I’m not going to lie: whenever I’m looking for hair care tips (or any beauty tips, for that matter), rarely do I turn to the notorious actress-turned-Instagram-star Bella Thorne. But, lo and behold, here I am washing my hair with beer for a whole month, solely because she said it’s the secret to a lighter color and “saves a trip to the salon.”
It all started with a scroll through social media: about a month ago, I stumbled upon an Instagram video of a bikini-clad Bella, with the help of her sister, dousing her locks in the California sunshine with none other than a chilled plastic cup of Corona. “people say it’s good for u,” the caption reads. Who are these “people” who say soaking your hair in beer is “good for u?” Is Corona really the secret to better hair? Plus, while my hair is naturally a near jet-black hue, having some natural highlights for the summer seemed pretty enticing to me. My intrigue got the best of me, and the next thing I knew I was hauling home a 6-pack of Corona from my friendly neighborhood liquor store back to my apartment, ready to create my new haircare elixir.
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For everyone harassing yes it’s beer. It naturally lightens ur hair and people say it’s good for u 😍 my next film my hair has to be hunny blonde, saving me a trip to the salon 💇 in my book I talk about the tips and tricks the ups and downs and the very low lows. Order the book right now and I might hand deliver u a case of beer 😍😏😵🤫 #thelifeofawannabemogul
Before I continue, I have a disclaimer: I couldn’t find a single hair stylist that would recommend using beer in my washing routine. “As far as washing your hair with an entire bottle of beer, I don’t think it would be very clarifying for the scalp,” says Edward Tricomi, master stylist, icon, and co-owner of Warren Tricomi Salons. “It can cause stiffness, stickiness, and doesn’t smell that great.” However, he did note that beer in tiny quantities can be great for setting curling rollers. “Beer actually makes a pretty good roller set. You can apply a very small amount to the hair and use it as a setting lotion,” he says. “After you have two options either roller set it or blow your hair out, it actually gives you more body.”
So, since no expert was willing to guide me in this seemingly-blasphemous hair treatment, I decided to head where every other lost person on the internet goes: WikiHow. I did everything it told me to do to create my concoction: pop the bottle open, pour it into a mason jar, mix in a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, let it sit overnight to let it “decarbonate,” yadda yadda yadda. The morning after, it was finally time to lather my locks in this Mexican cerveza.
According to the WikiHow page, this beer wash is meant to replace your conditioner twice a week, similar to a hair mask. So, I (reluctantly) tucked away my Damage Protective Conditioner, and went to work on my strands. I washed my hair with my go-to shampoo (currently, the JOICO Defy Damage Protective Shampoo), and poured the flat beer concoction all over my head. First thoughts: even after sitting out at room temperature for 12 hours, this was cold as f*ck. My bathroom smelled like a frat party (sorry, roomies), so naturally my hair did, too. I let this pungent mixture set in my hair for a full three minutes, then rinsed off. To truly test out its power, I decided to ditch all of the product and let my hair air dry—two acts I’d usually consider sin.
For the first wash, my hair didn’t exactly look lighter (nor did I expect it to on the first try), but it felt a bit lighter. While my hair smelled distinctly of a Cancun resort mid-Spring Break when it was wet, the scent dissipated as my hair dried. My hair basically looked the same as it always does when I let it go au naturale: frizzy, slightly wavy, and a texture that a former lover once described as “steel wool.” So, naturally I assumed this month-long trial would be a breeze.
Little did I know, this would be the most traumatic month for my once-healthy tresses. Each and every beer-infused shower made my hair more and more brittle, and my strands began to fall out in palm-sized patches. My locks lost their natural luster, and my split ends could be seen from a mile away. Plus, my hair began to feel sticky and tacky, making my style of choice for the month a sad, messy bun. And as for that “natural lightening” effect Bella preached? Yeah, that didn’t happen.
To keep my hair from fully going downhill, I whipped out my Verb Ghost Oil to keep the frizz and damage to a minimum, but even my heaviest arsenal wasn’t able to fully revive my locks during this process. Yet, me and my mane somehow prevailed, and made it out in (more or less) one piece.
Bringing my hair back to it’s sheen-filled glory took time, effort, and a whole lotta love (and hair products). I whipped out the works: the heavy-duty Verb Ghost Hair Mask to give my locks a hefty dose of hydration, the post-shower Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer + their Satin Dream Leave-In Cream, and if I’m blow-drying I’ll top it all off with the IGK Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray. It took a good two weeks to get my hair back to its natural, healthy state (bless my genetics for giving me good hair), which is more than enough evidence to the fact that washing your hair with beer is, indeed, a terrible. F*cking. Idea.