What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is also know as “the healing clay”. This clay is composed of volcano ash which mostly comes from Fort Benton Wyoming. It is commonly associated with face masks in the personal care industry but did you know that you can actually use it on hair? In this article we will cover the benefits of Bentonite clay on 4C hair and how to use it.
“Bentonite” is actually the trade name that the clay has been given, but people for the most part speak about Montmorillonite and Bentonite clay interchangeably sometimes without even knowing they are actually referring to the same product.
The clay’s use dates back to many centuries ago where traditional cultures living in the regions of Andes, Central Africa and Australia have applied and consumed it in numerous ways for a long time. Because the clay is readily available and required no modern processing, it has been a popular and cost-effective way of “detoxing” the body for quite some time Bentonite clay is said to have a variety of healing properties for the body, inside and out. Historically, the clay has been used in alternative medicine to get rid of digestive issues, bug bites, dry skin, and more.
Benefits of Bentonite clay on natural 4C hair
I know you may be thinking: “Clay? Like mud?” Yes, and yes. There are two main types used for beauty purposes: sodium and calcium Bentonite clay. Bentonite clay has adsorbent, moisturizing, conditioning and clarifying properties and removing toxins, all of which make it an excellent addition to any natural hair regimen. Adding Bentonite clay to your natural hair regimen can be very beneficial, no matter what type of clay you use. Bentonite clay, in particular, is one of the favorites in the 4C natural hair community. Bentonite Clay can be used as a deep conditioner and can be helpful especially helpful if you have: a dry scalp, dry or damaged hair or frizziness.
1 – Cleanses and Clarifies Hair
Due to its adsorbent properties, bentonite clay binds to impurities and dirt on the hair, which are then washed away. You can think of the mask as a shampoo and conditioner in one. Once the clay is washed off the hair, the result is always soft and supple hair that is clean but not stripped off moisture. Thus, it’s a gentle alternative to shampoo.
Bentonite Clay has a negative charge (anionic), so it attracts positive charged (cationic) products that build up on the hair and scalp, working as a clarifier and detoxifier. Think about Bentonite clay like a magnet for product buildup. When you wash the clay out of your hair, you remove all impurities and buildup with it. Its anionic property also makes Bentonite clay effective at drawing out toxins, heavy metals, chemicals, and impurities.
2 – Conditions Hair
In addition to cleaning the hair, it conditions it at the same time. Using Bentonite clay as a conditioner will leave your hair soft, defined and moisturized. Basically, it can be used as a shampoo, a conditioner, or a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner.
3 – Reduces Frizz
Doing a Bentonite clay mask or rinse before wearing your hair in its curly style can significantly reduce the amount of frizz you get. As a matter of fact Bentonite encourages the definition and shine of curls .It also helps curls to clump together uniformly way much better than conditioner does. How wonderful is ’mud’? You have not heard enough yet, you well know type 4C is prone to tangling right? Bentonite is known to reduce all manner of tangles and knots. In other words, doing a Bentonite clay mask before you do a style like a wash and go can significantly improve your results.
4 – It gets rid of dandruff
Dandruff forms when a fungus that infects your scalp. This fungus thrives on the extra sebum that is secreted by your scalp. Bentonite clay soaks up this extra sebum and makes your scalp inhospitable for this fungus, thus preventing the formation of more dandruff. It also scrapes off the dandruff that has already accumulated on the head as you wash off the clay.
5 – Promotes hair growth
As we mentioned earlier, Bentonite clay contains sodium, potassium, and calcium – minerals that are essential for hair growth. These minerals do wonders to your natural hair, bringing more growth and density. Good news right? But, additionally, it also removes dead skin cells from your scalp and cleanses hair follicles that, in turn, boost hair growth. Dead skin cells on the scalp hinder growth since they clog the hair follicles from the scalp. Bentonite clay counter attacks this and tries to reverse the situation by boosting more hair growth.
6 – Protects hair from infections
We’ve already talked about how the negatively charged Bentonite clay mask draws out toxins from your positively charged hair. It also cleanses your scalp of oil and buildup. Both these actions combined protect your hair and scalp from bacterial and fungal infections.
7 – Adds shine to your hair
Besides working as an excellent hair mask, Bentonite clay also makes for an excellent hair rinse that adds intense shine to your hair.
Bentonite Clay for Low Porosity Hair
Bentonite clay is pretty much the best remedy for low porosity hair. I’ll explain why in a second. You see, low porosity hair has a different texture from other hair types.Low porosity hair as we had mentioned previously in the last blog is whereby your hair cuticles are tightly closed and cannot easily absorb moisture thereby causing your hair to damage because of breakage.
Bentonite clay is amazing for low porosity hair but it can be very damaging for high porosity hair. So the first thing you need to know is what end of the porosity scale your hair belongs to. Here are some pointers for a quick reminder:
- Is your hair always dry/does not absorb oils/hair products easily? You have low porosity hair. Bentonite clay is a great natural remedy for you! Go ahead and use Bentonite clay and other clay treatments for your hair!
- Is your good at absorbing water/hair products? Does your hair break easily/feel frizzy/dull and lack elasticity? You have high porosity hair. That means you should stay away from Bentonite clay. In this case Bentonite clay can damage your hair.
Now that you know that your hair is low porosity, you can experience the amazing benefits of Bentonite clay to work with your hair and make it as beautiful as it can be!
The reason bentonite clay, and other clays like rhassoul clay, are amazing for low porosity hair is because it is contains negatively charged ions. When you have low porosity hair, it means your hair has an excess of positive ions. Positive ions make your hair dull, frizzy and difficult to absorb moisture/products. Positive ions are created by actions such as over-brushing the hair and using plastic brushes to comb your hair, which creates static. Excessive product build-up also creates an excess of positive ions, which worsens low porosity hair.
When applied to the hair, the negative ions in Bentonite clay will immediately be attracted to the positive ions present in low porosity hair. This will neutralize and balance out the excess positive ions. The result is silky hair that is non-frizzy and static-free.
How to use Bentonite clay on 4C hair
I know by now you want to use the Bentonite Clay already, well I am going to give you the criteria for best results. Bad hair days are over! Bentonite clay has got you any day, anytime. Here’s how
- Use a Bentonite clay brand of your choice. You can find it at the grocery store, beauty shops, a convenient store, or online.
- Use a wooden, plastic, or ceramic bowl and spoon to mix together the ingredients. Don’t use metal. Metal can activate the clay before it reaches your hair, reducing its ability to detoxify your hair.
- Start by diluting apple cider vinegar with water: 3 parts water to 1 part of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar prevents tangling; breakage, dryness, and hair loss, by helping each individual hair strand retain moisture and making them smooth and less likely to catch on each other. It works magic when used together with Bentonite Clay.
- Then, add bentonite clay and mix until you have a yogurt-like consistency. The amount of clay you’ll need will depend on how much liquid you start with
- Finally, add small amounts of your favorite oils. It could be coconut oil or whatever else oil you love using.
- Apply the mixture to damp hair in sections, fully saturating your hair. Queens please note, do not apply the mixture to dry hair for it will be hard to get out! You may notice the the mixture of the clay becomes dry and stiff as you work on other sections. If so, use a spray bottle to rehydrate it. You do not want to look awkward in dry clay!
- Cover your hair with a hair cap to prevent your hair from drying out, and wait about 30 minutes. Optional step during these 30 minutes: apply any leftover mask to your face! Bentonite clay has the same incredible detoxifying effects for your skin.
- Use shampoo and conditioner to remove all the clay from your hair. Be careful with any leftover mixture– because of its anionic properties, bentonite clay can ruin metal drains. Let water run down the shower drain for 30-60 seconds after you wash out the clay to ensure that it is fully flushed out.
- Bentonite clay can dry out your hair, so follow the treatment with a deep conditioner to replenish your hair with moisture
Depending on the what you are treating, use Bentonite Clay at least one a month. I use it twice a month.
If you found this article helpful, then my guess is that you will find the articles below about Onion Juice and Rice water as effective natural home remedies for 4 C hair Growth useful.