Terressentials Mud Wash: The Newly Initiated


Yup. I finally took the Terressentials Mud Wash (TMW) plunge! Since November, my feelings have been bouncing between an intense desire to try it and a fear of the results. My intense desire was due to reading the claims of amazing post-mud wash hair: fullness, shine, body, easy peasy detangling, no need for conditioner, all natural. My fear was related to reading other reviews that indicated hair was tacky, coated and difficult to detangle after the wash. After having my desire to try it reignited and placing the order in mid-March (see here for what prompted the plunge), I became hesitant again once it arrived. I wondered if the Terressentials would remove the protein treatments I’ve come to view as essential components of my regimen. My concern arose due to these statements on Terressentials FAQs page:

Chemical hair treatments permanently alter the outer layer of the hair shaft creating a porous cuticle – under a microscope chemically treated hair looks like Swiss cheese. Once hair is damaged by chemical colorings, perms or straightening chemicals, people are sold a myriad of synthetic products that artificially coat the hair with plastic or protein polymers to make it look and feel undamaged. The more damaged the hair, the more porous it becomes; the more porous the hair, the more it absorbs these synthetic “protein” polymers (e.g. soy, wheat or oat proteins – that are NOT edible foods), plastic polymers such as PVP (petrochemical polyvinyl pyrrolidone) and gum coating agents. These are the substances the “mud” removes in the detox protocol, but the detox process takes time.

Sometimes when people begin using the Hair Wash, their hair may feel stiff, sticky, oily, heavy or dry. This feeling may persist until the residues of protein and plastic polymers have been completely removed …

It is highly likely that your current shampoo, conditioner, hairspray or other styling product contains some type of petrochemical polymer – a PVP vinyl, acrylate, silicone, carbomer, or hydrolyzed synthetic protein (soy, wheat, oat) polymer – all of which add a coating to the hair to make damaged hair appear undamaged. These plastic polymers also glue broken hairs together. Since polymers are difficult to remove with a gentle clay cleanser, it usually takes several washings to completely remove these gummy, oily residues from the hair. As these materials are being removed from the hair, hair may feel stiff, sticky or dry. It may even be a bit more difficult to comb out, especially if it’s long. (emphasis added)

Maybe you understand my hesitation now? I mean, I care about the ingredients in my products, but am no where near using all-natural/organic products. But, after reading the Terresentials FAQS for, like, the 100th time, I realized hydrolized animal protein (as contained in ApHogee) wasn’t listed. In addition, several ladies told me that they continued to use TMW with their normal, non-natural products with no problem. Then, fellow blogger EmilyCottonTop eased my mind further with her posts about loving Terressentials AND ApHogee. Finally, I came across this interesting thread in the NaturallyCurly.com forums, where someone shared the link to this thought-provoking video:

via Denimpixie (aka Quest for the Perfect Curl)

Things that make you go hmmmmmm …

So, finally, after all of that, I suspected that my hair would survive the introduction of TMW into my normal, cone, animal protein and polyquat laden regimen;). And here is how it went!

The Process
As most of you know, I’ve been researching this one for a while and have shared several posts on the Terressentials Mud Wash, including one with a link to Naptural85’s video tutorial. I’m not going to re-hash any of that here. However, if you are interested in checking those out, just use the “Search” box and type in “Terressentials” to find all of the posts on this topic:)!

Ultimately, I decided that I was not going to follow the 7 day detox protocol as the folks over at Terressentials indicated that this was for those who wash daily. Therefore, I plan to shampoo with the TMW once a week based upon my normal wash schedule.

So, this is what I did:

  • I purchased two “flavors”: Lavender Gardens and Left Coast Lemon. I decided to go with the Left Coast Lemon first as I prefer the light, citrusy smell over the stronger floral scent of the Lavender Gardens.
  • Divided hair into 8 sections and twisted each one (I did not pre-poo or detangle).
  • Thoroughly wet my hair in the kitchen sink.
  • Diluted about 3-4 tablespoons of TMW with filtered water in a small plastic bowl and mixed using my fingers (I used too much water, resulting in a runny mix). NOTE: I had to mix more wash as I ran out after finishing half of my hair.
  • Poured diluted TMW into a dye applicator bottle for ease of application (since it was so watery!).
  • Removed first twist and applied TMW to the roots, massaging it into scalp. Then applied more wash down length of hair, working it in and finger detangling the section before re-twisting.
  • Repeated until all sections were treated (this probably took about 45 minutes; I was trying to be very thorough as I wasn’t following the 3 wash or 7 day detox protocol).
  • “Baked” hair for about 10-15 minutes with blow dryer. I did this as the Terressentials FAQs page indicated that the detox process can be sped up and absorption ehnaced by “baking” the mud under the sun for 15-20. There was absolutely no sun in sight on Saturday, so I figured the dryer would do!
  • Allowed mud wash to sit on head, uncovered, for an hour or so. This was another tip from the site to speed up the detox process.
  • Hopped in the shower and rinsed mud. Released each twist to rinse and finger detangle under the shower stream.
  • Applied about another tablespoon or so of TMW for a second and final wash and rinsed.

After this process, I didn’t condition at all … no regular conditioner, no deep conditioner, no leave-in conditioner. I wanted to be able to evaluate the unadulterated results from the TMW as so many indicate that no conditioner is necessary after using it.

So, I blotted with a hair cloth and then allowed my hair to air dry (which it did pretty quickly without any product). When my hair was mostly dry, but not quite, I placed about a dime-size amount of JBCO/EVOO mix in my palm, smoothed it and applied to my hair, focusing on the ends. Then, I proceeded to do two strand twists using some Sofn’Free Mold & Hold Wax on the roots of a few of the twists for control and hold.

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My Thoughts
So, what do I think of the Terressentials Mud Wash? I think it … or some variation of it … is a keeper. After the rinsing (which was very easy), my hair felt heavy like it does after a henna treatment, but with less mess and time involved. My hair also looked like a sheet of waves and looked very defined and shiny. I will say that it did have a very slightly coated feeling, but that totally dissipated and was replaced by softness as my hair dried.

In addition to being soft, ,my hair was fluffy and full. I took the opportunity to finally do some two-strand twists, because I suspected that I might be able to achieve a decent, non-anorexic looking, set. I usually twist on dry hair to get the plumpest set possible. I further stacked the deck by trying a technique Chy’sCurlz suggested for fine-strand naturals here. She recommends twisting in the opposite direction of what feels natural in order to form a plumper twist and I agree that it works!

Back to the wash, overall, I really liked it!! The only cons I experienced thus far are the cost due to shipping and, directly related to that, how much I had to use to wash my whole head!! I’m pretty sure I used half of the 8 ounce bottle!! If the bottle lasted for a year, no biggie. If I only got 4 applications out of it but it cost $4-$5 and could be found on the ground, fine. But, at $10.75 a pop, plus approx. $9 for shipping, this stuff needs to go a lot farther or cost a lot less!!

With that being said, I was trying to do a very thorough “detox,” since I had no plans to wash three times or every day for 7 days. Therefore, I don’t think I will need as much wash going forward. Also, maybe half of it won’t end up on the sink next time ;).

“Final” Verdict
So, I know what you’re thinking. Will I buy it again? Is it worth the cost? Hmmmmm … well, I have a bottle and a half to go and I’m going to continue to use it weekly until it’s gone. I did really like the results and the ease of detangling without the need for a pre-poo or any conditioner. However, I’m already on the hunt for a DIY recipe, because I don’t see myself spending that much for something that I may be able to easily and cheaply make at home. I already have the ingredients that I need to make a “mud wash” (aloe vera juice, bentonite clay, carrier oils and essential oils). It won’t be the exact recipe of course, but I think I’ll be putting on my mixtress cap to see if I can come up with something that closely mimics the results at a fraction of the cost. So, stay tuned for more on that front!

In the interim, if I happen to be in Middletown or Frederick, MD, I’ll probably be making a pitstop at a Terressentials store to stock-up, sans the shipping costs!!


Have you been dying to try Terressentials Mud Wash, but have hesitated for some reason? If so, what’s been holding you back?

44 responses »

  1. Great post! Been wanting to use Terresentials for awhile now and I’m currently like you were, reading the facts a thousand times. But maybe it would have to wait some more since I am planning to color my hair.


  2. I love your blog, and you always post such helpful things. However, I think if you’re looking for a product to correct what’s going on with your hair, you’re just going to be throwing good money after bad. Like I said, I follow your site religiously, and your hair changed after you straightened it. I also am a religious follower of Taren916 and saw what her hair looked like with heat damage, which led to her doing another BC. Your ends look exactly the same. I know you’ve put so much effort into growing your hair out, but healthy hair is better than long hair. Let go of those heat damaged ends and move on (and don’t straighten your hair again)!


    • Hi Candice, I thank you for your words of advice, but respectfully disagree. I know where you are coming from, but I also know my hair very well and have pics pre-straightening with which to compare. For example, here is a post with a back view of box braids that I did last summer.


      As you can see, the bottom middle is thinner and straighter. I also have a pic of twists, but have to post that when I get home. That being said, I do need a cut and already have an appt scheduled for 4/20. My hair looks the way it does in the back for several reasons. The henna significantly loosened the curl and it causes my hair to look like I’m transitioning. Second, my crown is shorter (slower growth and breakage prone) and lastly, my nape hair is very fine (in strand thickness and density). So, these combined factors make the ends in the middle look scraggly. I’m planning on taking a couple inches off of the longest length to bring it closer to the shorter area and keeping it at that length to hopefully get the crown to catch up. Plus, I just need a good trim all around as I’ve been searching and destroying for a year. Time to clean up those very old ends.

      So, yeah, those are my observations and plans. I know that the mud wash is not going to “fix” those areas. I tried it because of the claims that it was an all in one wash day product and enhances volume, shine and definition. So far, so good:)!

      Thanks again for your comments though. I know that they are meant with the best of intentions!


      • Just to add to your comments Shelli, The crown of my hair .. grows straight.. I cut it, and it grows back in the same manner, for some people some parts of the hair are just straighter than others. heat damage!? I think not! I agree with you completly I also have followed your hair, for awhile and it behaves as expected. To me it has a natural wavey/curly pattern which is exacerbated with the use of henna, parts of your hair is curlier than others, cutting to even it out will be be great but you def. do not have heat damage.


        • Thanks for the votes of confidence Em and Marsha. Okay, so here is a FB album I just put together to show my nape hair and the change in texture. These pics all pre-date my hair being pressed in February 2012.


          That being said, again, I do need a trim. I think some areas of my hair are outpacing others in regard to growth and retention (hello crown, I’m talking to you! Catch up! LOL!!). But, it’s also been over a year, so I could use some “evening” out. So, 4/20th is the date. I think I’ll be in good hands as she follows the blog:).


          • and you know i have to add my 50 cents LOL

            For starters you are not going to get heat damage from 1 day of straightening. It would be different if you straightened all the time. Take it from a former straightening addict LOL

            I don’t get why people are so against straightening. There’s nothing wrong with doing it once in a while and taking care which you have obviously done.

            I so agree on the whole crown slower growth/breakage thing. Your last post opened my eyes to the fact that I’m probably ripping through my crown when detangling with a comb – even under water with conditioner so I have since removed the comb from my styling regimen for now.

            My last wash went VERY well. I followed one of the ladies method of detangling using water and curl enhancing smoothie just before washing and my hair was amazingly detangled and easy to get through after washing and even deep conditioning with the mud wash.

            You got me sold on the Terresentials though. I think i”m going to get a bottle now lol


  3. LOVES IT! When we get back from Massanutten on Saturday, I’m doing our TMW shampoo on Sunday, thanks for your spin on application. I’m over my blow-out and am missing my curly waves, pray these make ’em POP…wanting BIG WnG hair (=


  4. I just saw the pic of you with the wash in your hair, you should have went on an applied some more to your face Shelli…lol I can just imagine how my mess will look! How was the clean up? Seriously, I think I read it was good for your skin too…or maybe it was one of their other products that doubles as skin product. The Frederick store is so cute, they have these lights that are made out of leaves and are dyed different colors..oh and they had wooden combs and hair forks too!!!


    • LOL!!!! Girl, I was thinking the same thing when I had it all over my face! I have done bentonite clay masks before (with old yogurt … the lactic acid acts as an exfoliant/peel) and liked it! Awwww, the store sounds cute!! Were they nice? You know, the site seems kind of “militant!” LOL!!


  5. Thank you for the post.. I have been mixing my own for a few months.. I have used green tea, acv and aloe vera.. and my last one was with aloe vera juice with some EO.. .. and either way i have mixed it . I love it..
    So go for mixing your own.. I also saw that another blogger mixes her own.. Dominique with All things Onatural..


  6. I just BLEACHED the crap out of my hair, so I will definitely give this a go during Summer haha. Right now I’m trying to baby my hair and keep as much moisture as possible.


  7. I do agree with you. I don’t believe it’s heat damage
    that Shelli has. No one knows their hair more than the person who has the head of hair on their head. There are those who are in denial though, and rather grow long unhealthy hair. A co-worker of mine who is currently transitioning has the most damaged long and stringy ends and I told her that they were damaged and needed to be cut off, but she told me she refused to.


  8. Shelli, Roots4u45 (youtube) has some excellent Terressential dupe’s!!! I have experimented with her recipe and I love it!!! DialJ4Jax does also. In fact her recipe extends the usage of the hair wash. Ck those out.

    Btw…Your hair is beautiful!!! 🙂


    • Yeeeessssss!!! Thank you Margaret!! You guys rock pointing me in the right direction! Probably won’t be able to investigate until this weekend, but I know where to go now!!

      And thank you lady:)!!


  9. @Shelli, you finally took the plunge and I’m glad it worked well for you. I know what you mean about shippping which is why I ordered the 16oz instead of the 8oz, I knew my hair would be okay because I’ve been using bentonite clay in my hair for years and that’s one of the main ingredients in the mud wash. Good luck trying to duplicate it, many on LHCF have tried and failed lol

    I’ll be ordering the LCL 16oz again soon.


    • LOL!!! Thanks Jai!! I figure, I can experiment while I still have some in stock. Maybe I can perfect a recipe that works for me before the T-stuff is gone;)!! I do have 16 ounces, just 8 of the LCL and 8 of the LG. Hoping that the LG is just as effective, even though the scent isn’t my fave.


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  11. Live in downtown Frederick MD and have been using Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash for a little over a year. Whitney (Naptural85) put me on to it. Only use Lavender Garden; its moisturizing and pleasantly fragrant. Hair care products are TPEHW, carrier oils, shea butter, aloe vera juice, ACV, yogurt, honey and henna. Find a simplified regimen works best for my hair and lifestyle!


  12. @mita…Hi!!! Hope you don’t mind. I love Terressentials also. Can you describe your Henna regimen? How are you rinsing your henna out? Do you use a conditioner afterwards? Thanks


    • I’ll still be using HE HH Marsha!! LOL! I didn’t have any problems and several others told me the same, so I’m not really believing that you can’t use any other “synthetic” products claims. I mean, ultimately, it’s bentonite clay and aloe vera juice. I’ve never read anything about either of those or any oils causing problems with non-natural products. So, I’m over the whole, I can’t use anything but “juices and berries” after I start using it;). LOL!!


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  15. do you think the detox would work on hair that has been keratin treated before? I am currently growing the treatment out completely but in the meantime I get my hair straightened weekly to “maintain”. I am seriously over these treatments and want to rock my own curls for the summer. I am thinking that if I use the detox that I can cleanse my hair without having to “wait” for the treatment to grow out. More importantly I can stop straightening my hair risking damage and get on with my natural hair regimen. Any thoughts?? Please don’t use acronyms as I am super new to this and have no idea what they mean. Thanks!! Any advice is welcomed!!


    • LOL! Okay, no acronyms. I think it’s worth a shot LaRea, but I’m not really that familiar with keratin treatments. If it truly is something that washes out, then doing the Terressentials detox may help speed up the process. You could also just make your own mud wash with bentonite clay and aloe vera juice (edible quality) … it’s a lot cheaper and readily accessible. I definitely think constant heat can cause irreparable damage. So, if you want to wear your hair curly, the sooner you stop pressing is straight, the better. Sorry for the delayed response!! Thank you for reading!!


  16. do you know of anyone that has color and/or highlighted their hair that detoxed? I want to use this mud wash but am scurred. :-s


    • Hey lady! Chy’s Curlz colored her hair a couple of months ago and I believe that she still uses it. Her blog is linked in my blogroll in the right hand panel! I’m sure if you write her on her site, she’ll let you know if she is still using it. If she is, I don’t think you have any worries as her hair looks wonderful!! Well, no worries if you hair is generally in a healthy state:).


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  18. OK…I know I’m a little late on this post…I’ve actually been doing work while at work for a change and haven’t been keeping up to date. So, I’ve got a couple of questions:

    What is the point/reason for “dextoxing” the hair?

    I don’t see myself actually trying the Terresentials any time soon, so–if I were so inclined–how would I use bentonite clay?

    In the post you said you would continue to use the TMW that you bought, but you might not order again, strictly do to cost. Did you come to like the TMW more as you used it or were the results consistent time after time?

    (I’m talking myself out of spending more money on hair stuff as I type!)


    • I felt the same way but, I felt it was a worth a try because I tried a lot of products and none of the products ever worked on my hair. I even tried essential oils, Henna and other Indian powders that people suggested were good for maintaining healthy hair and growth but I can never find anything that truly detangles my hair and leaves it soft. So far, I been reading so many positive reviews about these products and I’m hoping that a little goes a long way and if the 8 oz bottle can last longer time on my uneven shoulder length hair, then the expense won’t be as bad and next time I would order a 16 oz bottle which should last at least half a year. I always think of the times when I was relaxing my hair and putting braids in my hair and it completely ruined the health of my hair and it cost an arm and leg on a student budget. If I can spend the money to ruin my hair then I can save up the money to buy the products that will bring my hair back to health. I understand where you coming from, as a recent graduate; it’s hard out there to find a job, so the price can be daunting but I feel that if works as well as advertised then it’s worth every expense and it’s definitely cheaper than the expenses I used to have, for relaxing my hair and braiding my hair. This is coming from a young sister that only been natural for a year and two months and is struggling to find a good regime for her hair.


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  20. I just bought a bottle of Lavender Garden this past thursday and waiting for its arrival on tuesday. I do hate that the shipping costs are so high. I really can’t understand why theirs is so much and everyone else can ship items for much less.


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