Beer: The Best Kept Hair Secret

According to legend, the very first beer came from an ancient Sumerian (Iraqi), who left a loaf of bread out until the yeast fermented, giving him quite a buzz.

"Beer Mug" by Digitalart

“Beer Mug” by Digitalart

 From: “Beer History — Facts & Trivia,” Beer Fest  Boots,

Ancient Sumerians began brewing beer 3,000 years ago. Soon, every culture in the Ancient Middle East and Europe developed their own brew — from Egypt to Rome and beyond. It became a dietary staple because it was used as liquid bread for nomads and hard-working pyramid worker bees. Despite evidence of ancient and medieval brewing recipes, nothing discovered so far records women using beer for their hair.

In fact, no one really knows when women discovered beer’s many beauty benefits (perhaps a century or so ago). But, whoever that unknown genius was, we all owe her a debt of gratitude.



Beer Benefits: Who Knew?

Besides giving you a buzz, beer is chock full of hair strengthening and conditioning nutrients and properties:

  • Concentrated Protein. Beer is made of fermented whole grains — malt, hops, barley and, sometimes, rye, wheat and corn. Next to hydrolized wheat protein, a cheap can of brew can be a powerful protein source for your hair.
  • Low pH. According to medical daily, beer’s pH is within hair’s healthy range which helps prevent damage.
  • Yeast. It’s the yeast that causes the grain mush to ferment and gives beer it’s legendary foam. Yeast makes beer a great clarifying cleanser. As a shampoo, beer is an efficient dirt, excess oil and build-up remover without stripping it of essential natural oils.
  • B Vitamins. Organic Authority says the alcohol in beer contains B vitamins which are responsible for adding shine and luster to dull, dry and damaged hair. That’s because, along with beer’s low pH, they “tighten the hair’s cuticles, which makes light bounce off of your hair.”
  • Minerals. Beer delivers a healthy dose of minerals including phosphorus, selenium, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium.
  • Sucrose. A post in Revitalize Your Health credits beer’s fermented alcohol sugar for it’s deep conditioning properties. It also helps tighten cuticles for that high shine beer is known for.
  • Biotin. Dark beers are good sources of biotin, a specific B vitamin essential for hair growth and maintainance. That’s because they’re richer in hops than lighter colored brewskies, according to Revitalize Your Health.

Miracle In A mug (or Lightening In A Bottle)?

Sure there are awesome hair treatments that deliver results. But I know few that do so much with so little effort. Beer …

  • Conditions scalp and hair shaft
  • Clarifies without stripping
  • Fortifies and strengthens hair shaft and hair’s protein bonds
  • Deposit essential vitamins and minerals
  • Adds silkiness and shine
  • Rejuvenates curls after flat-ironing
  • Makes waves and curls pop!
  • Great for any hair texture and curl pattern

Depending on your hair needs, you can use beer 3 ways:

  1. Warm and frothy for a clarifying cleanser. Pop open a warm can or bottle. Pour it on or mix it with ACV or an egg. The yeast from the foam gives your hair and scalp a good clarifying cleansing.
  2. Flat for a cool final rinse. Leave the can open in the fridge overnight. In a spritz bottle, dilute the beer by 1/2 with distilled water and/or ACV for a leave-in protein rinse.
  3. Beer Reduction for concentrated conditioning. Boil flat beer to about 1/2 it’s volume and let it cool. Add it to your favorite DIY no-poo cleanser, shampoo or conditioner. Or make a spritz with aloe vera juice, water, a humectant (like vegetable glycerine or honey) and essential oils of your choice. It’s a concentrated protein booster for high porosity or damaged hair. It can also give volume to any hair type — especially fine and limp hair.

Tame That Smell

As with Apple Cider Vinegar, the distillery smell from the alcohol in beer dissipates after a while. In fact, the settled after aroma is rather fragrant. But, if you just can’t take it, use essential or safe fragrance oils like Ylang Ylang, Orange or Vanilla to tame that beer smell.

So don’t let the smell deter you. Beer’s hair benefits are too good to pass up!



“Beer History: A Concise Timeline of Beer History,” by Professor Linda Raley, Texas Tech University,

“Beauty in Beer (or, what’s that beer doing in my ultra-performance shampoo?, Broo,

“How and Why You Should Use Beer For Your Hair,” Revitalize Your Health,

From: “5 Bear Beauty Tips: How to Use Beer to Beautify Your Skin and Hair,”, January 31, 2014,

“Hoppy Hair: Why Beer is Good for Your Hair,” Organic Authority,