Ah, beer. It’s delicious when savored after a long day at work or paired with a burger at a cookout — but drink too much of it and things can quickly go south. Still, while it’s not the most glamorous drink (hello, burps and bloating!), it turns out that beer may have one surprisingly stylish use: hair conditioner. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, known for her roles in Chicago and The Mask of Zorro, once told the The Daily Mail that she uses beer to condition her locks. “I smell like the bottom of a beer barrel for days afterwards — but it’s very good for the hair,” she said.
This admittedly sounds a little odd. Are any of us eager to smell like a sports bar on Super Bowl Sunday just for the sake of having lustrous strands? Perhaps not — but riddle us this: Have you ever seen Zeta-Jones’ hair not looking gorgeous? (We haven’t.) If you’re curious about this wacky hack — and whether it’s actually backed by science — keep reading to learn more.
Why would beer be good for your hair?
Beer isn’t exactly good for your body — it’s high in calories, and may increase your risk of pre-diabetes and even cancer if consumed heavily — so it’s surprising to think it could be good for your hair. However, it does contain some proteins and vitamins, in the form of malt and hops, that may promote hair health. Anecdotally, believers in the beer hair hack report that these ingredients can beautify your strands. Beer isn’t thought to promote hair growth, but some say it may give hair shine and softness. The barley found in certain wheat beers may also help to condition hair, along with the proteins contained within.
Does the beer hair hack actually work?
A bottle of beer is obviously cheaper than a fancy salon visit — but you’re probably wondering whether it actually works as a hair treatment. According to the experts at Healthline, there is no clinical, scientific evidence suggesting beer’s efficacy for this purpose. That said, putting beer on your hair is unlikely to hurt it — at worst, it will just make you smell like a keg!
How can I do the beer hair hack?
Zeta-Jones unfortunately didn’t describe how much beer she uses or her precise method for applying it to her tresses. However, the haircare brand Vegamour has instructions (quoted below) for how to do a beer hair rinse, mask, and leave-in conditioner. And while we can’t know for certain, one of these methods is surely similar to Zeta-Jones.’ Vegamour claims that the alcohol in a beer rinse will give your hair a deep cleanse due to its astringent nature, while a hair mask or conditioner with the drink may improve your hair’s texture and shine.
- Wait until nearly the end of your shower session before applying the beer hair rinse.
- Gently pour a room-temperature, flat beer over the length of your hair, working from the roots directly down to the ends.
- Allow the beer rinse to remain on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing with cold water. The cool-water rinse will help further seal the cuticle, leading to more smooth and glossy looking hair.
- Apply a mixture of beer combined with a thicker emollient, such as a deep-conditioning hair mask or coconut oil, from the middle of your hair shaft to the ends.
- Allow the mixture to remain on your hair for several minutes while in the shower.
- Rinse with cool water.
- Fill a spray bottle with equal parts beer and water.
- Mist on damp hair, from middle of the hair shaft to the ends.
- Allow hair to air-dry.
Whether or not you plan to try the beer hair hack, it’s certainly amusing to know it exists. And hey — pouring beer on your hair is probably safer than drinking too much of it.