Most people spend a lot of time searching for a safe product to moisturize, de-frizz, detangle, and cleanse their hair. Daily blow-drying and using chemical-laden hair products can make curls brittle, lifeless, and dry.
If you are constantly facing this dilemma, why not concoct a DIY hair mask that naturally revives and conditions your tresses. One of the most effective hair masks for kinky hair uses a bentonite clay.
What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay (montmorillonite), also known as the Aztec Indian healing clay, is an aluminum phyllosilicate clay, which is produced by weathering the volcanic ash and exposing it to water.
The clay is mostly sourced from Fort Benton, Wyoming. For centuries, it was utilized by the indigenous people of the Andes, Central Africa, and Australia as an alternative medicine to heal dry skin, bug bites, and digestive troubles. The first recorded account of its usage was traced back to Mesopotamia.
At present, it is used as an excellent natural hair and skin care product.
What type of hair benefits best from Bentonite clay?
Bentonite clay is the perfect hair mask for every type of hair. It is best for people with black, thick, curly hair that need special care.
The Bentonite clay encourages curl definition by clumping them together. Using it as a mask or a rinse reduces frizz, knots, and tangles.
Benefits of Bentonite clay for hair:
It detoxifies hair.
Bentonite clay is anionic (negative-charged), which means it attracts cationic (positive-charged) toxins. The detoxifying and clarifying effects happen when it is combined with apple cider vinegar or water. As you wash off the clay from your hair, you get rid of impurities, chemicals, heavy metals, and toxins from the scalp.
It protects hair from infections.
The anionic property of this clay cleanses excess oil and chemical build-up from the scalp, protecting it from fungal and bacterial infections. The antimicrobial properties of Bentonite clay prevent scalp irritation, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
It prevents or eliminates dandruff.
The itchy dandruff is produced by Malassezia fungus. The extra-sebum that your scalp secretes is the thriving place of this fungus. The Bentonite clay works by cleansing the extra sebum and scraping the accumulated dandruff on your scalp. Regular use of this clay hair mask prevents the formation of dandruff and makes your scalp inhospitable for the fungus.
It promotes hair growth.
Bentonite clay has potassium, calcium, and sodium. These minerals are vital for healthy hair growth. They cleanse hair follicles and remove dead skin cells from the scalp.
It adds luster to the hair.
Bentonite clay adds intense shine to your precious locks.
Other beauty/health benefits of Bentonite clay:
- It purifies skin pores – Bentonite clay acts as a sponge and magnet that cleanses the skin. It pulls out pollutants, free radicals, and bacteria effectively.
- It absorbs excess oil – It balances the sebum level of the skin by absorbing excess sebum. Bentonite clay is ideal for people with oily complexion due to its super-absorbent ability.
- It infuses minerals – By using it as body or face mask, you will reap the benefits of absorbing its mineral contents such as magnesium, silicon, calcium, and potassium.
- It exfoliates the skin – It sloughs off old, flaky, dead skin cells, revealing a smoother, healthier, and softer complexion.
- It detoxifies your body – When used as a bath detox, the Bentonite clay powder soothes inflammation and reduces swelling.
- It clears blemishes – It is a perfect alternative to acne treatment. It gets rid of the primary causes of acne such as clogged pores, bacteria, dead skin cells, and excessive oil production.
- It heals dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema – Its healing properties draw out bacteria and fungus from the skin. It is a topical antibiotic which soothes inflammation, calm skin infections, and facilitates the quick healing process.
- It deodorizes – Bentonite clay effectively absorbs moisture and gets rid of odor-causing bacteria. Mix it with coconut oil, baking soda, and arrowroot flour to reap the benefit.
- Promotes pH balance – It is loaded with natural, alkalizing minerals that keep the pH level balanced.
- Cleanses the digestive tract – It removes aflatoxins and other harmful gastrointestinal pathogens. Aflatoxins ingestion can cause digestive complaints, liver damage, impaired immune function, and dreadful debilitating illnesses. They are mostly found in foods that produce molds like grains and peanuts.
- Supports healthy gut – Its ability to remove toxins promotes a robust gut environment, which in turn sustain a healthy digestive system and strong immune system.
- Eliminates Fluoride – Oral use and consumption of this substance when added to water or dental products affects the developing brains of small children. Using it with magnesium as water filtration agent helps in the elimination of this neurotoxin.
- Removes environmental toxins – Due to its magnetic properties, it is being eyed as an agent to remove VOCs that are present in cleaning supplies, paints, permanent markers, office equipment, and a lot of household products.
DIY Bentonite clay hair recipes:
#1 – For Hair Detox
- 3/4 cup sodium bentonite clay
- 1 cup water or brewed herbal tea
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 10 drops of essential oil (rosemary or lavender encourages hair growth)
- Plastic bowl
- Storage container with a lid
- Plastic spoon
- Pour the water or herbal tea into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the apple cider vinegar.
- Next, pour the Bentonite clay one tablespoon at a time.
- Whisk the ingredients together each time you add clay.
- Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and consistent.
- Finally, whisk in your preferred essential oil.
- Wet hair. Use warm water.
- Apply the mask. Begin at the roots, and work towards the ends.
- Make sure all strands are coated well.
- Set your timer for 5 minutes. It is important not to allow the clay mask to dry up as it will make it quite difficult to rinse off your hair.
- Once the five minutes are up, rinse the clay with warm water. Make sure that you washed your hair thoroughly.
- Wrap your hair with the towel.
- Air-dry your hair and style it.
Another optional hair rinse:
- First, rinse off the bentonite clay using water.
- Rinse it off again with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar mixed woth one cup of herbal tea mixture.
To store it, pour the mixture in a plastic container with secure lid. It can last up to one week.
#2 –Anti-Frizz Hydration Mask
- 1/2 cup (or 4oz) of bentonite clay
- 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil
- 1 tablespoon of castor oil
- a plastic or glass bowl
- a plastic, wooden, or rubber stirring utensil
- Place the clay in a large mixing bowl, and whisk in the apple cider vinegar. Allow the two ingredients to foam and aerate for 10-15 seconds. This reaction is necessary to prevent lumps. Next, add the water.
- Stir to mix the ingredients vigorously. Continue until the mixture becomes smooth with a minimal lumpy look.
- Apply the clay mask to wet or damp hair. Make sure to coat it from roots to ends.
- Work in small sections to cover your hair evenly.
- When it dries up while still applying, spritz a small amount of water using a spray bottle to keep your hair damp.
- Once done, cover your hair with plastic wrap or a plastic cap for 20-30 minutes.
- If you want an extra-penetration effect, you can use a steamer or a hooded dryer.
- Rinse it off under a shower.
- Once 80% of the clay is rinsed off, get your conditioner and apply it from ends to roots. Leave it for 5 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly.
#3- For Hair Wash
- 2 tablespoons bentonite clay
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- Combine the all the ingredients in a plastic bowl.
- Pour the mixture onto your freshly-shampooed hair.
- Leave it for 3 minutes.
- Rinse off with water.
Benefits of other ingredients used:
Apple Cider Vinegar – It contains an antimicrobial agent that eliminates skin flakiness and eases the itchiness. It improves the pH balance of the hair, increases moisture retention, and makes the hair shinier.
It has a high amount of saturated fat that easily penetrates through the hair shaft. It is rich in essential nutrients and vitamins that benefit the hair. It prevents protein loss and coats the hair with its protective properties.
This oil is loaded with omega 6 and omega 9. These fatty acids help to reduce the loss of moisture, improve elasticity, and cement the cuticle. The sweet almond oil locks moisture into the strands of the hair, smooths the cuticles, boosts the luster, and controls shedding issues.
It has potent antifungal and antibacterial properties which prevent scalp ailments and dandruff. Castor oil is known as a moisture sealant and a humectant (draws in moisture to hydrate the hair). It promotes hair growth and thickening.
It is the ultimate hydrating agent of natural hair.
They keep your tresses and scalp strong.
These specially-formulated oils promote the health of your hair. Lavender is mostly used not just because of its refreshing scent but also because of its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It promotes hair growth, prevent hair loss, and improves blood circulation. Another popular essential oil is the rosemary oil. It acts as a natural hair growth treatment that reduces scalp itching. It significantly improves cell generation.
Now, that you are familiar with Bentonite Clay, its benefits, and some of the DIYs recipes, you are now ready to make your own hair mask that will keep your crowning glory healthy and shiny!