I Washed My Hair With Beer To See If It Would Become Shinier. Here’s How I Looked When It Dried

by Averi Clements
Averi is a writer and traveler who enjoys learning about new cultures and languages. She's a blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher, and an equine enthusiast. She currently lives in Central America with her cat and a lot of really big bugs.

I’ve never been much of a beer drinker. I’m not crazy about the taste, I hate the bloated feeling I get after I put one down, and the extra calories just aren’t worth it for me.

But when I heard that beer could be beneficial if you put it on your hair, I was intrigued.

I really don’t take care of my hair as well as I should. I wash and condition it every other day, and I don’t abuse it with heated styling tools. At this point, though, I’ve grown used to stylists gently scolding me for going way too long between trims or using boxed dye to maintain my color. And since my individual strands of hair are pretty thin, the lack of attention I give it tends to show.

So when I learned that beer had the potential to improve my hair’s health, I decided that I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. After letting my hair go an extra day without getting washed, I went to my local store, bought a case of Rolling Rock, and crossed my fingers that the benefits of beer would be more obvious on my hair than in my body.

Why Is Beer Supposed To Be Good For Your Hair?

Hair before washing with beer
Averi Clements for LittleThings

Putting beer on your hair might just seem like a ridiculous beauty experiment, but the reasons you should do it are actually backed by science. Organic Authority explains that the protein found in the malt and hops can help strengthen hair that’s lost its luster due to too much heat styling or processing. Plus, the B vitamins found in beer are great for tightening your hair’s cuticles, which makes your strands appear extra shiny.

Potential Drawbacks To Putting Beer In Your Hair

Bottle of beer and bowl
Averi Clements for LittleThings

If you struggle with your hair being too dry, it’s best to only try this rinse once every two weeks, as the hops in beer can dry your hair out further. Putting beer on your hair can also make your hair smell like beer (surprise!), so if you’re not a fan of the scent or are going to be in a situation where it would be detrimental to have such an aroma attached to you, you might want to reconsider this treatment.

How Not To Wash Your Hair With Beer

Don't pour beer straight onto hair
Averi Clements for LittleThings

To be fair, you’re not technically washing your hair with beer — it’s more like a post-shampoo rinse that supposedly helps condition your strands. MindBodyGreen recommends using it instead of conditioner, but there’s nothing that says you can’t use it after you condition and rinse your hair as well.

How To Wash Your Hair With Beer

Beer in a bowl
Averi Clements for LittleThings

Mindbodygreen also stresses making sure that the beer you’re using is flat, as having too much carbon dioxide combined with water can make your hair look and feel rough. So, rather than cracking open a can and dumping it over your head, do the following:

  1. Pour beer into a bowl and let it sit overnight to decarbonate (preferably in the fridge, as beer attracts fruit flies).
  2. Condition, shampoo, and rinse as normal.
  3. Pour the beer over your hair.
  4. Massage beer into hair from root to tip
  5. Rinse it out with cold water.

It’s that easy!

Washing Hair With Beer: My Experience

In the shower
Averi Clements for LittleThings

The actual act of pouring a big bowl of beer over your head in the shower isn’t too awkward… unless you pause mid-pour and really think about it. What did get me, though, was how cold it was. After getting comfy and rinsing out my shampoo with hot water, I quickly began to regret my decision to let the beer flatten out in the fridge.

Still, I gritted my teeth and slowly started to pour the freezing cold beverage over my hair, starting at the roots and then making sure I saturated the rest of my hair with it. Since I couldn’t just glob it in my hands like conditioner, I tried to just work it through my hair with my fingers and hoped that it would reach every strand. I let it sit for about five minutes to let it work its purported magic, then rinsed.

How It Felt After The Shower

Out of the shower after washing hair with beer
Averi Clements for LittleThings

After I towel-dried my hair a bit, I noticed my hair didn’t have that soft, silky feeling it normally does when I condition it. It also felt a bit stringier, and after running my fingers through it, it seemed to tangle way more easily than it does when I use “normal” conditioner.

And I have to add: even though I’d rinsed the beer out, my hair still carried a faint aroma, but it was more yeasty than alcohol-y.

How It Felt After The First Use

Hair after washing with beer for the first time
Averi Clements for LittleThings

I was pleasantly surprised when I dried my hair; I had low expectations given how it had felt while it was still wet. My hair was shiny and soft and actually came out straighter than normal when I used the blow-dryer on it. However, it still tangled very easily and had the same texture your hair gets when you’re considering washing it, but can probably get away with not washing it for another day. It just felt a little heavier than normal — and yes, that yeasty scent was still hanging on, however faintly.

How My Hair Felt After The Second Use

Shiny hair
Averi Clements for LittleThings

Following my first attempt, I tried using the beer rinse after conditioning my hair to see if it would make a good addition to my routine, rather than a substitution for my regular conditioner. It came out softer than it had without the conditioner, but still tangled pretty easily, especially at the ends.

How My Hair Felt After Multiple Uses

Hair after washing with beer a few times
Averi Clements for LittleThings

After using it through a few consecutive washes, I noticed that my hair felt less greasy over time. I normally wash my hair every other day, and by the end of the second day, it starts to look and feel pretty icky. With the beer wash, though, my roots seemed to have a lot less oil buildup. It didn’t seem to change the overall condition of my hair, but I was pretty pumped to see that the beer kept my hair from getting too gross in between washes.

Final Thoughts On Washing My Hair With Beer

Pouring beer into a bowl
Averi Clements for LittleThings

Would I try this again? If I had some friends over and they happened to leave a couple beers behind after they left, I wouldn’t be opposed to using them on my hair. But I probably won’t find myself going to the distributor in hopes of turning a six-pack into a hair treatment again.

Was it worth it? The effects weren’t noticeable or desirable enough to warrant spending the money, going through the process, and smelling vaguely like a sticky bar table. However, I’m aware that the thinness of my hair probably didn’t do me any favors.

Would I recommend it to a friend? If you have thicker hair or struggle with greasy roots, this might be a good option for you. But if you struggle with knots or giving your ‘do some volume, you might want to stick with emptying your favorite brew into your stomach rather than on top of your head.

Make sure you SHARE this post with your friends in case they want to try out this unique beauty treatment!