We’re sure you’ve heard of hundreds of ways to cleanse and detox your body over the years. You may even have given some of them a go, to some degree of success! There are very few detox remedies however that focus on your hair. If you haven’t already heard of it, Bentonite clay does exactly that – cleansing your hair by removing potentially months and years of dirt and toxin buildup.
Bentonite clay itself is 100% naturally occurring, and most commonly found at the sites of ancient volcanoes. The ash and dust which is found in the ground around volcanoes is easy to find and extract too, and has been used in many cultures all over the world for centuries for its cleansing properties. Even animals have been known during illness to instinctively ingest the dust and clay to make them better.
Containing a vast array of minerals, you are more likely to have heard of Bentonite to supplement your diet; by adding it to your food or even making a drink out of it. As well as the minerals contained in Bentonite, it also naturally produces an electrical charge when it comes into contact with water. This charge makes it possible for toxins, heavy poisonous metals and chemicals to become absorbed within the clay so they can leave your body when the rest of the clay does.
Recently however it has been discovered to have practical and inexpensive applications in making your hair healthier and more beautiful. Your hair is exposed to the elements almost all of the time; pollution, smoke and the weather can all strip your hair of it’s natural oils replacing with dust and various materials that clog up your hair.
Even over the counter hair products such as sprays, gels and conditioners, aren’t actually any good for your hair. Many of the shampoos and conditioners which are sold as being good for your hair, actually contain plastics which coat your hair to make it shiny. This makes your hair more prone to breaking, and dries your hair out over time.
Fortunately, there’s a solution which can protect your hair in the future, as well as undoing the damage done in the past. By applying a Bentonite clay mask to your hair twice weekly, you can ensure week round your hair is cleaner, healthier, easier to manage, and looks and feels great. Because it contains lots of minerals including potassium, sodium and calcium, you don’t need to buy multiple products, just this one!
Even if you don’t have the time to do it twice a week, even applying the mask every now and then will give you noticeable results straight away – perhaps you just want a way of giving your hair a boost before a special occasion! In any case, it certainly can’t hurt giving this a go.
What you’ll need to detox your hair
To turn the Bentonite which is basically a dust, into something you can apply to your hair, you’ll need to turn it into a clay by adding a couple of key ingredients.
There are lots of recipes available for making your Bentonite clay hair mask, most of them recommend the following;
- Bentonite clay (½ cup)
- Apple cider vinegar (¼ cup and 1 full cup)
- Aloe vera gel (½ cup)
With the above, all you need to do is mix the ingredients together, keeping the 1 full cup of apple cider vinegar to one side for later. Paste it and mix it into your hair and put on a shower cap for up to half an hour. You shouldn’t let the mixture dry as this can break your hair. Once your hair has soaked in the mixture, rinse with the remaining apple cider vinegar.
If you have used a lot of heavy hair products such as wax or hairspray over a longer period of time, you may benefit from leaving the clay in your hair overnight, again covered so the mask doesn’t dry out.
You can also add these other ingredients which have their own benefits for your hair and scalp;
- Coconut oil – helps prevent protein loss
- Castor oil – antibacterial properties to cure and prevent dandruff, while trapping moisture in your hair
- Sweet almond oil – healthier follicles and improved hair elasticity
Other recipes include essential oils such as lavender and rosemary, and some even recommend herbal tea! This will give the mixture a fragrance, so essentially you’re creating your own shampoo. Rather than using the same products as your friends, you’ll have something personal to you, so have a shop around for the best recipe that suits you and get creative!
Because the mask has taken all of the toxins and dirt from your hair, you’ll need to get the mask off of your hair and remove these unwanted substances forever. Just use a normal balancing shampoo, or you could use a shampoo which itself has detox properties for maximum effect.
Don’t undo all your hard work though – be sure to use other hair care products which aren’t full of chemicals and plastics which are going to do even more damage to your hair. You should also make sure you re-balance your hair’s natural pH, as Bentonite is quite alkaline, so pick a shampoo with a pH of around 5-6. There are also a number of other recommended washes online which can restore the natural pH level.
You should remember a key property of Bentonite clay is its reaction with metal, so avoid using any metallic utensils or containers when you are making the clay, and instead use plastic, glass or wood. Otherwise the electrolyzed clay will activate on contact with the metal, and be far less useful for your hair.
If you don’t fancy making your own, there are also a number of liquid Bentonite washes on the market which is easier if you’re short on time. Though we think making your own is more effective.
The benefits of a Bentonite clay detox
There are a number of benefits you can expect to see once you’ve applied the Bentonite clay mask. Most people will notice a difference straight away, but others may need a couple of applications to see your hair’s potential realized.
The best results will be seen by people with coarse, curly or thick hair, who normally have to spend a lot of time making their hair look good – but even if you have natural undamaged hair, it does more than just defrizzing. Take a look below at the amazing benefits you can experience.
Hydration and moisturization
You’ve probably been told before that your hair is basically dead. That’s because hair is just made of complex strands of keratin, which individually don’t have the ability to retain water or regenerate itself once it has grown, unlike skin for instance. It’s important therefore to make sure the things your body produces to protect your hair, and the stuff that is in your hair when it’s produced, is itself protected and replaced whenever you can.
One such component of your hair is water. Bentonite clay can keep your hair water content high, because it basically acts as a sponge – removing the dirt and toxins in your hair and helping your hair absorb the water much deeper, while the oils in the ingredients help trap the moisture once it’s absorbed. This will leave you with bouncier, less rigid and more flowing hair.
Over many years, your hair will come into contact with many different environments; beach holidays with seawater and sand, rain in cities containing particles of dirt and vehicle pollution for example. If you go to a gym or sauna regularly, your hair will be exposed to other people’s sweat, and air conditioning systems – but these are just a few of the places you’ll take your hair!
The dirt your hair picks up over many years can clog up your hair and won’t necessarily be removed by traditional shampoos and conditioners. Because of the small electrical charge Bentonite clay carries, it draws out heavy metals and toxins. When these particles come into contact with the molecules in the dust, they become chemically bonded to each other, and you can then simply wash it all out. Dirty hair will make your hair dull and flat, and you’ll notice the difference here straight after a Bentonite hair wash.
Straightening and de-frizzing
Again, the electrical properties of Bentonite have many powerful effects. By creating a low electrical charge in each of your hair strands, the strands can align and be kept separate, so it’s much less likely to get knotted or matted.
The greater moisture content will also help in ironing out those kinks, as the hair strands are kept buoyant from their core outwards, rather than creating a plastic coating which normal shampoos will do to reduce frizz. This makes Bentonite clay particularly useful for anyone with more difficult to manage hair.
The additional moisture in your hair will make your hair feel much softer and fuller to the touch. Once the build up of toxins has been removed, the gritty and grainy feel of your hair will go too, and be replaced with a much smoother texture.
As well as this, if you’ve also added any of the oils suggested in the ingredients to your hair mask, once the hair is clean these will penetrate much deeper into your hair. This will leave your hair feeling much silkier than the over the counter conditioners can, and for much longer afterwards.
Anyone with curly hair will know how difficult it is to keep those curls tight and bouncy. A sudden gust of wind can quickly undo a lot of work you put in, and often at a critical time. If you’re heading to a crucial meeting, the last thing you need is messy hair that’s going to need 30 minutes work to sort out.
A good Bentonite hair wash can make sure your curls stay together and do not lose their natural look over the course of the day.
You may have heard the best way of keeping clean hair is by not washing it at all, though in reality this isn’t very practical (or appealing to people around you!). The reason for this, is that all the natural oils your hair produces are lost by the chemical washing and conditioning that are sold to us by tv adverts and supermarkets.
The most obvious change you’ll see in your hair when you use a Bentonite mask, is the replacement of all of these oils. This will give you a way of washing your hair without stripping your hair of its natural protection, so over time your hair will return to its natural glossy shine.
Reduce protein loss and reduce breakage
As we’ve mentioned, hair is made up purely of keratin, a protein grown by your hair follicles. Over time, hair becomes damaged as the protein is slowly removed by general life and washing with chemical shampoos. That’s why your hair gets weaker at the ends; because it is older and has gone through more than the hair at your roots. Bentonite clay can invigorate the protein in your hair through moisturizing and strengthening, so you will lose less of the protein which makes up your hair.
Once your hair is soft and moisturized, it will also have much higher resilience against the elements. Even the sun can be incredibly drying on your hair, but if you regularly use a Bentonite mask it will contain more moisture so it will take longer for your hair to dry out, making it much less vulnerable to day-to-day wear and tear.
Thicker hair which won’t fall out
The moisturizing and proper detox cleansing of the scalp is crucial in using Bentonite on a more long term basis. Bentonite doesn’t just improve the hair already on your head; because it cleanses your hair follicles and removes dead skin, your hair follicles are more moisturized and not surrounded by the bacteria which can cause dandruff.
As well as both curing and preventing dandruff, this means you can also benefit from more actual hair growth as your follicles are able to function properly. Healthy follicles also produce thicker hair, and if your follicles are stronger, it’s also less likely for hair will fall out when doing normal hair care tasks such as brushing.
It has also been reported that Bentonite can actually stop hair loss, due to the all round health benefits of the hair, follicles and scalp.
All in all once you used the Bentonite clay mask you’re going to be dealing with much more easy to manage hair. Easier to make look good before you head out to work, and easier to do when you’ve got a tight turnaround to head out partying on a Friday night!
You can buy Bentonite clay at natural or organic food stores or vitamin and supplement shops, though you’re not likely to find it in a major supermarket. Of course, the best way to find somewhere that sells Bentonite in your local area is by going online, or finding an online shop that can deliver it to you.
So get washing; we hope you see at least a few of the benefits of using Bentonite clay on your hair!