by Choya Randolph
If you’re like me, when you think of clay masks, you think of a day at the spa and cucumbers on your eyes. Facial clay masks have many benefits such as preventing acne or detoxifying the skin. I’d definitely use a clay mask on my face but putting actual clay in my hair? That’s a no for me dawg… Well it was a no for me until I saw some of my favorite naturals on Youtube using a clay mask on their hair. Before jumping on the bandwagon, I did some research.
The common clay masks used on hair are bentonite clay masks. Bentonite is an aluminum phyllosilicate clay that has been used for decades as a way to get rid of toxins. It is found in volcanoes and also has healing properties. It’s known for being adsorbent which means that it can attract all the dirt, toxins, and even metals out of our hair. Once it attracts all the dirt and toxins out of our hair, we can simply rinse it out. This is why clay masks can work as a shampoo alternative.
As a shampoo alternative, it detoxes the hair, helps with dandruff, combats an itchy scalp, and even clarifies the hair. For those who don’t know about hair clarifying, it’s the process of getting rid of product build up which makes our hair cleaner, lighter, healthier, and easier to style. Bentonite clay masks can also moisturize the hair so it could be a great cleaning alternative for those who struggle with dry hair and don’t want to use a shampoo that will strip your hair of its natural oils.
Clay masks can also strengthen the hair. Bentonite has a good source of silica which is a trace mineral that strengthens the hair and prevents hair thinning. It accomplishes this by making sure our hair follicles receive essential nutrients. It can work on all hair types but for my naturals, it will bring out your curl definition, especially for those with type 4 hair.
Hair clay masks tend to be the same price as shampoos and can even be cheaper if you decide to make your own masks. For those with hair that has recently been bleached or colored, a bentonite clay mask may be something you want to try since it’s so good at removing toxins.
To use the clay, you simply apply it to your hair, focusing it on the scalp. After distributing it throughout your hair, you can let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, you wash it out as you would a deep conditioner. When using it as a shampoo alternative, you can do all the things you would do after shampooing whether that be deep conditioning or using the LOC or LCO method.
Though using clay on your hair can be messy, it can be worth it. It cleanses, strengthens and clarifies hair. Not only that, it can be used as a face mask. So while you wait for the mask to do its thing to your hair, it can also do its thing on your face. If you’re looking for a shampoo alternative or you simply want to switch up your hair care routine, give clay masks a try.