You’ve probably heard of the wonders of bentonite clay. Chances are that you probably know someone who’s always raving about bentonite clay’s effects on the hair and skin. So, if I want to try it out, how often can I use bentonite clay on my hair anyway?
And what exactly is special about bentonite clay, aside from boasting its all-natural properties?
In this article, we’ll answer just that – what bentonite clay is, what its benefits are, and how it can be used on the hair.
What Is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay – also known as montmorillonite – is a compound derived from broken-down volcanic ash.
It is a mud-like substance that took the world of skincare by storm ever since it was first introduced commercially.
It contains minerals such as silica, magnesium, calcium, and iron,
Bentonite clay is lauded as a natural healing clay that can get rid of toxins and impurities in the body.
In fact, it’s historically been used in alternative medicine for various health problems such as digestive issues, bug bites, and dry skin, thus earning it the name, “Aztec Healing Clay”.
With the abundance of elements in bentonite, it’s no question that it’s a charged substance.
Particularly, it’s a negatively charged adsorbent powder, which means that it allows other materials to bind to it through an exchange of ions.
It’s able to bind to toxic substances such as mold toxins, which makes it a great go-to product for detoxing.
Aside from this, it’s also known to have anti-bacterial properties.
Coupled with its ability to remove toxins and impurities, bentonite clay can cleanse the scalp like no other.
It’s also believed to help with hair growth, though there’s no proof as of yet regarding its capacity for stimulating hair growth.
For the face, it’s also commonly used as a mask to combat acne and oily skin.
Benefits Of Using Bentonite Clay On Hair
Bentonite clay is now a staple in the beauty industry, not just for the many benefits it gives the skin, but also for its deeply moisturizing properties that help the hair.
It’s said to be really beneficial for people with dry scalps, dry or damaged hair, frizz, heat damage, as well as dull, lackluster hair.
Here’s a number of reasons to consider using bentonite clay on your hair:
It cleanses the hair without stripping it
Like clarifying shampoos, bentonite clay is effective in deeply cleansing your hair and getting rid of product build-up and grime.
But, this comes with better benefits!
Unlike commercial shampoos which strip the hair of its natural moisture, bentonite clay can achieve the same deep hair cleanse without leaving your tresses all dried-out.
This is because of its negative charge, which adheres to toxins in your positively-charged hair.
In doing so, it’s sure to only target the build-up and grime detrimental to your scalp’s health, while keeping all the good stuff that can keep it healthy.
It helps fight against dandruff
By cleansing the hair of dirt, oil, and product build-up, bentonite clay is able to effectively fight against dandruff.
Without excess sebum in the scalp, dandruff cannot form, and existing dandruff can also be removed.
The Malassezia fungus, touted to be the cause behind dandruff, only grows in the scalp when it has excess oil, after all.
It detoxifies both the scalp and the hair
Bentonite clay’s cleansing properties also make it a protective barrier against potential bacterial and fungal infections on the scalp.
Its anti-bacterial properties also help alleviate issues in the scalp, like dryness and itchiness.
It aids in product absorption
Another addition to bentonite clay’s many properties beneficial to the hair is that it also gets to open up the hair cuticle for better absorption.
This is exceptionally helpful in making sure your hair get the moisture and nutrients you need before the cuticles close and lock all the goodness in!
It enhances curl definition
Bentonite clay’s moisturizing properties, make your ringlets livelier and healthier.
What bentonite clay does is it helps your curls to clump properly – this way, curl definition is promoted, regardless of what your hair type is!
It makes the hair shinier
Shiny hair definitely comes as a result of healthy, moisturized hair, and that’s something bentonite clay is good at!
By itself, bentonite clay already contains a lot of moisture, which makes it great for taming frizzy hair, as well as rejuvenating dry and damaged hair, dry scalps, and heat-damaged hair.
What’s more, since bentonite clay lets your hair absorb and retain moisture longer, that’s bound to leave your hair looking all smooth and lustrous!
It strengthens hair and promotes growth
Added nutrients and moisture pave the way for stronger hair.
Aside from this, though, bentonite clay’s sodium, calcium, and potassium traces all contribute towards hair growth.
In fact, these are all necessary to aid in hair growth!
What’s more, they also cleanse hair follicles.
This facilitates hair growth while ensuring the hair grows strong and healthy at the same time.
How To Use Bentonite Clay On The Hair
There are different ways of applying bentonite clay to the hair, but there are two that are most common: as a hair mask, or as a substitute for shampoo.
Using bentonite clay as a hair mask
If you’re after extra moisture for your hair through a hair mask, this recipe is for you.
This is applied less often to the hair, which saves you precious time!
- Non-metal measuring equipment, bowl, and whisk/spatula
- ½ cup of bentonite clay
- 3 to 9 tablespoons of water*
- 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar**
- 3 tablespoons of natural oils (such as coconut oil, castor oil, or olive oil)**
* the volume of water you will add for the recipe depends on your use of other liquids (oil and vinegar) in the mixture
** both vinegar and oils are optional, but are recommended for better results
- Measure the bentonite clay then transfer to a non-metal bowl
- Add essential oil/s of choice, if using, to the bowl. Mix using a non-metal whisk, spoon, or spatula
- Add apple cider vinegar, if using, to the mixture. Let the mixture rest and aerate for around 15 seconds.
- Add enough water until the consistency of the mixture starts to feel like Greek yogurt.
- Wet your hair and divide it into sections for easier application.
- Get some of the hair mask and apply it to one section at a time, starting from the roots and working your way down the tips. Do this until all sections are covered.
- If the mask starts to harden, spray water onto your hair to keep it damp.
- Roll up your hair and then keep it in place using a shower cap.
- Leave the mask on for around 20 minutes before rinsing.
- Use warm water to rinse out the water. Shampoo can be used to help with the washing.
- Apply conditioner then rinse your hair again.
- Apply the mask sparingly, around once a week.
Using bentonite clay as a cleanser
For that deep cleanse and extra shine, you can actually use bentonite clay for washing your hair instead of shampoo.
It’s quick and easy!
This is all you need:
- Non-metal measuring cups, bowl, and spoon
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup of bentonite clay
Directions and Application
- Place all ingredients in a non-metal bowl. Mix using a non-metal spoon or spatula.
- Use the mixture in place of shampoo.
- Let it sit for 3 minutes and then rinse off with water.
- Use as often as you use shampoo.
How Often Can I Use Bentonite Clay On My Hair?
Now, while you might feel excited about using bentonite clay for the hair, remember that everything must be done in moderation!
Using the product too often may end up ruining the hair, so we’d like to watch out for that!
In that regard, it’s important to know how often you should use bentonite clay on the hair.
Generally, if you have oily hair, it might be alright to use bentonite clay regularly.
However, the same isn’t the case for dry hair.
As you know, bentonite clay cleanses the hair and removes excess oil or sebum, along with product build-up.
Using it too much on a dry scalp, which doesn’t produce much oil, may strip it of the oils it needs to keep hydrated.
This is a key consideration when determining how often you should use bentonite clay on the hair.
In general, it’s really up to the individual to decide how often a hair mask should be used.
That applies to bentonite clay as well.
If you have oily hair, it would be good to start using a bentonite clay mask once a week, and then see how that affects your hair.
If you feel that you need to use it more often, then you can do so.
Once a week might be enough for people with dry scalps.
However, if you feel that it’s still stripping your hair of too much oil, then you may want to decrease your frequency of use.
For the times you will be using a bentonite clay hair mask, though, remember also to keep the mask on for at most 20 minutes.
The ions in bentonite clay can adhere to and remove your hair’s impurities in around 10 to 20 minutes, so that should be enough time.
Leaving it longer risks having it harden in your hair, which will make it difficult and messy to remove.
Dos And Don’ts When Using Bentonite Clay On Hair
In summary, here are a few things to remember in using bentonite clay for the hair:
- Use a non-metal (plastic or wooden) bowl and spoon in mixing the bentonite clay, as metals can interfere with the ions in the clay itself
- Check if you have allergic reactions to using clay on your skin
- Apply bentonite clay if your hair is in need of cleansing and moisture
- Wet the hair and divide it into sections before applying bentonite clay
- Condition right after using bentonite clay on your hair
- Use bentonite clay on chemically-treated hair
- Use bentonite clay if you have a dry scalp
- Keep it on for more than 20 minutes
Suffering from dry hair and frizz? Want to give your hair a reset and a detox?
Bentonite clay is hailed as the ultimate detox mask for the hair (and even the skin) holds a lot of promise fixing some of the issues you have with your tresses.
However, as with all-natural remedies, it takes time for you to know if it’s the right one for you.
There’s also no set frequency for the application of bentonite clay on the hair, so this is something you’ll have to see for yourself.
It really has the potential of solving your hair woes, you may want to try it out.
It might just be what you need for healthier, shinier hair.