A couple of years ago, I tried a bentonite clay hair mask after seeing a few posts about how amazing it was for clarifying hair and reviving curls. However, when I tried it, it left my hair dry and did nothing special for my curls. So, I left bentonite clay for hair alone and solely used it for occasional facials.
Fast forward to April 2012. I decided to try Terressentials Mud Wash (TMW) after watching Naptural85’s YouTube video on it and reading many raving reviews. I ended up liking it, but I did NOT like the price. Actually, the price of the product isn’t horrible at $10.75 for 8 oz. It was the $8+ shipping and how much I needed to use for my hair that were the deal breakers. So, I decided at that time that I would try to make my own. You see, the first two ingredients in TMW are aloe vera juice (AVJ) and bentonite clay. So, I started researching recipes, even bought some nettle and marshmallow root extract for that purpose. But, I quickly lost interest. I think it was because I discovered Aubrey GPB and Honeysuckle Rose (HSR) conditioners, which GAVE. ME. LIFE.
Anywho, my interest in trying to make a bentonite clay mask was recently rekindled after I tried the prototype for Wonder Curl’s (WC) Cleansing Clay Mask. I’ve been toying around with building an all-natural (products) hair regimen. But, a cleanser and detangler are tricky areas for me (you know I LOVE me some DevaCare No Poo and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration). Well, the WC Cleansing Clay, TMW and bentonite clay masks all serve those dual purposes: cleanser and detangler. But, since WC’s mask won’t be out for a while and TMW is so expensive (though I do still have a bottle under my sink), I decided to try to make my own mask again.
The first thing I revisited was this YouTube video on the pH of bentonite clay when mixed with water versus AVJ. Bentonite clay is alkaline and, when mixed with AVJ, it achieves an acidic pH of 4.0, which is close to the normal range for hair (4.5-5.5). When mixed with water, the pH remains in the alkaline range of 9.
Next, I took a look at a recipe I found on HappyHairJourney.com: My Bentonite Clay Cleanser Recipe.
1/2 cup Bentonite clay
1/2 cup AVJ (aloe vera juice)
1/4 cup ACV (apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2-3 drops of each of these essential oils (Rosemary, lavender, peppermint & lemon)
And naturally, I also read this post by La Coco Bella that I shared last week.
Ultimately, I decided to wing it with the ingredients that I already had in the house. And, I’ll be honest, I didn’t measure anything, I just threw a little of this, a little of that (EOs and extracts), a lot of this and a lot of that (bentonite clay and AVJ) together until the consistency looked right.
My Bentonite Clay Hair Mask “Recipe”:
- 4 heaping teaspoons of Bentonite clay
- AVJ (enough to make the consistency of the clay like a thick batter)
A few drops of each of the following hair friendly EOs:
- Cedarwood (treats dandruff and hair loss, improves hair quality)
- Lavender (treats dandruff, itching, controls breakage, and stimulates hair growth)
- Rosemary (stimulates hair growth)
- Thyme (stimulates hair growth)
An eye dropper full of each of the following extracts:
- Marshmallow Root (mucilage provides slip)
- Nettle Leaf (promotes hair re-growth, thickens hair, adds shine)
I mixed and mixed and mixed all of the ingredients in a plastic take-out container with a PLASTIC spoon (don’t use metal; bentonite clay draws toxins out due to its negative electric charge; metal decreases the clay’s potency).
I made the clay Friday evening and refrigerated it overnight. I also applied my typical pre-poo of Aubrey GPB, HSR and Vatika Oil, covered with a plastic baggie and wore my heat turban for about an hour. Then, I slept in the pre-poo and baggie.
- I rinsed the pre-poo out of my hair with warm water from the kitchen sink for several minutes.
- Next, I applied the bentonite clay mask to my hair in sections, massaging it into my scalp first and then smooshing the clay down the length of my hair. I applied the mask like I would henna.
- I worked my hair in 6 sections (3 on each side of my head; 1 in front, 2 in back).
- I twisted each section, clipped my ends to the top of my head, and donned a plastic cap for about 45 minutes.
- Then, I hopped back in the shower, released the twists on one side of my head, and rinsed out the bentonite clay.
- After I rinsed out most of the clay, I gently finger detangled, and then I repeated on the other half of my head.
- Next, I got out of the shower and applied Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner to DC (30-45 min. w/heat).
- Cooled and sealed with diluted Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse.
- Finally, I applied a DIY moisturizing flaxseed gel (post on that coming soon!) and placed my hair into two braids. (I had to get out of the house for lunch with the Sci-5ive and didn’t have time to do anything else.)
The jury’s still out on this one ladies. To be brutally honest, my hair felt HEAVILY coated as I rinsed and detangled it. Detangling wasn’t bad overall, but my hair felt somewhat gummy, like the strands were sticking together because of the pre-poo residue. I had one really bad knot that it took HE HH and 10 minutes or so to detangle (meaning, I worked most of the strands of hair out of the knot, got it as close to the ends of the strands as I could, and then cut it out). After I was done detangling and rinsing, my hair still felt coated and my curls were NOT popping as I’d hoped. In fact, I think they almost looked better after rinsing the pre-poo. I suspect that my pre-poo was too heavy for the clay mask to cleanse completely. For real, I was thinking that I would end up washing my hair with shampoo when I got home from lunch. But, by that time, my hair had dried and it didn’t feel tacky anymore. In fact, it felt very soft and moisturized. It was also very shiny. So, I just left it in the two braids until that evening, when I went out again. It was still a little damp, so it frizzed a bit. I had an okay braid-out, but it wasn’t anything to write home about … hence why there are no pictures of it. I’m presently in a bun. Surprise, surprise.
Anywho, although my results were less than stellar, I’m not ready to give up on a DIY bentonite clay hair mask yet. I think things may have gone better if I had shampooed my pre-poo out lightly first. Also, I’m interested in trying different recipes, such as those that use ACV and carrier oils (like EVOO). Shoot, Cocoberrie provided a whole LIST of YouTubers with recipes in the comments on this post. I haven’t even delved into those yet!! So, I’m thinking one of those might lend me better results or at least point me in the right direction. And, in regard to my attempt at jerry-rigging my own recipe, I think that marshmallow root and nettle powders might work better for a clay mask than the extracts. Unfortunately, my local health food store only carries the extracts and the powders are pretty expensive on Amazon (and few have Super Saver Shipping). So, if any of you have any leads on where I can get Marshmallow Root and Nettle Leaf powders at a good price (shoot, throw Burdock Root in too), holla atcha girl!! ;)
Until next time …
Do you make your own DIY, homemade, all-natural cleanser and/or detangler that’s the bee’s knees? If so, DISH please!!