While it’s nothing new, the trend of using rice water for hair growth and hair treatment has been spreading like wildfire. DIY beauty enthusiasts love it because it doesn’t cost them hundreds of dollars, while hair gurus swear it has helped them add inches to their hair.
However, while most of them will tell you of the immense benefits of rice water, they’re often reluctant to talk about the downsides. This article explores the side effects of rice water on hair, so you can know what you may be signing up for when you take up this regimen.
Three Side Effects of Rice Water Hair Treatment
Understanding how rice water damages hair enables you to devise a way to enjoy its benefits without altering your hair’s health. That said, here are some of the side effects of rice water as a hair treatment.
1. May Leave a Bad Smell on Your Hair
Although there’s no evidence to back this up yet, most people who use rice water as a hair treatment swear that fermented rice water is far more effective than regular rice water.
The fermentation is said to lower the pH level of rice water to that of hair. As a result, your hair absorbs rice water vitamins more readily, resulting in increased growth.
However, fermented rice water tends to have a pungent smell, and when you use it on your hair, especially if you do it regularly or use rice water only, it may impart this smell on your beautiful mane.
To prevent this from happening, ferment your rice water for a maximum of 24 hours, and consider adding an essential oil like lavender. Also, don’t rely solely on rice water. Incorporate other nice-smelling hair products into your routine.
2. Rice Water May Inhibit Moisture Absorption
Rice contains 80% starch, about 7-`6% protein, Vitamins B and E, minerals, and antioxidants. Usually, when you use rice water on your hair, all nutrients are absorbed except proteins.
Why? Well, protein molecules are way too large to be absorbed. Instead, they form a protective coat that helps strengthen your hair.
However, too many proteins on your hair impede moisture absorption, leaving you with dry, stiff hair susceptible to breakage. The key to maximizing rice water benefits while avoiding a protein overload on your hair is to use it in moderation, especially if you have low porosity hair or a dry scalp.
3. Rice Water May Contain Toxic Elements
Rice water, especially when it’s made from inorganic rice, may contain toxic elements that will do more harm to your hair than good. One such element is arsenic. It exists in the environment and has a high affinity for keratin.
This means when exposed to your hair, arsenic will quickly accumulate in your hair, resulting in excessive hair loss.
The phrase too much of something is poisonous rings true in rice water as a hair treatment. Using too much rice water on your hair will only result in negative results. The key to avoiding the potential side effects of rice water on hair is to practice mindfulness.
Don’t use rice water because your friend uses it. Find out your hair type, its porosity, and how it may respond to different rice water recipes. While at it, check us out for more informative pieces and everything hair related.