vitamins and minerals seep into the water. Over time, the water should slowly become cloudy, creating a nourishing rinse for your hair and skin.

3.    Once 1 or 2 days have passed, strain the rice water out into a clean bowl and then transfer it into a spray bottle (for ease of use).  Your rice water is now ready to use. It will smell slightly sour  (i.e., reminiscent of yeast when making bread).

4 .  Store your rice water in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

NOTE: You can always use unfermented rice water, however fermenting the rice water provides enhanced benefits. (i.e., traces of pitera, a substance produced during the fermentation process that is believed to promote cell regeneration and help skin stay young and beautiful). Also, keep in mind that fermented rice water is very potent. As a result, you may need to dilute it with a cup or two of  water prior to use.  I didn’t need to, but everyone’s hair is different. So, simply adjust the ratio according to your hair’s needs (e.g., dilute with more water if you find the rinse too drying for your hair).

How to Use Fermented Rice Water

After shampooing your mane, use a spray bottle to saturate your hair with rice water. Make sure your strands are coated from root to tip. Then, gently massage the rice water into your scalp, and cover your hair with a processing cap. Leave the rinse in for 20 to 30 minutes. Next, rinse your hair thoroughly with (distilled) water. Use this fermented rice treatment once a week as a final rinse. It should be the last step in your hair routine prior to moisturizing and styling your hair.

What I Noticed

Fermented rice water really helped to do the following:

  • condition my hair
  • soften my hair
  • balance my scalp’s pH
  • increase the shine of my hair
  • strengthen my hair
  • help my hair grow faster (and retain the length I grew)

After 4 weeks of using fermented rice water, my hair felt softer, stronger, and super silky. Also, I noticed that my strands seemed much smoother. Rice water really works! Want more detailed information about my experience? Watch the video below …

 

 

Read about my 2-month results HERE.

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Moisturizing Aloe Vera Hair Cream with Rosemary & Tea Tree

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  1. Place 3 TBSP raw, unrefined shea butter in a double boilerI like ivory shea butter best but, if you like, you can also use yellow shea butter. They both come from the nut of the Karite tree. However, yellow shea butter has Borututu tree roots (a medicinal plant) added during the milling process to give it a golden color and to make it slightly more firm.
    • NOTE: If your shea butter is pure white in color, it is refined. As someone who is 67% West African, in my family, buying refined shea butter is a cardinal sin! It’s just not done. Besides, the refinement process (i.e., bleaching, deodorizing, etc.) can leave harmful toxins in the final product. It also tends to remove most of the beneficial properties of shea butter, which pretty much defeats the purpose of buying shea butter in the first place.
  2. Add 3 TBSP of avocado oil. Once butter and oil melts, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. 
    • Avocado oil is rich in Vitamins B and E. It works at the cellular level to help protect and strengthen hair, repair scalp damage, prevent hair loss, and promote healthy hair growth. Avocado oil nourishes and rejuvenates dehydrated skin and hair to improve texture and appearance by controlling frizz, adding shine, and fighting split ends.
  3. Add ¾ cup aloe vera gel to butter/oil mixture. 
  4. Add ½ tsp vitamin e oil
    • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces scalp inflammation and helps to repair damage to hair follicles.
    • It also helps to extend the shelf life of the product. I like the Sundown Naturals brand.
  5. Whip all ingredients with an electric hand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes.
    • I remove one beater (i.e., only use one beater) for this whole process to avoid overcrowding the bowl or having to use a vessel 10x larger than necessary.
  6. OPTIONAL: Add essential oils.
    • 10 drops rosemary: stimulates blood flow to scalp, prevents inflammation, and regulates the scalp’s sebum production.
    • 10 drops tea tree: has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties that prevents hair fall and nourishes dry, itchy scalp.
  7. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes to congeal and gently stir.
    • Finished product does not need to be refrigerated.
    • You can also leave the product at room temp to congeal on its own, but this will take at least 3-4 hours. Refrigeration speeds up the process.
  8. Transfer contents into an 8 oz. jar. Product is now ready for use.
  9. Happy styling!

 

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DIY ECO STYLER Curl Cream

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If you want something lighter (and less oily) than the DIY Eco Styler custard, just turn your fave Eco Styler Gel into a moisturizing hair cream or twist butter.

  1. Place 2 TBSP raw, unrefined shea butter in a double boiler.
    • I like ivory shea butter best but, if you like, you can also use yellow shea butter. They both come from the nut of the Karite tree. However, yellow shea butter has Borututu tree roots (a medicinal plant) added during the milling process to give it a golden color and to make it slightly more firm.
    • NOTE: If your shea butter is pure white in color, it is refined. As someone who is 67% West African, in my family, buying refined shea butter is a cardinal sin! It’s just not done. Besides, the refinement process (i.e., bleaching, deodorizing, etc.) can leave harmful toxins in the final product. It also tends to remove most of the beneficial properties of shea butter, which pretty much defeats the purpose of buying shea butter in the first place.
  2. Add 2 TBSP castor oil.
  3. Add 10 TBSP Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel (⅝ cup).
  4. Add 3 TBSP of rose water.
    • Whip with an electric hand mixer on medium speed.
    • I remove one beater (i.e., only use one beater) for this whole process to avoid overcrowding the bowl or having to use a vessel 10x larger than necessary.
  5. Add ½ tsp vitamin e oil.
    • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces scalp inflammation and helps to repair damage to hair follicles.
    • It also helps to extend shelf life. I like the Sundown Naturals brand.
  6. OPTIONAL (but highly recommended): Add essential oils for fragrance and to extend shelf life.
    • 10 drops rose geranium: prevents dull, limp hair and strengthens hair follicles.
    • 10 drops bergamot: promotes hair growth and prevents scalp buildup.
  7. Mix one final time to incorporate all ingredients.
  8. Transfer to an 8 oz. container.
    • Product will continue to thicken as it comes to room temp. If you would like it to thicken more swiftly, place the finished product in the fridge for an hour and then remove.
    • NOTE: This DOES NOT have to be stored in the fridge! But, letting it chill in the fridge for an hour will thicken the cream at a faster rate.
    • Happy styling!

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Henna Hair Gloss

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recipe-card-henna-gloss

 

  1. Measure 1 TBSP of henna powder and place it in a small, plastic bowl.
    • Henna acts as a natural hair dye but also substantially increases the strength of hair, especially with continued use.
    • Henna seals the hair’s cuticle, which prevents breakage and makes hair more manageable.
  2. Add ½ TBSP of shikakai powder.
    • Shikakai powder acts as a mild natural saponic, which helps to remove debris from the scalp while maintaining an optimum pH level.
  3. Add ½ TBSP of bhringraj powder.
    • Bhringraj powder prevents hair loss, split ends, and premature greying.
    • It also promotes overall healthy hair growth.
  4. Add ½ TBSP of amla powder.
    • Amla powder (aka Indian gooseberry) has valuable anti-dandruff properties.
    • It also aids in toning down the “redness” in henna, reduces hair fall, and improves the natural lustre of hair.
  5. Add 2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Add just enough water to make a thick paste. Stir until all the powders and oil are well combined.
  7. Add 2 TBSP of your fave conditioner, and stir until the mixture is smooth. 
    • When I first came up with this henna hair gloss, I used VO5’s clarifying conditioner. But, it was a little too drying on my hair (with the henna). So, the next time I made this henna hair gloss, I swapped it for Lustrasilk’s Aloe Vera Cholesterol. I liked that much better. My hair felt luxuriously soft. So, make sure you use a moisturizing conditioner.
    • I like to use a relatively cheapie conditioner for this recipe, but you can use whatever conditioner you prefer.

 

 

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DIY Beard Balm

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recipe-card-beard-balm

  1. Prepare a double boiler (i.e., as if you were tempering chocolate). 

    • If you do not have a double boiler, you can create a makeshift one by placing a Pyrex glass bowl or stainless steel bowl over a pot filled ¼ to ½ of the way with water.
    • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer before adding ingredients.
    • For all my fellow foodies out there, you already know that this method, much like the protective cooking it provides when preparing something with delicate ingredients (e.g., whisking up an egg-based sabayon), will help to prevent the recipe components from the dangers of direct heat. This, in turn, preserves the integrity of our ingredients. 
  2. Add 2 TBSP of  sweet almond oil.
    • Used since biblical times, almond oil is easily absorbed by the skin and helps to alleviate dryness.
    • It also combats future acne, due to its high vitamin A content.
  3. Add 1 TBSP of apricot oil.
    • Apricot oil softens hair and helps to soothe irritated skin.
  4. Add 1 TBSP of organic beeswax.
    • Beeswax has anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to trap moisture into the skin and hair and also promotes healthy hair growth.
    • I like to use the pastilles for easier (and faster) melting.
    • You can purchase yellow or white organic beeswax pastilles, depending on your preference. I like the white pastilles because it doesn’t overly saturate my product with color, but either are fine. The yellow beeswax is in its raw, unadulterated (aka unbleached) form. The white pastilles are filtered and lightened. Just make sure they are chemical-free (collected from unsprayed and unfertilized fields) and are bleached naturally (i.e., via air and/or sunlight).
  5. Add 1 TBSP of pure castor oil.
    • Due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, castor oil helps to treat acne, rashes, and other skin conditions.Just make sure it is hexane-free and cold-pressed.
    • This oil is high in vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids.
    • Its unusually high ricinoleic acid ratio makes castor oil the supreme oil of choice for expedited hair growth.
  6. Add ½ teaspoon of vitamin e oil.
    • Vitamin E oil has anti-aging properties that prevent the damaging effects from the environment (e.g., free radicals).
    • This nutrient-rich oil heals and repairs skin and hair.
    • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to extend the shelf life of the balm.
    • I prefer to buy Sundown Naturals’ vitamin E oil.

  7. Add 15–20 drops of essential oil.
    • I used 10 drops of cedarwood essential oil for its ability to remove toxins and reduce hair loss.
    • I also used 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil for its antiseptic and aromatic properties as well as its ability to ward off itchy skin while increasing follicle stimulation.
    • However, you can use any essential oil you prefer (i.e., rosemary, peppermint, etc).
  8. Transfer the liquid into a container of your choice, and enjoy!
    • I purchased 100 ml tins (for gifting purposes) and added a custom label that I designed, but you could use any container you like that has been cleaned and sterilized.

         

          NOTE This makes a great Movember gift for that special guy in your life. Or, you can gift this for Christmas (or any other special occasion)!   😉

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Blackberry Sage Tea Creamy Leave-in Conditioner

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Thank you for your support!

Recipe Card - Blackberry Sage Tea Creamy Leave-in Conditioner

  1. Add ¾ cup of VO5’s Tea Therapy Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner to a 16 oz. flip-top container.
    • This conditioner contains vitamins b3, b5, c, e, and h.
    • It has blackberry and sage extracts that provide each strand with energy, volume, and balance.
    • It is also supposed to energize limp hair and protect hair from UV rays
  2. Add ½ cup of distilled (not tap) water.
  3. Add ¼ cup of aloe vera juice.
    • Aloe vera juice relieves itchy, dry scalps and acts as a conditioning agent that reduces frizz.
    • I buy the Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Juice. It comes in a large 1 gallon jug and has a shelf life of about 2 years (when stored properly in the fridge).
  4. Add 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil.
    • Olive oil is one of the few oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft. This makes it a great choice for imparting strength, shine, and smoothing the hair’s cuticle.
    • I usually buy the Kirkland brand olive oil from Costco or Amazon.
  5. Add 1 tsp of vegetable glycerin.
    • Glycerin is a natural humectant. It helps to attract and retain moisture to your hair’s follicles.
    • I adore the 100% pure version from NOW Solutions. It never fails to soften and moisturize my parched tresses!
  6. Add ½ teaspoon of vitamin e oil.
    • Vitamin e oil has anti-aging properties that prevent damaging effects from the environment (e.g., free radicals).
    • This nutrient-rich oil heals and repairs skin and hair.
    • It is also an antioxidant that helps keep the spritz fresh by extending the shelf life.
    • I prefer to buy Sundown Naturals’ vitamin e oil.
  7. Add 15–20 drops of essential oil.
  8. Add top, and shake vigorously to incorporate all ingredients. Enjoy!

I like to use a funnel. I bought a set that came in multiple sizes. It has proven to be a must for me when I make my own DIY hair and skincare products! While it’s not absolutely necessary, it does make the process (for me) much more stress- and mess-free!

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Super-moisturizing Lavender Hair Spritz

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.),  which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

 

Recipe Card - SUPER-MOISTURIZING SPRITZ

 

  1. Add ½ cup of aloe vera juice.
    • Aloe vera juice relieves itchy, dry scalps and acts as a conditioning agent that reduces frizz.
    • I buy the Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Juice. It comes in a large 1 gallon jug and has a shelf life of 1 ½ – 2 years (when stored properly in the fridge).
  2. Add ½ cup of rose water.
    • Rosewater helps to balance the pH of skin.
    • It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce and prevent irritated skin and clogged pores.
    • It’s antioxidant properties strengthens and regenerates skin cells.
    • Rose water also hydrates and refreshes hair, and helps with the retention of moisture.
    • I love the rose water by Heritage Store.
  3. Add ½ cup of distilled (not tap) water.
    • If you live in a hard water area like I do, this is a CRUCIAL step.
    • It is imperative that you use distilled (or filtered) water. Don’t use tap water, especially if you are unsure of the water content (or if you have never tested your water)!
  4. Add ⅓ cup of vegetable glycerin.
    • Glycerin is a natural humectant. It helps to attract and retain moisture to your hair’s follicles.
    • I adore the 100% pure version from NOW Solutions. It never fails to soften and moisturize my parched tresses!
  5. Add ½ teaspoon of vitamin e oil.
    • Vitamin e oil has anti-aging properties that prevent damaging effects from the environment (e.g., free radicals).
    • This nutrient-rich oil heals and repairs skin and hair.
    • It is also an antioxidant that helps to keep the spritz fresh by extending the shelf life.
    • After trying several brands, I’ve locked onto Sundown Naturals vitamin e oil.
  6. Add 2030 drops of lavender essential oil.
  7. Shake vigorously to incorporate all ingredients, and enjoy!

After tinkering with the proportions for two months, this has become my go-to daily hair moisturizer. I use it on my twist-outs, wash ‘n gos, protective styles, everything! When nothing else will moisturize my hair, this will. Trust!

Follow-up with your fave oil. I normally gravitate to whipped shea butter but, this summer, I’ve been reaching for extra virgin olive oil more frequently. Just use what your hair loves.

 

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