Secret shampoo of 'world's longest hair village' revealed

January 13, 2017 17:12
Women from the Yao ethnic group who live in this village have an average hair length of over 1.5 meters. Photo: China Daily/Huo Yan

Some people encounter hair problems during winter; they find their hair becoming so fragile because of the dry weather.

When hair grows beyond half a meter, the strands tend to turn yellow and frayed.

But this is not a problem among the women of Huangluo village in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which the Guinness Book of World Records has called “the world’s longest hair village”.

Women from the Yao ethnic group who live in this village have an average hair length of over 1.5 meters. Even grannies in their 70s sport shiny black hair, instead of the typical silvery gray color.

What's their secret?

For one thing, they use rice water – the water after rinsing rice – together with natural ingredients such as tea seeds and ginger. The fermented solution is the Yao women's shampoo.

This fermented rice water is rich in vitamin B, which promotes melanin production for the hair.

Tea seeds, which contain a high level of crude protein and a variety of amino acids, work as excellent non-ionic surface active agents that effectively lift and remove dirt from the hair.

This natural shampoo is believed to keep the Yao women’s hair shiny black and silky soft. It also has anti-dandruff, anti-itch, anti-hair-loss properties and helps in oil control on the scalp.

Interested readers want to make this natural shampoo at home.

Add rice water, orange peel (which could lighten the fermented smell of the shampoo), tea seeds and slices of ginger into a ceramic or earthenware container.

Close the lid tightly and see to it that the jar is at room temperature to allow for fermentation.

After around 10 days, the jar will give out a faint sour scent, indicating that the shampoo is ready for use.

Pour out some of the solution, but not too much, into a container and use it on your hair like a shampoo.

Gently massage the scalp and the hair to absorb the ingredients. Then rinse the hair with water after 10 minutes.

Add the same volume of rice water into the jar for another round of fermentation. The shampoo will be available for use as soon as it turns sour again.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan. 10

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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HKEJ columnist