I Tried Rinsing My Hair With Beer And This Is What Really Happened

Abi Scott
Hullo there. I'm Abi Scott, a 23-year-old, Denver based writer with a bachelor's degree in English Lit. Aside from all that boring stuff, here are some things I tend to enjoy: bold red wines, hat days because that's one less day I have to wash her hair, $1 Saint Candles from Walmart, writing, any and all types of cheeses, dogs with expressive faces, finding that perfect winter sweater and wearing it for three days straight, Indian food, low maintenance house plants, leather boots, songs that you loved in the ninth grade but still play today for nostalgia's sake, dimly lit coffee shops, photographs that make me look thin and young, and long haired men. Here are some things I don't really enjoy but tolerate, as they are a necessary part of modern society or Asian cuisine: baby corn cobs (like the ones Tom Hanks eats in "Big"), people publicly texting instead of paying attention to the world around them, driving to destinations under a mile away, dressing room lighting, warm beer, simple math, cliché signs that tell you to dance in the rain (you should dance in the rain if you want, but if it's too cold or you would rather not get wet that day, then so be it), Starbucks, musical movies (except "Les Mis" because come on, Hugh Jackman is a god among men), and photographs taken from a low angle that make it look like I have three chins.

For thousands of years, beer has been an intricate part of humanity. It’s used to cure illnesses, clean toilet bowls, keep fleas off your poochie, marinate meat, celebrate football games, etc. If it has been done at some point in history, beer was there. Second to dogs, let’s just call it man’s best friend.

But ladies, beer is no longer just for the guys. Gone are the days of paying top dollar for clarifying solutions, back to basics hair masks, or organic oils from far off lands. There’s a simple hack to adding shine and strengthening follicles and it lies within one 12 oz. bottle of fermented yeast — or so they say. Let’s find out.

Beer with hair

I’d like to start off by stating the following: I did not come up with this magical idea on my own. Women from New York, Milan, and the People’s Republic of Reddit have posted about this one simple hair trick — washing your hair with beer. Being the beer guzzling cheapo that I am, I thought I should definitely give this a try.

Now, I didn’t just dump beer on my head and call it a day. My days of frat parties and table dancing are long past me. First, I wanted to know why I should dump beer on my hair according to science, not according to comments on glamour.com by user hairangel224.

So, science, why should we douse our locks in golden, malty goodness?

I got one word for you — protein. The protein acts as a coating and repairing agent and smoothes damaged follicles of each hair cell, giving you that Moroccan oiled look without weighing your hair down. So months, neigh years, of blow-drying, straightening, crimping (the 90s are back, don’t deny it), and trying out the as-seen-on-TV magic wand can all be reversed with a simple brewski?

With all this research behind me, I decided the next step was to go for it.

I looked up recipes for beer shampoo, but a majority of them required work A.K.A. boiling things down, measuring, and stirring — activities I only partake in during Thanksgiving and cocktail hour. A good majority of people said they just washed their hair like normal, poured a warm, flat beer over the top of their head and wrapped it in a damp warm towel or shower cap; think hair mask steps but with beer. I opted for the latter, popped open a traditional American lager and hopped in.

After trying my patience and attempting to let the beer heat up in the shower, I got annoyed with waiting, and dumped half the beer on my scalp and crown of my head, while letting the rest run down to the tips of my strands. I gathered my hair into a top bun and poured the remaining half into the now clumsily coiffed birds nest. I sang the full rendition of American Pie and knew my time was up. God, that’s a long song.

When I took off my shower cap I was bombarded by what smelled like a brewery. Bread, a tiny bit of alcohol, and yeast filled my nasal passages and overtook my tiny bathroom. I washed out the remaining liquid and wrapped my hair up in a dry towel to await the results.

So, full disclosure, not a ton happened.

When I let my damp hair down, it definitely reeked of beer. But not the post-pool hall kind of smell. A fresh, clean, bready smell that wasn’t entirely bad. Just different and not safe for work, which I had to attend within the hour. I blow-dried to speed up the process and was left with regular, semi-shiny, same as when I wash it with Suave shampoo hair.

The only difference was maybe noting a little more volume.

Although this could be attributed to the lack of post-wash product I put in. Honestly, I’ll probably do this again. If I have an unfinished beer lying around or a forgotten out-of-season ale sitting in the back of the fridge. I wouldn’t seek out this treatment again, spend money on craft brews, or do it before work. But I did enjoy that it was more natural feeling and smelly than coating my hair with perfumed conditioners.

My advice: Give it a shot.

It’s not going to hurt anything. Everyone’s hair is different. Mine is thick, long and more often than not, equivalent to a rat’s nest (as my grandma likes to say). If you have fine, short hair that gets greasy with just a dollop of conditioner, then you should give this a shot. It’s natural, easy, and different than your current beauty routine. Plus, your new hair’s scent may attract the fellas.

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