natural hair and beauty products

Unbeautification in Lockdown + My Rice Water Hair Growth Recipe

rice water growth recipe

A sucker for natural beauty, my long-term interest in cruelty-free, pure and often DIY hair and beauty products (see my rice water recipe below) has peaked new heights. I’ve done a lot of trail and error research over the years when it comes to my own dry and curly mane and combination skin and while I missed the hair and beauty experts I came to rely upon during lockdown, I suprised myself by how much I could do solo. I’ve returned to the pros while retaining good habits at home in between appointments.

Let’s probe more deeply.



I’ve always been mindful about my beauty choices, opting for olive and coconut oil as moisturising treatments for face hair and body.

I diligently use Extra Virgin Olive Oil to massage and nourish my children’s skin and have since they were babies, as my mother did on me, and often add a few drops into the bath, which, while hard to clean off afterwards, makes for the most soft and supple skin.

I find olive oil equally helps to soothe angry excema or urticaria rashes, as does a slither of garlic which when rubbed on skin, can help reduce inflammation (thanks again to Justyna for that hack). This also works overnight for spots, just be prepared to smell of hummus for a while!

Next on my natural must-have beauty product list is the delicately fragrant rose water which reminds me of my childhood. It’s the kind you use in cakes which doubles us as a gentle face toner which was first recommended to me by my late grandma, Vikentia.

Yiayia passed away at 96 without a wrinkle on her face.

You can buy rose water online, in some pharmacies or Continental food stores in the UK. It’s ideal for both morning and evening use or as a face mist to cool you down when hot. It contains anti-oxidants so reduces redness and skin irritation and even helps heal scars.

Using pantry products not only nourishes you from the outside in but they help to reduce cost, waste and time, and protects the planet, too.



The more enforced unbeautifcation process of the past 6 months in lockdown had admittedly dented my confidence. I personally don’t feel comfortable with grey hairs on show (love them on others) but miracously needn’t have worried.  The blonde highlights I’ve had done few weeks pre lockdown worked incredibly hard to cover sprouting greys meaning my hair looked fine without a touch-up for half a year.

I’ve realised that I can leave my roots for months rather than weeks, and the rice growth hack I share below really helped to diminish my greys so has formed part of my daily hair routine now.

My friend Justyna recommended the recipe and it’s known for boosting hair growth and preventing grey hair.

Rice water has been used by Yao women  (who live in the village of Huang Luo in China) for years who are famous for boasting long dark hair into old age.

Yao women lower their hair into the rice water, a mixture boiled into a pot with ginger and tea bran amongst other ingredients and used as a conditioning treatment.

Below is the recipe they use, according to this Vogue article by Lynn Yaeger.

Pomelo Peels
Tea Bran
Fleeceflower Root

The rice water is also a source of calcium, iron, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folate and vitamin E to help nourish and moisturise your hair.



My nails however, are not such a success story and appear wrecked beyond belief. I purchased a nail drill early on in lockdown so as to remove the SNS I’d succumbed to a few weeks before and fast forward 6 months and my nails are still broken, frayed and ugly. I did abstain from gel manis for a long time to help restore my nails last year but fell back into having them done. Not again. Lesson learnt. Finally.

I’ve started taking vitamins to help with growth and I’m diligently applying nail oil and strengther every day. I like Sally Hanson’s range which has worked well in the past.

Funnily, I used to feel naked without toenail polish but no longer do. I’ve given myself home pedis and once my toenails are filed and buffed, I add clear polish and feel, well, polished (something I had previously always attributed to bright red toenails).

When it comes to daily make-up, I wear far less day to day, especially when I’m not filming.

I opt for concealer, powder, bronzer, lipstick and mascara as basics most days, which might read a lot but isn’t for me. I would usually add to that list: eyeliner, liquid liner, blusher, eyeshdow and fake lashes for a glossier, slicker look.

I do go the whole hog on weekends though, when I usually film content for brands, relishing in the ritual of making myself up at my dressing table, rather in the same way that I love to paint.

How and how much make up I wear depends on what I’m doing but I’ve become less reliant on it for sure.



As I mentioned, I continue to use a DIY rice water treatement that’s truly working for me.  My hair is naturally long already but I would like it to be more Rapunzel-like and have seen real results from consistently using it.

There are many ways online to create rice water but this is the one I’ve followed:

  • Place 1/2 x cup of rinsed uncooked rice (I prefer Basmati as other varieties tend to smell more musty once fermented) into a cup of still/tap water.
  • Leave overnight to ferment.
  • Strain the rice, leaving the nutrient-heavy water.
  • Carefully pour this into a a spray bottle (I bought mine from Amazon) and adding a few grains of rice in there.
  • Add a few drops of lavender oil to the water and some grated lemon rind to help prevent the musty rice smell that can occur.
  • Spray the water into your hair, rubbing into the roots and ensuring you spray down to the ends of your hair.

You can use the rice water as a conditioning treatment after you wash and condition your hair, leaving it for an hour or overnight before washing out, or you can spritz it daily leaving it in and simply washing out whenever you next wash your hair as I do.

You’ll need to give both ways a whirl to assess your hair type.

I use it daily and wash my hair twice weekly. The rice water lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Let me know if you try it!

natural products

I’d love to hear what natural products/hacks you’ve been using, lately.

You can watch the video tutorial below:

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