If I were to pick one thing I hate about myself, it would be: I’m lactose intolerant. Not a day goes by that I don’t long–nay, yearn achingly–for ice cream. It doesn’t help that there are ice cream shops next door, across the street, and one block down from where I live. I hate these people, in a very loving way.
But I can eat yogurt! And eat it, I do. Smoothies are a staple in my life (peanut butter and chocolate chip, especially).
I also use yogurt in a grand amount of my homemade beauty recipes. So this week’s featured ingredient: Plain, unsweetened, unflavored yogurt. Put it on your hair, your face — make it a part of your life. Forever.
Why Yogurt is Good For Your Skin
Full of protein, enzymes, and zinc, yogurt does a great job at cleaning up and softening your skin. It lightens dark spots and blemishes and helps protect your face with its antioxidant properties.
It’s just a tad bit acidic, which makes it great as an exfoliator, and it restores balance to your skin’s natural pH makeup.
Plus, it gives an awesome consistency to food-based masks and scrubs. It’s soft, yet it’s not afraid of working hard to bring back the skin’s youthful glow. Best of all, it’s not harsh and pretty much anyone can benefit from a slathering of yogurt, regardless of whether your skin is dry, oily, or baby bear’s bed – juuuuuust right.
Quick and Easy Yogurt Tips
- Dab a little bit of plain yogurt on a blemish. Leave it on as long as you want (but no less than 10 minutes). This should help clear up that unsightly spot, and it will help reduce the redness associated with it.
- Smear yogurt on a sunburn. Apply the yogurt to the ouchie areas half an hour before showering. It’ll cool you down, and it will help lessen your glowing redness.
- Make a quick yogurt facial mask using … only yogurt! Just take that yogurt and put it on your face (lemme hear you say “Crunchy!”). Make sure your face is clean beforehand, and leave this simple pimple (or no-pimple, as the case may be) remedy on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Why Yogurt is Good for Your Hair
If your hair is feeling a little brittle or dry, yogurt is going to fix you right up. It’s long been known as a hair softener, and it’s chock full o’ protein, which will help strengthen the follicles. It also, I’ve noticed, gives a distinct and head-turning shine to hair. The above picture was taken right after I’d used yogurt on my hair the first time, and since (now that I use it on a weekly basis), my hair has far fewer flyaways and is pretty darned awesome (and really psychotically long).
The enzymes in yogurt will also combat dandruff and help soothe an itchy scalp.
Again, it’s just a darned quick and easy fix when you want a hair mask that will be effective and simple.
Quick and Easy Yogurt Hair Tips
- Go for the ends, if you don’t have much yogurt to spare. Unless you have the aforementioned itchy scalp or dandruff, and you’re running low on yogurt (or time), just apply it to the ends before washing your hair. Let it do it’s job while you do something else (like read ALL of Crunchy Betty) and then wash as usual.
- Add a little cocoa powder and honey for a full-on shiny, darkening hair mask. This is my absolute favorite thing to do, because I love a deep, rich brown tint in my hair. Just mix together 1 cup of plain yogurt, 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and 2 Tbsp. honey. Apply ALL through your hair. Let this set for 30 minutes (to an hour) and then wash with shampoo. There’s definitely no need for conditioner after you’ve used this mask. Your hair will be soft, shiny, and out-of-this world with deep highlights.
- Drip in some lemon juice to bring out the blonde. If you’re more fair-haired, just toss in 2 Tbsp of lemon juice with 1 cup of yogurt, apply to your hair, leave on 30 minutes and then wash as usual. Pure gold.
Other Crunchy Betty Recipes Using Yogurt
Mocha-Frappucino Mask: Coffee, Cocoa, and Honey Facial Mask
Yogurt Left Over? You Gotta See This
One great thing about using food as skin and haircare is that you get a chance, if you have leftover yummies, to try new, fun recipes. I’m a big fan of no-waste, so often I’ll create a beauty recipe with food that I haven’t been able to use in my planned weekly menu.
Well, how does Rum Grilled Pineapple sound? You use the yogurt (and some tasty summer berries) as garnish/dip … and I betcha five bucks you’ve never had it before!
Rum Grilled Pineapple: Check out the recipe at Zen Kitchen, and let her know how tantalizing it sounds.
Crunch on, lovelies! Crunch on.
—Do you have a staple ingredient for hair/skincare you think should be featured next week? Or an absolute favorite, tried-and-true homemade beauty recipe of your own? How about a question for Crunchy Betty about what you should do to Betty up an issue you’ve been having? Shoot me an email at [email protected]!
Oh delightful fates…I smell like I have a chocolate cake on my hair…I’m swooning with delight AND I haven’t even seen the finished result. Plus I’m going to take what’s left over, add coffee grounds from the nummy coffee that’s brewing right now, and do the mocha-frappuccino mask…le love!
I did the cocoa, honey and yogurt hair mask last night and it worked wonderfully! I recently went ombre (lighter on the ends) and switched to no poo, which has sealed up the hair cuticle so I no longer have split ends, but it was still a bit unruly and dry. This mask helped a ton since I think my lightened hair just soaked up all the protein and fat in the yogurt like a dry sponge. Now my hair is SO shiny and healthy all the way through!
And for those that are wondering, it is easy to wash out with the BS/ACV method.
What do you add for red hair?
paprika. added 2 TBSP to my henna last time and now i am officially a red head. but a pretty auburn, shiny one.
How do you keep the hair treatment from dripping everywhere? It could be because I don’t have a shower and therefore had to use plastic wrap. But it seems like it would do it anyway.
It really helped my skin.
If you are lactose intolerant you can eat any dairy if you just eat a lactaid enzyme first. You can buy them at stores like CVS or Walgreens. I’ve been eating lactaid enzymes and dairy for basically as long as I can remember. I can’t imagine not eating ice cream or cheese.
The Book of Amy
I found your “darkening hair mask” on Pinterest and tried it yesterday. LOVED it! It smells great and covered up my naturally bleached out tips. This will be a must during summer for me. Thanks for sharing.
Have you tried pure bliss coconut milk ice cream? It’s the BEST.
Just wanted to share.. I too am lactose intolerant, but can handle cheese and yogurt.. If I drink a glass of milk though, it’s all over! I was told that I should try drinking raw milk (I buy mine from sprouts) and when I did, I was able to drink a whole glass of milk with no problems! I am a true believer in it, and if I was adventurous enough I would try making some ice cream from it to see how that goes. I think that pasteurizing and homogenizing kills all the good stuff in the milk that makes it easy for our tummies to break down the proteins. So just a thought, give it a try if you’re able to get it in your area 🙂
hi! i havent really read much of your website yet (i only just now found it! where has it been hiding all my life lol) but every so often when my hair gets super super oily i will use the ole’ mixture of baking soda and water mixture, and im sure you know the drill, rub it in damp hair let it sit for a minute or two then rinse out and shampoo and condintoner….blah bla blah lol well i was feeling kinda crafty today and i added COCOA powder! for one it smelled like a chocolate pudding and two it made my hair have a hint of the cocoa! not to mention my shampoo is strawberry so my hair smells like a chocolate covered strawbery!
With the winter dryness in full swing, I knew I had to start conditioning somehow. But before I went out and bought something in a bottle, I gave this a shot, with a bit of lemon juice ’cause I’m blonde. I liked the results! I will do it again in a couple of days. The scary thing was how much yogurt my dehydrated hair sucked up. Hardly any drips between application and washing, and it’s not as if I have Rapunzel hair… it’s only right above my shoulders.
Oh, and for some reason it enhanced my waves, which is always nice. 🙂 I make my own yogurt so it’s super cheap, and I have no problem experimenting!
I am so glad I found your site.
Hey, are you still doing the yogurt mask with the no poo thing? Just wondering if I would be able to get the yogurt out without using shampoo. I might just give it a try anyway. My b-f is a trooper and will be cool if my hair is extra gross for a few days.
I made a banana/Greek yogurt mask for my hair once before a big date. I’d heard all the buzz about how soft, shiny, etc. my hair would be. I put it on my hair and wrapped it with a plastic bag for about an hour. Rinsing was a nightmare, but I finally got all of the goop out. On my date, which was in early July (read: HOT as hell), my hair began to let off an odor. Very similar to puked up bananas. My date asked, “Do you smell something funky? Like baby vomit?” I stood a little further away and said, “No, I don’t smell a thing.” I never did the banana/yogurt mask again.
no banana just yogurt
This was hilarious!
But what you can do is blend the banana in a blender to give it a smooth and less lumpy consistency
This is probably a very old post, but I have a quick question about the yoghurt/honey/cocoa treatment.
I have quite light brown hair, the kind that some hair dye swatches call a dark shade of blonde, even. I’ve always been interested in having darker hair, but never had the guts to dye it. So I was just wondering how long the dark look to hair lasts from this treatment? I don’t want it to be too permanent in case a) it doesn’t take right on my too-light hair b) I don’t like the dark look as much as I hope to.
Thanks for the idea in any case,
Hi, Kaylie (what a beautiful name!). It’s not going to be permanent at all. In fact, when I do mine, I always ask Fiance if he can tell a difference, and he says no. I think maybe if you left it in for several hours, it might be a different story. But 20 minutes shouldn’t do anything permanent at all.
Hi! i chanced upon your wonderful site when i googled ‘yoghurt for hair’. I’m in this herbal/natural treatment phase for my poor troubled scalp and applied plain non-flavoured yoghurt for 30mins last night for the 1st time & it is wonderful. Maybe its too soon to tell but my hair today is softer and the dandruff flakes are not visible at all! Tonight, i’m trying your recipe with the cocoa powder & honey and not forgetting the face mask as well! “Crunchy!” 😀
Yay! Sounds like you’re going to have (or had, rather) fun! What did you think of the face mask?
Do you wet your hair first before using the yogurt/cocoa/honey mixture? Or put it on dry. Then rinse and shampoo? Thanks – I’m dying to try this! 🙂
Hi, Cathy! I put it on dry – it’s less messy that way (although it’s still a little messy). Be sure to wash it well afterward. Let me know what you think!
One more question (sorry) before I try this – do you use regular (full fat) plain yogurt for this hair concoction? I eat plain fat free yogurt in smoothies all the time so I usually have that on hand… but was wondering if it’s the fat in the yogurt that moisturizes and shines the hair so well. If so I’ll buy that kind. Thanks!
Definitely full fat, and plain (unsweetened and unflavored). Good luck!
I did it!! On Sunday – I applied to my clean dry hair and combed through. LOL a mess but I put a shower cap on my head and an old towel around my neck. Set my timer and kept the yogurt on my head (mopping up drips by my ears almost continually as I did some ironing) for about 1 hr. Took a shower, washed it all out with regular shampoo and really liked the results! My hair was shiny and I let the bottom half go wavy (as it has been doing lately – must be an age/perimenopause thing, I always had bone straight hair). Anyway it was easier to style my straight top, and shiny all around. I will use the rest of the concoction this Sunday and try to do this at least 2x month. Thanks!
Yay! Love good news like this! It’s funny, but I’ve noticed my hair becoming more wavy at the bottom with age, too. I’m 35, so hopefully it’s not a perimenopausal thing for me!
And, yeah, there’s some drips involved when you just use a towel. A few months ago, I picked up some old-fashioned shower caps for – a pack of 3 for $1.00 at the discount store – and the drips are pretty much gone. Amazing what a little bit of elastic can do. Heh.
Glad you’re having fun with it!
Umm, I was supposed to do this BEFORE I shampooed, right? I’m sitting here dripping brown gunk all over, and it occured to me! Oh well…lol
Oh no, Melissa! Yes, do it before you shampoo! But I’m sure you let it sit for a while and then reshampooed, right? What’d you think?
lol-Yes, I shampooed again. Although it was very drippy, two people complimented my hair today at work. Said it looked like it had more body than normal (no, I hadn’t asked if it was different). So I’ll definitely do this next week, but I’ll put it on dry this time 🙂
Just to let you know, I did this again (the right way) and I do love it. I followed with an ACV rinse tho, and I think that may have been too much. Maybe I’ll do the rinse again, but not on the same day. I’m so glad I found your blog. I have made the change to using natural products for all beauty, housecleaning, and laundry except for a few. Hairspray, shampoo, and deodorant. I did start using Tom’s of Maine deodorant, but even that I hate. And the only recipes for hairspray are sugar water! I have a zillion products to get rid of tho!
I’m glad it worked! That’s definitely one thing I’ve learned about all of this – there’s a bit of trial and error to see what works for you.
I still have some products to get rid of, too. They’re probably about ready to just be thrown away, but I have such a hard time tossing full bottles and jars of stuff. BUT, I don’t want to give them away, because that’s just passing on the “bad stuff,” y’know? Let me know if you figure out something to do with all of yours.
So glad you’re here!
Ahhhhhh I wish the weekend was not over! I want to try these yoghurt tips! Especially the hair mask.
Next weekend then 🙂
I have 27 mosquito bites on my legs from sitting out watching fireworks the other night. Thanks for the apple cider vinegar cure. Maybe I won’t be scratching myself like a dog tonight.
Ok, so I did it! Nice soft hair and, bonus, it smells a bit like cocoa 😉
Just wait. I’m going to do the whole shebang cocoa hair mask recipe soon. It is outstanding. Although I had to fight off Fiance so he didn’t eat my hair.
I’m up for trying anything that combats dry fly-away hair! I make my own yogurt throughout the summer and fall, I can see now that I won’t be eating all of it!
You make your own yogurt? Just when I think I couldn’t love you any more …
Sounds heavenly – next time I have extra yogurt in the fridge I’m giving it a try.
Believe it or not I am allergic to yogurt (and cheese). It’s an immune reaction thing. Go figure.
Ugh! Yogurt AND cheese. Those are the only two milk products my digestive system handles (although the cheese is a little iffy these days.) I really feel for you. If I was allergic to cheese, I’d have to meditate ALL the time. Heh.
me too. what happens to you?
me too. what happens to you?
OMG you are such a goddess! I ALWAYS have yogurt in the house (being married to an Indian and all) and I am diggin’ the shine on your hair! I can see beauty treatment mania in my house this week!
Seriously, yogurt is the bomb. And it keeps for so long! Whoever invented it should get an award.