Does Beer Lighten Your Hair?

Does Beer Lighten Your Hair

People use various things for hair lightening including beer, and you may be wondering – does beer lighten your hair? We’ve put a lot of things in our hair in order to achieve the desired effect, whether it be thicker locks, more volume, or an all natural dye/lightener.

What Happens When You Put Beer in Your Hair?

It’s actually crazy how many substances affect the color of our hair and just how much science is involved. In fact, many methods start with the PH level. Much like lemon juice’s ability to lighten hair, beer does the same through the interaction that happens between the hair and PH levels. From a rather scientific standpoint, the PH scale ranges from 0 through 14; 0 through 7 is acidic, and 8 through 14 is alkaline. Lemons, for example, stand at a PH of 2, so since the average beer is 4 on the PH scale, it is sufficiently acidic to lighten your hair.

Does Beer Make Your Hair Lighter?

Given the chemical reaction, many people in the hair community have disputed beer’s benefits and abilities to literally change the hair’s appearance. However, women have been using beer for hundreds of years as a hair treatment, so something about it must work. It is claimed to be useful for those trying to avoid using pre-lightening bleach, which can seriously damage individual strands.

Acting similar to a pre-dye treatment, beer coats the hair in proteins and allows the sun’s rays to penetrate each strand. Combined with the effects of the sun and the PH level of the beer, it can in theory lift the hair through activation of the acidity. However, don’t expect the same effects that an actual hair dye would give you.

Beer is only likely to lighten your hair by one shade since its natural abilities are very weak. If you’re going to try out this method, use a beer with a high malt percentage because malt is high in vitamin B and protein. Furthermore, many stylists advise you to be patient with your lightening journey as using purely beer or for that matter, a beer mask, requires several wash cycles to take effect.

What Does Beer Do to Blonde Hair?

Most stylists recommend that those with naturally blonde hair or already light hair colors use the beer lifting method. Blonde in most cases will prove very effective since the beer is lightning, but also emphasizing the existing light color.

Can Beer Lighten Black Hair?

It is not recommended for brunettes or those with black hair to use beer for lightening their hair, at least as a serious method for changing the color without the help of professionally prepared and tested chemicals.

In fact, since activation of beer lifting involves UV rays, brunettes, and black-haired people could find themselves in the undesirable situation of having a tawny, uneven, orange color rather than a sleek and sun-kissed blonde tone. However, this doesn’t mean other beer-related treatments for hair-health related purposes should be avoided. Rather, darker hair tones should have beer treatments applied with moderation and without intense exposure to the sun.

Setting Hair with Beer

Setting your hair with beer is a fantastic option, as it avoids harsh chemicals, is easily accessible, and relatively inexpensive. However, it’s important to do your research when it comes to setting your hair with beer. There are several techniques involved in lightning and even just for doing beer-centric treatments for healthy hair.

First and foremost, all treatments recommend that no matter the treatment, always use flat, room temperature beer, which you can do by leaving the beer to sit out overnight. Cold and carbonized beer can cause the water when rinsing to become hard, making the water quality not only damaging to the hair but also harder to fully rinse out beer from each strand.

When all the beer is not removed from the hair, cuticles swell and the prolonged exposure to acidity causes breakage. In addition, letting the beer decarbonize allows the strong alcohol scent to dissipate by the time it’s ready to use. To make beer even more effective, boil it in a saucepan after it reaches room temperature and reduces by half; this removes excess oil, which can damage your hair over time if over-exposed.

Does Beer Lighten Your Hair – Methods You Can Try

Several methods have been tested by celebrities and professionals alike. The first could be called the ‘dip method,’ or perhaps more relevantly, the “Bella Thorne Treatment,” after the actress demonstrated her hair lightening technique for an upcoming film role on Instagram. In the uploaded video, Thorne proceeds to dunk her hair in a bucket of beer. This method sounds easy because it is just that – easy.

If you’re game to try it at home, grab a bucket and measure out your beer. After letting it decarbonize, boiling it, and letting it cool down again, pour it back into the bucket and proceed to thoroughly coat each strand, scalp included, with the beer. Afterward, have some fun in the sun to let it set. You should be out in the sun for at least an hour in order for the rays to interact with the beer. It’s recommended that after soaking in beer, take half of a lemon and squeeze it onto the drenched hair, which will optimize the lightening effect.

After the hair has set, rinse the beer completely from the hair and then style as you usually would. If you choose to add lemon juice to the beer, it should be noted that the hair will feel dry, but this can be fixed by adding leave-in conditioner for 5 minutes. However, it’s recommended that you add a leave-in conditioner regardless of the lightening method you choose.

The second method involves applying beer directly in the shower. After shampooing and conditioning, pour about 1 cup of flat beer onto the hair. Then, use your fingers to massage the beer into the scalp and cuticles and let it sit for an hour before thoroughly rinsing.

If you want to try a beer lightning mask, mix beer, egg, and lemon juice together. This mask promotes hair growth, volume, and lightening. To make the mask, beat a whole egg (the yolk has the nutrients) until thick, then add a cup of decarbonized beer, and add the juice of half a lemon. Apply the mask to the hair after mixing and let it set for 30 minutes before rinsing. This amazing mask can be done up to twice a week. Source

Is Beer Healthy for Your Hair?

Even if beer only lightens your hair slightly, it does have some pretty effective benefits. Beer’s proteins provide clarity for the original hair color, as well as shine and strengthen previously damaged cuticles. Proteins in the beer bind dehydrated hair together. Malted beer’s high levels of vitamin B and Silica, a chemical compound, creates more volume, bounce, and shine, by sealing the hair’s cuticles.

Additionally, the silica found in beer promotes hair growth and assists with chronic frizziness. However, it should be noted that although this popular treatment method has been touted for more than just an all-natural lifter, the legitimacy of each claim is very much dependent on the person, since most claims have yet to find consistent widespread end results. In addition, those with dry hair type should tread on this hair hack carefully, as the acidity in beer just like lemon, can cause even more damage to the cuticles, making it brittle; the chances of this can especially increase when the beer being used isn’t properly tempered.


So in conclusion, beer can in fact lift the color of someone’s hair and can be a fantastic alternative to harsh treatments. However, unless your only goal is to achieve a lighter hair color, you’re probably better off treating hair with beer with a focus on its fantastic health benefits and accepting a slight lightening in color as a positive side outcome. Nonetheless, natural treatments such as beer are incredibly dependent on the person, so just be observant and try it out for yourself.

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