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by on Aug 03, 2013

Using Rainwater to Wash Your Hair

When I was a child my grandmother would share beauty secrets with me that seemed too good to be true. She always kept Jello on hand and would happily make it whenever we requested it because she firmly believed that gelatin was good for hair and nails. (I must admit, she did have beautiful hair and nails.) Grandma also said washing my hair in rain water would make it soft and shiny. While I happily stuffed myself with Jello on every visit, I wasn’t so quick to collect buckets of rainwater (seemed like too much work.) But I always wondered if it were true. It looks like my Grandmother knew her stuff.

According to TLC How stuff works, rainwater is great for hair because rainwater is soft water. Hard water doesn’t wash as well as soft water. You can’t lather as well and it leaves more soap scum behind. If you are accustomed to a hard-water hair wash, then rainwater will do wonders for your hair. Those people who most benefit from a rainwater hair wash probably live in a hard water area.

Acid Rain Levels Across the U.S.

Rainwater still has chemicals in it, but it won’t contain some the heavier chemicals found in hard water. Rainwater is not safe to drink without filtering it first. If you live in an acid rain area or any place where a layer of smog casts a pallor over the town, washing with rainwater is not for you. One glance at the map above tells me I won’t be trying this anytime soon. However, if you live in an area where the rain is not acidic, try rainwater as a final rinse and see all the benefits that have kept this beauty secret around for so long. After all, it’s free and you can’t get any more natural than water that falls from the sky.

Collecting rainwater is as easy as placing a clean bucket or two outside the next time it rains. Be sure to bring the buckets in a s soon as they are full or as soon as it stops raining. Otherwise, mosquitoes will move in and make it their new home. If the rainwater has dirt or residue at the bottom of the bucket, pass it through a strainer or coffee filter before using it on your hair.



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  • Rachel

    I was recently playing tennis and got caught in 2 showers, like pouring showers they lasted about 20 minutes each. I have my hair in mini twists so I just kept on playing and let my hair drink it in lol! It was fun and refreshing to not have to head for shelter out of fear of my hair getting wet (although I rarely did this when I was relaxing my hair)

    • dorisdaze


  • shelly7rox

    Wow who would’ve thought rainwater, I wish I could do that…

    • dorisdaze

      Rainwater is the best. Rinses out shampoo or whatever you use to cleanse your hair out ten times faster than tap water from a spiget!

  • Ellen Rittgers

    Why is she so worried about acidity in rainwater, when apple cider vinegar rinses are recommended to remove mineral deposits and soap scum after shampooing? An alkaline Ph is bad for hair.

  • dorisdaze

    I’ve been washing my hair in rain water since the 70s as a young child to teenager, and now at the age of 53, I live in San Diego and wash & condition & gloss my hair whenever it rains no matter how cold. I love it, and the results are absolutely beautiful.

    Folks cannot believe how beautiful my hair is for my age. No dullness whatsoever. I have just about waist length hair, and when I wash it in the rain, it takes wayyyy less time to rinse out the shampoo than tap water from the spigot.

    Let’s face it; San Diego doesn’t have much rain water, but when it does, I am out there and the results are beautiful in one wash & condition. Please try it!

    I also swim in the ocean and any fresh lake I visit. I live very close to the ocean now, and my hair needs more attention as opposed to growing up in Chicago and swiming in a fresh lake, or visiting one of the nearby states with fresh water lakes/ponds; or when I lived in New York and would visit the Poconos in NY as well as PA. My hair looks like a teenager’s sheen.

    Thanks for reading! Good luck to you, and definitely take advantage of rain water.