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Cracking open a cold one - this phrase has been used on a lot of occasions and on a lot of my favourite sitcoms. Beer has been a crowd favourite and somehow my grandmother’s favourite too. Before your freak horses fly off into a land of imagination, this love for beer (at least for my grandmother) stems from this belief that beer actually gives you shiny hair. I can tell you there have been more than a few instances where my grandmother has looked into the refrigerator for my dad’s leftover beer and has asked me to wash my hair with it.
Imagine my surprise when I am hit with this information that THIS washing hair with beer is actually a legitimate thing and not an old wives tale (or a clever ploy to make sure the people in the house don’t drink too much). With us busting myths every week, I HAD to try this out!
Beer's most basic ingredients - malt and hops - are full of protein that can strengthen hair cuticles. Essentially, the proteins are repairing damaged hair caused by all the other things you may do to make it look good: blow-drying, straightening, curling and colouring. So basically, because beer rids your hair (temporarily) of its rough edges, your hair looks shinier.
Of course, I needed an expert sounding board, to assure me that my hair wouldn’t blow up or something. (It doesn’t). Dr. Jaishree Sharad of Skinfinity, Mumbai insists that it is more hype than anything. There isn't much scientific data to prove that using beer is really beneficial for the hair, “Since it has silica, minerals, amino acids and Vitamin B, it can be used as a conditioner as all these ingredients help in forming the basic hair structure.” But then again, it all depends on the method and the type of hair it is used on.
While I was wary of smelling like a walking beer keg, there was definitely something intriguing about the concept of washing your hair with the beer. But there are a few things that I learnt. Any beer by itself, because it is carbonated when it comes in contact with the air it changes properties. So when I used beer for hair wash, my hair seemed a little greasy and heavy but there still wasn’t a shine there.
Another thing that I have to keep in mind is that the beer by itself was drying my hair. So I either have to mix essential oils in the bargain or use a leave-in conditioner after to make sure my mane was moisturized. Boiling the beer and adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the mix definitely improved the texture of the beer and did give me a clarifying wash, but it still wasn’t shiny. My hair definitely seemed tamer and more refined towards the end of the day.
All in all, this was a great try, but I’d rather just leave the brew alone for drinking and buy myself some quality shampoos and conditioners.
Park Avenue Beer Shampoo (Rs 132)
Featured image and internal image: Shutterstock