We won’t waste your time. You should leave the rice water in your hair for about 20 to 30 minutes. This is the sweet spot to give the hair-loving nutrients from the rice water enough time to penetrate your strands.
Rice water treatments are one of those treatments that don’t need a ton of time to work. This may take a little time to get used to if you’re someone who’s used to leaving deep conditioners and hair masks on for several hours, but you can rest assured that a maximum of 30 minutes is enough.
What Happens If You Leave Rice Water on Hair Too Long?
There’s a very important reason why you shouldn’t leave rice water in your hair for a long time. The problem that can creep up is skin irritation.
Not everyone will experience this issue, but if you tend to have a sensitive scalp or a scalp condition, it’s best to leave the rice water on for only a little while. In the case of a problematic or sensitive scalp, you can leave the rice water in for closer to 10 minutes than 30 minutes.
But if you want to get an idea of your scalp’s tolerance to the mask, you can try a processing time of about 20 minutes.
Just be very attentive to how your scalp reacts. If you notice any unwanted changes (itchiness or irritation), scale back on the processing time.
Also, be on the lookout for more serious issues, like peeling, burning, or swelling. If you experience any of these symptoms, you shouldn’t use the rice water again for any amount of time.
Some Use Rice Water Overnight
Despite the general recommendations for rice water, there are people out there who use rice water overnight with success. If you’ve used rice water overnight without any problems, there’s no need to change that.
Just know that you could get the same results from the rice water in a very small fraction of that time. We’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the risks of leaving your hair wet overnight.
The moisture from the rice water can encourage the development of mold and mildew on your scalp and hair. Another issue you could run into is a fungal infection.
In addition, you should know that your hair is much more vulnerable to breakage when wet. For these reasons, we recommend not leaving rice water in your hair overnight. There’s no reason to do so since you can get the benefits of the treatment in about a half hour.
Can You Use 5-Minute Rice for Rice Water?
Yes, you can use 5-minute rice to make rice water, but keep in mind that the quality of the rice water may not be as good as if you used regular rice. This is because 5-minute rice is often pre-cooked and processed, which can affect the quality of the nutrients in the rice. In other words, some of the nutrients have often been removed. We recommend using regular rice to create rice water treatments.
Can You Do a 5-Minute Rice Water Treatment?
To get the most out of a rice water treatment, it’s essential to give the hair treatment enough time to do its magic. Though it doesn’t take hours to get the benefits of the treatment, 5 minutes is too little if you’re looking for a noticeable difference in length retention or your hair’s appearance.
The only time when a 5-minute rice water treatment makes sense is when you’re using it as a rinse. Rinses are supposed to be really short-lived, and you can use rice water in this manner if you’re short on time.
Just be aware that you won’t get the same results with a 5-minute treatment as you would with a 20 or 30-minute treatment in most cases.
Can You Use Rice Water on Dirty Hair?
This is another question that people commonly have about rice water treatments. If you want to ensure the treatment penetrates as much as possible, use it on clean hair.
That way, there won’t be anything on your hair to block the nutrients from the rice water. To get the most penetration possible, you can wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo before applying the rice water mixture.
Clarifying shampoo is formulated to clean deeper than a normal shampoo can, and it’ll get your hair extremely clean. When you’re ready to put the rice water on, your cuticles will be ready to accept the goodness from the mixture.