Are you team beer-in-my-glass or beer-in-my-shampoo?

With the Oktoberfest taking over our feeds, we asked experts whether beer shampoos are worth the hype

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Al fresco drinking, warm weather, long days, hearty food, steins of beer, and people dressed in traditional Bavarian outfits may be a succinct synopsis of Wies’n, internationally known as the Oktoberfest. And in case you’ve been living under a rock, the two to three-week annual event in Munich, Germany, is a vibrant, no holds barred beer festival that takes place in September and October. While attending the celebration is always on the calendar, today it’s inspiring us to think about something entirely different.

The beverage in question has not just been a go-to order at bars, but also found favour with haircare enthusiasts for years. It first hit the headlines when actor Catherine Zeta-Jones revealed in 2009 that she uses beer to pamper her tresses. “I condition my hair with honey and beer," she quoted. "I smell like the bottom of a beer barrel for days afterwards, but it's very good for the hair.” Sparking interest in people across the world, the statement made many give shampoos with the ingredient a shot. 

So, with the Oktoberfest fever reigning supreme, we wonder if the alcoholic drink lives up to the hype and indeed belongs in our hair product, or if it should just be enjoyed at those decorated tents in upper Bavaria.

Is beer, as a haircare ingredient, worth the hype?

“Not just another fad, it’s a product based on scientific research,” skin and hair specialist Dr. Rakesh Jangra tells us. “Beer is a powerhouse of multiple vitamins that not only play a quintessential role in boosting blood circulation to the scalp, but also possesses hair repair and strengthening qualities.” As for dull and frizzy locks, he adds that the ingredient also provides shine, reduces dandruff, combats brittle hair, and keeps the scalp healthy. However, these qualities shouldn’t be perceived as conclusive.

If applied in an improper manner, beer can also damage the tresses. “To break it down in technical terms, the carbon dioxide in beer, when combined with water, creates hard water,” Dr. Jangra continues. “This, in return, can lead to hair loss as well as dry and brittle hair that is more prone to breakage.” That’s why it’s recommended that we leave the beer in an open cup until it becomes flat and ready to use on our mane, rinse the hair with cold water in the end and use the ingredient only once or twice a week to avoid dryness.

With a new season approaching, it’s often on our to-do lists to make a slight shift in how often we pamper our scalp and strands. But while a carbonated drink may be a useful ingredient in hair products, knowing that not all kinds of beer or beer shampoos provide the results you desire is of utmost importance.

The active components in beer you should look for when buying a hair product

Hair transplant surgeon and dermatologist, Dr. Gaurang Krishna tells us hop and barley are the two beer ingredients that play a pivotal role in making it outstanding. “Loaded with essential vitamins and oils, hop helps open up the pores on our scalp, which reduces hair loss and contributes to creating thicker, stronger, and more lustrous hair,” he says. “Barley, on the other hand, contains procyanidin B-3 and has been proven to promote hair growth by stimulating your hair follicles. It also contains a wealth of micronutrients like thiamine and niacin, that accelerate the growth of our hair.”

Ushering in a new season as well as the festivities, a myriad hair style and colour trends are making a splash. So just in time for a simple or even drastic switch up, add the nourishing beverage being enjoyed outdoors in the Bavarian summer to your hair and makeup wishlists.