Rice Water Shampoo Possible Side Effects

Rice Water Shampoo Side Effects

Rice water was quickly embraced as a hair treatment and maintenance product because it is considered a natural product, the natural hair community easily embraces any hair treatment that involves natural products as they do not have chemical substances that are likely to cause damage to the hair.

Just as much as we all would enjoy the benefits of rice water shampoo, we have to examine the possible side effects that rice water shampoo would have on the hair.

Rice Water Shampoo Explained

Rice water shampoo is a type of shampoo made from water that is left over after rice is boiled, soaked, or fermented. Rice water even without being made in the form of shampoo has a lot of benefits to offer your hair.

For best results, you may want to use a mixture of Chinese rice and fermented rice water to make your DIY rice water shampoo. Fermented rice water is left long enough to allow the nutrients present in the rice to settle into the water it is left to soak in.

Chinese rice is an ideal choice to be used in your rice water shampoo because the trend of using rice water in the hair as a treatment and means to boost hair growth started with the Chinese and Japanese women and they used their local rice to achieve the benefits, modeling your rice water shampoo with Chinese rice means you are likely to reap most of the benefits attached to using the rice water shampoo in your hair.

Other types of rice are also great options while making your rice water shampoo, Chinese rice just happens to be the best option, if you can afford it or it is readily available to you, you should consider making use of it.

How To Use Rice Water Shampoo On the Hair?

After getting your rice water shampoo or taking a bold and well-calculated step to make your rice water shampoo, you would need to follow a few steps to apply it to your hair in a way that would guarantee the best results.

Below are the simple and short steps necessary to apply rice water shampoo to your hair;

Step 1: Apply the Rice Water Shampoo in Generous Amounts to Your Hair

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Just as you would with any other shampoo, the first thing you need to do is use your palms to apply the shampoo in generous amounts to your hair and spread it across evenly, your hair should be dampened with water before this application so that it begins to lather to indicate that you have added enough of the product to your hair.

Step 2: Focus on Massaging the Rice Water Shampoo into Your Scalp

Whatever products are used on your hair take effects either when it makes contact with the roots of your hair or the tips, depending on what it is the product is needed for. In this case, the rice water shampoo needs to come in contact with the tips of your hair as well as the roots.

After application of the rice water shampoo to your hair, you would need to massage it thoroughly into your scalp so it makes contact with your roots and every part of your hair and also absorbs the nutrients for the best results of whichever benefits you were hoping to have an effect on your hair.

Massage your scalp with the rice water shampoo for at least five minutes.

Step 3: Rise Out The Rice Water Shampoo with Rice water and/or Clean Water

Lastly, you can decide to rinse out the rice water shampoo using some rice is water you set aside while making the shampoo or simply rinse off using clean water. Using rice water to rinse off, makes it serve as the conditioner and it will strengthen your hair as well as make it shinier and silkier.

What Are The Side Effects Of Using Rice Water Shampoo?

As much as there are attractive benefits that make rice water shampoo a great choice of hair product to include in your hair maintenance and wash routine, there are also some side effects you may want to consider going over before deciding to purchase or make a rice water shampoo.

Below are the side effects of using rice water shampoo;

1. Rice Water Shampoo Might Deliver A Protein Overload

One of the reasons why people use rice water shampoo for their hair is because of how rich it is in protein, unfortunately, this protein concentration can also be a disadvantage to the hair as well. If you happen to have high porosity hair you are in luck and safe from protein overload, your hair will absorb the protein just as it should without posing any problems and eventually make it healthier and strengthen it as well.

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However, if you happen to have low porosity hair, the case will be completely different. Instead of your hair absorbing the protein contents of the rice water shampoo, it will clump together and stick to your hair without nourishing it as you would have expected.

For as long as these proteins stay stuck to your hair is without being absorbed, other hair products you use will not work either, it was would be as though they have hit a brick wall. If these proteins stay for a long time in your hair without being washed out, it could also cause brittle and dryness of the hair.

Even with high porosity hair, you should not use rice water shampoo on your hair too often, you may enjoy the results but a protein overload would halt them.

2. Rice Water Shampoo Could Worsen Dry Scalp

If you have dandruff or a dry scalp and you have been advised to use some rice water shampoo or any rice water products, you should make sure you use it in healthy amounts and leave it on for no longer than half an hour.

Leaving rice water shampoo in your hair for longer than necessary will only cause more damage to your dry scalp and not relieve you of your dandruff irritations either. Leaving rice water in your hair for too long will only introduce harmful chemical reactions and the starch from the rice to settle and dry up on your scalp, making things worse in the end.

Some people think that leaving it in for longer than necessary increases your chances of repairing the benefits of the rice water, however, it rips you of those benefits and causes your scalp to dry up.

3. Rice Water Shampoo Requires Continued Use For it To Prove Effective

Despite the promising benefits of rice water shampoo, it does not provide instantaneous results like some other hair products would. For rice water products consistency and patience is the only way to enjoy their benefits.

You may have to keep using your rice water shampoo for as long as a month to begin to see the benefits you signed up for, and it would require longer and continued usage to maintain those benefits and keep your hair strong and healthy.

If you are the type that switches hair products after two to three uses or are impatient while waiting for results after the first and second use, you may want to consider using another shampoo instead of one made with rice water.

Rice Water Shampoo Benefits
Image: Envato Elements. Rice Water Shampoo Benefits.

4. The Effects of Rice Water Shampoo Do Not Have Concrete Scientific Backing

Although many people based on personal experiences can testify that using rice water shampoo in your hair will boost its growth, reduce hair breakage, repair split ends, prevent head lice, and relieve dandruff irritations, there is no recent sufficient scientific evidence to back it up.

Scientific findings would make it easier to know if rice water shampoo would suit certain hair types and not be suitable for others if it is suitable for people with certain scalp conditions, or how it affects different hair types after long-term usage.

Since these scientific findings are not available, one that would have to personally experiment on their hair types to know whether or not their hair is compatible with the rice is water shampoo.

5. Some Rice Water Used for The Shampoo May Contain Arsenic

While this is only present in rice in rare cases, it is still possible for it to be found in some rice bought from store shelves. An example of rice that may contain arsenic in it are those grown on U.S former cotton fields, those fields were sprayed with insecticides that contained a lot of arsenic.

The residue of those insecticides containing arsenic makes contact with the rice as the water used on the rice is mixed with the soil and also absorbs the arsenic residue in the soil.

You can use basmati rice or other local rice brands to avoid arsenic being present in your rice eater shampoo and causing harm to your hair.


The side effects of using rice water shampoo in your hair are not a means to discredit the benefits that rice water shampoos stand to provide for your hair. It is a scale to prove that too much rice water in your hair can cause damage and unpleasant side effects.

It is also a way to determine what hair types are compatible with rice water-based treatments, be it rice water hair masks, rice water shampoo, or rice water conditioners. The effects of rice water shampoo are also unlikely to pose a problem for a lot of people, they can easily be avoided and they are not untreatable when they eventually occur.

This should not discourage you from giving rice water shampoo a shot as the benefits are truly amazing!

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