My Anosmia Beauty Hack Fail Story

In my quest for beauty tips, I’ve found some interesting stuff online. From black charcoal face masks to brown sugar body scrubs, it’s impressive how some of our day to day items can be used to enhance our appearance. One of my all-time favorite hobbies, is finding and sharing interesting beauty tips with everyone I know (besides my other favorite hobby which is writing about my anosmia). I mean who doesn’t want radiant skin? Or beautiful, shiny hair? I know we all do. I’ve always struggled with having dry and course hair. I hate it! My older sister on the other hand, has the nicest hair I’ve ever seen. It is jet black and super lustrous. I have always admired her hair.

Anyways, one time I was home, watching videos on YouTube (I’m also on YouTube, by the way haha!) and I came across this video about oriental hair care. The video showed a picture of these ladies with super long, and I mean exaggeratingly long, thick, black hair that flowed all the way down to their feet. Apparently, they are the Red Yao women of the Huangluo Village in China, and they have a powerful beauty secret. Turns out, these women don’t take prenatal vitamins or use hot oils for their hair, they use fermented rice water. I didn’t know what this was all about, but boy was I intrigued.

So, I head straight towards my kitchen and start looking for the bag of white rice I had bought on my previous grocery run (I was planning on making it for dinner with some spicy chicken breasts, but not anymore!) I decided to test this beauty hack on myself and followed through with the instructions. The directions said to first rinse the rice of any debris. Check! Then, you’re supposed to place the clean rice in a bowl and cover it with water. You let the rice sit in the bowl for at least 15 minutes (I left mine sitting for like 3 hours to make sure it worked well). Then, you strain the rice and pour the water into a plastic bottle, seal it, and leave it sitting at room temperature for a day or two until it starts working its magic. Check, check, check! I leave my bottle in the shower, so I could remember to use it in two days.

Well, the second day passes, and my hair treatment is ready. I am hyped to begin my journey towards beautiful, thick, Red Yao Women-looking hair.

It’s Wednesday morning, and I start getting ready for work. I get in the shower. I grab my plastic bottle and apply my promising concoction all over my dry and damaged hair. I rinse off and go through the rest of my regular routine.  I head out towards the door, but not before I wave at my dogs goodbye and then kiss my sleeping olfie on the cheek.

I walk towards the downtown train to get to work. I wait patiently on the station platform. I see the train and hop on. I only have like a 15-minute commute to work, which is super rad! What isn’t rad though, are the ugly smirks I’m getting from the two people next to me. I think nothing of it. I really dislike negativity and I’m thankful I’m almost approaching my stop.

I arrive to work, and I’m immediately greeted by my awesome coworker at the front desk. We start chatting for a bit and then she starts looking around while her nose starts to flare a bit. “Omg, can you smell that?” she asks (The first thing I think to myself is, “NO! HAVEN’T I TOLD YOU LIKE A MILLION TIMES ALREADY I CAN’T SMELL?”) I answer, “No.” She starts sniffing more insistently, “It wasn’t smelling like this right now.” Naturally, I probe her for a more thorough description of this smell, “What do you think it smells like?” I ask. She explains, “It smells like milk that’s gone bad.” I go, “What do you mean milk that’s gone bad?” She goes, “Yeah, like something sour or rotten. Like if you go on a trip and leave a gallon of milk out on your kitchen counter and it spoils because it just sits there for days.”

OMG!!!! I think to myself… “I left my rice water out…for two days…and wait a minute…fermented means something related to being sour…. I think? if it’s sour it probably means it’s spoiled…Why didn’t I think of this before?” I feel my blood pressure spiking through the roof. I make the connection but don’t want to believe. Is it? It can’t be! IT’S PROBABLY THE FERMENTED RICE WATER ON MY HAIR!!!

Mortified, I ask her to smell my hair. She gags, “Oh my God! That’s the smell. It’s your hair!” At this point, the world feels like it’s paused for an entire minute. I can hear my heart beating louder and louder through my ears. I’m standing there pale, wishing I could somehow get abducted by aliens at this very moment. She keeps gagging and moves towards her small trash can. “What did you do to your hair?” she asks. I feel my hands shaking and I don’t know whether I should be laughing or crying at all of this.

“I put some fermented rice water on it.” I answer. “What?” she asks. “It’s supposed to make your hair really nice and shiny, but I didn’t think it would smell this bad!” I explain. “Remember, I can’t smell?” At this point I’m laughing now and covering my face with my hands. “Oh my God, that’s true! She shrieks.  “This is so embarrassing!” I yell. “I have to go wash this off. I can’t be at work smelling like a stink bomb!” I rush over to my boss’s office and explain what just happened. My boss thinks it’s hilarious and tells me to take care of the problem.  Luckily, my job had a work gym with a changing room and a full shower nearby on another floor. I make a run for it!

I get to the gym and wash my hair like five times. After blow drying it, I spray on a bunch of random body sprays, hoping these mask the awful smell. One of my coworkers is at the gym! I feel like I’ve finally conquered the pungent problem. I go up to her and sheepishly ask her if my hair smells okay. She confirms it smells like, “A bunch of different perfumes with a strong hint of something spoiled.” “What?” I sigh in dismay. “Man, I really need a working nose,” I tell her while I shrug. She looks at me and tells me she, “knows something that will more than likely do the trick.” I recover my hope. She asks me, “If I have any baking soda?”  I tell her I’ve seen some around. She goes on to explain how she uses it as dry shampoo on the days she doesn’t wash her hair and it absorbs the worst of smells. AHA! Ironically, I’ve learned about another awesome beauty hack from all of this!

I go straight to our employee lounge where there’s a fridge with some baking soda inside. I grab a small pile and hold it in my hand. I then go to the nearest restroom and apply it in front of one of the mirrors on the wall. I look at myself and smile.

It’s business as usual for the rest of the day. Except, I have the funniest story to tell now and now I’ve shared it with you. What do you think of all of this? As a nosmie, have you ever done anything similar? As an olfie, can you believe this stuff really happens to people who can’t smell? LOL Share your reactions with me in the comments below, or on my Facebook account

With Love,

The Girl Who Can’t Smell


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