Bentonite Clay treatments have become a mainstay in my natural hair regimen. In fact, I began doing them about three months after my big chop. Almost three years later, I still do them once a month. I initially began the treatments, because I heard it was a great alternative for henna. I heard about curls poppin’ and I wanted some. Bentonite clay is known to draw dirt and impurities from the hair, without drying the hair of its natural oils. It’s an alternative to traditional clarifying shampoos that can leave hair stripped and dry.
I use a very simple Bentonite Clay recipe with just bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, and aloe vera juice. Others have more intricate recipes that include essential and carrier oils. As you experiment with recipes, you will learn what works best for you. For my bentonite clay mixture, I use the Aztec Indian Secret Healing Clay available at many natural food and supplement stores. When selecting a clay, it is important to select a clay with a gray color. You can use aloe vera juice and ACV brands of your choice also available at your local grocery or health food store.
Before mixing your clay, you may want to prep your area for a slight mess. (Or be prepared to clean it up afterwards.) To mix your clay, ensure that you use a plastic mixing bowl and spoon. Bentonite clay is known to draw impurities out of metals, so you should avoid using any metal utensils.
First, start by adding bentonite clay in the bowl. (I’m sorry that I don’t use measurements.) Simply mix until it reaches a yogurt consistency. The trick is to add the ingredients a little at a time and mix until it reaches the desired consistency. Add apple cider vinegar. Expect the two to react and start to bubble. (I once added aloe vera juice first the mixture didn’t come out right, so I always start with ACV.) Then add aloe vera juice until the mixture reaches a yogurt consistency. Try to mix out any hard clumps of clay.
Apply In Sections
Section your hair into four sections using plastic clamps to separate your hair. Apply the clay to your hair as if it was a relaxer — expect you also apply it to your scalp. Let the clay sit on your hair for 20-25 minutes, but do not let it harden. (If it hardens, it will be harder to remove from your hair.) Rinse out the clay with warm water. Take care to ensure that all of the clay is removed from the hair.
Condition (Optional Step)
Conditioning the hair is an optional next step. Some say that conditioning is not necessary. I, personally, always follow up with a deep conditioning. Then I proceed with styling. If you’re not a mixtress, there are many brands that offer mud washes including: Terresentials and Alikay Naturals.