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In this segment of “You Asked, We Answered,” we’re going to talk about what makes our rice water-powered products better than making your own rice water at home. We get this question a lot and it’s totally understandable. You may be thinking, “Rice is easy to get my hands on and it’s easy to make, so what’s the real difference?” Although DIY can work great in a pinch, there are clear differences between using our products with rice water versus going the DIY route. Read on to find out more!
Using rice water for hair isn’t a new concept. In fact, rice water has been used for centuries as a remedy for long, strong, and healthy hair. There is a rich history across Asia that details all the different methods for making this treatment and the different applications for use depending on the country and the culture. (Although we just barely scratched the surface on this long standing tradition, we did a blog post on this topic in May. You can read more about it here!)
Traditionally, hair was washed or rinsed with the water because it was a by-product of making rice, an Asian food staple. Not wanting it to go to waste, women would use it to wash their hair and began to notice that their hair was stronger, longer, and healthier than women who were not using rice water. Using it as a rinse was the most common way of utilizing it for the hair - it’s what inspired our very own Reset Rinse - and in modern times people have continued to use it as a strand-strengthening DIY hair rinse.
If you’ve made your own DIY rice water treatment at home, or even if you haven’t and have only watched the tutorial videos online, then you are probably familiar with the potential drawbacks - storage, odor, and potency.
🌾 Storage: Rice water is a challenge in that it spoils easily and requires refrigeration. At INALA, we use a 100% Pure Rice Water Extract that boasts an enhanced shelf life and can be kept at room temperature and stays good for 2 years after opening.
DIY rice water mixtures that are not fermented should only be kept for a maximum of five days, with refrigeration, to avoid applying spoiled and degraded rice water to your hair. Fermented rice water mixtures can last a bit longer, but with fermentation comes a not-too-pleasant smell (more on this later).
You may be wondering, “What will happen if I used expired rice water…Does it really matter?” The answer is yes, it definitely does matter. Expired rice water can expose you to mold and bacteria. In some cases, these can lead to scalp irritation and skin issues, which could actually contribute to hair loss. How can you tell if your DIY rice water has gone bad? Check for signs like a change in smell (which can be hard to identify if you made fermented rice water), a change in texture, and a change in color. The most obvious sign that it’s time to throw out your mixture is if you see visible mold growing. (Yikes!)
🌾 Odor: Making DIY rice water treatments is a smelly business due to the fermentation (or breaking down) of the actual rice protein. INALA’s 100% Pure Rice Water Extract is odorless and fits seamlessly into your daily beauty routine without the sour fermented smell that comes with the DIY territory. Being odorless, it also lends itself to being the perfect base for fragrance to shine through, like our debut fragrance Eau La La that is in our Triple Threat Tonic.
🌾 Potency: INALA’s products are specifically formulated to include rice water protein levels that are effective yet gentle for all hair types, without the risk of protein overload. We even have a fortified blend in our Power Potion and Triple Threat Tonic that includes Biotin and Arginine, called our Signature Rice Water Complex, which is like rice water on steroids.
When it comes to protein, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. DIY mixtures tend to develop more protein content as the mixture sits, which means that you could be at risk for protein overload for your hair, causing strands to be brittle, dry, and less resilient. INALA products take the guesswork out of “how much protein is too much?” and gives you the highest efficacy and peace of mind.
Another benefit is that INALA provides targeted solutions for the scalp, strands, or both, and formulates accordingly with the correct amount of rice water and the addition of beneficial ingredients that supercharge each formula. Need to focus on the scalp due to thinning? Power Potion is your best bet. Need to strengthen strands and reduce breakage? Triple Threat Tonic to the rescue. Experiencing product buildup and a scalp that never feels clean? Let me introduce you to Reset Rinse. And if you need a complete healthy hair overhaul, look no further than our best-selling Rice Water 3-Step Ritual.
👀 Do you have a burning question to ask us? Let us know in the comments below and we may do a feature on it!