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

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. If possible, follow up with Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for best results.

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.


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.

But this fermented rice water is stinks a bit even after adding citrus fruit peels to it.


fermented rice water using white rice

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?

Below you can find,

  • Frequently asked questions
  • 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
  • Video tutorial and results

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.

How To Use Rice Water?

Shake the bottle before use as the cleansing powder always tends to settle at the bottom.

Take as needed to a cup.

Pour the rice water over your head and hair

Wait for 20 minutes

Massage for 2 minutes

Now, Rinse with cold water.

Never use hot or warm water to wash your hair.

Yao women use cold water to wash their hair even in the winters.

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

Yao Rice Water Recipe

Without further delay, i am going to show you how to make rice water for natural hair.

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

Moroccan Rhassoul Clay (Ghassoul clay)

Shikakai and Aloe Vera Powder for extremely dry hair

rice water with shikakai

In the above pic, i have used Shikakai Powder and Orange peels to make rice water cleanser.

rice water with tea seed powder

In this pic, i have used Tea seed powder.

rice water using rhassoul clay

Here, i added Rhassoul clay after i switched off the flame.

Boil the mixture for 5 minutes

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

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 a month without refrigeration. 

yao women rice water recipe

If you are using a separate shampoo and conditioner, you can follow the below recipe.

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.

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 at all

Contains Vitamins, minerals 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

Leaves citrus fragrance on hair

How I Use Fermented Rice Water?

I follow the yao women rice water recipe and their hair care routine to a T.

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 or more with a no shampoo routine.

And, i am never going back.

The alternative cleansers work fine too. The lock down has forced me to use whatever is available 🙁 🙁  🙁  and hence i have been experimenting with the above mentioned cleansers. They do their job beautifully.

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 extra smooth like i just applied a deep conditioner.

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.

Below is my air dried hair, not combed. 🙂 The video was shot a 2 months after i took this picture so i hope you can see the difference. The rice water recipe has slowly but surely improved the quality of my hair. And i am super impressed with the results. 🙂 🙂

rice water before and after



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.

    • 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.

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