BENTONITE CLAY..WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?
Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays used to treat both internal and external maladies. Bentonite can be used externally as a  mud pack,  in skin care recipes, and to cleanse your hair.  Bentonite clay carries a strong ionic negative charge, the negative charge seeks something positive to attach to.  There are a few types of bentonite clay, but the two most commonly used for hair and skin are sodium and calcium.
How Does It Work?
Can clay really properly cleanse the hair? You bet, and better than your chemical laden shampoo!  The reason cleansing with bentonite clay is so effective is because of the uniquely strong ionic negative charge which essentially act as a “magnet” attracting to itself any substance with a positive ionic charge.  Substances that carry a positive ionic charge include toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other impurities.  The clay attracts these impurities, drawing it out of the hair.  These substances are both attach themselves to the outside of the clay molecules (sticking to it like Velcro) and are absorbed into the clay molecules; as you rinse away the clay it carries all of the impurities with it while leaving the much needed natural oils in tact.  Giving you clean hair without stripping it like shampoo. With the added benefit of containing no parabens, mineral oils, silicones, ect. like most shampoos.Both clays,( Sodium and Calcium) swell and react when combined with water but the calcium swells less making it possible to pass through the colon for internal detoxification freely. Whereas the Sodium Bentonite, when mixed with water, creates a swelling of 7 times the amount making it extremely absorbing, so this type is suitable and beneficial for external use (like on the hair and skin).
Sodium Bentonite, Why Beneficial For Hair?

Sodium Bentonite Clay has a high negative charge, and therefore a strong “attraction” to heavy metals and toxins that it comes in contact with. With this stronger charge, it is able to pull in more unwanted  toxins from the hair, thoroughly cleansing the hair by removing product buildup allowing for better moisture. Better moisture means healthier, stronger, more beautiful hair! Not to mention easier styling. This type of cleansing I found left my hair feeling incredibly soft and shinny, added shine is due to the combination of  acidic fluids like ACV or AloeVera Juice (I use Aloe Juice).  There have been claims that cleansing with the bentonite clay can enhance your curl pattern and makes hair more manageable, now while I could find no scientifically documented proof to back this up, I have personally found this to be true.   When I was still using shampoo and conditioner I used to DREAD wash day.  I have very, very thick hair and lots of it! So the task of detangling was always one of exasperation for me.  I used to use, without exaggeration, close to half a bottle of conditioner and wide tooth comb designed especially for detangling to get through this head.  And it would still take loads of time, and patience – both of which I tend to run short on.  Since I started cleansing with the bentonite clay, wash day is a breeze! My hair does not really get tangled anymore!  I’ve noticed a significant decrease in single strand knots, I am now able to easily finger detangle my hair (which means less breakage from combs and brushes), and time, WOW, maybe 4-6 min max to detangle my whole head!  As far as enhanced curl pattern I have notice more defined slightly looser curls since using.  If you can’t tell I LOVE CLEANSING WITH THE CLAY!

BENTONITE CLAY…HOW TO MIX
  1. Combine Bentonite Clay and equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar( and/ or ) Aloe Vera Juice, and a few drops of essential oils of your choice ( I like to add lavender, sweet orange, and rosemary).  Mix to the consistency of batter.  Be sure to only use plastic or wooden utensils when mixing, as the metal will lessen the effect of the clay.  Each batch will vary from person to person, mix enough ingredients to cover the thickness and length for your hair.
  2. I prefer to section hair in 4-6 sections( this helps to ensure all of my strands get attention) and apply mixture to damp unclean hair.
  3.  You can use the clay as a mask, allowing the mixture to sit on the hair for 15-20 minutes (apply a plastic conditioning cap so mixture does not dry).  I recommend the mask for those who use lots of styling products and heavy butters, as you may have more build up).  For myself and those who use little to no products and natural oils and gel, I recommend massaging mixture into hair (one section at a time) gently pulling downward on strands smoothing the cuticle for about 2 min.
  4. Rinse mixture with lukewarm water until all clay is rinsed from the hair.  It is important to rinse thoroughly! If clay is left on the hair it will continue to work and cause hair to become dry.
  5. You can stop the cleansing process here or follow up with a deep conditioner, I use my recipe for my all natural deep conditioning treatment. If you want the recipe click the link :) http://hippiechicchick.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/all-natural-deep-conditioning-treatment-2/
  6. Seal in moisture and style hair as usual.

For those of you who are not mixologist or just don’t have the time to be,  Terressential Pure Earth Hair Wash is amazing, and what I use when I’m to lazy to mix my own!  I included a link to their website in the reference section at the bottom of the article.

So You Know…

This is info taken directly from the terressentials  website, I don’t work for them or anything, I just found it extreamly helpful when I first started using the bentonite clay to cleanse with so wanted to include it here.

“Chemical hair treatments permanently alter the outer layer of the hair shaft creating a porous cuticle – under a microscope chemically treated hair looks like Swiss cheese. Once hair is damaged by chemical colorings, perms or straightening chemicals, people are sold a myriad of synthetic products that artificially coat the hair with plastic or protein polymers to make it look and feel undamaged. The more damaged the hair, the more porous it becomes; the more porous the hair, the more it absorbs these synthetic “protein” polymers (e.g. soy, wheat or oat proteins – that are NOT edible foods), plastic polymers such as PVP (petrochemical polyvinyl pyrrolidone) and gum coating agents. These are the substances the “mud” removes in the detox protocol, but the detox process takes time.

Sometimes when people begin using the Hair Wash, their hair may feel stiff, sticky, oily, heavy or dry. This feeling may persist until the residues of protein and plastic polymers have been completely removed, but if you’re patient, the end result is worth the wait! After using our “mud” for one to three weeks, most people love it and find it a joy to use. As new hair grows in to replace old damaged hair, you’ll probably be amazed at the difference. For some folks with very chemically damaged hair, they may not like the way their hair feels after the detox, because our Pure Earth Hair Wash contains none of the vinyl or protein plastic polymers to coat their hair to make it feel or look undamaged.

If you intend to continue using chemical treatments for your hair, you will probably not be happy with the look of your hair when it is cleaned with the clay cleanser and finally free from the synthetic plastic coating agents. Chemically damaged hair without plastic coating agents may appear to look darker because the hair is roughened and will not be shiny and reflect light. Damaged hair can also look straw-like and feel rough to the touch. Damaged hair tends to tangle much more easily and is weakened because of the chemical’s erosion to the cuticle leaving it more susceptible to breakage.”

Bottom line is if you have severely damaged unhealthy hair, you may not want to use the clay, as it will call you OUT! 

I get asked about why I use the bentonite clay instead of shampoo and condition often, I tried to cover it all, but if I left you with questions still feel free to post them in the comments section! Happy hair cleansing!

XOXO Hippiechicchick

P.S. There are other cleansing and conditioning clays, I will post about theses in the future!

Refrences:

http://www.terressentials.com/

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/bentonite.php

About these ads