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Bentonite Clay Ruined My Hair? How Do I Use it Again?

Putting mad in the hair may sound like an odd thing, but many women are raving about the benefits of using bentonite clay on their hair. However, others claim bentonite Clay ruined their hair and don’t know what to do! If that is your problem, we will help you understand why the Bentonite clay hair mask did not work for you. If you want to give the clay mask another try, we will share some tips to achieve the best results. 

What is Bentonite Clay?

If you have been shopping around for the best products for your natural hair and skin, you must have come across bentonite clay as one of the best options. 

The absorbent old clay, also known as montmorillonite clay or fullers earth, is clay made from weathered volcanic ash. It was named after Fort Benton, Wyoming, which has the largest source of bentonite clay in the world. 

It is a nutrient-rich clay that effectively balances pH levels on your skin and inside the body. It has many uses in the health and beauty world, and it’s sometimes used in moisturizers to treat contact dermatitis. In addition, it can be used on the skin and hair topically for beauty treatments.

How Does Bentonite Clay Work on Hair?

Bentonite Clay naturally attracts particles on your hair and skin, including dirt and product buildup. The clay contains a negative charge that attracts positively charged ions such as Potassium, Sodium, and Magnesium should you decide to ingest it. In addition, the bentonite clay mask also works as a shampoo and conditioner in one.

Bentonite Clay is beneficial for issues such as dry scalp, dull hair, dry and damaged hair, frizziness, heat damaged hair, and dandruff. Let’s explain the benefits in detail:

a). Draws out impurities from hair and scalp

Bentonite clay can remove impurities from your hair and scalp, and as the clay is negatively charged, it attracts positively charged product build-up and heavy metal toxins like a magnet. This results in thoroughly cleansed hair. 

b). Promotes Healthy Hair Growth

Thanks to the clay’s different natural materials, it encourages hair growth. Bentonite clay doesn’t necessarily stimulate the scalp but unclogs your hair follicles. Cleansing your scalp thoroughly enhances healthy hair growth and creates a perfect environment for growing your hair.

c). Softens and Conditions Hair

A bentonite clay mask helps with manageability by softening and conditioning your hair. After using it, you will enjoy it because your hair will only have a few tangles to deal with during wash days. 

d). Has Antimicrobial Properties

Bentonite Clay has antibacterial properties which kill viruses, bacteria, and fungus from the hair and scalp. This makes it perfect for easing the symptoms of dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.

e). Enhances Shine

If you have product build-up, you may have noticed that your hair has a white or gray tone, and the film can hinder your hair’s ability to shine. Bentonite clay removes product build-up and enhances shine, resulting in shiny hair.

f). Defines Curls

Naturalistas say that Bentonite clay can help define curls by helping to clump curls together.

Bentonite Clay Ruined My Hair, How Can I Use It Again?

Bentonite Clay leaves your hair feeling softer with every wash, but what might have gone wrong if it ruined your hair?

The drying effect is the main issue you might not have heard about bentonite clay hair masks. The bentonite clay absorbs water from your hair, and therefore it can leave your hair feeling heavy and dry. So, how will you know if the hair mask will work for you? 

The direct answer is to test your hair porosity, where hair porosity indicates how well your hair absorbs and maintains moisture. You can have low, medium, or high porosity hair. For example, Bentonite clay is unsuitable for highly porous hair because it will draw out the mixture. 

How to Test your Hair Porosity Before Using the Clay Mixture

To test your hair porosity, shampoo your hair to minimize dirt and build-up. Once you rinse and dry your hair using a towel, you can try the porosity with a few steps like:

  • Fill a container or a glass with cold water
  • Drop a single hair strand into the water
  • Check if the strand floats or sinks

If the hair strand floats for some time before it sinks, it indicates that your hair is low porosity. Low porosity hair will have close cuticles, making for moisture and oils to penetrate. As a result, it could feel smooth, greasy, or shiny but could lack water and feel dry because cuticles are tightly shut.

If your hair strand sinks to the middle of the glass, it indicates medium porosity, which can mean that moisture and oils will penetrate your cuticles after continued use.

If the hair strand sinks quickly to the bottom of the glass, you have high porosity to indicate the products, including moisture and oils. This means that clay masks will easily penetrate the cuticles, and also your hair stands a higher chance of getting negative results with a bentonite clay mask. This is because Bentonite clay penetrates your hair to draw out all of the moisture, and it may have dry ends, be frizzy, color-treated, and lack shine since the cuticles are mostly open and damaged.

Can You Use Bentonite Clay for Highly Porous Hair?

All is not lost if your hair turns out to be highly porous, and you can still use a bentonite clay mask to get stronger yet naturally curly hair. However, you will need to rehydrate if you have lately used the bentonite clay hair mask and your natural hair feels dry and heavy. Below is how you can do this:

  • Rinse your dry hair another time because highly porous hair has larger cuticles leaving enough room for the bentonite clay mask to occupy. The clay absorbs moisture and other natural oils in your hair and fills the pores.  Rinse your hair again to get clay out. 
  • After rinsing your hair, asses it to understand if you need to clean or detangle it some more. For example, if you feel like your hair is too heavy or dry, you may need to clean it some more before you detangle it. 
  • Use a final wash shampoo to clean off extra natural minerals gently, and don’t worry about this step as a sulfate-free shampoo won’t dry your hair more.
  • After shampooing, condition your hair deeply and restore moisture. Use a deep conditioner that will plump out your cuticles for better hair. Apply evenly and leave your conditioner on for 30 minutes, where you can try detangling your hair as the conditioner sits.
  • After 30 minutes, rinse your conditioner using rice water and smooth your cuticles for better hair days.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner to style your hair if it feels dry.

Photo by Erick Larregui on Unsplash

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