My Second Bentonite Clay Hair Mask

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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.

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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).

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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.

Wash Day:

  • 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.

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  • 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.)

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The Verdict:
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 …

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Do you make your own DIY, homemade, all-natural cleanser and/or detangler that’s the bee’s knees? If so, DISH please!!

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25 responses »

  1. Hi!

    I’m not really sure where you can get the powders, but I use burdock root, nettle leaf, rosemary and catnip teas in my daily spritz. I just boil about 3/4 cup of filtered water and steep the tea bags (one of each and two of the catnip because its great for detangling and moisture) for a few hours, wring out the tea bags and am left with very dark brown water. I then add this to my spritz along with my other ingredients and it works great!

    Don’t know if this helps you, but it might be a good way to get a hold of some of the products more cheaply than having to buy the powders. Maybe you can combine this small amount of tea water with your aloe Vera juice.

    Just a thought!

    Blessings!
    Aja

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    • I’ve heard of using teas and catnip! I’ll have to see if my Shoprite carries them. I’d prefer the powders so that I don’t have to cook the teas in advance and can just mix and go. But, if I can’t find them, I’ll have to give the teas a try! Thank you!

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  2. I tried Roots4U45’s (from YouTube) Lemon Mud Wash recipe this weekend and LOVED it. Her recipe doesn’t call for ACV which I have to be very careful with the amounts I use as it can make my hair feel dry and straw-like. Instead, I used Naptural85’s process of soaking hair with diluted ACV first, rinsing then “shampooing” with the mud wash (rubbing it in like she does and also letting it sit on my head for an hour under a plastic cap before rinsing out trying to do a mini “detox” I guess). I also used bentonite clay instead of rhassoul clay. This is my first time using mud wash and my hair felt very soft, moisturized and my curls had a spring to them that I haven’t seen in a LONG time. I didn’t even have to use a rinse out conditioner afterwards. I just applied your modified Kimmaytube leave-in and sealed with mango butter. In the days after using it this weekend, my hair still appears shiny and fresh in my twists.

    I usually pre-poo and deep conditioning before I shampoo and I didn’t do either this weekend because I read about the mud wash trying to remove build up and didn’t want it to have to try to remove a ton of product the first time around.

    By the way, Roots4U45’s lemon mud wash smells heavenly….like lemon pie.

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    • Ky G, I’ve watched that video before and it looks great, but far too many ingredients and effort for me!! LOL!! I try to avoid anything too complicated, involved or that requires ingredients that I don’t already have on hand. It already takes me long enough to do my hair using bottled products! LOL!! But thank you and I’m sure this will help someone reading he comments!!

      As to the pre-poo/DC …. yeah, I’m sure the clay would have worked a lot better if I hadn’t done it. But, I hate skipping that step. So, I should have at least shampooed first. I was hoping rinsing well would help, but no deal.

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  3. I think your results might be different if you don’t pre poo, I have been using Terressentials Lemon Mud Wash and never had those problems. I will say I don’t find the mud wash to be amazing although I notice no itchy scalp or dandruff.. I will try to make my own though, shipping is a KILLER!!!

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    • Yeah, I agree. But, as I said above, hate skipping it as I feel it does so much for my hair. I didn’t pre-poo when I used the TMW either. I think I’ll use the clay more as a treatment then my regular cleanser. Then, I might be willing to skip my pre-poo/DC. And yeah, the shipping is RIDIC!

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      • When using bentonite clay I have found that it doesnt clean by itself, so I add a whisper of baking soda with my clay and warm water to rinse and it gets all the build up out of my hair, if you are skittish about ph well you dont want to use baking soda but if you arent, you can try it

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  4. Also adding: I diluted my mud wash 50/50 with filtered water and applied it with an applicator bottle like missT1806 does in her “No Terressentials? No Worries! Mud Wash Edition!” Video

    Roots4U45 video
    Lemon Hair Mud Wash

    missT1806 video
    “No Terressentials? No Worries! Mud Wash Edition!”

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    • I diluted it the first time I used it too, but it was so messy. So, I didn’t bother after. LOL! I think Naptural85 stopped diluting too. I’ve also watched videos of making a bottle go further by mixing it with more bentonite clay and AVJ. I’ll have to watch the second video you linked.

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  5. I rinse out any prepoo with lots of warm water followed by a massage and rinse with warm diluted ACV in water 1:3 prior to applying my Terressentials LCL.

    I purchased several hair herbs from Penn Herb Company in Philadelphia (at their old location back in 2011-2012?) when trying to DIY clay wash a while back.

    Tip – I recommend using very few drops of lemongrass essential oil in your recipes – I find it makes my scalp tingle uncomfortably (like the terressentials LCL does). You can search Pennherb(dot)com for whole and powdered herbs, and I like vitacost(dot)com for my oils.

    Thanks for posting this video Shelli! Very helpful!

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    • p.s. their 1oz packets were elegantly made, approx 5″ x 8″, in a dark green plastic ziploc packet, with a small window to view the product. I stack them in a tray and protect from light.

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      • Thanks TTIOT!! Hmmmm, maybe I’ll try the ACV trick to see if that lets me keep my pre-poo in my wash routine! I’m going to leave the lemongrass alone as I don’t like uncomfortable tingling! LOL!! I never had that with TMW or this. I may add tee trea oil to my mix though as that has a tingle and is supposed to be good for scalp health. I get my EOs from my local health food store. But, I’ll have to check out the pennaherb for the powdered herbs! Thanks!

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  6. Hi! I was just curious as to where you can find the essentials oils you are referring to (cedar wood, rosemary, thyme,etc…also the nettle leaf). Thank you! I love your site!!

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    • Hi Tiffany! Thank you so much!! I get my EOs from a small, local health food store. But, you can get them on Amazon (many times with free shipping when you buy $25 worth of stuff) or, you can check out Vitacost as The Truth is Out There indicated above.

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  7. I have seborrhea and have been looking for something to reduce the oil on my scalp without drying out my hair. I mentioned the clay to hubby, but he is concerned about clogging our drains.

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  8. I mix rhassoul clay ( powder) with water for a mix. I find because it is finer ( ground) it is better than using bentonite for me. ( I tried the bentonite but it no worky well… lol). I like the rhassoul clay but I think I like the terressentials best. The only way I see nice benefits is when I do a sort of detox. Whenever I just do one wash especially after a week of doing products, it is kinda gummy and dull and hard to detangle. When I do several applications and then only use simple things ( like shea butter or oil) in my hair, it feel just fine. Just my 2 cent!

    ~M

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  9. So, my skin is…annoying. It isn’t awful looking, I’m just pale so it’s blotchy and I break out more than a normal. It’s not terrible, but I haven’t felt okay with my skin since middle school. I’ve tried everything.

    Seriously. I’ve tried proactive, prescription medicine, thousands of cleansers

    Long story short, I learned of the Citrus Clear Products – specifically the Clay Mask – and I thought…well, what do have to lose?

    You guys, I left a decent layer on my skin for 10 minutes, and did what the instructions said, and my skin wasn’t perfect, but it was brighter, more even toned, and healthier looking after just the first use.

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