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How Long Should You Leave Rice Water in Your Hair?

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The basic rule is to not leave the Rice Water in your hair for too long, especially if you have low porosity hair or protein sensitive hair. The hair will have absorbed all of the vital nutrients from the rice water after 15-20 minutes. How Long Should You Leave Rice Water in Your Hair?

If you leave the Rice Water in your hair for too long, it may cause protein excess, making your hair stiff and brittle. The last thing you want is damaged hair as a result of inappropriate Rice Water application.

Now, this may not apply to everyone; I’m sure you know folks who leave their Rice Water in their hair overnight or do not wash it out until the next wash day, and still their hair looks great.


We all have different hair types, and as previously said, hair porosity influences how your hair reacts to Rice Water.

Several factors influence how long we should leave the Rice Water on our hair.

These parameters include: (i) hair porosity, (ii) rice water concentration, (iii) rice water preparation method, and (iv) the objective of employing rice water.


What is the scientific consensus on rice water?

Let’s go into the science behind Rice Water’s nutritional makeup. This will be critical in establishing whether there are components in Rice Water that, if left for an extended period of time, will harm your hair.

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Now that we've got that out of the way, let's continue!


The rice grain contains around 80% starch. A study that looked at the nutritional quality of rice, including the mineral and fatty acid content, found this to be true.

Rice also includes a high concentration of protein. The percentage varies by rice type, but on average, the protein level ranges from 7% to 16%.

Rice, in addition to carbs and proteins, contains B vitamins, vitamin E, minerals, and antioxidants. (1)

Rice proteins build a protective layer on your hair, which prevents damage. The protective covering is not a terrible thing until you add layer after layer on top of it, resulting in protein overload.

When you have protein overload, the hair become stiff, dry and brittle resulting in breakage. Therefore, just like any other protein treatment, minimize the frequency of use and avoid leaving it on your hair for too long.

As noted above, rice is rich in starch. The molecules that make up starch are huge hence build-up fast and act like a crust on your hair. Proteins combined with starch if left on for long or used too frequently may result in breakage.



How Long Should You Leave Rice Water in Your Hair?



1. Hair porousness

Hair porosity is one of the most critical criteria in determining how long and how frequently you should use Rice Water. Hair porosity refers to the hair’s capacity to absorb and retain moisture.

If you have low porosity hair, you should use Rice Water with caution because the protein and starch in the Rice Water tend to sit on the hair shaft, and if the ‘crust’ dries out by remaining too long, it will make the hair dry and brittle.

This is why it is advised not to leave Rice Water on for more than an hour.

If you make very concentrated Rice Water, it means that the protein and starch content is very high and therefore leaving the rice water on for too long may work against you.

Diluting the Rice Water will minimize the potency and therefore it may be safe to leave the Rice Water on for longer.


3. Method of preparation

Rice Water can be made in a variety of ways. The fermenting process is the most recommended. This approach produces the most powerful Rice Water.

Other techniques include boiling and non-fermentation. Because boiled Rice Water is less potent than fermented Rice Water, I’ve discovered that leaving this form of Rice Water on my hair for extended periods of time is safer than fermented Rice Water.

4. The Function of Rice Water

In this post, we discussed numerous ways to use Rice Water into your hair care routine. If you are using Rice Water to detangle your hair, you must leave it on until you are finished.

When using it as a rinse out after washing the hair, then you should leave it in for about 15-30 minutes.

I have seen some people on Youtube use Rice Water as an overnight treatment, this can be a way of pre-pooing your hair.

If you find that your hair does not dry out after leaving it overnight, then this can also be a great way to use the Rice Water.

7 case studies on how long to leave your Rice Water on hair
Rice Water For Hair

In this section, we will look at several case studies to help you realize that the length of time Rice Water should be left on the hair varies from person to person, based on hair type and other aspects stated above.

We’ll check at 7 notable YouTubers and see how long they left the Rice Water on for, as well as the Rice Water recommendations they give. Links to videos where they discuss Rice Water are listed against their names.

Case Study 1: Curly Kinks Craving
Craving Curly Kinks made the Rice Water in this video by fermenting it for around 1-2 days. She next shampooed and conditioned her hair. She finished by putting Rice Water to her hair.



She recommends leaving the Rice Water in for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before rinsing it off.








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