I’ve been neglecting my natural hair. Not really MY natural hair, but the section of this blog devoted to natural hair. Since I’ve been so irresponsible I’ve decided to start you all off with what I consider to be the curliest wash day routine I’ve found thus far for 4c hair. I recommend this process if your coils and curls are looking limp, not clumping, or you’ve had in a protective style for a while. What is this magic process or product I’m going on about you ask? It’s a bentonite clay hair mask.
My favorite part of the bentonite clay mask process is that it allows you to doctor it up with products that work best for you in terms of oils. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s discuss the basics. What is bentonite clay?
What is bentonite clay?
Bentonite clay is a clay that is used primarily for cleansing and detoxifying. It can be used on the skin as well as in the hair. Some people also take it internally, but I haven’t gone that far down the rabbit hole yet. In this hair mask, it is used as a stand-in for shampoo because of its cleansing properties.
What exactly is this muddy mess supposed to do for my hair?
Besides cleaning away product build up, using a bentonite clay mask on kinky, coily hair increases curl definition and improves clumping. Clumping is when the hair strands bind together. This means that the hair is less susceptible to single strand knots, retains moisture better, less frizz, and less shedding. Please do not confuse clumping with tangles! When hair clumps it means that your curls are coming together in a uniform pattern, so you still have the ability to run your fingers through it relatively easily. This is not the case with tangles.
Okay, you’ve convinced me, but how do I do this?
Bentonite clay masks are a DIYers dream. However, I tend to hate DIY regimes, but this is super simple and isn’t an all day thing, unless you want it to be.
First off there are some ingredients that are a must:
-bentonite clay (1/2 cup)
-apple cider vinegar (preferably with the mother) (4-6 tablespoons)
-some form of moisturizer (aloe vera juice is my fav, but you can substitute with plain water) (3-4 tablespoons)
Second, this is what I meant when I said you can doctor it up, are the oils. Here are some oils that can be used, but I recommend only using 2 per mask:
-sweet almond oil
-Jamaican black castor oil
A very important note to remember when making this mask is to not use any metal containers are utensils because bentonite draws out impurities in metals.
Now this is how I go about making my mask, there are a ton of other recipes out there, but this has been what’s worked for me.
- Pour bentonite clay powder in plastic bowl
- Add in oils. I like sweet almond oil and argan oil, and I eyeball the amount.
- Pour in apple cider vinegar, and let it froth up and calm down.
- Stir in aloe vera juice or water. You should have a nice thick paste the consistency of guacamole, but without the chunks.
- Thoroughly wet your hair and wring out excess water.
- Apply the masque from root to tip throughout your hair, going in sections to make sure it’s evenly distributed.
- Cover hair in plastic cap and either sit under a hooded dryer or go about your business for 20-30 minutes.
- Make sure that the clay doesn’t completely dry on your hair, if you have to, use a water bottle to spritz it so it remains damp.
- Rinse, Rinse, Rinse. Because it’s a mud it will take some elbow grease to make sure it’s all out of your hair and scalp. So don’t rely on just how your hair feels, check with a mirror to make sure you’ve got it all out.
- Follow up with a rinse out or leave in moisturizing conditioner.
- Style as usual.