Wash Your Hair With Beer: Redken For Men Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo

by Gio


Would you wash your hair with beer? I know several ladies who tried it and said it made their hair soft and shiny, but any man I asked was horrified at the thought of wasting a bottle of good brew to wash their hair. They’d rather drink the stuff, and who can blame them?

Now, thanks to the Redken, men too can try a beer rinse without wasting good beer. The Redken For Men Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo contains a new Anti-Grit Technology featuring a blend of three common ingredients found in beer: malt, brewer’s yeast, and orange zest that’s supposed to cleanse and nourish your hair. But does it work?

What Redken says:
Anti grit technology, with a premium blend of malt, brewer’s yeast and orange zest, intensely cleanses to eliminate dirt and oil while helping to purify the scalp.
Removes styling product buildup from clays or waxes
For normal to oily hair

Ingredient Analysis

sodium lauryl sulfate chemical structure

Sodium Laureth Sulfate & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Redken For Men Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo cleanses hair extremely well, removing dirt, oil (maybe even too much of it) and styling product buildup. But that’s not due to anything found in beer. The “culprits” are Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, two surfactants that help dirt and oil mix with water so they can be washed off. While the former is gentle, the latter can strip too much sebum from hair, causing it to become dry, and irritate the scalp, which is why I always recommend people to stay away from it.

While most brands have removed Sodium Lauryl Sulfate from most of their products, it is still widely used in cleansing shampoos designed to remove heavy oil and styling product buildup and make hair squeaky clean. These shampoos are supposed to be used in moderation (never more than once week, but you can use it once a month or even less if your regular shampoo cleanses you hair ok) and followed by a nourishing conditioner.

If you follow these instructions, then you may be able to use this shampoo without side effects. At least if you have oily hair. I still wouldn’t recommend a shampoo with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate to those with dry hair. It will just make their hair even drier.


Yeast Extract

Yeasts are a group of fungi that ferment sugar. The type usually used in beauty products, which is also the one commonly found in beer, is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. According to a 2008 study, Saccharomyces cerevisiae can reduce transepidermal water loss and increase skin moisturization. So, in theory, yeast should be able to nourish hair and make it soft. But I’m worried that a lot of it will be removed by Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and end up down the drain.


Hydrolyzed Malt Extract and Orange Peel Oil

Malt is the term for grains that are “made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air.” This process allows them to develop the enzymes required to turn starch into sugar. For use in cosmetics, malt is usually hydrolyzed, which means it is made to react with water to form a modified substance. The result, hydrolyzed malt extract, has hair conditioning properties.

Orange Peel Oil has conditioning properties as well. But its main function here is probably to give the shampoo a lovely and fresh citrus scent. This oil can cause irritations in some people, but there’s only little of it here so I doubt it will cause any negative side effects.

Final considerations on the formula

Redken For Men Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo does a great job at cleansing hair. But I’m worried that the nourishing ingredients, which are present only in small amounts, may be removed, at least in part, by the surfactants, reducing their conditioning properties. The formula also contains a small concentration of salicylic acid which could help fight dandruff somewhat. Colourants are added to give the shampoo the amber hue of beer.

Full Ingredient List

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Hexylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Orange Peel Oil, Hydrolyzed Malt Extract, CI 19140/Yellow 5, Yeast Extract, CI 15510/Orange 4, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid


Packaged in a 8.5 oz bottle that resembles a beer, Redken For Men Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo is available at Amazon. Price vary according to the retailers, but it is usually around $12.50.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a cleansing shampoo to remove excess oil and heavy styling products buildup, Redken For Men Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo is a nice option to consider. But I wouldn’t buy it for its beer nourishing properties. Its conditioning ability is minimal, so you’d still have to use a conditioner afterwards to keep hair soft and moisturized.

Have you ever used this shampoo? What do you think of it?

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Chic Readings October 30, 2014 - 3:36 pm

Interesting:) My husband will ant this right away:)

Gio October 30, 2014 - 7:35 pm

Helena, lol. Men can’t resist a good brew, can they?

Regn October 30, 2014 - 6:15 pm

Recently, I bought a shampoo with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – only because I didn’t read the ingredient list properly. My hair is really oily and it seems this shampoo makes the oiliness even worse. So I guess the SLS is too aggressive and my hair needs to make a protective layer of oil. But… I just don’t want to throw away a full bottle new shampoo. 🙁

Gio October 30, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Regn, oh no! Maybe you can use it to wash your clothes?

Jason C. January 27, 2017 - 2:48 am

My girlfriend bought me a bottle of the Redken Clean Brew. Me being the guy that’s I am didn’t think anything of it and started using it. A week and a half in my scalp started itching me. A few days ago, I felt a sort of bump near my hairline on my forehead. Scratched it and skater of skin came off in that spot, followed by some light pus. Stopped using the shampoo and went back to my normal one by American Crew, that I love. A few Dayan later Andy I’m still recovering from the Redken. Today my scalp is peeling along over. Fun times. Never again.

Gio February 12, 2017 - 9:54 pm

Jason, oh no! So sorry you had such a bad experience with it. Thanks for sharing.


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