Masks and Rinses Part 6: Bentonite Clay Mask

Have you ever tried the bentonite clay mask?

I stumbled across this clay mask in 2015 and my life has never been the same again. Like most new naturals, I read about something that worked for someone and hopped onto the train without a care in the world. I didn’t find out how or why the mask worked; I only knew that it was good for my hair. In this post, I’d like to extend last year’s masks and rinses series and share some information on how and why the bentonite clay mask works.

What is Bentonite Clay?

BU.KE bentonite clay

Bentonite clay, as the name suggests, is a clay that comes in powder form. It is formed by aged volcanic ash and has a negative/ anionic charge. This property makes it a good detoxifier. Like activated charcoal, it binds with heavy metals, toxins and other positive/ cationic charges.

What Does Bentonite Clay Do To Your Hair?

One thing that we need to realize is that you can incorporate bentonite clay into your curly hair regimen in two major ways: as a clay wash or a mask. The benefits (of bentonite clay for hair) shared below are specific to the hair mask.

1.Detoxifying Hair

Conditioners and other hair products have a positive charge. Bentonite clay detox for your hair works because the anionic clay binds with the products. This is why some naturals periodically substitute shampoo for the clay mask.

2.Reducing Frizz

The bentonite clay hair mask tames frizz on curly hair. After one use, you can clearly see the difference once your hair is completely dry.

3.Curl Definition

This clay helps to define your curls. The good thing is that, unlike regular hair products, the definition lasts even after you wash out the clay. This is why a clay mask before a wash and go yields impressive results.

How Do You Make A Bentonite Clay Hair Mask?

To make a bentonite clay mask, you will need:

  • Bentonite clay
  • Glass or plastic bowl
  • A plastic spoon or fork
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Oils of your choice

The bentonite clay mask recipe is simple:

  • Put a tablespoon of the clay in a glass or plastic bowl
  • Add in a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and/ or water into the clay
  • Optional: Add in a few drops of your desired essential oil
  • Stir well
  • Continue with step one, two and three until you have the desired amount and clay consistency for your natural hair
Braggs ACV and BU.KE bentonite clay for bentonite clay mask hair recipe
Braggs ACV and BU.KE bentonite clay for bentonite clay mask hair recipe

Some people prefer to use ACV because of its antimicrobial properties and its ability to balance the hair’s pH.  Unfortunately, this is not an option for some people because of the strong smell and sting that you can get from ACV. To reduce these effects, you can mix ACV and water in a 1:1 ratio when making the mask. If this doesn’t help, it’s okay to use just water.

How Do You Use The Bentonite Clay Hair Mask?

The process is simple:

  • Section your hair
  • Section by section, apply the clay recipe onto slightly damp hair
  • If the mask starts to harden, spritz you hair with a bit of water
  • Wear a plastic bag or shower cap once you’re done with application
  • Let it sit in your hair for about 20-30 minutes till it can dry
  • Wash it out with running water

Some naturals start panicking when the masks starts hardening. This is normal and it will not break your hair. Once you wash it out, your natural hair will be back to normal.

Two Common Bentonite Clay Hair Mask Questions

Should I wash my hair before using bentonite clay?

It depends on your preference. If you haven’t cleansed in a while, you might need to wash your hair in order to clean your scalp before using the mask. On the other hand, if you wash your hair often and only use the mask between shampooing, you don’t have to wash your hair. However, you should not completely replace your shampoo with the bentonite clay mask. Even with its strong detoxifying properties, bentonite clay cannot replace the strong cleansing properties of a shampoo.

How often can I use bentonite clay on my hair?

Again, it depends on your preference. I’ve never heard of bentonite clay hair damage.

You can use the mask once a week, every two weeks or even once a month. The frequency depends on your regimen. Once a day is a bit much. I’d like to meet a curly or kinky natural (whose hair is longer than a TWA) who actually washes their hair once a day.

Bentonite Clay in Kenya

I’ve used bentonite clay for a couple of years now and I stand by it. Amazon and eBay have the Aztec brand which is pretty popular among naturals. For those who are in Kenya, you can get the BU.KE clay from Super Cosmetics. Natural Hair Kenya and Healthy U also stock bentonite clay.


0 thoughts on “Masks and Rinses Part 6: Bentonite Clay Mask”

  1. Yes I’ve tried the bentonite clay before and I love. Thanks for this I’ll try again since I haven’t at all this year!

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