My Sister Dumped Beer On My Hair, And I'm Not Mad At Her

An easy DIY beer rinse for vibrant, shiny hair--no belligerent reality show bar patrons required.
Publish date:
April 15, 2013
How-To, DIY, lush, shampoos, rinses, redken, beer, Broo

I, Pia, used to hate beer. I thought it was too fizzy, smelled funky, and made me pee way too much.

But eventually, I started to appreciate it. Call it a maturing of my taste buds, if maturing means chugging red cups for sucking at beer pong.

I had previously associated beer with dodging stray darts hurled by sloshed men in sports dives that my ex made me go to (which, these days, I prefer to a club any day of the week). Now, when I’m at a beer hall, I go straight for the big-girl cup: the stein.

Anyway, at the suggestion of my fellow beauty editor twin, Runa, I did something I never thought I would do: I put beer on my head. OK--rewind--I have had beer on my head, but not on purpose.

I recently had a teeny bit of color put in my hair and wanted to give it a shine boost without adding any more product. Runa had picked up on some buzz about hair products with beer, so we thought, why not stick my head in the real stuff and see what happens.

If I put it in my mouth, why not on my head? (Please don’t use that logic for everything--it is flawed.)

Runa, would you care to explain why you suggested dunking my hair in a keg?

Sure! Runa, here. So, from what I hear, proteins in malt are supposed to be great for adding body, while silica found in hops are said to strengthen. Wheat proteins and vitamin B found in most of your basic brews improve shine. There are also some cool new shampoos and whatnot that actually use beer as an ingredient, which we’ll tell you about in a bit.

First, we washed Pia’s hair with normal shampoo. Some people like to mix their beer into their shampoo. If you do this, we suggest filling your shampoo bottle up 1/3 of the way with warm beer and 2/3 shampoo.

Once we squeezed all of the excess water out of her hair, we took a room-temperature beer (don’t go with anything fancypants with added ingredients, your most basic favorite beer will do), and we poured it over her hair.

We massaged the beer into her hair and scalp and left her to chill out over the sink while we finished off the rest of the six-pack while Pia whined about not being able to drink in that position.

Once I felt her head had fully marinated (about 10 minutes--five will do, but don’t tell her) and she was in full freak-out mode because she hates anything icky on her head, I rinsed the beer out with cold water and followed with a light conditioner.

After her hair had been blow dried, it actually seemed like her color had become richer. And talk about shine! There was no ickiness left over, it was super-manageable, and best of all, her hair didn’t smell like happy hour at a pub.


If you’re still nervous or can't stand to put beer anywhere other than your mouth, there are some alternatives on the market that tout the same benefits.

LUSH Cynthia Silvia Stout is made with organic, vegan beer and promises to add softness, shine and gloss to fluffy, unruly hair.

BROO is a haircare company that uses beer in all of its hair products, like their Silky Spice Smoothing I.P.A. Conditioner, which gently controls frizz with the help of hops oil.

Redken Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo is marketed to men for some reason, but it’s made with orange zest, so Pia wants to try it because she thinks it will make her smell like Blue Moon.

Now that this experiment was a success, next time we’re showered with beer from the top tiers of a beer garden during the World Cup, we won’t run--we’ll just bask.

Have you ever tried a beer rinse? If not, let us know if we’ve convinced you to!