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The beauty of beer

Lena loves lager: I love your site. Thanks for giving intelligent and scientifically sound beauty advice, something that seems to be woefully scarce. So here’s my question: I have heard about people using flat beer as a rinse for their hair, and also I’ve seen shampoo from Lush with beer as its featured ingredient. I’m wondering what exactly it is that people claim beer accomplishes, and whether it really does do what they say. Thanks!

The Right Brain pours a cold frosty reply:

Believe it or not, beer really is good for your hair! Here’s how it works:

It’s about 2 am and the guy at the bar who’s been ogling you over his last 6 or 8 bottles of Bud Light staggers in your general direction. He moves in for kill, getting up in your face and suavely blurting out: “Gee yer hair looksh aweshum! *Hic*.”

That kind of drunken compliment is about the most benefit your hair will get from beer.

But all kidding aside, is there any plausible reason to put beer in your hair? Let’s take a sip, shall we…

Beer buzz

There are several theoretical arguments for putting beer on your hair. Unfortunately, none of them can hold their liquor.

Beer contains protein which is good for strengthening hair.

While beer does contain corn, wheat, or rice protein it’s not in the correct form to deposit on your hair and form a stengthening film, which is how proteins work.

Beer has a low pH which can tighten the cuticles and make your hair shiny.

The pH of beer is low due to dissolved carbon dioxide but it’s not enough to make a difference to the condition of hair.

Beer contains herbs known as hops which are natural astringents that have beneficial tightening effect on the scalp.

Hops are present at a very low level and are not in contact with your skin long enough to have a measurable effect.

Beer contains alcohol which is good for removing dirt and grease from hair.

The cleansing power of the relatively low amount of alcohol in beer pales in comparison to shampoo.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

While beer won’t HURT your hair (other than making it smelly), it certainly doesn’t provide any technical benefit. We say save it for drinking!

What do you think? Have you ever tried to use a food or drink product on your hair? Beer, eggs, mayonnaise, or yogurt? Did it give you tasty tresses? Leave a comment and share your secrets with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

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