Homemade Natural Rice Water Shampoo & Facial Toner

IMG_6183Ever in search of the perfect homemade natural shampoo, I’m making this recipe tonight.  A friend and I have been talking about rice water shampoo, traditionally used by a tribe in China known for women with very long and very black hair with no gray showing up until the women are well past 80.  Well!  That’s for me!  I wonder if it will remove the gray that’s already there…hmm…no word on that so far.

Looking up the recipes online, as always there are a number of variations.  Some recipes say to cook the rice in extra water, drain off the extra water, and you’ve got your rice water all ready to go.  Other recipes say to rinse your uncooked rice once in about a cup of water, drain that off, soak the rice again for anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes to 2 hours to overnight, drain off the water, and there’s your water for your shampoo.

Still other recipes talk about draining off your rice water and then letting it ferment overnight.  You’ll know it’s ready when it smells a little funny.  Then you boil the water, which stops the fermentation process, and now your rice water shampoo is ready.

So!  I’ve measured 1 cup of rice into my (appropriate) Japanese Donabe Pot, rinsed it once, threw that water away, and now I’ve added one inch of water on top of the rice and I’m letting it sit there.  It’s been there for about half an hour now.  (Yeah, I’m real careful about following specific directions.)  I’ll probably let it sit there for another hour or so before I drain it off.  And I’ll stir it a few times in the next hour.

Do a little searching around to find out all of the amazing benefits of using rice water as shampoo, or as a conditioner / rinse, or as a facial toner and sunscreen, or drinking rice water.  One of the websites I found that I liked that gave lots of great information about rice water was this one.  There are lots of other websites and videos giving great details and how-tos.

I washed my hair this morning with my usual homemade Zum shampoo-from-a-shampoo-bar that I make into a liquid at home, and that’s been working great for me for the past year, and I’m very curious to see what this will do for me.  Initially I’m intending to use it as a rinse / conditioner, since I don’t use a rinse or a conditioner at the moment.

People talk about using it as a shampoo and sectioning off their hair, rinsing the rice water through their hair, very carefully, one section at a time, and rubbing it in.  My friend this morning did that with her new batch of rice water, then braided her still-wet hair and wrapped it up to dry.  She liked that she could easily comb through her hair after shampooing.

I’m thinking about putting my rice water in a spray bottle and tomorrow when I take a shower I’ll rinse my hair with water, spray on the rice water with my spray bottle, do the rest of my shower routine, and rinse out the rice water just before getting out of the shower.

I don’t use toner; I may try dabbing a little rice water on my face tomorrow just to see what that’s like.

I’ll update this post as I experiment further.

My local organic store sells bulk organic white sushi rice for — is it $2.69 a pound or $2.09?  Something in that range.  I bought about five pounds.  I’m thinking I’ll be using a lot of rice in the near future.   This amount of rice should provide me with rice water for at least two months of shampoo, maybe three, using one cup of rice for a week’s worth of shampoo.  (I wash my hair once a week on average, now that I quit using store-bought shampoo in December 2013.)

First Update:  This morning (the morning after making the rice water) I poured my rice water into a pan, put it on the stove and brought it to the boiling point, then turned the heat off and let it cool.  Once it was cool I put it in some plastic squirt bottles and in my 4-ounce sprayer.  I took my shower and wet my hair first, then sprayed on the rice water, massaged it in, and let that stay in my hair while I finished my shower, then rinsed it out.  I decided to spray a little bit on my face and my hair and work that in, once the water was off.

Combing my hair out — I didn’t comb it out yesterday because the first day when I wash my hair it’s always SO hard to comb through — but today, combing it out was easy.  This will definitely be my conditioner now, even if I don’t use it as a shampoo.  It was great!

I also put some on a cotton ball and dabbed it all around my face as a toner.

I don’t really expect to see instant results.  I’ll give this a month or so and see how I like it.  So far so good!

Second update:  I quit using the rice water shampoo maybe after the second washing.  My hair did not feel clean.  Now I’m back to using the Zum shampoo bar soap that I make into a liquid, and with the rice water in a mister bottle I spray it on as a conditioner while I’m still in the shower, after I’ve washed my hair.  It makes my hair easier to comb through.

Darn!  I was looking forward to seeing all my grays gone, replaced by long black hair that would have been a L’Oreal model’s envy.  That would have been a thrill, especially since I’ve never *had* black hair.


About Susan Bame

Writer, Mediator, Facilitator, Teacher, fascinated with indigenous forms of conflict resolution. I love watching people become empowered. I have a master's degree in conflict resolution and a personal interest in organic food, detoxing and healing the body, alternative holistic approaches to health, self-empowerment and win-win solutions through mediation, Structured Water™, and energetic healing. I lived on the Omaha Reservation in northeast Nebraska for ten years, worked with Native families in the area, and have a great interest in Native history, culture, practices, traditions, stories, and current affairs. View all posts by Susan Bame

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