Beauty & the Brush: Fair hair with yoghurt care

That our grandmothers used everyday household items in beauty treatments seems bizarre but those treatments do work.

Maria Saadat October 14, 2010

Women of the 21st century tend to view natural ingredients with suspicion. Unlike our grandmothers’ generation, we’ve grown accustomed to treatments created by cosmetics companies rather than having to create homemade concoctions. However, we shouldn’t be so quick to discredit the practices of the older generations. Years ago, the luxury of frequent salon visits and blowouts was minimal — beauty techniques have evolved over time and were based upon traditional and Ayurvedic medicine and/or an innate understanding of the human anatomy. The fact that our grandmothers used everyday household items like oil and yoghurt in beauty treatments, does seem bizarre, but those treatments worked.

You may notice your hair is becoming dull and lifeless. This is primarily due to the changing seasons — as the temperature changes from warm to cold and cold to warm, your hair is bewildered as to whether it should overproduce oil or go into lock down mode. Well, ladies, the solution is to indulge in the use of a little yoghurt and watch your locks turn into soft, silky, dandruff-free tresses.

Yoghurt is high in lactic acid and has natural anti-fungal properties. It works to stimulate hair growth and fight dandruff by acting as a natural cleanser that tightens and clarifies the pores on your scalp. The protein property helps to strengthen and moisturize your hair and to tame persistent, rough frizz by smoothening out your strands. The creamy consistency and antibacterial ingredients help to soothe the scalp and reduce any itchiness. There are several techniques used to make a yogurt hair mask. The four listed below are the most basic methods used.

Simple Yoghurt

This is the easiest and least messy and time consuming method. Simply whip some plain yoghurt in a bowl on dry hair before showering. Massage the yoghurt into your scalp by parting your hair an inch at a time. Brush on the remaining product to the rest of your hair from roots to ends. Leave the yogurt in for about an hour. You may then rinse the yogurt out with lukewarm water and a mild shampoo. Conditioner is optional.

Yoghurt and egg

When whipping yoghurt, add a full egg — the white part helps with strength and the yolk increases shininess. Make sure to wash your hair out with tepid water — anything hotter and you will end up with scrambled eggs in your hair! Use a mild shampoo such as a basic shampoo for normal hair that is not specifically clarifying, moisturising or for dandruff, or you’ll be negating the effects of the yoghurt mask.

Yoghurt and mustard/olive oil

This method can be applied either before shampooing or afterwards as a conditioner. Add one or two tablespoons of either mustard oil or olive oil to whipped yogurt. After washing hair with a mild shampoo, apply this conditioner and leave in for about 15 minutes. Make sure to have more parts yoghurt than oil so the mask washes out easily without having to reapply shampoo.

Yoghurt and fruit

This technique requires you to blend yoghurt along with pulp from fruits containing natural oils that soften your hair. These include avocados, mangoes, cantaloupe and bananas. Experiment with different ingredients and find the one that brings out the natural shine in your locks.

On a final note, yoghurt is known to have intense cooling properties, so be sure to use this mask in a warm room. We understand there is a price to beauty, but we don’t want anyone catching a cold.

Maria Saadat is author of the popular desi beauty site Lipstick Masala.


Do you have a question about make-up? Can’t figure out a hairstyle for an upcoming wedding? Do your attempts at smoky eye make-up leave you looking like a raccoon? Have no fear! E-mail your questions and issues to [email protected] and Maria Saadat will respond to them in an upcoming column.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2010.


Sheena | 12 years ago | Reply I do the yogurt and egg thing it's nice because your hair feels nice and cold
Farooq | 12 years ago | Reply Yoghurt with your hair...seriously...
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