Arguably, the true stars of this ancient technique are the women of the Red Yao tribe, who live in China’s Huangluo Yao village. Famed for their long locks – with an average length over 2 metres – the Yao women’s hair is also said to remain healthy and free from grey well into old age.
The milky residue left after cooking rice is apparently a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, vitamins E and B, plus inositol, which are all good for hair. If you’re unfamiliar with the latter, inositol promotes hair growth, penetrating damaged hairs and repairing them from the inside out. So long as you don’t overdo it, the starch in rice water will help your tresses to appear thicker, glossier, easier to brush and manage throughout the day.