If your first reaction to that headline was, "Ew, gross," you're not alone—it’s pretty much exactly how we felt when we kept hearing about people soaking their strands with a bottle of beer. But then Ida Friedman Kasdan, founder of the all-natural Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, filled us in on why you should be pouring a flat brew on your head—instead of down the drain.
“The natural barley and hops in beer are rich in proteins and B vitamins that help nourish healthy hair and repair damaged strands, not to mention it can help boost your natural hair volume," she says. “Plus, the natural sugars help tighten the cuticle of the hair shaft to enhance natural shine, luster, and manageability.”
That all sounds great, but we’re still faced with the actual experience of pouring a beer on our heads—something you should really only witness at a frat party (and even then, only by accident). But for the sake of investigative journalism (and, we admit, curiosity) we took Kasdan’s advice and used a flat beer that had been sitting at room temperature as a post-shampoo rinse. The result: Soft-feeling hair...but with a, err, distinctive smell. If you're not the biggest fan of a brew's stench—or you're used to the fragrant aftereffect you usually get from regular conditioner—you might step out of the shower feeling disappointed.
Nonetheless, Kasdan recommends adding the treatment to your routine once every two weeks if you have dry hair, or once a week if your hair is oily (because the hops can also be drying, she says). Or if you just can't get on board with dumping a Guinness on your head, try BRÖÖ or Duffy’s Brew, both of which get you the same natural benefits while infusing notes of citrus, vanilla, and cinnamon to offset the pungency for a more pleasant experience.