You must have heard that bentonite clay can do wonders for your skin. But are you aware of the benefits of bentonite clay for hair? It is said that this soft and absorbent clay acts as a hair cleanser and can help remove impurities and excess oil from your scalp (1). Moreover, it is a natural, organic alternative to products that are chemically processed or contain harmful toxins. Do you want to try it for yourself? Keep reading to learn more about how to incorporate bentonite clay into your hair care routine.
In This Article
What Is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is a natural healing clay that is mined directly from the earth. Also known as Aztec Indian Healing clay, bentonite clay is an absorbent aluminum phyllosilicate clay. It is formed by the weathering of volcanic ash (how cool is that?!) in the presence of water (2), (3). Bentonite clay is dried in the sun before being sold as a facial or hair mask.
Bentonite clay is a pretty cool product to use on your skin as it works wonders in lifting toxins and getting rid of impurities. Tons of women out there have seen an improvement in their oily, acne-prone skin after using a bentonite clay facial mask.
So, what about its benefits for hair, you ask? Well, there are quite a few, so let us list them out for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Bentonite Clay For Hair?
There are two main reasons why bentonite clay has a ton of benefits. First, because it is negatively charged (when combined with water or apple cider vinegar). It draws out toxins from the hair, which is positively charged. Second, it contains many minerals that are essential for hair growth like sodium, potassium, and calcium (4). Pretty neat, huh? It comes as no surprise that it is a holy grail product for hair. Here are all how it is beneficial for your hair:
- It gets rid of dandruff: Dandruff forms when a fungus called Malassezia infects your scalp. This fungus thrives on the extra sebum that is secreted by your scalp. Bentonite clay soaks up this extra sebum and makes your scalp inhospitable for this fungus, thus preventing the formation of more dandruff. It also scrapes off dandruff that has already accumulated on the head.
- Aids hair growth: As we mentioned earlier, bentonite clay contains sodium, potassium, and calcium – minerals that are essential for hair growth. Thus, according to animal studies, it can boost hair growth (1).
- Protects from infections: We’ve already talked about how the negatively charged bentonite clay mask draws out toxins from your positively charged hair. It also cleanses your scalp of oil and buildup. Additionally, clay minerals exhibit antibacterial properties that may help protect your hair and scalp from bacterial and fungal infections (5).
- Adds shine to your hair: Besides working as an excellent hair mask, bentonite clay also makes for an excellent hair rinse that adds intense shine to your hair.
Find out more beauty benefits of bentonite clay here.
Bentonite Clay For Natural Hair (Type 4 Kinky Hair)
Anyone with type 4 kinky hair knows that it is thick, coarse, extremely fragile, and always in need of moisturization. A bentonite clay hair mask works like a charm for this hair type. It gently cleanses your scalp while deeply cleansing your hair. It draws out impurities, which allows the hair to absorb and retain moisture better. As a result, you end up with elongated and supremely defined curls.
We are sure you are now fully aboard this bentonite clay train. Let’s look at how you can make a hair mask with it!
How To Make A Bentonite Clay Hair Mask
- ½ cup bentonite clay
- 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ tablespoon castor oil
- ½ tablespoon almond oil
- Plastic or glass bowl
- Wooden spoon
What To Do
- Mix the bentonite clay, coconut oil, castor oil, and almond oil in the bowl with a wooden spoon.
- Add the apple cider vinegar to the bowl and let it froth for 15 seconds before mixing it vigorously.
- Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes. It should form a smooth, yogurt-like consistency. Make sure there are no lumps.
How To Apply Bentonite Clay For Hair Growth
- Rinse your hair with water to wet it. This will help in applying the hair mask smoothly.
- Pick up handfuls of hair at a time and apply the bentonite clay mask from the roots to the tips.
- If your hair starts drying, dampen it again with the help of a spray bottle.
- Roll up your hair and put on a shower cap.
- Leave the mask in for 20 minutes.
- Rinse out the mask with warm water. You can use shampoo.
- Condition your hair before rinsing it again.
Bentonite Clay Hair Wash
If shiny hair is what you desire, that’s exactly what you’ll get with this simple bentonite clay hair wash that takes just 2 minutes to make.
- 2 tablespoons bentonite clay
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup of water
What To Do
- Combine all the ingredients in a plastic mug/bowl.
- Pour this hair wash all over your hair after shampooing it.
- Let it sit for 3 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
Yes, bentonite clay is pretty amazing for your hair. But it also comes with its share of precautions that need to be taken to make sure you don’t ruin your hair or your bathroom!
- Don’t use a metal bowl or spoon when making your bentonite hair mask. Bentonite clay reacts pretty quickly when it comes in contact with metal, meaning its benefits would be rendered null by the time you apply it to your hair.
- You will need to wash off the hair mask with warm water before it is completely dry as it can be pretty difficult to remove once it dries up.
- Run some hot water down the drain after washing off the bentonite hair mask so that it does not clog up your plumbing.
Now that you know everything there is to know about making and applying bentonite clay to your hair, let’s see if it has any side effects.
Side Effects Of Bentonite Clay
Concerns have been raised about the fact that bentonite clay contains aluminum and whether it’s safe to be used on our body. However, there is no need to worry about this as our bodies also contain aluminum and it’s safe to use it on our face, body, and hair. Besides, the high negative charge of bentonite clay makes it impossible to leach into your body through your skin. So, rest easy!
The benefits of bentonite clay for the hair are numerous! It contains essential nutrients, like calcium, that aid hair growth. When combined with water or apple cider vinegar, it flushes out toxins from the scalp. This ingredient reduces dandruff, stimulates hair growth, prevents infections, protects the hair, and increases hair shine. Bentonite clay can be used as a deep cleansing and conditioning treatment for type 4 coily hair. While bentonite clay is mostly considered safe, there are some instances where you need to be careful. Remember to read the precautions mentioned above before using bentonite clay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is bentonite clay a deep conditioner?
No. Bentonite clay has strong cleansing properties. Although it can cleanse your hair of product build-up and dirt, it can also draw out natural oils from your hair. Your hair may feel dry after using bentonite clay, so you will need a separate deep conditioner to balance its effects.
Can you leave bentonite clay on your hair overnight?
No. You can let bentonite clay sit on your hair only for 30-45 minutes. Leaving it on for longer can make your hair dry.
How does bentonite clay define curls?
Bentonite clay defines curls by drawing out product build-up, dirt, and toxins that weigh curly hair down. This also lets the hair absorb more moisture and other products.
Does bentonite clay expire?
Yes. If the bentonite clay pack is unopened, it may last for 1-2 years. If the pack is opened, it will last for 3-6 months, after which the minerals in the clay will start breaking down, which can irritate your skin and scalp.
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- Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents
- Application of Bentonite Clay for Human Use
- Broad-spectrum in vitro antibacterial activities of clay minerals against antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens