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D'Shonda Brown

Source: D’Shonda Brown / D’Shonda Brown

After being forced to embrace my natural hair amid the coronavirus pandemic and beauty supply store closures, I can confidently say I’m getting used to rocking my real hair.

One morning, while researching different styles for short 4C/4B hair, I came across an overnight routine for rice watera sworn-by hair growth method that promises results.

After watching a few rice water reviews (I was researching fast ways to grow my hair while in between protective styles), I figured why not give it a try. Wash day was long overdue, anyways. 

After grocery shopping with bae, I realized that we pretty much bought out the entire produce section, but no rice. Luckily, he lives above the local bodega so I was able to find a bag of cheap box of brown rice. I popped it into a large mason jar-like glass with water. (It’s going to smell horrendous and I was fortunate to know this ahead of time, so I decided to throw in some orange peels and vanilla to combat the smell). I did an original length check with my hair and my boyfriend marked the length of my hair on a shirt that I would be using throughout the week to track my growth progress.

D'Shonda Brown

Source: D’Shonda Brown / D’Shonda Brown

After letting it ferment in the back of our refrigerator for approximately 24 hours, I poured the makeshift concoction into a spray bottle I found at ShopRite. I washed my hair with Creme of Nature’s Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Moisture & Shine Shampoo and Creme of Nature’s Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment. After rinsing out my deep conditioner, I first sprayed the water throughout my head and moisturized it into my scalp. Then, I took a comb to part my hair, began to twist and saturate the rice water into each of the sections and finally sealed each twist with Olive Oil Leave-In Conditioner

The rice water method reportedly originated in ancient China. Rice is rich in vitamins and has many benefits for your hair. Washing your hair with rice water can help reduce dandruff, it’s a natural detangler, increases shine and strengthens your strands.

When I woke up the next morning, I untwisted my hair with carrot tea tree oil and Blue Magic hair grease. After struggling and fighting with my hair, the coils began to unravel and my fro began to show itself. I implemented this routine into my life for a week. After a few days, I noticed that my hair grew at least half an inch from the night before. I can’t believe it had actually worked. After a few more days of spraying rice water into my hair before bed and throwing it up into two buns, a single bun or plain braid out with a touch of hair mayonnaise for moisture, I can confidently say that it made a difference in my hair.

While I won’t say that I have hair like the Black Rapunzel, I can say that I have noticed a difference in my hair’s length and strength. For example, my edges were nonexistent prior to this “experiment” because I have a tendency of always throwing my hair up into a ponytail or any other style that allows my hair to be back and away from my face. After just a few short trial days, my edges are beginning to grow back as well as the hair around the crown of my head. 

D'Shonda Brown

Source: D’Shonda Brown / D’Shonda Brown

Not only does rice water stimulate hair growth, but it softens your hair texture, increases the shine, promotes volume and strengthens your roots. Before Saturday, my hair was a little shy of my collarbone in length and a little thin in some areas – now, it’s a little first than the top of my breastbone, with no split ends and no sign of damage from any which way. Needless to say, I’ll be adding this two-step gem to my daily hair regimen.


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