I’ve Asked an Expert, and This Is What Rice Water Actually Does for the Hair
As a beauty editor, I honestly feel like a week doesn’t go by where there isn’t a “new” wonder ingredient that is supposedly going to shake up our beauty routine. Sometimes it’s a groundbreaking addition like hyaluronic acid, and sometimes it’s something that needs to be left in the kitchen cupboard. When I started hearing more about rice water, I needed to get to the bottom of whether it was actually a good addition to my hair routine or not.
Keeks after a protein-rich hair washday.
So why are more people going crazy for rice water right now? One word: protein. It’s the thing that our hair is mostly made from, and therefore, when hair is damaged or weak, protein is the ingredient that needs to be injected into our haircare routine to replenish it. But it isn’t without its cons. As Crean says, “too much protein can have an opposite effect and leave hair feeling dry and damaged.” I’ve found this before where my strands have become oversensitive to frequent protein treatments, and instead of feeling healthier and stronger, my hair feels brittle and is more prone to breakage. Because of this, anything that is too protein-rich I limit to once-monthly treatments and have found that that low frequency works for my hair.
As I looked into the benefits of rice water, I noticed that it’s started to crop up in a few haircare products too, so if you’re less keen on the DIY element of it, you can reap the benefits from the likes of the Gallinée Hair and Scalp range, which has an impressive ingredient list—the star ingredient of which is fermented rice water.
This is a quick and easy way to enrich your hair with the benefits of rice water while also soothing your scalp and regulating sebum. Simply spritz on from scalp to ends and allow to dry.
More Protein-Rich Treatments
This strengthening and hydrating mask contains Alpha Keratin 60ku for an impactful hit of protein.
Formulated with quinoa protein, this is a great option for medium to thick hair textures. If you lack volume, only apply from mid-lengths to ends.
This protein-rich mask is quick to act with amino acid–rich quinoa protein helping to impart shine and strengthen strands.
If you have afro-textured hair, you’ll love this deep-conditioning mask. Apply from root to tip and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing.
Pack this sachet in your carry-on for any upcoming trips that might include sunshine and swimming. Allow it to soak in for up to 20 minutes after shampooing.
Next up, the best haircuts for every face shape.
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