Hair damage is not something you should disregard. It can hamper self-confidence and if the problem is with nutrition, it’s crucial to take care of it immediately.
Hair masks can help in naturally and safely restoring damaged hair. Yogurt as a main hair mask ingredient can have many benefits on the scalp and hair. This natural product also has many other benefits in the body. It has potent anti-fungal and anti-infective properties that protect against various infections. It also has calming and soothing effects that can help in reducing many inflammatory conditions. It also has rich nutrient profile that can nourish various organs, including the scalp and hair.
Causes of hair damage
Many factors contribute to hair damage. Most of these are exposure to harmful elements and too little nutrition, such as:
- Too little moisture
It may be from poor hydration (not drinking enough water) or using harsh chemicals on hair that strip off moisture. Over-washing can also remove the protective oils from the hair strands. Without the natural oils, moisture in the hair strands dissipates more quickly. The hair strands become dry, brittle and easily damaged if it lacks moisture.
- Too much heat
This may be in the form of using heat styling equipment like curling iron and hair straighteners. Blow-dryers on hot settings also apply too much heat that can damage the hair. Blow-dryers on high setting cause greater damage if the hair is still dripping wet right before it is blow-dried.
Damaging heat can also come from direct exposure to sunlight. It may also come from spending too much time near other heat sources, such as working with a kiln for long hours.
- Chemical exposure
Harsh chemicals can come from the hair products used such as shampoos and dyes. Dyeing entails the use of very harsh chemicals that strip the original color off from hair. Ammonia in most shampoos are also very damaging to the hair.
- No deep conditioning
Hair growth and strength depends on the health of the hair follicles. Deep conditioning is needed regularly to nourish and strengthen the hair follicles. Deep conditioning can be done at least once a week or so. Skipping this can cause hair follicles to become weaker.
- Cotton pillowcases
Cotton pillowcases can rub the hair strands and remove the protective oils. The rubbing itself can damage the strands, much like rubbing a coarse file over fine thread. This can lead to fraying and weakening of the strands.
- Towel drying
Similarly to using cotton pillowcases, towel drying rubs the hair strands and damages them.
- Unbalanced diet
Proper nutrition is very important. No matter how much care is given to the hair strands, it won’t do much good if the body is not properly nourished. Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water every day to strengthen the hair against damage.
Potential solutions for hair damage
There are many things that can be done to protect the hair from getting damaged and to help restore its health.
- Use gentle hair products
Avoid ammonia and similar harsh chemicals. Avoid hair dyes or dyeing the hair too often. Allow for the hair and scalp to breathe in between treatments.
Dirt, dust, grime and dead cells should be removed from the hair to allow it to breathe. Natural shampoo is one of the best products to use for cleaning the hair.
- Get regular trimming
Damaged hair can be revived by getting it regularly trimmed. This will remove the damaged portions and allow your hair to recover faster.
- Follow a healthy hair regimen
This is the time to give more attention to the health of your hair. Use gentle hair products and shampoos. If possible, avoid or reduce treatments while the hair strands are recovering from damage. Reduce the frequency of dyes and heat styling.
Deep condition the hair to bring back lost nutrients to the hair follicles. Remove dead cells and dirt from hair to allow it to breathe.
At this point, hair masks can do a lot of help in restoring damaged hair. Hair masks provide nourishment directly to the hair strands to strengthen them.
This hair care regimen will only be effective if the products used are gentle. Going natural and creating the hair treatment products yourself can help in avoiding many harsh chemicals that worsen hair damage.
The power of yogurt for hair and scalp
Yogurt is a very powerful ingredient that safely, effectively and gently nourishes the scalp and hair. This has many benefits for scalp and hair, such as:
- Dandruff buster
Yogurt has a powerful anti-fungal property that can effectively treat dandruff. It is powerful against dandruff yet gentle enough on the scalp and hair. As a bonus, yogurt has an anti-inflammatory, soothing effect on the scalp. This can relieve itching and irritation of dandruff-affected scalp.
- Frizz tamer
Many people battle with frizzy hair, especially in the summer. The scalp is dry and irritated, hair going every which way. Yogurt’s soothing and cooling effect helps to relieve the dryness. It can calm and soften frizzy hair with its moisturizing effect, too.
- Nourishes hair
Yogurt is rich in nutrients that can bring back vitality to hair and scalp. It has vitamin B12 for boosting hair growth. Niacin protects against premature hair aging and appearance of gray hair. Biotin restores health to damaged hair. Calcium gives hair volume, density and strength. Choline improves blood flow to hair follicles for healthier hair growth. Iodine strengthens the hair follicles for healthy growth and stronger hair shaft.
- Hair hydrating
Yogurt contains lactic acid. This helps to hydrate the hair strands. This nutrient also helps to wash away dead skin cells to cleanse the hair better.
Hair Mask Recipes
Yogurt-Strawberry Hair Mask
This recipe helps to restore damaged hair through many ways. Yogurt softens hair while coconut oil stimulates hair growth. Egg restores minerals to the hair shaft while strawberry makes hair shinier.
- ¼ cup of yogurt
- 3-4 pieces ripe strawberries
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 egg
- Put yogurt, coconut oil and strawberries in a blender.
- Blitz until a well-mixed paste is formed.
- Add the egg and gently pulse to mix it well into the paste.
- Transfer the mask into a small container.
- Place mask on the palms and rub a few times.
- Apply the mask evenly all over dry hair.
- Cover the head with a shower cap and allow the mask to sit for 3 minutes.
- Wash the mask off with natural shampoo.
- Rinse well.
This recipe is meant for single-use only. Use this mask once every 2 weeks to get shinier, healthier-looking hair. Mix another batch for every use. Long storage is not recommended as this may spoil in between use.
Yogurt-Olive Oil Hair Mask
The combination of yogurt and olive oil conditions hair and promotes healthy hair growth. The essential fatty acids in olive oil help strengthen hair follicles. Eggs add nutrition to hair. The sulfur in the egg also helps balance oil secretion for healthier, softer hair.
- 2 tablespoons yogurt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 egg
- Put all ingredients in a blender and mix well into a smooth paste.
- Place mask in a small shallow container.
- Rub the mask between the palms before applying onto wet hair.
- Massage the mask gently from scalp to the tips of the hair.
- Use a shower cap to cover the hair.
- Leave the mask on for 15 minutes.
- Rinse the mask off with cold water.
This recipe is for single use only. Apply repeatedly at least once every 2 weeks to promote healthy hair growth and repair.
Deep Conditioning Yogurt-Honey Hair Mask
This recipe works for dry, frizzy hair.
- 2 tablespoons of natural yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Place yogurt and honey in a small shallow bowl.
- Mix well with a spoon.
- Place the mask on the palms and gently rub a few times for even application.
- Apply the mask onto the scalp.
- Gently massage and spread the mask towards the entire length of the hair.
- Massage well until the entire scalp is coated.
- Let the mask sit on the scalp and hair for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse well with lots of lukewarm water. If preferred, apply a small amount of your usual conditioner on the ends of the hair.
This recipe is for short to medium-length hair. For longer hair, double the amounts indicated in the recipe. Use this treatment once a week to restore damaged hair.