Washing your hair with buttermilk might help strengthen your hair

Have you ever washed your hair with buttermilk? Well, my mom recommends and so does this expert. Here's how you can use buttermilk for hair.
Arushi Bidhuri Updated: 17 Aug 2023, 04:33 pm IST
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You name a problem, and your mom or grandmother has a solution ready for it. The modern frenzy of hair care products and techniques might make you wonder if these “nuskhe” actually work or not. One such hair care ritual whispered from one generation to another is using buttermilk for washing hair. Well, it may sound unconventional but this might not be so bad for your hair after all. If this has piqued your curiosity and you want to discover why my mother recommends washing hair with buttermilk, let’s unravel this timeless secret with the help of dermatologist Dr Rinky Kapoor.

For the unversed, buttermilk is the liquid you get after churning butter from the milk cream. While it may not sound so nutritious, it is a potent ingredient that contains the goodness of proteins, fats, and lactic acid. Surprisingly, washing your hair with buttermilk offers more benefits for your hair than you think, says Dr Kapoor.

buttermilk for hair
Try buttermilk for hair for beautiful hair. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Benefits of washing hair with buttermilk

Buttermilk or chaas has been used as a hair care remedy for decades, without anyone questioning its effects. So, we had to check with the expert and we weren’t disappointed.

Explaining the benefits of buttermilk for hair, Dr Kapoor says “Using it as a hair treatment can provide a range of advantages, primarily due to its natural components. It contains lactic acid, which is a mild alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps exfoliate the scalp, remove dead skin cells and promote a healthier environment for your hair follicles. Additionally, the proteins in buttermilk can provide nourishment to the hair strands, potentially enhancing their strength and vitality.”

How to use buttermilk for washing your hair?

Follow these steps suggested by the dermatologist to have beautiful and luscious hair:

1. Prepare

To make buttermilk, all you need to do is add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk. Let it sit for a few minutes until it curdles. Ensure you have enough buttermilk to cover your scalp and hair adequately.

2. Application

Begin by dampening your hair with water. Then, gently massage the buttermilk onto your scalp and work it through the lengths of your hair. Focus on the roots and areas where you have a buildup of oiliness.

3. Massage

Mask sure you are massaging your scalp properly with your fingertips for a few minutes. It will distribute the buttermilk evenly and stimulate blood circulation, which will help loosen any debris on the scalp as well.

4. Let it sit and rinse

After thoroughly massaging your scalp, let the buttermilk to sit on your hair and scalp for about 10-15 minutes. You can cover your hair with a shower cap or towel to prevent it from dripping. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water and remove the buttermilk properly from the hair and scalp.

6. Conditioning (optional)

Depending on your hair type and preference, you can follow up with a conditioner to keep your hair smooth and manageable.

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buttermilk for hair
Use a condition after applying buttermilk for hair. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

7. Drying and styling

Gently pat your hair dry with a soft towel. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as wet hair is more susceptible to damage. Also, try to avoid heat products to dry your hair. While you can style your hair the way that you want but try to avoid any damaging methods.

Buttermilk for hair might not work for everyone!

While buttermilk does offer a lot of benefits for your hair, it might not be suitable for you. The dermatologist recommends doing a patch test before applying buttermilk to your scalp if you have a milk allergy, or you are lactose intolerant, or have any scalp issues. You should not use buttermilk as a replacement for regular shampooing and cleansing. You should incorporate it into your hair routine for its potential health benefits, but it is definitely not a substitute for a balanced hair regimen.


The mom-approved buttermilk for hair might seem like an unconventional way to approach hair care, but it works. It can help you maintain a healthy scalp and promote hair vitality. The lactic acid content in buttermilk helps nourish your hair and maintain its shine. You can try it if you don’t have any scalp conditions. Also, it is always a good idea to consult a dermatologist to know what will work well for your hair type and needs.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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