We may have the answer to all your hair woes and the best part is, it might already be in your beauty stash. You’ve probably heard of the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask (and if you haven’t, welcome to the internet!) It's one of Amazon’s best-selling beauty products and a holy grail in the skincare community.
The cult-favourite has amassed thousands of 5-star reviews on Amazon and Youtube, and even celebrities, like Khloe Kardashian and Mindy Kaling, have raved about its incredible benefits. But, did you know this skin saviour could also be used in your hair?
This DIY hair clay mask gained popularity after TikTok user @curlsbykeish posted a video using the clay mask to bring her curls back to life. The video has racked up over 18 million views and inspired tons of TikTok users to try the clay mask in their hair. The star of the hair mask is bentonite clay, a mineral-rich clay that will cleanse, strengthen and define your curls in just one step. Below, we’re giving you this inside scoop on this multi-tasking hair mask.
What is Bentonite Clay?
Bentonite clay is a natural clay that is formed from volcanic ash. It has been used to purge impurities from the hair, skin, and body for hundreds of years. The multi-purpose clay has been used to detox skin, heal infections or acne, and even treat stomach issues. Today it is formulated in many skincare and cosmetic products and you can find it in products like shampoo, acne treatments, and even toothpaste.
Bentonite clay is special from other clays because it has negatively charged molecules. Most toxins found in the hair, skin, and body have positively charged molecules. When activated with water or apple cider vinegar, the clay produces an ionic charge that attracts and removes toxins from your hair, skin, and body. It also contains natural minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Fun Fact: Bentonite clay gets its name from Fort Benton, Wyoming, where there are large deposits of it. But, it’s found all over the world. It’s also called Montmorillonite clay, named after a region in France which has a lot of it.
Benefits of Using Bentonite Clay Hair Mask
Bentonite clay has tons of amazing hair benefits from enhanced shine to curl-defining effects. Here are some of the “mane” benefits:
Draws out impurities from your hair and scalp. When activated with water or apple cider vinegar the clay has a negative charge that attracts positively charged toxins, like product build-up to give your hair a deep cleanse. Essentially, the hair clay acts as a vacuum for your hair follicles for the five to 20 minutes that it’s on.
Promotes Hair Growth. Bentonite clay is filled with minerals like sodium, potassium, and calcium that are essential for hair growth. Using this hair mask weekly will fortify your hair with these essential minerals and prevent breakage. If you’re looking to immediately add length to your hair, add in some hair extensions. They come in different styles and colours to replicate your natural hair. Your extensions deserve just as much love as your natural hair, so keep them tangle free with the Luxy Loop Brush.
Eliminates Dandruff. If you struggle with dandruff, apply the mask to your scalp to soak up excess sebum and kill the fungus and bacteria that cause dandruff. The deep clean will remove dead skin and toxins so that healthy hair can grow. It’s the perfect way to maintain a healthy scalp.
Enhances Shine. If you use a lot of dry shampoo or thick products in your hair routine it can create a film on your strands that gives your hair a grey tone. If you don’t cleanse the buildup from your hair it can hinder your hair’s natural ability to shine. Removing the buildup will also allow your hair to absorb your products better.
Softens and Conditions Hair. The minerals in bentonite clay will soften and condition your tresses, this means less tangles, more manageable hair, and less breakage! It’s great for heat-damaged or colour-treated hair.
- Defines Curls. Curly girls swear by bentonite clay for their curls because it helps to clump them together and define them. Use the hair clay before a wash and go and you’ll be amazed by how bouncy your curls look.
Benefits for Natural Hair
Bentonite clay is a favourite in the natural and curly hair community, because it has moisturizing, conditioning, and clarifying properties and can remove buildup.It makes an excellent addition to a curly hair regimen. Natural hair tends to be dry so it needs lots of thick, moisturizing products which can leave a film on the hair and weigh down the delicate strands. Using the hair clay will clarify your hair which will allow your other products to work better, and help with curl clumping and shine. It’s especially great to clarify your hair and scalp before or after it's been in a protective style.
Natural hair is very delicate and can break easily. The bentonite hair clay has sodium, potassium, and calcium- which are minerals that are essential for hair growth. When applied to your scalp it can also remove dead skin cells and cleanse follicles, which aids in healthy hair growth.
Benefits for Low Porosity Hair
If you have low porosity hair, bentonite clay will be your new best friend. Low porosity hair has an excess of positively charged ions which can make your hair look dull, frizzy, and difficult to absorb products. Bentonite clay has negatively charged ions and when applied to the hair can neutralize the positively charged ions. The result is frizz-free, shiny hair.
How to Make a Bentonite Clay Hair Mask
Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of bentonite clay it’s time to add this hair mask into your hair care routine. The main ingredient for this DIY is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, which you can purchase on Amazon or at most health food stores. Here’s everything else you’ll need to get started:
- Non-metal bowl, measuring cup mixing utensils (using metal can activate the clay before it reaches your hair, reducing its ability to detoxify your hair)
- ½ cup of bentonite clay powder (we recommend using the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask)
- 3-9 tbsp of water (dependent on whether you add other liquids)
- 6 tbsp of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (optional)
- 3 tablespoons of your favorite hair oils, such as coconut, castor, jojoba or argan oil (optional)
To make the bentonite clay hair mask, add ½ cup of bentonite clay powder into a non-metal bowl.
Next, dilute the apple cider vinegar with water: three parts water to one part apple cider vinegar. This step is super important because apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can irritate your scalp if it is not diluted. Apple cider vinegar has tons of amazing hair benefits, it treats scalp conditions like dandruff, improves shiness, and increases moisture retention.
Next, combine bentonite clay and diluted apple cider vinegar into the bowl and mix until you get a yogurt-like consistency.
The last step is to add your favorite hair oils for extra hair benefits. Some of our favorites are coconut oil, to hydrate hair and lock in moisture, pracaxi oil, to strengthen and protect hair, and grapeseed oil, to stimulate hair growth and soften brittle hair.
How to Use It
When your mask is ready, section your hair, and saturate each section with the mask. The mask should be applied to damp or wet hair with focus on the scalp. Keep a spray bottle handy so you can mist any parts of your hair that dry out before you can work the mask through. Once your hair is fully coated, you can clip it up or cover with a plastic cap or heat cap for extra penetration. A hooded dryer or steamer can also be used.
The mask should be left on for at least five and up to 25 minutes to soak up all the benefits. Unfortunately, this isn’t the type of mask you can leave-in and run errands with, but it’s perfect for an at-home spa day!
After the treatment, you can shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would. It’s important that you make sure all the hair clay is removed from your hair before moving on to the next step. We love to follow up with a deep conditioner or hot oil treatment after the hair clay to give our strands a boost of hydration!
When it comes to how often you can use the hair clay, we like to apply the same rule of thumb for bentonite clay masks for your hair and skin. You should only use this treatment once a week or whenever you feel like your hair and scalp need a deep cleanse!
Got leftovers? Not to worry! If you got a little too excited and made way more than you need, you can always use the extras on your face and detox your pores and curls at the same time. Like anything you apply to your skin, make sure you do a patch test before slathering it all over your face.
If you still have leftovers you can store your bentonite clay in a closed lid container in the fridge for up to a week- longer than that and you risk it growing bacteria (yuck!)
Bentonite clay hair masks have tons of amazing hair benefits, but it can dry out your hair. That’s why we recommend only using this mask once a week, because over cleansing your hair and scalp could lead to more oil production.
The Final Verdict
It’s safe to say that we are absolutely obsessed with this simple but effective hair clay that cleanses your scalp and strengthens your hair. With most new products it will take a few uses to really notice a difference in your hair however, this affordable treatment will leave your hair moisturized, hydrated, and frizz-free after the first wash. What more could you ask for?
Have you tried the bentonite clay hair mask before?
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