(or, What’s That Beer Doing in my Ultra-Performance Shampoo?)

When we were looking for a way to get great-looking hair without all the chemicals, our moms told us to pour beer on our head, the way they had done back in college (for body and shine). Of course, our first question (and probably yours) was, "Beer?"

Well, we rolled up our sleeves, grabbed a bottle opener and started researching the beauty in beer. We found the answer in four words:  Barley, hops, yeast and water, the ingredients in beer.

So simple, yet so magical. Why? Because through the magic of the brewing process, thousands of natural chemical reactions occur, and barley, hops, yeast and water are turned into a beverage that’s hopping with B vitamins, proteins and minerals. In the Middle Ages, they referred to delicious, nutritious beer as “liquid bread!” We call it the “Superdrink” for beautiful hair! Now, if you want to earn a degree in “beer beauty,” read on.

The recipe for beer (and beauty!)
Let’s start with a primer on how to brew beer, in 50 words or less. Heat barley and hops flowers in water. Add yeast to the resulting broth. Let the yeast eat the natural sugars in the broth, to give off ethanol. The result? A fermented alcoholic beverage. Beer! Now, let’s look at each ingredient in this Superdrink.

Barley – The key ingredient in beer is the grain, barley. Ancient man discovered that by bringing the barley to life, the grain would produce a wealth of vitamins that would wind up in their beer (and now, on your hair). The process was called “malting” the barley, adding water to the grain to induce germination, then gently heating the grain to stop the sprouting process, while maintaining the vitamins. Remember that “liquid bread” we were talking about? In the Middle Ages, they took the super-enriched, malted grain, milled it into a flour that was combined with the bran, and brewed beer that was brimming with the whole-grain goodness of B vitamins, proteins and minerals (which turned out to be building blocks of great hair and skin).

Water – Water is the key to getting all that goodness out of the malted grain, and into the beer. When the malted barley is put in hot water, the vitamins are released into the water, creating a vitamin-enriched broth, called wort. And, the better the water, the better the beer. Ever heard of pilsner beer? It hails from Pilsen, in the Czech Republic, and, it's the soft water in Pilsen, that percolates down through the limestone that makes the beer so special. Same goes for the mountain water where we live, in Asheville. Our soft, pH-Balanced, pure mountain water is key to our City’s amazing beer, and key to our pH-balanced shampoos and conditioners.

Hops – Hops are flowering vines, with their flowers historically added to beer for their bitter flavor, and natural preservative properties (long before refrigeration). The essential oils in the hops are extracted in the brewing process, when the flowers are heated in water, with the barley. Those same oils are great for the hair and skin, because they are filled with anti-oxidants, and toning/astringent properties.

Yeast – Finally, the life of the beer brewing party is yeast. And, when we say life, we mean it. Living brewer’s yeast is the key component of fermentation! This ancient, single-celled organism is added to the vitamin-enriched broth, where it eats all the natural sugars in that liquid bread, converting the sugar to ethanol. This brewer’s yeast is full of B vitamins as well, the building blocks of healthy hair (and skin). In fact, in Europe, brewer’s yeast is used to treat acne and skin inflammations. Our South African friend says women there take brewer’s yeast, for strong, healthy hair!

So, after looking at barley, hops, water, and yeast, and learning why beer was good for hair and skin, we asked, “Which Beer?”

Why handcrafted beer?
And, that’s when it hit us. If corporate beer was good for our moms' hair back in the 50's, how much better must a premium, handcrafted microbrew be for our hair today? Living in this Craft Beer Capital, of Asheville, North Carolina, we are surrounded by two things, the natural beauty of the oldest mountains in the world and plenty of handcrafted, microbrewed beer.

Asheville is a town where people are passionate about the pint!  And, not only here, but across the U.S., this whole craft beer movement is really a rebellion against corporate beer (you know, the stuff that's watered down and filled with fillers like rice, all in the name of profits!)  Craft beer is all about crafting the finest beer, using only the most premium ingredients and maybe making money doing so.  It's about putting pints before profits.

And, that became the original mission of BRÖÖ Body & Haircare: To use premium, handcrafted beer to help people look great.  And no, we don't mean "beer goggles" looking great!  (Although we originally came up with a BRÖÖ slogan that went, "BRÖÖ.  Beer really does make you better looking!")

I mean, look at our ingredients list! The higher the ingredient is on the list, the more of it is in the product. The number one ingredient in BRÖÖ is BEER. We don’t add water, which is the #1 ingredient in most every other shampoo and conditioner out there. We figure you’ve got plenty of water in your shower already. Why pay for more? We start with the amazing benefits of craft beer, as the foundation of our ultra-performance, natural hair care!

But, that’s not just any craft beer in BRÖÖ. You see, once we realized BRÖÖ had to be made with craft beer, the final question was WHICH CRAFT BEER?

Which brew are you?!
For our first shampoos and conditioners, the answer was an American Pale Ale, from Highland Brewing. After a great deal of R & D (and a few sips along the way), we discovered that their American Pale Ale, with its lighter roasted barley malt and triple hopping was perfect for most hair types. So, it became the #1 ingredient in our original Craft Beer Shampoo and Conditioner.

Today, it lives on as the foundation of our Volumizing Pale Ale regimen. Because, we soon learned of the amazing effect of different beer for different hair! The result? A unique beer recipe for our unique Volumizing, Hydrating, and Smoothing regimens

American Pale Ale, with its light roasted barley, is rich in vitamins and the trace mineral silicon (not yucky silicone), an essential mineral necessary for healthy bones, skin and hair. Additionally, that Pale Ale gets 33 pounds of hops flowers added during the brewing process, releasing all those essential hops oils that are so nourishing to hair and skin. All this makes it the perfect beverage to strengthen and fortify thin or flat hair.

For our Hydrating regimen, we went with an Oatmeal Porter, a dark, rich beer, brewed with oatmeal. Hydrating oat protein blends with the vitamins and minerals in this robust beer, to create a soothing hydration libation.

Finally, for our Smoothing Regimen, we chose an India Pale Ale, an intensely hopped beer, originally brewed to survive the long sailing voyage from England to India (hence the name). British brewers added a huge amount of hops flowers to this beer as a natural preservative for the long trip. That bounty of essential hops oils now delivers the ultimate smoothing nourishment in our Smoothing Regimen.

So, whether you’re looking for volume, hydration, or smoothing, we’ve found the perfect brew for you. Join us as we toast the beauty in beer!