The Amazing Benefits Of Bentonite Clay For Hair

Make the most of this natural remedy to address and tackle various hair issues.

Reviewed by Tiffany Young, Certified Trichology Practitioner Tiffany Young Tiffany YoungCertified Trichology Practitioner facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years

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.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Bentonite Clay

What Is It?
Fine powdered clay produced from the aging of volcanic ash.

What Are Its Benefits?
It helps clean the scalp and get rid of dandruff. It is rich in minerals and aids in hair growth, protects from infection, and makes the hair shiny.

Who Can Use It?
Can be used by all hair types

How Often?
Can be used as required

It is usually safe, but conduct a patch test if required or unsure.

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. It has immense potential for effective hair and scalp pore cleansing and sebum regulation. Tons of women out there have seen an improvement in their oily, acne-prone skin after using a bentonite clay facial mask.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Bentonite clay is named after Fort Benton in Wyoming, Western United States. It was first found in Montmorillon, a region of France, and is also known as Montmorillonite clay.

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?

Bentonite clay may help manage dandruff
Image: Shutterstock

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. It may help in excess hair and scalp oil absorption.

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 and scalp nourishment. Here are all how it is beneficial for your hair:

  1. 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 hair and scalp fungal infection prevention is possible. It also scrapes off dandruff that has already accumulated on the head.
  2. 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).
  3. 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. You can observe hair and scalp bacteria prevention with the antibacterial properties of clay minerals (5).
  4. 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.

Hair loss prevention is possible with this hair and scalp detox along with an optimal hair pH balance.

protip_icon Trivia
People in ancient Iran used bentonite clay as a hair cleanser and softener. This practice is still prevalent in many places.

Nikole, a blogger, shared her experience of using bentonite clay for hair. According to her, bentonite clay makes her hair soft and shiny while enhancing her natural curl pattern. She stated, “I absolutely love Bentonite Clay treatments. I usually do them about once a month and it always leaves my hair soft, manageable, and strong! I also have better curl definition and tons of body (i)!”

Thus, along with hair volume enhancement, you may also notice hair texture improvement after using bentonite clay. It provides hair and scalp irritation relief with a satisfying scalp exfoliation. Find out more beauty benefits of bentonite clay here.

Bentonite Clay For Natural Hair (Type 4 Kinky Hair)

Benefits of bentonite clay for type 4 kinky natural hair
Image: Shutterstock

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. This clay provides the hair and scalp rejuvenation you were waiting for. It gently cleanses your scalp while deeply cleansing your hair. Efficient hair and scalp impurities removal is made possible by bentonite clay. Hair moisture retention is attained by drawing out impurities, which allows the hair to absorb better. As a result, you end up with elongated and supremely defined curls. You may see improvement in hair elasticity and in hair frizz control.

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

Bentonite clay and other ingredients for hair mask.
Image: Shutterstock
  • ½ cup bentonite clay
  • 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ tablespoon castor oil
  • ½ tablespoon almond oil
  • Water
  • Plastic or glass bowl
  • Wooden spoon
What To Do
  1. Mix the bentonite clay, coconut oil, castor oil, and almond oil in the bowl with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar to the bowl and let it froth for 15 seconds before mixing it vigorously.
  3. 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

A woman applying hair mask to her hair
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Rinse your hair with water to wet it. This will help in applying the hair mask smoothly.
  2. Pick up handfuls of hair at a time and apply the bentonite clay mask from the roots to the tips.
  3. If your hair starts drying, dampen it again with the help of a spray bottle.
  4. Roll up your hair and put on a shower cap.
  5. Leave the mask in for 20 minutes.
  6. Rinse out the mask with warm water. You can use shampoo.
  7. Condition your hair before rinsing it again.

Bentonite Clay Hair Wash

Bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar as ingredients for hair wash
Image: Shutterstock

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
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a plastic mug/bowl.
  2. Pour this hair wash all over your hair after shampooing it.
  3. 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!

However, accidentally ingesting or inhaling bentonite may cause health complication. Check them out in the next section.

Possible Risks Of Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay has various benefits but also comes with potential risks.

  • Inhaling fine clay dust can irritate the lungs, so use a mask when handling powdered bentonite. In a study with rats, exposure to high levels of bentonite nanoparticles (BNPs) increased levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) indicating damage to lung tissue and inflammation (6). However, lower BNP concentrations seemed less toxic.
  • Avoid working with bentonite when near kids or animals. One case study mentions the demise of a cat who had eaten bentonite clay which led to reduced levels of red blood cells and potassium in the body (7).

Infographic: 4 Best Benefits Of Bentonite Clay

Natural bentonite clay is a hair cleanser and rids your scalp of impurities and excess oil. In addition, organic clay is an apt substitute for processed chemicals. The infographic below lists four benefits of bentonite clay. Scroll down to check it out!

4 best benefits of bentonite clay (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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 anti-dandruff ingredient prevents infections and protects the hair. Hair shine enhancement is accompanied by hair growth promotion. Bentonite clay can be used as a deep cleansing and hair 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 achieves hair curl definition 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.

Key Takeaways

  • Bentonite clay is made from weathering volcanic ash in water and then sun-dried before being sold as a hair mask.
  • The regular usage of bentonite clay can help remove dandruff, promote hair growth, and protect your scalp and hair from infections.
  • You can mix bentonite clay with apple cider vinegar and water as a post-wash rinse.
Benefits Of Bentonite Clay For Hair

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Transform your hair with a Bentonite clay mask without using shampoo. Watch this video to learn its amazing benefits and how you can experience them too!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Bentonite Clay as a Natural Remedy A Brief Review
  2. Bentonite Bandaids and Borborygmi
  3. Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents
  4. Application of Bentonite Clay for Human Use
  5. Broad-spectrum in vitro antibacterial activities of clay minerals against antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens
  6. Effects of bentonite nanoparticles inhalation on lung tissue and blood antioxidant indices in a rat model
  7. Bentonite clay as a natural remedy: a brief review
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Tiffany Young

Tiffany YoungCertified Trichology Practitioner

Tiffany Young is the CEO and founder of ThinHairThick and a certified trichology practitioner with 6 years of experience. She is also a recognized expert in the hair and beauty industry with celebrity clientele. Her own personal struggles with hair loss created an opportunity for her to deep-dive into learning all things related to medical conditions and external factors that contribute to hair loss.

Read full bio of Tiffany Young