However, I wasn’t ready to give up! When the internet age heralded itself, I began my research and soon discovered the ancient secret behind the gorgeous skin and hair. Today I’m going to share this secret with all you lovely ladies so you too can have a luxurious mane just like the Chinese!
Having spent half my life in an Anglo-Indian school, I’ve always wondered how my Chinese classmates managed to have such beautiful, silky smooth hair! Asking them about their secret was always a futile attempt.
I only ended with up with vague, no-good answers such as “I use this shampoo or that conditioner.” Naturally, me trying out those shampoos or conditioners never yielded the same results! That meant that a lot of my time in the classroom was spent being envious of my Chinese counterpart’s lush hair.
What’s The Chinese Secret To Long And Healthy Hair?
The secret behind the strong and shiny hair of the Chinese originates in an ancient village in the heart of China known as Huangluo, which is also known as “The Long Hair Village” (1)! An interesting nickname, don’t you think?
Anyway, as the name suggests, the local populace of this place, the Yao people, are blessed with amazingly long hair. Your jaws will drop to the floor if you take a look at just how many Rapunzels exist in this tiny hamlet in the south-western region of China!
Comprising of just 400 people, most women of this 2000-year old tribe are possessors of hair that’s 3 feet long. One woman in the village, in fact, has tresses that measure a whopping 7 feet in length! The Yao women never cut their hair except once in their lifetime, which is on the day of their marriage. While that explains their fairytale-ish hair length to an extent, it doesn’t cover it entirely.
In Yao culture, long hair is a symbol of prosperity, good fortune, longevity, and health. The longer their hair is, the more blessed they are considered to be. In fact, they have strange rituals and customs surrounding their hair too.
For example, the hair of Yao women is held as so sacred a possession that none but the woman’s husband or children are allowed to touch it. In fact, if anyone that doesn’t belong to their family catches even a tiny glimpse of it, that person has to spend 3 years with the concerned household as their son-in-law! Although this law was put an end to in the 1980s, it’s fascinating to know how much value is placed on a woman’s hair.
Back to the point though, we know we’ve made you wait long enough for the secret of healthy, long hair like the Chinese and now we’re going to reveal it! Their secret is:
Fermented Rice Water!
Yes, you read it right. Fermented rice water is what the Yao women use to achieve such glorious hair lengths. They wash their hair in this concoction every day to preserve and maintain the strength and sheen of their tresses. Fortunately, their magical fermented rice potion is quite easy to concoct and you can make your own too! Let us show you the recipe.
How To Make Fermented Rice Water Potion For Your Hair
- A cup of rice
- Tea tree, rosemary or lavender oil (optional)
In a bowl, clean a cup of rice with water as you normally do before cooking it. Next, put the bowl of soaked rice on the stove and boil it for 15 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally as you boil it. Now, strain the excess water in a separate bowl and leave it in the kitchen for about a day or two. This’ll help in the fermentation process. You’ll know the water is ready once it turns sour.
As soon as it turns sour, put it on the stove again and boil it. At this stage, you can add a few drops of your preferred essential oil into the mix. Essential oil is not only good for your hair but it also adds a pleasant smell to the concoction. Now, let the concoction cool down. Once cool, massage this on your scalp as you would your shampoo. When done, rinse your hair thoroughly to remove all traces of this magical potion.
Rice water contains vitamin E, antioxidants, and minerals, which enhance the elasticity of your hair. A compound known as inositol in rice water can also protect your tresses from damage as well as heal existing damage. Moreover, amino acids in rice water make your hair roots stronger, thereby promoting hair growth (4)!
We assure you, using fermented rice water on your hair will work like magic! The Yao women have been doing it for years after all! You can also use rice water to cleanse your face and treat sunburn, acne, and eczema. So, ensure you include rice water in your beauty regime!