Posted: May 5th, 2022

Asian countries have been using rice in their skin care and hair care for centuries dating back to the ancient civilizations.

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Unit Four: Academic Exposition and Research
Essay Assignment Sheet
Your task:
Write a thesis-driven essay that explores a focused research question. Your essay should cite at least four sources, and must be in MLA format.
In Unit Four, you will compose an essay that will: (a) inform your audience of an issue that you want to find more information about, and which will investigate a research question of your choosing (b) locate your research within an argument to produce a surprising-reversal thesis to engage your audience; (c) properly and effectively cite your sources in MLA style.
What you need to do:
1. Develop a research question suitable for argument.
2. Use library databases to find scholarly and popular sources.
3. Evaluate the sources you find, determining their credibility and usefulness.
4. Develop a thesis-based structure for delivering your information.
5. Weigh how and where to cite your sources, using paraphrase, summary, and quotation.
6. Use MLA parenthetical citations that link to a Works Cited list for all the material you cite in your unit paper—for quotes, paraphrases, summaries, and anything that is not common knowledge.
• 4-7 double-spaced pages (1000-1500 words) in 12 pt. Times New Roman font plus a Works Cited list in MLA style
• One-inch margins
• Carefully chosen direct references (quotations) from the text under consideration. Incorporate these quotations using MLA style formatting.
Sample Paper from another student. It should be the same way.
Rice Water: Help it Grow or No
Women are always looking for the next best hair care routine, especially African American women with natural, curly, and kinky coiled hair. They are looking for ways to add moisture, curl definition, reduce frizziness, and most importantly hair growth. One of the trends that has become more mainstream in the past few years is the idea of washing the hair with rice water, fermented or regular. Some women use it every day, some once a week, and others a few days a week. It serves as a form of hair conditioner and to be used after shampooing hair. The history behind using rice water goes back centuries, especially in regions of Asia, but does it really help grow the hair? Let us find out.
Asian countries have been using rice in their skin care and hair care for centuries dating back to the ancient civilizations. Women living in Japan during the Heian period between 794 and 1185 CE were known to have floor length hair by using rice water to keep in healthy (Burgess and Olsen). A more recently recognized group of women are the Yao women of the Huangluo village in Southern China. The Chinese government opened tourism to the are back in 2002 and the women were admired for their 6.5 ft length hair (Djemesi). Women in this village only cut their hair once in their life as a child. The women boil their rice in massive clay pots and items like pomelo peels, ginger, and fleeceflower root. The mixture is drained and left to be fermented for days and at times for months.
What exactly is rice water? Rice water is the starchy water left after soaking or cooking rice. Each grain of rice contains about 70 to 80 percent starch (Burgess and Olsen). The water contains amino acids, vitamins B and E, and other minerals that assist in the hair growth process. Though genetics play a huge part in the speed that your hair grows, rice water is though to be able to reduce hair loss and breakage. Rice also contains inositol, which can be used to repair damaged hair by repairing damaged hair shafts (Djemesi). Some advocates for the use of rice water thinks it is better to use fermented rice water as it has more benefits than regular rice water. It has been studied that fermented rice water has a greater amount of antioxidants that can fight hair cell damage (Akumo, Hunaefi and Riedel). Science had been able to prove that components in rice water, whether plain or fermented, can help in hair growth but the real question is can science prove that it actually helps grow hair. Let us see what science and testing has actually been able to prove.
A group of scientists in Japan sought out to test the theory if fermented rice water really helped to grow hair. They used black Chinese human hair samples to test the treatment on. The scientists bleached some of the hair samples 3 times, let some unprocessed, and others were bleached and permed (Fujisaki, Ikuyama and Inamasu). Their rice water was made from Koshihikari rice and purified water. The rice was washed for 3 minutes with the water. The results of their tests found that the treatment helped reduce surface friction on the hair shaft as well as improve elasticity. The treatment also left a dusting over the hair that causes it to lose its luster. They identified the ingredient that helped with surface friction reduction and elasticity was rice germ oil. In this test, it was undetermined if rice water really helps hair grow. So, another set of scientists set out to prove the theory.
Another group of scientists wanted to test the rice water theory, but they took it a step further. Instead of testing the hair strands, they tested it on the human hair dermal papilla cells, or HHDPCs for short. These cells are “essential for both the development and formation of the hair follicle” (Kim, Kwon and Jang). They used the ash from the rice bran, which is rich in silicone and other minerals including potassium, phosphorus, and others. The ash was added to distilled water and then filtered through filter paper. The HHDPC samples were collected from hair transplantation surgeries with patient approval. They are washed and the follicle bulb was sliced off to retrieve the cells. After all the testing they performed, the results came back that the rice bran mineral was shown to reduce inflammation and increase collagen during the anagen phase. The scientists state that the rice bran mineral may be useful in hair loss prevention and hair growth enhancement.
Both rice water studies showed that it may be effective, but it was not undoubtedly proven to help grow the hair. The first set of scientists proved that the rice water helped reduce the surface friction of the hair as well as improve elasticity of the hair strand. The second set of scientists ended up proving that the rice bran mineral could reduce inflammation and increase hair collagen, which may be useful in hair loss prevention and hair growth. Let us look at some of the things the studies found. According to hair care brand Tresemme, hair elasticity is how long a single strand of hair can stretch before it returns to its original state (Tresemme). Lizzie Streit with Healthline, says that collagen in the hair has the amino acids that help build hair as well as help strengthen the hair follicles (Streit). With the improved elasticity and the hair follicle strengthening property of collagen, it may make the hair seem longer than it was before, so it gives the appearance of hair growth. We may never know for sure if rice water truly grows the hair or just gives the illusion, but it surely will not stop people from believing it does.

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