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Does Rice Water Dry Your Hair Out?

does rice water dry your hair out - here's the answer, yes.Does rice water dry your hair out? Find out NOW.

Have you ever asked, “does rice water dry your hair out?”

Well, the answer is:

Yes, If used incorrectly or too much, rice water does dry your hair out because it has so much protein in it. And UNLESS you do a weekly wash day, you can't use rice water rinses as if it were TGIN green tea natural hair leave-in without your hair drying out.

Reality is:

Too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. 


Not all good things, like rice water for natural hair, are good for everyone.

A lot of natural hair women have been using rice water for hair for a long time. 

And getting great results...

...lots of strength and great length retention.

Still though:

Many of our readers have said ”rice water made my hair dry” and have been wondering is too much rice water bad for hair because their luscious been drying out, becoming stiff and crunchy after using this popular DIY natural hair product.

And alot less luscious-shy...

Yes, too much rice water is bad for hair because of its very high protein content.

Depending on the type of rice that you're using, the protein percentage can be up to 16%.

Does Rice Water Dry Your Hair Out?
Not When You Use Rice Water Rinses as Protein Treatments

Much in the same way that too many real protein treatments are bad for your hair, rice water has the same effect.

In fact:

You should be treating rice water rinses for your hair as if they were protein treatments, because they are.

More than that:

The protein molecules in rice are extremely large and too big to actually soak into and penetrate your hair strands.

Results are:

That the proteins in rice end up coating the surface of your hair.

This isn't always a bad thing, it can be a good thing... 

Too much though, and it can block your hair strands from receiving moisture.

[SEE New Recipe for DIY Curl Cream w/o Shea]

Rice Water Challenge Results:
Naturals Saying “Rice Water Made My Hair Dry”

After studying these undercover sneaky lil’ rice water protein treatments and wondering does rice water dry your hair out...

I have to tell you:

That one of the major problems is these “10 day rice water challenges” that we see on YouTube so often. 

No wonder folks are asking does rice water dry your hair out after doing 10-to-30 dang days of rice water rinses!

You see what's going on out chere'!?!

does-rice-water-dry-your-hair-out rice-water-challengeDon't do it!

These challenges will tear your tresses up!

Because too much rice water is bad for natural hair:

These long rice water challenges actually do you more harm than good.

You see:

The primary reason why rice water for hair helps you retain length is because it leaves a thick protective coat around your hair strands

This strengthens and helps stop your hair from breaking so much:

That’s why so many feel like rice water makes your hair grow faster.

Because you're able to keep what you are growing instead of losing it. It's almost like taking MSM for hair growth or even the best African natural growth herbs. 

You see:

The rice water ISN'T THE PROBLEM:

The problem is TOO MUCH rice water on your hair.


When you overdo it:

What can bring your hair to life, can also kill it…

does-rice-water-dry-out-hair-natural-hair-productsDoes rice water dry your hair out? Yes, if you do stunts like this! Girrrl...

You see this stuff?

In the name of Marvin Gaye, "WHAT'S GOIN' ON?!?"

You see:

It’s that same protective coating that rice water rinses create, that eventually dries and hardens.

If you're participating in these rice water challenges...

...you are continually adding new layers of this protective coat, that eventually gets OVERPROTECTIVE.

Think of dad at the door with a shotgun:

And moisture is some boy knockin’ at the door, lookin' for you, lol.

does-rice-water-dry-out-hair-natural-hair-products-made-my-hair-dryWhat you mean you came to get her hair "MOIST"!?!?!

The layers and layers of overprotective shielding blocks out moisture,

And when you continue adding stacking layers upon layers without washing your hair, not only does rice water dry your hair out, but you create a wicked case of protein overload.

And even though both high and low porosity hair needs protein, they don't need THAT MUCH.

So again:

Does rice water dry your hair out?

The answer is YES, if you're overdoing it. 

And sis...

Best believe, using rice water rinses on consecutive days without washing is definitely overdoing it. 

How To Fix Dry Hair After
Too Much Rice Water

does-rice-water-dry-your-hair-out short-pixie-cut-blond-hair-black-woman-natural-hair-products-type-4cYou'll be slayin' again in NO TIME! Let's go!

Although CERTAIN multi-day hair challenges are awesome when you're using hair regimen solutions like onion juice for hair or DIY daily moisture treatments...

But Whoooa Nelly!

Can rice water make your hair dry as the dang Sahara Desert if you try the same thing and go day, after day, after day with it.

Some of us had to learn the hard way...

...no worries though, sis.

It's all about how much you use rice water for your hair according to your hair porosity level...

Does rice water dry your hair out when applied correctly? No.


...the right amount of use and you'll get great results and beautiful hair.

So let's talk about it how you fix the problem if your hair is high porosity.

How Often to Use Rice Water on Hair With High Porosity:

Since rice water is great as a real protein treatment...

...if you have high porosity hair you can deal with more protein and benefit.

So you can use rice water more often than naturals with low porosity hair.

This means:

You can use rice water rinses once or maybe even twice a week on your wash days.


You can actually use rice water on your natural hair once a week as if it were a TGIN green tea natural hair leave-in, but only if you wash your hair at least once a week, preferably more.

The amount that you wash your hair is so important because...

...you want to avoid stacking new layers of rice starch and protein on top of old layers without washing your hair first. 


  • You can rinse with rice water once a week (on wash days)
  • You can use rice water as a good leave-in conditioner (if your wash day is atleast once a week)

How Often to Use Rice Water on Hair When You Have Low Porosity Hair:

Does rice water dry hair out quicker if it's low porosity?


Not only does rice water dry hair out quicker you have low porosity hair, but it usually has a harsher effect, so you will need to space out your rice water rinse treatments.

Do them no more than once or twice a month on wash days.

Or you could simply use rice water on your ends because...

...no matter what your hair porosity is, your ends will almost always have higher porosity and be more receptive to protein than your newer growth.

It’s always important to especially pay attention to your ends for retaining length.


  • You can use once or twice a month for great results.
  • Or, just use rice water on your ends, because ends are usually higher porosity.

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Side Effects of Rice Water on Hair:
TOO MUCH Starch Causing Dry Hair

Now we have to ask:

Besides the high levels of protein in rice...

Does rice water dry your hair out for any other reason? Yes.

...there's another culprit:

And that is starch.

Another of the side effects of too much rice water on your hair is adding too much starch to your strands.

Rice has a ton of starch in it…

...and when you boil rice, the starch leaches out and into the water.

That's the same starchy water that you're pouring over your hair.

And here’s the kicker:

Starch molecules are very large, so they build up really fast, sitting on top your hair strands and act like a crusty paste on the surface of your hair.  

Too much rice starch on your hair is a big problem.

Many times, when boiling rice you can see the starch in the water, it's the foam you see on top. Take a look...

does-rice-water-dry-out-hair-natural-hair-products-made-my-hair-dry-starchSTARCH - [Does Rice Water Dry Your Hair Out Article]

Don’t get me wrong:

If you have high porosity hair, a tiny amount of starch build-up can actually feel good and helps to protect your high porosity hair strands from damage.

Still though:

Since rice water is already a protein treatment, too much starch on your hair can be overkill regardless of your porosity type.

How to Remove Starch from Your
Rice Water Hair Treatments

The great news for you is that removing starch, as well as arsenic from your rice water rinse is super simple!

It's scientific fact that cooking rice in a high water-to-rice ratio reduces its arsenic content and starch as well.

Here's how to start:

Simply run water over your dry rice until the water runs clear. Like so...

does-rice-water-dry-your-hair-out strain-rice-made-my-hair-dry-starch.jpg

After that:

When you boil your rice, add 7 times the water to your cooking pot as the amount of rice you have added.

For example...

...if you added one cup of rice, add 7 cups of water

After the water has come to a boil for 5 minutes, remove the rice from the heat and strain the water.

Dump the strained water and use the remaining boiled rice to make your rice water treatment. 

I wrote a whole tutorial for you on how to make rice water rinses for hair treatments, so be sure to check that out.

Already Have Rice Water Build-Up Causing Dryness?
Here’s What To Do:

  • Be consistent with your wash day regimen (wash regularly and on schedule).
  • Avoid protein treatments until your hair needs one.
  • Wear low manipulation hairstyles to avoid breakage.
  • Moisture your hair more often (daily moisture is a best practice anyway)

So look:

If you’re struggling with dry hair because of rice water buildup, don't freak out.

After following the advice and instructions from this tutorial about "Does rice water dry your hair out?" and your hair will be beautiful and back to normal after a few wash days.

Be sure to:

Maintain a daily moisturizing schedule, I highly suggest our “Krazy Moisture Kokum Bomb” DIY moisturizing cream for your daily moisturizing regimen during this period of time.

Also, make sure that you're conditioning your hair properly and avoiding protein or other strengthening treatments until your hair is back to normal and moisturized.

Don't Abandon Your Rice Water Rinse Treatments

As I told you earlier, rice water is an amazing treatment for your natural hair.

Like any tool though, you just have to use it correctly.   

If your hair was loving rice water before, don't allow this small setback to discourage you.

Just make the necessary adjustments and use rice water for your hair the right way to get all of the great health and growth benefits.

In fact, here's amazing rice water and onion juice recipe Matrix that you just might appreciate.

Bookmark the page for later and try the recipe when the time comes.

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Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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