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Yao Rice Water Recipe | The Secret Chinese Recipe For Long, Healthy Hair

in tea seed Huangluo Yao is a village in china known for women with long and healthy hair. The Yao women cut their hair only once in their life time. Here is the original Yao rice water recipe for you guys.

You can see my rice water for natural hair six month results in the VIDEO At 7:56.

The photo that you can find at the end of this post was taken after using the fermented rice water recipe for four months.

Below you can find,

  • Video tutorial with results
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Yao women hair care routine
  • How to make rice water (Original/Real Yao Women Recipe)
  • Alternative ingredients you can use
  • Rice water benefits for hair
  • How i use rice water
  • My six month experience and results


Scroll down for Photo Instructions and FAQ

I already posted a Recipe For Fermented Rice Water last year. After using it for quite some time, I did brag about about how my hair got thicker over time.

Yao Women Hair Care Routine

They follow the below two recipes which are fermented for at least 2 weeks.

Hair mask with rice water and the peels. Use once week leaving it for an hour before rinsing it iff.

Natural Hair Cleanser with rice water, natural cleanser and pomelo/grape fruit peels. Use every three days.

Yao women do not use any kind of conditioner.

I have come to notice that the YAO women have certain habits that they have been following for generations.

  1. Yao women flip the head upside down while combing their hair.

Flipping your head upside down does improve the blood flow to your scalp. This means, More oxygen and nutrients reach the scalp which encourages hair growth.

2. Yao women protect their hair from wind by going for a twist and tie hair style.

Wind causes cause damage to the outer cuticle layer which leads to tangles and split ends. It also reduces the moisture level of your hair.

What Is the Difference Between Yao Rice Water And Fermented Rice Water?

1.To make Yao rice water you have to use white rice.(Recipe 1 in the video) While the fermented rice water recipe can be prepared with other types of rice like, black rice and wild rice. (Recipe 2 in the video)

2. Yao rice water does not stink at all. To be honest, it smells amazing even after a month. The fermented rice in water does stink a bit.

3. No need to refrigerate Yao rice water up to a month. But fermented rice water has to be refrigerated within 72 hours.

4. You do not have to dilute Yao rice water. But the fermented rice water has to be diluted in a 1:1 ratio to prevent protein overload.

5. While Yao rice water can be used every 3 days, it is advisable to use fermented rice water only once or twice a month.

rice water for natural hair

I did some research on Yao women and came to know that their rice water recipe was actually different from mine. And hence, i tried their recipe for almost six months now and guess what, it works even better than the stinky fermented rice water.

No need to shampoo afterwards too. And, my hair smells amazing.  Isn’t that Great?


The main ingredients of Yao rice water are White rice, Tea seed cake, And Pomelo peels. Each of these ingredients contribute to heathy hair in different ways.


Rice water contains vitamin B and vitamin E, amino acids and other minerals and antioxidants in it.

The ingredient inositol present in rice water has the ability to penetrate in to the hair and repair cuticle damage. This helps add shine and reduce frizz.

The amino acids in rice water help promote hair growth.

Using rice water helps make your hair stronger, smoother and shinier.

The healing properties of rice water help soothe the scalp in case of itching and other irritation.

BUT, those with low porosity hair may have trouble with protein build up. Just keep that in mind.


Tea seed cake is the meal left behind after extracting the oils from it. It is rich in protein which is highly beneficial for smooth, silky and healthy hair.

Tea seed cake has anti microbial properties and hence it prevents scalp infections like seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff and itching.

The tea saponins in tea seed help cleanse the hair and scalp properly without drying it out.

The amino acids help new hair growth and also moisturises, conditions, and strengthens the hair strands.

Amino acids also help repair cuticle damage which is the main reason for frizzy and lacklustre hair

Tea seed cake promotes blood circulation and activate follicle growth.

In short, it makes your hair stronger and thicker But also, super soft and silky.


ALTERNATIVE – GRAPEFRUIT PEELS (I use whatever citrus fruit peels i have with me and it worked just fine. But it have pomelo/grapefruit peels, stick to the original recipe)

Pomelo peels contain antioxidants that help promote hair growth. It stimulates the scalp which results in increased blood flow to the surface of the scalp.

Increased blood flow simply means ,more oxygen and nutrients reach the scalp thereby promoting hair growth.

The anti-septic, anti-allergic and anti-fungal properties of the pomelo peels treat mild dandruff and prevent scalp infections. It also soothes itchy irritated scalp. You do o=not have to worry about any kind of bacterial growth anymore.

Vitamin C helps neutralises and protects your hair against free radical damage and adds an invisible coating to your hair to prevent further damage.

The vitamins and minerals in pomelo helps repair the outer cuticle layer of the hair by sealing it properly. When the cuticles are sealed, it adds shine to your hair and leaves it frizz free.

If your are using styling products, using pomelo rice water may get rid of product build up. It is perfect for dull, dry lifeless hair.

Pomelo peels cleanses your scalp of sweat, dirt and cleans out clogged pores and thus, prevents dandruff, itching and other scalp infections.

It also prevents hair thinning.

You may not feel much difference in a single use BUT, eventually it will work and improve your hair quality.

Now it makes perfect sense as to why YAO women have strong, soft, shiny and silky hair.

What Do Yao Women Use For Their Hair?

Yao women depend on natural hair treatments for their lustrous healthy hair like, natural hair cleansers and rice water conditioner. Boiled and fermented rice water promotes hair growth and nourishes the scalp and conditions your hair too.

You don’t even have to use shampoo or conditioner when using this recipe. This huangluo yao village hair serum cleanses and conditions your hair leaving it soft and frizz free.

How Long Do The Yao Women Ferment Rice Water?

Traditionally, the rice water is boiled with two other ingredients first and left to ferment for about two weeks to one month.

I start using it after 4 days or 1 week though. The rice water when fermented correctly using the Yao rice water recipe does not stink at all. 🙂 My hair smells like oranges and i absolutely love it.

How The Yao Women Use Rice Water?

Huangluo yao village hair serum is usually used by itself as they have already added hair cleansers to it while boiling the rice water. The fermented rice water act as hair conditioners smoothing and closing the cuticles. The closed hair cuticles reflect the light that falls on them making your hair look dark and shiny.

Remember not to dilute this fermented rice water.


Chinese village of huanglong rice water recipe does not use the internet famous rice water method where we leave the rice in the water to ferment for 48-72 hours. This method of making rice water produces highly concentrated rice water which has to be diluted before use to avoid protein overload.

I have already shared a post with my experience with Fermented Rice Water Recipe Using White & Black Rice Here.

Which Rice Does Yao Women Use?

White rice.

When you buy make sure the rice is organic and free from harmful pesticides. Basmati rice and rice that are grown in certain parts of the world like India, and Pakistan contain the least amount of pesticides and Arsenic in them.

How Long Does It Take For Rice Water To Grow Your Hair ?

You should be able to see noticeable difference in your hair length and texture in about a month’s time. I am not sure about how long it would take on damaged hair though.

Within a month’s time, my hair quality improved even without using a chemical shampoo or conditioner. My scalp looked healthy and moisturised rather than dry.

How Often Should You Use Rice Water?

Yao women use fermented rice water every three days.

In winters, they use it once a week.

Can We Use Essential Oils To Rice Water?

Yes, you can add tea tree oil or even Pomelo essential oil to the original rice water recipe.

How About Adding Moringa Powder, Hibiscus Powder, Ginger?

I get asked this question a lot but honestly, i have never tried modifying the recipe.

While browsing the net, i came across an article that says Fermented moringa powder has more soluble proteins. So now i am tempted to give it a try. I will update the article after trying the recipe with,

  • Ferment Rice water and Moringa powder with pomelo peels
  • Rice water and hibiscus flower with ginger and pomelo peels

In this case, i will skip using tea seed cake/powder.

When trying new ingredients, Make a small batch and try it a few times to see whether there is any changes in your hair like breakage or dryness.

i would still say, stick to the original Yao rice water recipe because it is a proven fool proof recipe for healthy hair.

How To Use Rice Water?

Shake the bottle before use as the cleansing powder always tends to settle at the bottom.
Pour the rice water over your head and hair
Wait for 20 minutes
Massage for 2 minutes
Now, Rinse with cold water.
Yao women use cold water to wash their hair even in the winters.

Some people are catch a cold after a cold water head bath. So adjust accordingly. Nothing is worth risking your health.

Yao Rice Water Recipe

Take about a cup of organic white rice.

white rice

Rinse the rice to remove dirt and dust.

Throw out this water.


Add 3 cups of water. Leave it for 30 minutes

After 30 minutes, rub the rice between your palms or fingers.

Continue until the water turns Milky White. This may take about 5 minutes

Drain the rice water to a separate vessel.

Now we have the basic ingredient of Yao rice water recipe.

rice water

It is time to add the second ingredient. That is,

Citrus peels

Here i have used sweet lemon peels of 2 whole lemons. You can use whichever is easily available to you.

Yao women use Pomelo Fruit peels. (The closest thing to a pomelo fruit would be a Grapefruit)

orange peel

Add the 2-3 tablespoons of hair cleanser powder.

You can boil it or just add the cleansing powder after you switch off the flame. Adding it to hot water works just fine.

Yao women use Tea Seed Cake Or Tea Seed Powder.(Camellia Seeds Powder). I have mentioned alternative options below

Tea seeds powder does helps cleanse and moisturise the hair and scalp. It also promotes hair growth and combats dandruff and itching.

Tea seeds powder has anit microbial properties which keeps the scalp infections at bay. The natural oils in tea seed powder helps cleanse the hair and scalp without drying it.

It is an amazing ingredient which i am recently addicted to.

tea seed powder

Alternative Hair Cleansers For Natural Hair

Shikakai Powder

Soap nut Powder (Reetha)- Best for colour treated/Chemical treated hair

Shikakai and Aloe Vera Powder for extremely dry hair

Shikakai and Hibiscus powder(Leaf/Flower) for extra conditioning

Shikakai, Soap nuts, Rhassoul clay
Soap nuts And Shikakai Pods

Boil For 5 Minutes

Once the mixture cools down, transfer it to a clean bottle. Try to use a  Glass bottle/jar for this purpose.

Do not use an air tight bottle as it interferes with the fermentation process

Leave it for 2 weeks to let it ferment.

Two weeks later, You have your own 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner ready to use. 🙂

Yao rice water stays fresh up to 2 month without refrigeration. 

yao women rice water recipe

Yao Rice Water Hair Mask

Boil rice water and the citrus peels for 5 minutes. Do not add the cleansing powder.

Once cooled, transfer it to a glass container. Let it ferment for 2 weeks.

Pour undiluted rice water all over your hair and scalp.

Wait for one hour.

Shampoo and condition as usual.

Use once a week.

Hope that helps.

Yao Women Rice Water Recipe

  • Rice water – 3 cups
  • Citrus peels – peels of 2 citrus fruits
  • Tea seed powder – 2 Tablespoon

Benefits Of Fermented Rice Water

No stinky smell

Contains Vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants

All natural & no side effects

Works as a shampoo & conditioner

Cleanses the scalp and hair of dirt and oil

Moisturises the scalp and hair

Leaves hair smoother, shiny and frizz free

Soothes itching and dandruff

Prevents mild scalp infections

Promotes faster hair growth 🙂

Reduces hair loss

Strengthens hair follicles

Repairs dry hair and damaged cuticles

Adds shine and lustre

Leaves citrus fragrance on hair

How I Use Fermented Rice Water?

I follow the Yao women rice water recipe and their hair care routine.

The only difference would be, I start using the rice water after it is fermented for a week, rather than two weeks recommended by Yao women.

I pour the rice water on my hair and wait for 20-25 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.

Using it every three days is what worked for me too. I have been using this for the past six months  with a no shampoo routine.

And, i am never going back.

Note: I always rinse my hair with a Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse to finish off.

Leave it for 3 minutes and rinse off. This does make my hair soft and frizz free while also preventing mineral deposit/product build up.

Rice Water Results

My hair smells like oranges which i love. It leaves such a refreshing smell behind.

This does promote new hair growth as i can see lot of tiny fly away hairs when i air dry my hair. 🙂 Using fermented rice water does not exactly stop hair fall but reduces it to an extent.

After six months, my hair thickness has increased so it can confidently say that the rice water recipe certainly works.

I can see that my hair has become softer, blacker and shinier than before. It has less tangles too.

One thing i noticed is that when i use rice water, it cools down my hot head. This is really a big thing for me.

The rice water recipe has slowly but surely improved the quality of my hair. And i am super impressed with the results. 🙂 🙂




Leave a Reply
    • I got mine from a nursery.
      Because of its high protein content, Tea seed cake/powder is widely used as organic fertiliser in Asian countries and hence is easily available in stores/online.

      • Hi

        1. Since you use this once every 3 days, do u use normal shampoo and conditioner on other days?

        2. How do you apply the rice water? Just run the water on your hair and let it dry on it’s own? Do i need to wrap my hair with a towel?


        • I use chemical shampoo or conditioner on my hair only if i am doing a warm oil massage or egg-oil mask.

          I just pour rice water all over my hair and scalp. As this hair mask is drippy, I wrap my hair in a towel and wait for 20-30 minutes for recipe 1 and an hour for recipe 2.
          I have never used a hot towel treatment with rice water.
          In case the mask starts to dry, i would rinse it off immediately.

          • Thank you! So if i need to wash my hair everyday (sweaty after exercise) , i should use rice water everyday too?

          • I use this every other day in summers without any problems. But every hair is unique. So i cannot say whether it will suit your hair. Give it a try for a week and while at it, don’t skip the conditioner.

    • Yes, rice water does work on Chemical treated hair.

      If you are using a dedicated shampoo/conditioner for your hair, you can skip adding the natural hair cleanser(Tea seed powder/shikakai)to rice water. Just boil rice water with the peels and let it ferment for a week. Leave the fermented rice water on your hair for an hour, shampoo and condition as usual.

  1. Which powder did you find worked better? Also have you ever tried aloe juice in your mix? I just put mine in but waiting a week for fermentation. Thanks for your post very helpful!

    • Out of all the hair cleansers, my favourites would be Tea seed cake, soap nut powder and Shikakai + Soap nut powder(In a 1:1 ratio). If you can get your hands on tea seed cake\powder, stick to the original Yao rice water recipe as it has proven long term benefits.

      Soapnut powder might be the best choice for colour treated hair, Shikakai tends to darken hair over time and the minerals in clay may react with the hair dye.

      Sorry, I haven’t tried boiling Aloe juice with rice water. Hope it works for you. Let me know how it goes.

    • We are using the powders to cleanse, nourish and soften hair without drying it out.(no shampoo method). So using any oil would defeat that purpose.

      After the oil is extracted from the tea seed, the meal left behind is rich in proteins. Using tea seed cake with rice water works as a protein mask too. Using tea seed cake helps improve hair quality.

      This could be why the Yao women’s hair is stronger, frizz free and the hair cuticles are properly closed too so the light bounce off it making the hair look really shiny.

    • Rice water does work on all hair types.

      If you have colour treated/chemical treated hair, then go for hair cleansers like tea seed cake or soap nut powder instead of shikakai/clay.

  2. Can I add ginger in rice water while boiling? Thanks for your effort in researching this n sharing it with us.shwetha

    • If you are using this to promote new hair growth or to stop hair loss, boil rice water, citrus peels and ginger together. Let it ferment.
      Add fresh ginger juice to the already fermented rice water right before applying it to your hair.

      Instead of 20 minutes, leave the mask on for an hour before rinsing it off.

      Make rice water hair cleanser separately by boiling rice water, citrus peels and tea seed cake. Leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing.

  3. This is quite interesting to know about this recipe. I am also asian and since time immemorial our ancestors has been using rice water in their hair although our methods are bit different. We generally eat organic rice, which is small and round in shape. We do include citrus fruit peels and other aromatic herbs like lemon grass, ageratum or the white weed leaves and oxalis and also hibiscus leaves. Trust me it works wonder.
    Love Yai!

    • Thanks for letting us know your rice water recipe. I am sure it would help other readers too.

      My grandma has been using fresh hibiscus leaves and oxalis as a hair mask and hair cleanser for decades. She is 80 and her hair has just started greying. When I was a child i used hate this mask though as it is really slimy. I have yet to try it with rice water.

      And, you are right. It does work wonders. They leave your hair soft, shiny, frizz free and clean.

      I have never heard of white weed leaves but the other ingredients are certainly good for the hair and scalp.

    • Can you exactly say how (leaf, powder, seeds,etc) to add the other ingredients in the fermentation process? I want to include hibiscus and gooseberry (Amla). Do you think it’s going to work? How long do you ferment? I heard Yao women used bamboo tubs. It’d be great if you can elaborate us the way your elders/you follow.

      • Add the powders to the already fermented rice water to form a thin paste. Apply on your hair and leave it for 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing it off.
        If you want to add powders (like Moringa, Neem, Hibiscus) to make a rice water hair mask, Just ferment rice water and the citrus fruit peels only and skip tea seed powder/cake.

    • I guess it is difficult to get tea seed cake outside Asia. Please try one of the alternative ingredients that I have mentioned. They work well in cleansing and conditioning the hair.

      Follow up with ACV rinse especially if you are using clay. This helps prevent mineral deposit and product buildup.

  4. What brand of tea seed cake/powder do you get from the plant nursery? I’m having trouble finding it via online searches using tea seed cake or tea seed powder so maybe it’d be easier to search for a fertilizer.

    • Lavender oil cannot be used instead of Tea seed powder.

      The proteins in the powder strengthens hair, promotes hair growth, prevents breakage and also helps chemical treated hair/dry damaged hair. Tea seed powder is also high in saponins which helps cleanse the hair and scalp without drying it out.

  5. If you don’t add the hair cleaning stuff, then can the fermented rice recipe with just the lemon peels be used as a toner for the skin? Really want to try a fermented rice recipe as a toner that doesn’t smell funny

  6. Hi Peppy,

    Thanks for your recipe, I look forward to trying it on my natural hair. I’ve been looking for an alternative to make my hair grow and be healthy without all the different types of additives that there are using today in shampoos and conditioners. Plus, I’m just beginning to gray around my frontal hairline and excited that this recipe has stopped graying! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the history of Yao Women. I will certainly share my result after 6-months.

  7. It’s really helpful. I have been looking for rice water receipe for my hair from last one month but didn’t find anything. But your receipe create a faith and I have a strong feeling to try this out. Thanks for sharing. Just one question – can I make powder of tea seeds which we use for preparing tea in India?

    • I am not sure whether you got my previous mail. Re-posting this just in case you did not get my mail.

      The tea powder we use to make tea is made from tea leaves. We need tea seed cake or powder to make this rice water. It is the meal left behind after the oil is extracted from the tea seeds.You can find it in stores/nurseries that sell organic fertilisers like neem cake, tea seed cake, and the like.

      In case you cannot find it, use fermented rice water (with citrus peel) as a hair mask. Wait for one hour before rinsing it off.
      You can also use the rice water shikakai shampoo instead (Shikakai shampoo recipe –

      Hope that helps.

  8. Is it normal to have to vent the glass container every day to prevent the fermentation from causing the jar or lid to break? I notice my lid starts to bulge if I don’t loosen it to let out the gas fermentation makes.

    • That has never happened to me. But faster fermentation could happen in warmer climates. Does the rice water cleanser stink? Is the jar placed in a dark and cool place?

      After it is fermented, keep the jar in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process.

  9. Please I’m in Ghana and I don’t have any tea seed powder, can I please use Lipton yellow label tea powder for the rice water

  10. I have been using 24hr fermented rice water for about a month and i cn feel the difference in my hair… Now i am gonna try your method using reetha powder and after 2months i will comment about the real result.. 💞

  11. I did the second recipe and I noticed that it was super smelly n the smell lingered in my hair even after shampoo and conditioning it. is that normal?

    • I’m not sure what went wrong. If you added citrus fruit peels and refrigerated the rice water after 48 hours of fermentation, it shouldn’t smell bad at all. Usually i add the peels of one whole sweet lemon to 500 ml of rice water.
      I just checked my one month old rice water to confirm and it smells citrusy.

  12. Hey I have a question. So for my rice water, I boiled it with orange peels and peppermint tea LEAVES found in peppermint tea bags (it is 100% organic). Is this okay to do???

    • I have never tried fermenting rice water with peppermint so I cannot say for sure. After fermenting the rice water for a week, check the rice water for scum or foul smell, both of which shouldn’t be there.

      For starters, it would be best to use the peppermint rice water once every two weeks. Leave it on for an hour before rinsing it off.

    • The Yao method of boiling rice water with pomelo peels would make a better skin toner than the other. The second fermented rice water may be too potent for the skin and hence, may cause irritations.

  13. Hi my hair is 4b I recently just started the rice water recipe without the cleansing powders. I’m using it every 3 days. I’d shampoo every two weeks. Do you think it would work?

  14. hi! i was wondering how often you have to make it and how much liquid gets used every time you wash? am i supposed to use all of that liquid for the every three days wash? i was also wondering how you apply it if you arent just dumping it on your head? thank you so much for sharing your recipes and methods! i am excited to try it out! 🙂

    • I make a new batch every three weeks. Although I have never measured the exact amount I use, it should be around 200ml. I pour the rice water all over my hair, wrap it and wait for 20 minutes(rice water+pomelo peels+tea seed cake hair cleanser) or for an hour(rice water+pomelo peels only hair mask)

      • hi, thanks for sharing this recipe. Do we need to apply regular oil when we use this recipe 1. Will it remove that oil from our scalp?

        • Yao Rice water is a mild hair cleanser that helps cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping the natural oils. You don’t have to apply oil along with this.
          But if you do an oil massage, you need to use a chemical shampoo to remove the oil.

  15. Hi, I was wondering if I should wash my hair first before applying the Yao Rice water in my hair? Like clean the dirty materials and germs first before using the Yao Rice water. And I definitely don’t want to go back to shampoo and conditioner again so do I just keep using the Yao Rice water alone every three days for 20 minutes? Do I have to sit under a hair dryer for this or in a plastic shower cap alone? Thank you for your recipe and your hard work of research!😊

    • The tea seed powder in the rice water acts as a hair cleanser so you don’t have to shampoo your hair before. It does remove dirt without leaving the hair dry. I do follow up with ACV though.

      Pour the fermented rice water all over your hair and scalp. Wrap with a shower cap. Rinse it off after 20 minutes.

      If you are using Rice Water Hair Mask(rice water and pomelo peels boiled and fermented for two weeks), then you need to cleanse your hair and scalp beforehand. Leave the mask for an hour before rinsing it off.

      Yao women use both these fermented rice water recipes- one is a hair cleanser while the other is a hair mask. Hope that cleared your doubts.

    • You can make fermented rice water without tea seed powder too. You can use this hair mask once a week.
      Apply the hair mask on clean hair and scalp, leave it for an hour before rinsing. Use ACV or any other conditioner of your choice.

  16. Hello! I did this Yao women technique, and I opened my airtight container today since 7/23/20…..It has the strangest smell, even though I left the orange peels to sit in the rice water….Any advice?

    • I think that might be normal as you left it airtight for nearly a month. You can use it as long as it does not have any scum formed on top of it. Also, Once you rinse the rice water off, there shouldn’t be any bad smell lingering in your hair.

  17. Hello! I made the rice water mixture with grapefruit peels & lavender oil. Do I need to put it in the fridge? Also, I’m ordering the tea tree powder, can I put it in after the rice water has been sitting for a week?

  18. Hello there! I will be using this recipe you have provided because it’s the best I’ve seen so far, so thank you! For recipe 2 (rice water, grapefruit/lemon peels, ferment for two weeks), during the fermenting process, does it need to be refrigerated after the first 48 hours of fermenting?

    I don’t believe I’ll be able to find the tea seed powder, so it’s recommended to shampoo and condition before rice water mask? Will I need to condition again after the rice water mask as well or no? Thank you!!

  19. Hello!! Does the recipe for the rice water mask (without tea seed powder) need to be refrigerated 48 hrs into the fermenting process, or does it stay in a cabinet for the full two weeks?

    Do I need to shampoo and conditioner before the rice water wash, and then condition again after the mask? Thank you!!

    • Rice water BOILED with pomelo peels does not have to refrigerated. You can use it after 2 weeks of fermentation.
      The fermented rice water needs to be applied to clean hair and scalp so yes, you have to shampoo beforehand and use a conditioner afterwards. You do not have to shampoo again after rinsing off the hair mask.

      I use homemade shikakai shampoo first, after which i apply the fermented rice water mask and then, i finish with a 3 min ACV rinse.

  20. Hi there! Are you supposed to refrigerate the water after 48 hours of fermenting (rice water mask method), or allow it to ferment for the full two weeks in a cabinet? How do you store it, or do you use all of the rice water during each wash? Lastly, do you need to shampoo first, rice water mask, and then condition? Thank you!

    • Boil the rice water with tea seed powder & the peels. Let it ferment for 2 weeks. No need to refrigerate at rice water. You can store the fermented rice water in the cabinet for about a month. I never had to refrigerate the fermented rice water as i use it within a month’s time.

      I use about 1/2-3/4 glass of rice water for my long hair.

      If you are using tea seed powder, you dont have to shampoo beforehand as tea seed powder has cleansing properties. It does remove dirt and cleans the scalp well. Follow up with ACV rinse or any conditioner of your choice.
      If not, then you have to shampoo your hair before applying the hair mask. Leave it on for an hour before rinsing it off. Follow up with a conditioner.

      • First I need to oil my hair and shampoo .after that I need to mask my hair with the rice water and leave it for 30 min and normal wash it .1.can I use dove or head and shoulders conditioner after that ? Or could you please suggest a good conditioner . 2. Where can I get tea seed powder is it available on amazon ??

        • Tea seed cake helps cleanse the scalp and hair so you do not have to shampoo beforehand. It does cleanse your hair and scalp properly. You can use a conditioner after rinsing the hair mask off.
          I use homemade apple cider vinegar and leave in conditioner spray.

          You can go for any conditioner from dove, tressemme, L’Oréal, Matrix biolage that suits your hair type.

  21. Hello xx Do you think it would work to prepare like the Yao women do, as you laid out here, but to let it ferment WITHOUT the cleansing powder? And then to add in the powder (perhaps first dissolved in hot water, allowed to cool down) after a couple of weeks? It will be a couple of weeks before I receive the cleansing powder, and if I can start fermenting the rice water now (with the citrus peels), I’d love to. Thank you!

    • Will it be okay to use normal lemon?Nd for How many days should i fermented yao women rice water ?? I live in UP(india) and here the weather is very hot 🥵 Btw i really like ur video and i really love that u reply ur comments❤️❤️

      • Hi Shubhi, I haven’t used normal lime peels so I can’t say for sure. The best choices would be pomelo, sweet lime(mosambi) or orange peels. All 3 worked well for my hair.
        Also, Try to ferment the rice water for at least 2 weeks for best results.

        • Thanku so much for replying😘❤️,
          But could u tell me that if fermented rice water take 2 weeks in hot wheather then how much time will it take in winters??😅😅

          • Keep the rice water in a warm and dark place during both seasons.
            Usually 2 weeks in hot summers and one month in cold winters work for me. There is no set time for this. Just look out for molds/scum growing on top of the rice water.
            Always let the rice water Ferment for a minimum of 2 weeks though.
            Once it gives off a sour smell, you can use it or refrigerate the fermented rice water.

  22. Hello peppy, thanks for sharing your recipe. You’re the best 😘. Pls do I need to condition my hair after using the rice water without the cleansing powder, keeping for 1hr every 3 days and rinsing off with cold water only without the conditioner. Since I use the conditioner every 2 weeks. Is this ok? Thanks

    • If you are using the rice water as a hair mask and leaving it for an hour, I advise using it only once a week.
      If you prefer to use it every three days, then rinse it off after 20 minutes.

      Since you are not using the hair cleanser powder, You do not have to condition your hair if not needed. It totally depends on your hair though.

  23. Thank You for your post!!
    In one of the videos on YouTube shows that Yao womens use tea tree crust, so should we use tea tree seed powder or tea tree crust powder?

    Thank you so much!

  24. Thank you so much for the recipe
    Just want to ask
    Whatabout moringa seed?
    Can’t I use moringa seed powder?
    Tea tree powder or cake is not available where I am, neither is the other cleansening powder, I’d have to find a way to get it and it might take time..
    But can’t I use moringa seed?
    I already use ricewater boiled with orange peel and ginger, can I add moringa to it while I wait for tea tree powder?

    • I haven’t tried fermenting rice water with moringa seed powder so I’m not sure how that would work.

      The results will certainly be different as rice water made with Tea seed powder works as a protein treatment and a cleanser.

      The rice water fermented with ginger and orange peels does work. Use it once a week and leave it for an hour before rinsing it off.

  25. Hi! Thanks for your post. I have followed your instructions making the Yao women’s rice water (double the amount). I used two tbls shikaki, 1 tbls hibiscus flower powder and the peels of two large grapefruit + peels of three oranges. I made the blend 4 days ago and it has 2 white spores growing on the surface of the water ( looks like two small balls of cotton wool). It does not smell bad and there is no scummy stuff in the water. I live in the Caribbean so it’s hot, but I put my rice water in the cupboard which is cool ( by tropical standards) and dark. My question is – what are the white things growing on the surface? Can I still use the rice water, should I put it in the fridge or should I throw it away and start over? Can I scoop out the white stuff and leave it for another 10 days to ferment? Can I add tea tree essential oil or rosemary essential oil to stop the white balls coming back? Thanks in advance for your help!

  26. Hi thanks for your post! I live in the Caribbean and made rice water for the first time 4 days ago, using your Yao women recipe (double the amount). I used 2 tbls shikakai, 1 tbls hibiscus flower powder, the peels of 2 grapefruit and 2 oranges. I put in a cupboard to ferment, (it’s cool by tropical standards) and dark. Yesterday I saw 2 white spores growing on the surface of the water ( they look like small pieces of cotton wool). It does not smell bad or have any scummy stuff in the water. Can I still use it or do I have to throw it out and start all over again? Do I scoop out the white stuff and let it continue fermenting for another 10 days? Do I put it in the fridge? Can I add tea tree or rosemary EO to stop the white balls from coming back? Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • You can scoop out the spores and then refrigerate the rice water. Next time try making small batch of rice water without the hibiscus flower powder. You can add essential oils to the rice water.

    • Yes that is totally fine. But, Yao rice water with tea seed cake gives best results when used every three days or atleast once a week.
      Recipe 2 from the video might be a better choice for you as you are using it only once a month.

    • I couldn’t find tea seed powder online or at the nursery. 🙁 It could be because of lockdown.
      So now I’m using Yao rice water hair mask and instead of the cleanser, I’m using shikakai shampoo.

  27. Hi Peppy.

    I boil the pomelo peels in sticky rice water with a few Clary Sage essential drops, then let it ferment from 2 to 4 weeks. I let it sit for about 1 to 2 hours under a head wrap before rinsing it with warm filtered water.
    I am trying it with a few drops of Camellia Oleifera seed oil as well, although I just read in one of your comments that you do not recommend using this oil.
    So far though, I have seen the results in that I no longer have scalp problems, and although my hair is almost gray, I am no longer losing as much hair as before. It looks healthier and is growing definitely longer.

    By the way, could you please share the names or titles of the nice music that is played throughout your video? It is very relaxing.

    Thank you.

    • Glad to know that this recipe is working for you. Thank you for letting me know.

      About my previous comment, I meant that tea seed oil cannot be used as a substitute for tea seed powder while making Yao rice water cleanser.
      If you are using the rice water pomelo recipe as a hair mask, you can add essential oils to it.

      The music i use in my videos are from the YouTube audio library. If you select the ‘Mood’ as ‘calm’ or ‘romantic’, you should be able to find them easily like, ‘Frozen in love’ or ‘ A quiet thought’ to name a few.

  28. Hello xxx my yao water is growing mold at the top of it. any suggestions or thoughts? can i just discard the mold and carry on? its been sitting out about 2 weeks in a tropical climate, with a towel square on top of it, no cover. thank you xxx

    • Remove the mold and refrigerate the rice water. I keep the rice water in an air tight bottle and open it every 2 days or so to let air in. Also, Make sure the pomelo peels are submerged in the rice water.

  29. I plan on having my hair braided down and a wig for protective styling im fermenting my rice as we speak so by Friday it will be ready for boiling with the grapefruit peeling and tea seed mixture.

    Is this okay to use??
    this will be my first time and my hair won’t be touched for 3 months

  30. i have three questions
    1=can i store it in a fridge for 1 week ?
    2=can i use orange peels instead of pomelo peels?
    3=can i boil rice water before pouring it in my hair ? i cant use cold rice water because i stay in a mountain region so if i used cold rice water then i will be definetly in hospital

    • 1. Yes, you can refrigerate the rice water for up to a month.
      2. Orange peels can be used instead of pomelo peels.
      3. Do not boil the fermented rice water. Also, the rice water should be at room temperature for best results.

      If you want to use it the next day, Leave the refrigerated rice water on the kitchen counter the night before or at least for a couple of hours, whichever is convenient for you. I have used both these methods and it works beautifully well.

  31. If we ferment the rice water for 2 weeks , can we use the same water or we should ferment the rice water & wait for 2 weeks again to use it

  32. Is the tea seed powder the same as Tea Saponin Powder? I have seen this come up when I type in where to purchase tea seed powder. thank you

  33. After reading I noticed you said this recipe doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but in the comments you have instructed those who have had issues to do so. I am looking to make this this weekend and just wanted to know which was the better option? Also you stated we could add tea tree oil, but at what part of the process would this be best?

    • Add essential oils after fermenting the rice water for two weeks. You may refrigerate the rice water if needed.

      You can use a mason jar and fermentation lid to prevent contamination. Letting the rice water ferment for 2-4 weeks without having to refrigerate would be the best option.

      Rice quality, climate and temperature all affect the fermentation process. So the result varies for everybody.

      If you happen to see a scum layer, remove it, add tea tree oil and refrigerate the rice water.

  34. Hello.! Thank you very much for this.! I have one doubt. Can use rice water on oiled hair .! If so should I use shampoo after rice water.? Can u pls tell me what to do?

    • Sorry, I have never used any kind of thickener so i cannot help you there.

      But if you still want to give it a try , add the natural gum to the fermented rice water, mix and let it thicken, then apply the rice water on your hair.

  35. Thank you so much for sharing this, and I can’t wait to try it! Do you use the same batch of rice water after it’s been used on the hair? Or do you dump the used water and make a new batch? Thank you!

  36. I ordered chinensis sinensis tea seeds on eBay for this recipe. I got a total of 100 seeds.I plan to make the rice water, add a few seeds, grape fruit, ginger and fleecflower root. The tea seeds should have both the oil, saponins and other properties in it. I got a little leery of one recipe that called for tea bran which if you buy tea bran one brand listed sodium laurel sulfate in it. I plan to use it once a week or longer and maybe let it ferment for a day or two without a lid like kombucha. We will see how it works out. I want to stop using shampoo or conditioner is on my hair.

  37. I am going to try this, getting my rice soaking right now! I am thinking of trying to order the tea seed powder off of ebay but I don’t really need 500g. I wish I could split it with someone >_<I will try just fermented rice water first as I figure out the other ingredients. Thank you for all of your details and responses! Reading through them pushed me over the edge to try this. I am tired of having my hair (~2ft) tangling within seconds and breaking easily all the time. I never get to have it down!

  38. Thank you for this VERY in depth and well researched article. I have found it very very helpful. Couldn’t find any other articles out there with this much research behind them. Thank you again!

  39. Hi! I keep seeing the phrase ‘boil rice water’…..but its not clear if you boil ONLY the water, or if you’re boiling the water with the rice? I want to do it properly so I needed to make sure.

    So are you washing the rice, adding 3 cups of water, letting it set, and boil the 3 cups of water….or the 3 cups of water with the rice?

  40. Do you apply the rice water to wet or dry hair, what do you think works better? If I use the rice water mask and have to clean my hair with shampoo first I would have to apply it on wet hair I guess. Do you know if the yao woman use it on wet or dry hair?

    • Yao women use rice water on dry hair. I have never used it on wet hair either so i cant really comment on that.

      Tea seed powder is a hair cleanser, it does clean the scalp and removes sweat, dirt and oil. So it is ok to use rice water without shampooing beforehand. It works well on my normal scalp but i do not know whether it works the same way on super oily scalp. Try it once and see how it goes.

      When i am using rice water+pomelo peels only(without the tea seed powder), i cleanse my hair the day before with shikakai shampoo. The following day, i use the rice water mask+acv rinse.

      Hope that helps.

  41. I have noticed my hair doesn’t tangle quite so easily and it seems stronger too. I have actually been able to have my hair down for a few hours and be able to detangle quickly with just my fingers. I have only washed my hair about 7 times with it but I am already sold on this over shampoo/conditioner. Although i will probably use conditioner for when I bleach and dye my hair at least once.

    I just received the tea seed powder I ordered from eBay this week so will get to try to whole thing and not just the rice and citrus.

    Thank you!

    • Hello Shruthi, Maybe you could use fermented rice water+pomelo peels as a hair mask and shikakai, reetha and amla as a hair cleanser. This is what I do when I don’t have tea seed powder. Sorry couldn’t be of much help there.

  42. Hello!
    I have watched your YouTube video about yao rice water. I used your receipe1, the original Yao method. But you say that receipe1 doesn’t need to dilute water but receipe2 has to.
    I want to know three things clearly. Hope you to answer me back.

    1.Is receipe1 protein overload same as receipe2?

    2.If I dilute water to receipe1 before using it, will the potency of receipe1 be not effective or not?
    (My hair is low porosity hair. That’s why I am afraid of protein overload. But I am also afraid that the potency of receipe1 will be low if I dilute it. And I don’t like receipe2. I just want to use receipe1 safely.)

    3. Is receipe1 ok for low porosity hair? My hair is also a little bit dry.

    Waiting for your answers with a great big hope. Sorry if there is some grammar mistakes
    because I am not good enough at English.
    Love you from Myanmar 🇲🇲❤️. Bye.

    • Hi Ruben,
      1. Yao rice water does not need to be diluted before use. It does not cause protein overload.
      2. If you choose to dilute the rice water, it may reduce its effectiveness and also may take longer to see results.
      But if are worried, feel free to use diluted rice water for one month and see how it works on your hair. Then move on to the undiluted version.
      3. Yao rice water is suitable for all hair types.

      Use the fermented rice water twice a week for 20 minutes. Compare the results after one month.

  43. Will it be okay to use normal lemon?Nd for How many days should i fermented yao women rice water ?? I live in UP(india) and here the weather is very hot 🥵 Btw i really like ur video and i really love that u reply ur comments❤️❤️

  44. Can use Lemon peel or orange peel instead of citrus fruit peelfor fermenting the rice? And how many times do I need to wash my hair with the rice water?

  45. Hi there!

    First, thank you so much for this article! This is the most comprehensive one I have read about rice water and I have read all your comments and suggestions. I just have a few questions if you don’t mind taking the time to answer…

    1. I couldn’t find tea seed powder, but I do have shikakai. Should I use the first recipe (rice water, peels, and shikakai) only?
    2. Since I will be using shikakai in place of the tea seed powder, do I just substitute it equally and use 2 tablespoons?
    3.I also have amla. Should I use that somewhere too?
    4. Do I have to use the acv rinse after every use of the rice water?
    5. If I use this every 3 days but my hair gets dirty in between those 3 days, should I use just a shikakai+water mixture to shampoo my hair in between the days I use the rice water?

    For reference, I am using this to reduce hair loss and to hopefully grow my hair.
    Thank you in advance for your reply!

    • Hello Leanna,

      1. You can use shikakai and soap nuts instead of tea seed powder.
      2. Use 2 tablespoons of shikakai powder and 1.5 tablespoon of amla powder. You can increase the amount of shikakai if you have oily scalp. Adjust the amount to suit your needs.
      4.ACV is a natural conditioner but it can only be used twice a week. You do not have to use apple cider vinegar if you are already using a chemical conditioner.
      5. You can use shikakai cleanser as often as needed.


      Hope that helps and thanks for reading. 🙂 Stay safe.

  46. Should we use all of the 3 cups of fermented water for one wash? Or we use only few drops for massage before each wash?

    • Hello Mangala, It depends on the length of your hair. About 1/2 glass-3/4 cup is usually enough for shoulder to chest length hair.
      You can leave the remaining rice water at room temperature or store it in the refrigerator.

  47. Thanku so much for replying😘❤️,
    But could u tell me that if fermented rice water take 2 weeks in hot wheather then how much time will it take in winters??😅😅

  48. Is your apple cider vinegar rinse just ACV or is it diluted in any way? Also, does it take away from the lovely citrus smell from the Rice Water?

    • Hello Kayla, i dilute 1-2 tablespoons of ACV in 210ml of water.
      Also, My hair always smells citrusy even after the ACV rinse.

      Start with 1 tablespoon diluted ACV once a week and work up from there.
      Use ACV rinse once or twice a week only.

  49. Hi Peppy, I have a question I haven’t seen an answer to yet. I can’t get the tea seed powder here, but I can get the Shikakai powder. I have natural white hair. Will using the Shikakai powder cause my white hair (which I love) to change color? Thank you for your help!!

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