For those of us who like to crack open a cold one in the shower to enjoy the Internet-hyped "shower beer," salon owner Scott Yance suggests that we take it one step further and suds up our hair with it.
"It has been said that using beer as shampoo was good – even my grandmother claimed that," says Yance, who owns Scottfree Salon, 726 N. Milwaukee St.
As a lifelong Wisconsinite, Yance thought that it would be cool to develop a natural product line based on our strong history in the beer industry.
"For a long time, people have been gravitating to more natural ways to care for their hair and skin," says Yance. "So developing a product from beer seemed like a step in that direction."
Yance started to research the ingredients of beer thoroughly and found that hair can benefit from hops, barley and yeast. Hops and barley contain a variety of proteins that create shiny hair and brewer’s yeast contains biotin, which stimulates hair growth, as well as selenium, a hair loss preventative.
The downside of bathing your locks in beer, however, is the alcohol, which dries out hair.
"If you tend to have more naturally oily hair, it can be beneficial, but anyone with dry hair needs to avoid it," says Yance.
Yance does not recommend one brand of beer over the other, nor is there a particular hair type that responds better or worse to a beer bath. One thing he's certain of is that it should not replace shampoo or conditioner, but rather be applied infrequently as an enhancement.
"Beer cannot be used on a regular basis as a shampoo or conditioner. Instead, use it once or twice a month – along with daily oral biotin and B vitamins – to gain the benefits of the hops, barley and yeast," he says.
Yance suggests this simple recipe, which he has made for his clients:
- 1/4 cup of beer
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (too cut the alcohol smell)
"Work it into wet hair and leave it on for a few minutes. Rinse through your hair every other week for a clean, shiny and voluminous look," he says.
Beer is not the first food item that’s been used in lieu of conventional hair care products. People have touted mayonnaise as a substitute conditioner, avocados as a shine enhancer, cornstarch as a degreaser and champagne to intensify highlights.
"Food will never replace normal shampoo and conditioner, but it’s healthy and fun to do it once in a while," says Yance.
So has Yance ever washed his hair with beer?
"Well, I’m bald, so not recently," he says. "But I would."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.