In America, bridal beauty prep is fairly straightforward—a hair and makeup trial, some extra gym time, and maybe even a spray time are usually standard protocol. In the Middle East, however, brides take a different approach to beauty—a holistic, homemade approach. Think DIY hair masks, monthly body scrubs, and even homemade cleansing powders. We asked the incredibly knowledgeable Dr. Lamees Hamdan, founder of the natural body and skincare line Shiffa Dubai, to share her favorite traditional bridal beauty rituals that anyone can DIY at home, brides-to-be included. Warning: may cause strong urge to stock up on rose water, Moroccan exfoliating mitts, and clay—yes, clay.
Keep scrolling to see her tips!
Hair is a very important part of the pre-wedding beauty routine, and homemade recipes for hair oil, or any softening masks for hair, abound in the Middle East, Hamdan says. “We don’t see it as a luxury,” she explains. “Treating your hair is as important as, say, a facial.” She recalls her mother applying a hair mask made with two egg yolks and two tablespoons of olive oil, slightly diluted with water, to her strands. “She would massage it into my scalp and then apply the rest to my hair,” she says. After waiting for 30 minutes, she would rinse out the mask. The result? Shiny, lustrous, light-reflecting strands.
Remember that egg yolk hair mask? We hope you kept the whites—they’re great for brightening and soothing your skin. “Crush fresh strawberries with a pestle and mortar, and add beaten egg whites and rose water,” Hamdan says. “Apply it to your face for 30 minutes, then rinse off for glowing skin.”