Bentonite Clay (or Aztec Clay) is a natural healing clay that is formed after a volcanic ash has aged. It is loaded with negatively charged ions that attract positively charged ions, such as the dirt, toxins and impurities that build up on hair. What makes Bentonite Clay good for 4C hair is its lack of harsh chemicals and the ability to draw out built up toxins from your hair, while bringing your natural curls into definition and maximum hydration. This attribute is unlike that of most cleansing shampoos, which tend to have drying agents at the expense of cleansing your hair.
Here are a list of what Bentonite Clay contains:
- 7.8% Moisture
- 18.1% Aluminum
- 2.3% Sodium
- 0.01% Potassium
- 0.04% Calcium
Bentonite Clay Mask Benefits for Low Porosity Hair
When you have low porosity hair, build up tends to form rather easily. Bentonite Clay acts as a pure detox to help rejuvenate dry dull hair, promote hair growth, and restore back hydration. It is very important to understand your hair porosity in order to know how often you should use Bentonite Clay for your hair. One of the factors low porosity hair face is the cuticles are tightly bound or shut, making it difficult to absorb more moisture. Low porosity hair is also prone to product build-up mainly from products that are not water-based. What makes Bentonite Clay beneficial for low porosity hair is that its p.H levels are high enough to raise the hair cuticles. The p.H. scale (shown below), previews alkaline and acidic levels, which can help you in deciding what products work for your hair’s p.H level. Bentonite Clay has a p.H. falling between 8.3 to 9.1, causing it to belong in the Alkaline range of the p.H. chart.
What Does p.H. do to hair?
It is important to know this because products containing alkaline with a a p.H. between 8 and 9 help open the cuticles of low porosity hair. What’s even great about the Bentonite Clay is it acts as a substitute for clarifying shampoos. Now, I don’t want anyone to think I am bashing the benefits of a clarifying shampoo, but we must realize that it strips the hair of its natural oils in the process of removing excess dirt or build-up. That’s a win-lose situation to me and I want all my naturalists out here to have a win-win with any hair product they find fitting for their hair.
Bentonite Clay has a ph of 8.3-9.1, causing it to fall in the Alkaline range of the PH chart above. It is important to know this because products containing alkaline with a a PH between 8 and 9 help open the cuticles of low porosity hair. What’s even great about the Bentonite Clay is it acts as a substitute for clarifying shampoos. Now, I don’t want anyone to think I am bashing the benefits of a clarifying shampoo, but we must realize that it strips the hair of its natural oils in the process of removing excess dirt or build-up. That’s a win-lose situation to me and I want all my naturalists out here to have a win-win with any hair product they find fitting for their hair. In efforts of moisturizing low porosity hair, one must understand exactly what kinds of products and ingredients to look out for in order to correctly manage low porosity hair. If you do not take that time out to learn about what works, you risk having dry hair, weaker strands, protein over-load, and hair breakage.
Bentonite clay mask should be done at least every 6-8 weeks to draw out build up. Sometimes I do some pre-pooing if I notice there is build up caused from having a protective style, such as braids or Faux Locs, or if I simply have gunk stuck in my strands from heavy product. The pre-poo helps with slip during the washing process. It also helps remove any tiny lents or stubborn flaky particles on your hair. From my experience, the clay mask causes my 4C hair to retain moisture. I have found myself not needing to add additional products to moisturize my hair throughout the first week and a half post the Bentonite clay mask process.
How to mix and apply Bentonite Clay on Low Porosity Hair
In my tutorial below I use a smaller quantity of the clay mask and Apple Cider Vinegar, but I have a small head. If you want to make a larger quantity for storage purposes or if you have fuller /thicker hair than mines, adjust the quantity used. Remember, if you have not clarified your hair in months, you might want to pre-poo overnight first before following my steps on how to use Bentonite to detoxify your hair. View my tutorial below for a visual representation, however, adjust the measurements as written below:
- 1 cup Bentonite Clay
- 1 cup filtered warm water.
- Spoon for mixing
- 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Plastic bowl
- Spray bottle
- Gloves to applicate product
- Put your safety cloves
- Grab the plastic bowl and pour the Bentonite Clay into bowl
- If you prefer your water to be on the hotter side, like I do, grab the hot water or warm water, pour into the bowl and slowly mix together
- Add Apple Cider Vinegar into water+clay mix and mix together to achieve a smooth consistency
- If you have a small head, like me, part your hair into small sections. If not, part into 6-7 sections so the product can be properly dispersed.
- Grab spray bottle pour in warm or hotter water and spray into sections of hair from root to tip, DO NOT DRENCH your hair in water
- Apply the clay mixture into each section of hair from roots to the tip of the hair
- Leave mask on for 30 minutes
- Rinse with room temperature water
- Follow with moisture repair/ sulfate free shampoo and deep conditioner , such as Urban Hydration. These products contain Honey, a natural humectant for trapping and retaining moisture into low porosity hair.
- Rinse and Style as you wish!