For many of us, yogurt is a delicious ending to a healthy and hearty breakfast. We know it for its creaminess, smooth texture, and that touch of acidity that makes it oh-so-yummy.
But for others, mostly women in East Asia and the Middle East, yogurt is also a holy grail for DIY hair products, from leave-in conditioners to hair masks.
In these regions, yogurt is considered a powerhouse ingredient for transforming and restoring the hair.
Some women even commit to using yogurt only to cleanse and hydrate their hair, swearing off shampoo and conditioner.
But what kind of magic does this humble form of fermented milk provide our hair? What makes this miracle ingredient tick?
And most importantly, if you’re using yogurt on hair, what side effects can you expect?
Benefits Of Using Yogurt On Hair
Natural plain yogurt – also commonly referred to as “curd” – is a treat for your hair.
It’s rich in proteins, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals that bring your hair to life and solve a bunch of common hair issues, from dehydration to dandruff.
Yogurt has tons of protein, which is important for hair strengthening.
It helps fortify tired hair strands to make them more resilient against damage.
This lowers your chances of developing split ends, breakage, and hair fall.
Because of this, yogurt is terrific at repairing damaged locks that have fallen prey to the consequences of excessive chemical processing at the salon or constant heat styling at home.
Exfoliates the scalp
Yogurt is also known to have lactic acid that can exfoliate the scalp and eliminate dead skin cells blocking your hair follicles and hampering hair growth.
Since yogurt is fermented, it has a lot of probiotic bacteria, which stimulates your hair follicles and boosts hair density.
This gives more body and thickness to your hair, making it look long and luscious.
Aids in hair growth
Like most dairy products, cow’s yogurt has tons of calcium, which is a crucial ingredient for adding volume and fullness to the hair by aiding in hair growth.
It also has vitamin B12, iodine, and riboflavin, which are all fantastic for strengthening your hair from root to tip.
Yogurt is amazing for moisturizing and nourishing dry hair.
Its smooth, thick, and creamy consistency makes it a favorite among superfoods you can use as a base for DIY conditioners.
It helps seal your hair cuticles, keeping them soft, sleek, and frizz-free.
Yogurt is also excellent for scalp care, thanks to its skin-friendly properties.
It’s a great way to soothe a dry, irritated scalp ridden with dandruff, instead moisturizing it sufficiently to rescue it from dehydration.
Using yogurt as a scalp treatment is also beneficial for those with oily hair.
As mentioned, yogurt is rich in lactic acid, which helps clarify the hair and manage sebum production.
This leaves your scalp feeling fresh and clean while still retaining healthy moisture.
Yogurt provides an endless cornucopia of benefits not only for your hair, but for your scalp as well.
It’s a must-have in your kitchen so that you can grab it whenever your hair needs some extra love and care.
The best part is that any hair type will find it beneficial to their specific hair issues, whether it’s intense dehydration, dullness due to monstrous damage, or dealing with oiliness.
Whatever your hair is going through, yogurt can probably rectify.
The Best Yogurt Recipes To Address Your Particular Hair Concern
Deep conditioning is arguably the most common way to incorporate yogurt into your hair care routine.
You can mix yogurt into your favorite DIY hair mask recipe to elevate your moisture levels and target your specific hair concerns.
Here are some of the best deep conditioner recipes you can create in your kitchen, designed to target common hair issues.
All of these recipes feature yogurt as the star ingredient:
For added silky softness and shine
- 2/3 cup yogurt
- 2 small strawberries
- ½ small avocado
- 1 teaspoon argan oil
- 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil
This fruity and ultra-nourishing concoction is all you need to add luster back into your dull hair while keeping it silky-smooth and soft to the touch.
Yogurt is a no-brainer for conditioning and softening your locks, so it’s the main ingredient for this recipe.
Strawberries, argan oil, and almond oil are also known to hydrate the hair and give it a luminous shine.
Meanwhile, avocado is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, both known to moisturize hair deeply and keep it shiny and healthy-looking.
Put the avocado and strawberries in a blender and pulse little by little until they form a paste.
Mix them with the yogurt and oils until well-combined.
For strengthening damaged hair
- 2/3 cup yogurt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small egg
- 2 tbsp ground curry leaves
Damaged hair craves protein to fortify and strengthen it.
Luckily, yogurt and eggs are both rich in protein, so they’re the hero ingredients of this particular recipe.
Olive oil is impressive at conditioning the hair, thanks to its plethora of fatty acids.
These good fats can also strengthen your hair follicles, bringing them back to life.
Ground curry leaves also have proteins and vitamins that strengthen the hair and reduce hair thinning.
This gives your hair more fullness and thickness because it supports beautiful and healthy hair growth.
Mix these ingredients together until you have a smooth mixture that can easily be applied to your hair.
For replenishing dry hair with moisture
- 2/3 cup yogurt
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ mashed ripe banana
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
If your hair is dry and brittle, it might be thirsty for some moisture.
This recipe replenishes lost hydration.
Yogurt and coconut oil are holy grails for moisturizing hair and strengthening your locks simultaneously.
Meanwhile, honey is a humectant that draws moisture from the air and locks it into your hair, adding extra shine to your tresses too.
Banana is rich in potassium and hair vitamins that moisturize the hair and improve its elasticity, making it lively and bouncy.
Mash your ripe banana until it’s smooth and just a bit runny.
Incorporating it with the rest of the ingredients should be easy, since they’re all viscous.
For soothing the scalp and combating dandruff
- ½ cup yogurt
- ½ lemon
- 2 tsp honey
Yogurt is rich in lactic acid that cleanses the scalp thoroughly, exfoliating dead skin to purify and unclog the hair follicles.
Lemon, on the other hand, stimulates the scalp and refreshes it too.
Honey treats dandruff and soothes inflammation on the scalp.
It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that keep your roots clean and healthy to reduce episodes of flakiness and itching.
This combination is excellent for improving overall scalp health, which then affects how healthy your hair grows.
Just squeeze the juice from half a lemon and mix it with the yogurt and honey.
For encouraging healthy hair growth and fullness
- ½ cup yogurt
- 2 tbsp aloe vera gel
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp coconut milk
This recipe is rich in hair-growing ingredients, with yogurt and aloe vera at the forefront, since they’re well-loved for their ability to encourage healthy growth.
Egg yolks have peptides that nourish the hair and promote the growth of strong and long locks.
It’s also a way to speed up growing your hair.
Lastly, coconut milk has the proteins and fatty acids needed to strengthen and moisturize the hair for rich hydration.
It also nourishes the scalp, creating the optimal environment for good hair growth.
Mix everything in a small bowl until well-combined.
For clarifying a greasy scalp and oily hair
- 2/3 cup yogurt
- ½ lemon
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Yogurt and lemon juice are both terrific for cleansing and degreasing the scalp.
This combination also keeps your scalp’s natural pH balance in check to manage excess oil production.
Apple cider vinegar’s antiseptic properties clean and detoxify your scalp to keep it fresh.
ACV can also add a natural shine to your hair, making it look and feel healthy.
This one’s more of a scalp treatment than a conditioner, but the yogurt can still help soften and add shine to your locks.
Simply mix everything until it’s at a smooth consistency.
Set aside until you’re ready to deep condition.
How To Apply The Hair Mask
Once you have the mixture from your chosen recipe, you can start masking.
Apply the mask directly into the roots of your hair, either with your fingers or a brush.
Spread it onto the length of your hair until it’s fully saturated.
Let the mask settle in your hair for about half an hour.
You can gather your hair in a bun and wear a shower cap to keep the mask from dripping onto your face and neck.
It also gives you more freedom to move around and do other things.
Using a shower cap will also trap heat into the hair, allowing the nutrients from your DIY deep conditioner to penetrate your hair deeper.
Once your 30 minutes are up, just hop into the shower and wash everything out thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner.
You might want to consider using a mild, gentle shampoo without harsh sulfates.
This helps retain the moisture the yogurt just fed your tresses.
Using Yogurt On Hair: Side Effects To Look Out For
While yogurt is a godsend for your hair and makes cooking up DIY deep conditioners in your kitchen extra fun, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
For some, yogurt can have a few adverse side effects when used on the hair.
Here are some of them:
If you’re allergic to milk or any other dairy product, you might want to patch test your deep conditioner cocktail before slathering it all over your hair and scalp.
You can apply your concoction to a small area of your arm and let it settle for a few minutes.
If your skin doesn’t react badly to the deep conditioner, you’re good to go.
If you don’t patch test your yogurt hair mask before putting it on your scalp, you risk ending up with itchy hives, inflammation, and a burning sensation that’s almost impossible to soothe.
This does more harm than good to your scalp, which will affect your hair health as well.
Be smart when playing around with yogurt, and don’t risk it if you know you’re sensitive to dairy.
Another thing to watch out for is how often you condition your hair with a yogurt treatment.
If you do it too often, like every day, you could end up with a greasy scalp and hair.
This greasiness can also weigh down your hair since the remnants of yogurt that weren’t washed off properly can sit at your roots and flatten your hair.
Your locks will look limp, lifeless, and have no volume to make them look full-bodied and bouncy.
To avoid all of this, make sure you always rinse out your yogurt masks thoroughly with a mild shampoo, or else you’ll be stuck with a waxy, overly shiny residue that will be the downfall of your luscious hair.
One more thing to note is that while it’s easy to wash out the yogurt from your hair, there’s still a chance that you can smell it on your body in the days after your yogurt hair mask session.
If you’re working out at the gym or doing other strenuous physical activity that causes you to sweat, you may notice the smell of yogurt emanating from your scalp or nape.
But don’t worry – the scent is never pungent nor distracting.
It’s the kind of aroma that only you can smell, and only slightly.
If you’re not comfortable with smelling yogurt in your hair, you can always spray some of your nicest-smelling leave-in conditioner in your strands before brushing it out at the start of your day.
This hides the yogurt scent to keep your hair pleasantly fragrant all day long.
Yogurt is a super versatile ingredient not just in the fridge, but also in your hair routine.
It can offer so much to keep your hair and scalp healthy, so it has the power to address a wide range of hair concerns.
So next time you purchase more yogurt in the grocery to stock up on breakfast food, think twice.
Maybe you want to double up on this probiotic that people all over the globe swear by to amp up your hair treatments.
You never know when you’re going to need a quick and easy deep-conditioning session to bring life back into your locks.
And when you do, your trusty tub of yogurt will be waiting in the kitchen.