We brew our own beer at home, not necessarily to save money, but because it's a lot of fun. My husband sort of orchestrates everything (and a few of his buddies come over to do the actual brewing part), and I help where I can when it comes to preparation and bottling.
For every brew, we usually end up with five gallons of beer, or roughly 40 to 50 bottles. In short: we typically have a surplus of beer at any given time. Some may say that "surplus" and "beer" do not belong in the same sentence, but when you live in a 750-square foot historic house (read: no storage space), you start running out of creating storage solutions.
I've always heard about beer being really good for your hair and we've been trying to come up with interesting ways to use our supply. Cue a bathroom experiment: a beer hair rinse.
Before I get into the actual process, I want to briefly touch on the science behind rinsing your hair with beer.
Beer, in general, is good for your hair due to the yeast, grains and malt content. Nothing has been proven definitively, but the theory is that yeast fortifies the hair shaft, making for stronger and more manageable hair. The grains contain natural oils that boost shine and overall health, and the malt serves as a "serum" that smooths hair and seals the cuticle.
I opted for our most recent brewed beer: a saison. This is a lighter, sweeter beer with a hint of banana and cloves. I definitely recommend a lighter beer for those of you trying this at home, as it tends to have a softer fragrance. Saisons also tend to be more carbonated than other beers. I'm not sure if the carbonation really affects things, but I can tell you that it felt bubbly and awesome when I poured it over my scalp.
Step 1: Shampoo
First thing's first, wash your hair with your go-to shampoo. I've been using Joico's K-Pack Reconstruct, so that's what I went with.
Step 2: The Beer Rinse
After shampooing, I lightly towel dried my hair. I recommend doing the beer rinse in your shower to avoid a mess, but I wasn't about to take pictures of myself in the shower, so I stood over my sink.
Pour room-temperature beer gently over your head. Make sure your entire head of hair gets a little beer action. You probably won't need to use a full bottle unless you have really long hair.
Step 3: Massage Into Scalp
Liken your beer to a standard hair conditioner: you want to really massage it into the scalp and let it set for about five minutes.
Massaging feels good, passes time and really helps work the beer into your hair.
Make sure you also work the beer into your ends. My ends tend to be dry, so I always give them special attention.
Step 4: Rinse
After you've waited about five minutes, rinse the beer out of your hair. You can follow up with a conditioner, but it isn't necessary. To keep my variables to a minimum, I forewent the conditioner. The scent of beer lingered in my hair, but it wasn't an offensive scent (definitely not strong enough to make passers-by assume I was a lush).
My initial thoughts: after rinsing and before styling, I could tell my hair felt slightly fuller and "fluffier." The amount of fluffiness was a little concerning, as I feared it would result in a head of super frizzy hair.
Step 5: Style
I allowed my hair to air dry 80% and then I blew dry, per my standard regimen. I suggest you follow your standard regimen, as well!
BEFORE & AFTER
I confess that I was skeptical of beer's conditioning properties before completing this experiment. I mean, beer in your hair? Sure, there are grains and oils and it's a pretty natural/earthy liquid, but I didn't think my before and after would pack much wow. In the end, though, I was actually quite impressed with what one simple beer did for my hair.
My hair seems to lay better and appears softer and shinier. I actually washed and styled my hair at night and then slept in it before photographing the "after" picture. I'd say that the results are probably more noticeable to myself, but there's definitely a difference in my hair's texture and shine factor.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that I couldn't keep my fingers out of my hair. It felt so soft and light, and had a sort of glossy sheen to it that I get from only the best deep conditioners.
I was very curious to see how much of a difference the beer rinse would make in my ends, as they get a lot of abuse from flat irons, curling wands, and blow dryers. I think overall they do look a smidgeon softer and less piece-y, but it's not really that noticeable.
I have to admit that after this experiment, I'm officially sold on the beer hair rinse. I see myself doing this once a month or so going forward. Even if the visible difference isn't super-obvious, the way my hair feels makes it worth the effort!
Have you ever done a beer hair rinse? If so, what kind did you use and how did it go for you? For those who haven't done one, have I convinced you to give it a go?