Does Beer Lighten Hair? (Beer in the Shower, Shampoo, & Body Wash!)

Besides drinking it, beer can be used in a few other ways in daily life. You can cook with it, bake with it, or use it as fertilizer in your garden. You can even clean your hair and body with it, not to mention lighten your hair.

The acidic pH of beer can lighten the hair of natural blondes. It isn’t recommended for brunettes or darker, as the acid in the beer may bring out undesired orange tones. In addition to lightening, proteins, vitamins, and other compounds found in beer can promote hair health and growth.

Continue reading for more on how to use beer in hair, what to expect in terms of health, scent, and final results, and other ways beer can be used in the shower.

Does beer make hair lighter?

In order to understand how beer can lighten hair, let’s review pH, which is the measure of the acidic or base nature of a given liquid on a scale of 0 to 14. The lower on the scale, the more acidic the solution, with distilled water coming in at a neutral 7. Above that, solutions are considered basic. 

Beer can register between 3 and 6 on the pH scale, meaning it is acidic. For reference, lemon juice has a pH of 2.

Lemon juice has long been used to naturally lighten hair, and given its similar acidity, beer can (and has been) used to lighten hair color. 

What does beer do to your hair?

The minerals, proteins, and vitamins found in beer can have positive effects on a person’s hair and skin.

These benefits include:

  • Strengthening hair
  • Adding volume
  • Adding shininess
  • Moisturizing

However, another key ingredient of beer is alcohol. Alcohol can be very drying, so use beer in your hair sparingly so as not to dry out the hair or damage your scalp. A beer rinse once or twice a month can provide the benefits mentioned above without much risk of damage.

Using beer to lighten hair has the best results on blonde hair. For redheads, brunettes, or darker hair colors, the beer’s acid may bring out orange or brassy tones. Consult a hairstylist if you are looking for an all-natural hair lightener. 

Does beer make hair thicker?

Beer contains the compound silicon, which has been proven to strengthen hair and nails as well as encourage optimal collagen synthesis in skin.

Beer can help strengthen hair, however, the jury is still out on whether it actually makes hair thicker.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that hair may appear thicker if beer is used as a leave-in conditioner, but the appearance only lasts as long as the beer is bound to the hair follicles.

Is it good to apply beer on hair?

The vitamins and nutrients found in beer such as vitamins D and B12, as well as zinc and biotin, can strengthen hair and lend glossiness. 

While applying beer to your hair will not replace the benefits gained from a healthy diet and gentle daily hair care, a once- or twice-monthly application of beer or a beer-based mask can have a positive outcome. Just be aware of alcohol’s drying nature.

Using beer too often on hair may cause follicles to become brittle and break. In addition, using beer on your hair can leave behind a strong scent of beer that may be unpleasant to some users.

You can circumvent drying out your hair by boiling off the alcohol ahead of time and then applying the cooled beer to your hair. You can also make a mask using jojoba oil, coconut oil, or other natural oil to counteract the alcohol.

How to use beer to lighten your hair

You can do just as actress Bella Thorne did in a 2019 Instagram post and pour beer directly onto your locks poolside with the help of a friend. You don’t need anyone’s help, though. Just follow these easy steps.

To lighten hair using beer:

  1. Shampoo your hair to rid it off any products or buildup.
  2. Rinse thoroughly. 
  3. Either pour 2-4 beers into a bucket (depending on your hair length) in order to dunk your head into the bucket, or simply pour a beer or two over your hair, working it into the strands with your fingers.
  4. Before rinsing, spend 15-25 minutes in the sun for maximum hair-lightening. 
  5. Rinse thoroughly.
  6. Condition hair to combat any potential drying caused by the alcohol in beer.

Repeat once or twice a month in order to lighten hair naturally and introduce crucial vitamins, nutrients, and proteins directly to hair follicles.

What about beer shampoo and conditioner?

If you don’t want to make a beer rinse or mask with your own homebrew, there are plenty of beer-based shampoos and conditioners on the market today.

Commercial beer shampoos and conditioners contain other ingredients that promote hair health and shine without that ‘frat house’ smell.

Since using beer in hair is a more natural approach than chemical-laden masks or bleach-based lighteners, more holistic companies have embraced beer as an ingredient in vegan, all-natural, or otherwise conscientious products. 

Some brands currently utilizing beer in their shampoos include:

  • BRӦӦ Craft Beer Thickening Shampoo – Promises strength and shine with an appealing vanilla and citrus scent. It is vegan, dye-free, and paraben-free.
  • CRAZY Skins Beer Shampoo – Uses German yeast extract to cleanse and repair the scalp and hair follicles. It’s chemical free and gentle on the hair, restoring moisture.
  • Park Avenue Damage-Free – The package looks like a real beer bottle, and what’s inside is designed to condition and nourish hair.

Shower gels, body washes, and bar soaps can all contain beer as well. In many cases of beer-infused bath goods, the alcohol has been removed (via boiling or de-alcoholization) and what’s left are the proteins, nutrients, and vitamins that support skin and hair health. Some products contain grain or yeast extracts.

Beer shampoo benefits – is it good for your hair?

Commercial beer shampoos offer promises of softer, silkier, more voluminous hair as a result of using beer (or beer yeast) as a crucial ingredient. They are often free of damaging chemicals as well. 

Beer shampoo can be good for your hair if used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Vitamins and nutrients that are already present in beer are bolstered in the shampoo, which often provides conditioning, strengthening, and softness.

Can a girl use beer shampoo?

Anyone with hair can use beer shampoo.

Some shampoos are marketed with more feminine or more masculine scents, but it’s really up to the user to decide what smells best to them.

Can beer shampoo be used daily?

Most commercial beer shampoos are meant for daily or near-daily use.

Read the beer shampoo’s instructions for that specific product’s guidance.

Everyone’s hair and scalp is different, as well. Some people can go a week without washing their hair, where others feel they need to wash daily. If you decide to start using a beer shampoo, just take note of how your hair and scalp react and adjust usage if need be.

Are there side effects of beer shampoo?

Many ingredients in beer shampoo are all-natural and promote hair health.

However, because different hair types require different things, some users have reported beer shampoo drying out their hair. Another complaint may be that the shampoo has a weak or non-existent lather, but this is different from brand to brand. 

Research various brands and compare them to one another against what you know your hair needs.

What about beer soaps and body wash?

Beer can also be a useful ingredient in bar soaps for washing the body. When combined with lye, a common ingredient in soap, carbonation can cause an eruption. As such, one of the most important steps is boiling off the alcohol and carbonation before the beer can be turned into soap. The beer is then a nutrient- and vitamin-rich substitution for water. 

Beer soap and body wash will focus on moisturizing skin and reducing redness. Because of its antibacterial properties, it may even be useful in combating acne.

While you can use shampoo as body wash and vice-versa in a pinch, shampoo and body wash/soap are usually made differently to account for the differing needs of hair and skin. The same goes for beer-based soaps and shampoos – their formulas will slightly differ from each other. While both aim to clean and moisturize, body wash is usually more gentle than shampoo because your skin is a living organ. Hair is made of dead cells.

Check out this great video on how to safely make a chocolate oatmeal stout soap.

What does beer soap smell like?

Beer soap can come in a variety of scents.

Some companies lean into citrus and pine whereas others choose richer, roasted scents like the chocolate oatmeal stout soap in the video above. Others lend their soaps a fruity smell. It all depends on what audience the company is trying to reach, so consumers have plenty of options.

Most importantly, beer soap shouldn’t leave a user smelling like a day-old beer, but should instead have a pleasant fragrance with the skin-softening benefits of beer.