I Used Hair Products Made With Beer And This Is What Happened
No hangover with these hops: just soft, shiny locks.
Beer: it’s great for your hair. I’ve been hearing that all my life, and yet I hadn’t explored the option until now.
The concept of washing my hair with a brewski presented a few potential problems — the most obvious being that I was reluctant to smell like beer. The second issue, whenever I considered the idea, was how to go about doing it.
Did I want to spend money on a nice craft beer made lovingly with the finest of ingredients, only to let it go down the drain (literally)? But the flip side was using cheap beer, and washing my hair with cheap beer sounded, frankly, like a bummer.
The thing is, the whole “beer is good for your hair” concept is not only age-old, but totally real, as Brad Pearsall and Sarah Duran — founders of BRÖÖ Craft Beer Body and Hair Care — discovered. “This home-brewed beer hair rinse is a worldwide thing,” the team explains. Pearsall and Duran also break down the science behind the tradition: “Beer works on hair because it’s brimming with B Vitamins, proteins, and minerals that nourish the hair.” BRÖÖ products boast beer as their main (mane?!) ingredient (and, FYI, eschews stuff like sulfates, phthalates, and other icky chemicals).
That all sounded great to me, so me and my husband Joe decided to pop the top off some BRÖÖ products (which Pearsall and Duran point out are not gender or even hair type-focused, but simply “hair care for humans.”) Joe and I have totally different kinds of hair so it’s a good experiment (my Irish love has fine, wavy hair that can get oily, but his scalp can be dry; I’m Puerto Rican and have thick, coarse, dry, curly hair cut into an ultrashort pixie cut).
Interestingly, Joe recalled that his mom regularly washed her hair with beer she’d picked up from the corner store or supermarket. And indeed, we found out that beer is, in fact, awesomely effective — and smells great, too. My concerns about smelling like a six-pack if I washed my hair with beer (an understandable worry, wouldn’t you say?) were put to rest. Because BRÖÖ uses ingredients like mint and rosemary, the scent of their shampoos and conditioners are also distinctly natural and not strong or synthetic-smelling. Joe — a beer enthusiast and bar manager — confirmed the “hoppy” fragrance, saying it was grassy and flowery like the notes of scent in a craft beer but without actually smelling like a pint o’ brew.
The BRÖÖ Invigorating Shampoo and Conditioner ($7.49 each) contain caffeine to “wake up” your hair, and my locks were indeed bright and shiny when I stepped out of the shower. My hair also looked and felt strong: smooth and not at all frazzled. The Invigorating Shampoo lathered up nicely (a pleasant surprise for a sulfate-free formula — no more avoiding harsh shampoos and then winding up with super greasy hair!) and I followed it up with the Invigorating Conditioner, which rinsed out thoroughly (my hair didn’t feel heavy or greasy afterward). The peppermint smell was a nice way to start the day. Joe agreed, saying that his scalp felt refreshed after washing and that his hair was smooth without being at all heavy or oily.
Soon, there was a super fun hair shake-up in our household: because there comes a time when you just desperately want a hair makeover, I had my hair bleached white-blonde. I was nervous about how this would affect my locks. Back in the olden days, bleaching could cause serious damage — and at the very least, the process can make your strands dry.
So, perfect timing for trying out the BRÖÖ Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner ($7.49 each), which contains the now-familiar ingredients of malted barley and hops flowers, but also shea butter for softening and hydrating. Even with our hair types being polar opposites (and me having freshly bleached hair), Joe and I were both totally into it. We both felt that our hair was really soft and yet very clean — there wasn’t any buildup or heaviness. (Side note: we also used BRÖÖ’s soap, which comes thoughtfully textured with nubs at the bottom to give you a massage-y feeling in the shower. Like the hair products, it smells yummy and goes on very softly and smoothly — but then washes off completely and doesn’t leave a filmy buildup).
The verdict: beer totally does refresh, smooth, and nourish the hair — and by combining it with natural, boosting ingredients like BRÖÖ does, you can have all of the softness and shine of a beer rinse without smelling like closing time at your fave dive bar.
Images via giphy.com
Comment: Have you ever used beer on your hair?
Luisa is SHESAID's beauty writer and a New Yorker who has been writing and editing professionally since 1997, when she started working at New York magazine. Since then, her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, New York, USA Today, Family Circle, Glamour, and many more. Follow Luisa on Twitter.