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Beer Shampoo: Does It Really Work?

Beer shampoo, anyone?
Beer shampoo, anyone?
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Beer shampoo (and conditioner) used to be considered the domain of granola-crunching, sandal-wearing, protest-marching hippies. However, in recent times several chic (and rather expensive) brands of beer shampoo have arrived, including Duffy's Brew, Broo and Tasmanian Beer Shampoo. All of these products include a good portion of craft or other beer as one of their key ingredients. Broo products are available for sale at my local Madison Whole Foods Market, so I had the good fortune of picking up some of them while they were being sampled in the beer aisle of the store.

Unlike regular shampoos and conditioners, the Broo items did not lather or detangle as much as expected. However, the selling points of the products are that they add body to hair and repair damage. So, I patiently combed out my still-tangled hair and waited until it dried. What happened?

As advertised, my hair did have a lot more bounce following the use of the Broo products. It also had a lot more luster and shine. I wasn't sure just how much hair damage had been repaired from only one application of these products, but I felt that the repair could be significant if these products were used over the course of several weeks.

What I didn't like about Broo was its rather cost-prohibitive price: A 10 ounce bottle of shampoo or conditioner ran almost $15. Since I regularly imbibe beer and often leave my beer bottles half-finished, I came up with the idea of making my own beer shampoo and conditioner. This would save on money as well as re-purpose my unused beer. After some trial and error, here are some simple recipes that worked for me:

Basic Beer Shampoo

1 cup regular shampoo

1 cup flat beer (may be cooked)

Beer Conditioner

1 cup flat beer (may be cooked)

1 teaspoon jojoba oil

Clarifying Beer Shampoo

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons flat beer (not cooked)

2-5 drops rosemary essential oil

Beer contains many B vitamins as well as various minerals, thus strengthening hair and repairing its many daily insults from things like perms, colorings, blow-drying, chlorine, etc. Any added oil moisturizes the hair, especially at the root. Finally, when combined with ingredients like apple cider vinegar, beer both nourishes and cleans the hair of any build-up and residue. By making these shampoos and conditioners on your own, you can still achieve great shine and body in your hair AND save money in the process.

I can't wait until I half-finish my next beer!

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