The Simple Beauty Secret of the Yao Women
The Yao women of Huanglo Yao China are world famous for their beautiful long healthy hair even their eldest villagers have not a single grey hair to be seen.
I recently chanced upon some vloggers who had various recipes and techniques following a special rice water wash the Yao women use.
Rice water contains vitamins and minerals like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, C, E, and calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and a little copper, zinc, manganese and iron. It also contains inositol which seems to be the key active natural ingredient as well as some amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and more. Its even good for the skin, a 2002 NCBI study claimed a 20% improvement on the healing capacity of damaged skin (in particular atopic dermatitis) so add it to your bath or as a rinse in the shower whilst treating your hair.
There are a few variations of this recipe online if you want to look it up but I prefer to stick as closely to the original Yao recipe as possible, as they seem to be onto a winning formula:
▪️Rinse 1 Cup of organic white uncooked rice to clean any particles or dust, sticky rice if you can find it. (Cornucopia has some white organic basmati rice in plastic free refill packs here)
▪️Wash and rub the rice in 4 cups of filtered or distilled water for 5 minutes. Discard the rice keeping the rice water (I keep the washed rice, pop it in the fridge and till I'm ready to simply cook some rice, no need to waste it at all if you use it up quickly)
▪️Peel 1 large pomelo (or grapefruit, as pomelos can be tricky to get, be sure to eat the flesh 😉 no waste and it's good for you !) and boil the peel up with the water for 10 minutes.
▪️Then after cooling down the mixture add crushed tea plant seeds (maybe I should start stocking this!) failing that add a few drops of either lavender or rosemary and clary sage essential oils. I add all, they smell great and are beneficial to the hair and scalp. Add to a large clean jar. All these oils are very beneficial to the scalp and hair with rosemary and clary sage in particular aiding hair growth, thickness and fighting greys.
▪️The Yao women leave this sealed jar to do its work fermenting for 2 weeks to 2 months, other sources say a week is fine.
▪️The Yao women then use this (it's smells great!) as a shampoo and conditioner every 3 days washing it over a bowl and combing the starchy nourishing all over the scalp and hair shafts. They leave it one for 20 minutes before rinsing. Or use it as a conditioning mask after washing and shampooing. But rinse it off as if this can cause a protein overload if left on and cause brittle hair, so only use about once a month. It's something I'm experimenting with and definitely feels good to me so far. Why not give it a try and comment your thoughts below.
Here is a documentary about the Yao Women and an informative vlog about all the details of making your own version and best use.