Homemade “Body on Tap” Shampoo

My grandmother has stockpiled enough health and beauty products to last decades. She’s never rotated them, and I’m pretty sure I could make a small fortune selling the discontinued stuff on Ebay ;)

In her stockpile, I discovered “Body On Tap”, the most amazing bodyfing shampoo ever! Unfortunately, like many awesome things (Vanilla Cookie Crisp, Marshmallow Krispies, and Pine Bros. cough drops come to mind), it was discontinued in the 1980’s.

It’s been reformulated, but sells for $14.95 a bottle and that’s kind of steep for something you could’ve bought at K-Mart during Dollar Days.

So, after years of mourning the loss of my beloved shampoo, and of using way too much product to achieve a similar, but far too stiff full-bodied look, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Really, how hard could it be to mix beer and shampoo?

Here’s my homemade version of Body on Tap shampoo! I get more body and shine from this concoction than I ever have from the salon products I’ve tried.

1 cup beer
(use the classy stuff, I like leftovers, or Black Label 40’s; flat is OK)

1 cup shampoo
(I like V05 because it’s cheap, and not tested on animals)

an empty bottle
(I reused one from my Trader Joe’s conditioner)

Bring the beer to a boil in a small pan over medium heat. Boil it uncovered until it’s reduced to 1/4 cup.

Whisk the shampoo into the reduced beer.

Voila! Instant body :)


  1. donnexia says

    I thought I was the only one that mourned the passing of vanilla cookie crisp cereal. I loved that stuff!

  2. says

    Wow, what a great idea. I never knew that shampoo plus beer equalled body and shine! Must give this a try sometime. Thanks for the recipe :)

  3. Anonymous says

    Thanks a bunch for the Idea! I will give it a go!
    You seem like a interesting person. I will be sending your page to my daughter who is vegetarian too! blessings

  4. Anonymous says

    loved body bonus shampoo by avon with beer .. no longer can find that either .. thanks for the recipe body on tap isn’t in vermont country store catalog anymore, but gee your hair smell terrific still is, but like you said at 14.95, gee that’s really pricey.

  5. Anonymous says

    hummm, i landed on this site because i was mourning the loss of Body on Tap shampoo which I used when I lived in South Africa a year ago. Its easy to find over there. Needless to say, thanks for the recipe. I’d love to try it!

  6. Anonymous says

    thank you so much! I used that shampoo only once in my life, when I was 19. I am now 35, and still searching for it!!! I remember it cuz it made my fine limp hair full of body and bounce. They should bring it back…

  7. Anonymous says

    This was the most awesome shampoo. I used it in the early 80’s and it drove guys nuts! Everyone asked me what I used on my hair, not only did it look good but the smell really mad guys go crazy. I’d have strangers come up to me and ask what kind of shampoo I used. I’m going to try this… hope I get the same results!!

  8. says

    THE SMELL, yes I will try the recipe for the body and shine and thank you for taking the time to finalize the a good recipe. BUT, does ANYBODY ever found a shampoo that put out an aroma like Body on Tap? Im with the one who had complete strangers who used to come up and ask what kind of shampoo I used. Could you imagine smelling that aroma again? It would bring us all back 30 years. I would just love to know what the single one ingrediant that made it such a strong,wonderful fragrant. I do know that 1/3 of it was beer, so if anyone just.had an old bottle?To the one who used to live in Africa, they no longer make it like the original with beer. The name was bought and a new formula was made. Does the new one have the very strong fragrance? If so, we could buy it from Africa by the case(maybe cheaper that way)and use it in the recipe above???what do you all think?

    • Trish says

      Sure, Im in! I used it when I was a little girl. To smell that once again would be heaven! I would pay big bucks for an original bottle of that.

  9. says


  10. says

    I have done this with both shampoo and conditioner, and it works. I try to pick a shampoo without a strong scent to it, so that the scent of the beer comes through (Suave works well, and also cheap like V05. You can use a cheap shampoo, the beer makes up for it, conditioning wise). I tried many brands of beer, couldn’t find the right smell, until my dad suggested I try a malt liquor type of beer. I tried Mickeys, in the green bottle, and it came pretty close to the smell. Not perfect, but pretty good. I too loved that scent, used to drive boyfriends crazy with how good my hair smelled. Good luck, I hope someone has great success replicating this scent. It was one of a kind.

      • Sage says

        Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately, now that I live in Denmark, Bud isn’t easy to come by, but maybe one of my readers will try it and report back :)

  11. Rossy says


  12. says

    I will have to try your recipe. As with yourself and your other commentators, I also miss Body On Tap. I guess us fine-haired gals who grew up in the late-70s got spoiled (and I see a few who are also from Pennsylvania/Pittsburgh – I have never been able to style my hair when I live in PA)! I looked it up on the internet and Wikipedia says that it is still sold through the Vermont Country Store. It is currently not in stock (it doesn’t say why, or if it is gone forever), but as you said, it’s $14.95. I find it highly interesting that one woman here says she has had it recently in South Africa! Thanks so much for creating it in your home/lab! Also, Vermont Country Store has “Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific,” Lemon Up,” and their own knock-off of Herbal Essences. Why is it that they take popular and successful products out of production? It is madness. Thanks again!

  13. Anonymous says

    i do the beer and shampoo but i add perfume to it it helps give my hair a freat smell most of the time i use bath n body sprays they work the best goo luck all but i have search the world over in the usa that is and havent found it in 25 yrs we need it back badly ty n gb

  14. Anonymous says

    Ahhh…Body on Tap. In this world, good things never remain.People always try to “improve” it.
    I remember the fragrance like it was yesterday…ahh to go back 30 years!

  15. Anonymous says

    Still remember 35 years ago standing in the shower in college using my Body on Tap. It was the best and who couldnt relate to a shampoo in a beer bottle while in college

  16. Anonymous says

    BTW, you can buy Pine Bros. cough drops again. I get mine at Woodman’s Grocery stores in Wisconsin. They now come in large bags vs. the small boxes, and are just like they always were–the BEST!

  17. says


    Thanks for the heads up re: Pine Bros. I’ve got a colleague coming over in late October and he’s bringing me 2 bags!!! I can’t wait to taste them again :)

    ~ Sage

  18. Anonymous says

    I would LOVE to use BOT again–I’ve ALWAYS wondered why it was discontinued–it was a great shampoo, no other shampoo ever lived up to that scent!


  19. Anonymous says

    Oh to be able to find Body On Tap shampoo again. It was the BEST shampoo ever made. It was the greatest smell. My hair is thick and it made it so healthy looking with volume. I absolutely have to try your recipe. Thank you!

  20. Anonymous says

    I had to call Clairol today because I have been thinking about Body on Tap 30 years ago, I loved that smell, didn’t know about the beer, I would love to have that shampoo back, nothing ever smelled sooo good!!

  21. Phyllis Rainbow Rolo says

    I made a batch using Burts Bees baby shampoo and Mickeys beer. Easy directions, smells great, gentle, and my hair is shiny.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

    I miss the original Herbal Essence green shampoo too!

  22. Anonymous says

    If you miss Herbal Essence (green shampoo, the original), try Vanart Herbal Essence Shampoo (green), which is made in Mexico. We can find it here in Florida, but don’t know about getting it elsewhere in the U.S. You can order it online though. Another one to try is Mirta de Perales Herbal Fresh Shampoo (green also).

  23. Anonymous says

    I feel the same as all of you. We need our Body on Tap back. I think we should all combine our voices and email Bristol Meyers and tell them how interested we are in purchasing the original recipe Body on Tap. I know I would gladly pay $10-15 per 16oz bottle. That would still be less than what I pay now to try to get the same beautiful body and strong beautiful scents for my very fine and down to my butt hair. COME ON LADIES, LET US ALL BOTHER BRISTOL MEYERS. I will send them an email today. Until it comes back I will try the home made recipe. Thanks for the recipe.

  24. Anonymous says

    I miss Body on Tap tremendously!! Have tried to find it for years. I found a new revised version of it online, but it didn’t have the great smell. I also remember people asking what shampoo I used. Really wish they’d bring it back!

  25. Anonymous says


    I miss that shampoo so much! Again the smell of that product… i never find it else were. I’m from Québec Canada and the last bottle a purchase was in the early ’90. Lets get together and force that cie to produce that product again.

  26. Anonymous says

    Who the heck would have ruined this awesome shampoo by drinking it…Yuck…What a shame and a huge loss…I’m gonna try this recipie…Sounds awesome, but can we get that scent back?? They need to make a scratch and sniff sticker because I remember my grandma having it in her shower stall…and I still smell my grandma sometimes and she’s been gone a long long time…how sad!

  27. Anonymous says

    I’ve been thinking about the Body On Tap conditioner for years, wondering why they discontinued it. I used to buy bottles and bottles every month (I’m South African), because I wash and condition my hair daily. That fragrance hung around me permanently, along with L’Eau D’Issey and Labello’s Matté Strawberry Lip Balm. I really want that conditioner back on the market. I switched to Pantene for the fragrance and the shine it gave my thick, coarse hair, but they changed THAT formula, too. Body On Tap is still available in South Africa, but it’s not the same formula anymore.

  28. Anonymous says

    Hi everyone I have just come across this site because someone told me shampoo has a shelf life and I am trying to find out if this is so, because guess what I have about 18 bottles still of the old Body on Tap Shampoo, which was made with real beer in South Africa at Bristol Myers, where I once worked so have actually seen this being made, and coming back to the uk in 1995 could not find anything to compare to B.O.T so sent to S.Africa for about 30 bottles and I am still using it and it has not gone of in anyway think the stock I have will last me for ever still love it. Kath Sutcliffe UK

  29. Jen Jones says

    I too have searched the world over for that amazing sent. I grew up with that shampoo and vividly remember that sent. I will make this shampoo in hopes for a slight resemblance. My hair was so shiny and thick, full of body. I miss that. I too wish Bristol Myers would bring back the original body on tap. Nothing else will do. Thank you so much for this post. It has humored me to no end. So glad I’m not alone in my silly quest for this shampoo. So reassuring!

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