Hair Care

Bentonite Clay Ruined My Hair; How Can I Use it Again?



by Lydia


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Bentonite clay ruined my hair; what should I do? If you have this problem, we will help you understand why the Bentonite clay hair mask did not work for you. If you still want to give the clay mask another try, we will also share a few tips you can use for the best results. But first, here is what you need to know about the Bentonite clay mask.

What is Bentonite Clay?

If you have been looking for the best products for natural hair and skin, you might have come across bentonite clay as the best option. The clay is also called montmorillonite clay and is a clay derived from weathered volcanic ash.

Bentonite clay is also not new in the beauty or medical world and has been used in many cultures as an external and oral treatment for various diseases or conditions. Today, Bentonite clay is a powerful hair mask you can use to encourage hair growth. While there are not enough scientific studies to prove that Bentonite will help with hair growth, it has been tested on sheep, whose wool growth increased significantly after a steady diet with Bentonite.

How Does Bentonite Clay Work on Hair?

Naturally, bentonite clay attracts particles on your skin and hair, including dirt and product build-up. Also, bentonite clay has a negative charge, which attracts positively charged ions like Magnesium, potassium, and Sodium should you choose to ingest it.

With such powers, the Bentonite clay can help you deal with hair problems such as

  • dry, damaged hair
  • dry scalp
  • frizziness
  • dandruff
  • dull hair
  • heat damaged hair

Bentonite clay will leave your hair feeling softer after every wash. But, maybe you used the clay mixture and ended up with drier hair; what could have gone wrong?

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

The one thing you will not hear from many people about the bentonite clay hair mask is the possible drying side effect. Firstly, bentonite clay can absorb most water from your hair, thus leaving your hair dry and feeling heavy. So, how do you know if the hair mask will work for you? Our simple answer is to test your hair porosity.

Hair porosity indicates how well your hair can absorb and maintain moisture. You can either have low, medium, or high porosity. Generally, bentonite clay is not ideal for highly porous hair as it will draw out the mot mixture. So, before you use the clay mixture, you need to test your hair porosity as follows;

  1. Shampoo your hair to remove build-up and dirt. Once you rinse and dry the hair with a towel, you can test the porosity in the following steps.
  2. Fill a glass or container with cold water.
  3. Then, drop a single strand of hair into the water.
  4. Observe if the strand sinks or floats.


  1. If the strand floats for a long while before sinking, that indicates you have low porosity. Low porosity hair has cuticles formed closely together, making it harder for oils and moisture to penetrate.
  2. If the strand sinks to the middle of the glass, it would indicate medium porosity, which also means that oils and moisture can penetrate the cuticles after continued use.
  3. If the strand sinks very quickly to the bottom of the glass, you have high porosity to indicate products, including oils and moisture, and clay masks will easily penetrate the cuticles. With high porosity, you stand a higher chance of bad results with a bentonite clay mask. This is because it can penetrate your hair to draw out all moisture.

All is not lost if you have highly porous hair; you can still use a bentonite clay mask for stronger, naturally curly hair. If you have already used the hair mask and your natural hair feels heavy and dry, you will only need to rehydrate it. Here is how;

  1. Rinse your dry hair again. As we have seen, highly porous hair has larger cuticles which leave enough room for the bentonite clay mask to occupy. This clay will absorb moisture and other natural oils in your hair as it fills the pores. So, rinse the hair again to get the clay out.
  2. After rinsing, assess your hair to understand if you need to clean it more or just detangle it. Normally, if you feel like the hair is too dry and heavy, you might need to clean it more before detangling.
  3. Use a final wash shampoo to clean off the extra natural minerals gently. Do not worry about this step, as the sulfate-free shampoo will not dry your hair any more.
  4. After you shampoo, you need to condition your hair deeply to restore some moisture. Get a deep conditioner that will attempt to plump out your cuticles again for better hair. Apply evenly and leave the conditioner on for 30 minutes. You can also try detangling your hair as the conditioner sits.
  5. After 30 minutes, rinse the conditioner with rice water to smooth your cuticles for better hair days.
  6. Use a leave-in conditioner when styling if your hair still feels dry.

With this information, you may use bentonite clay treatment without worrying about drying your hair. However, here is a better way to use the clay mask on your natural hair for even better results.

Best Non-Drying Bentonite Clay Wash Recipe

If you have felt the drying effect of using bentonite clay treatment before but still want to give it another try, this recipe will eliminate the need for a harsh shampoo that can also leave your scalp dry. You will need;

  1. 1/2 cup of bentonite clay
  2. 1/4 cup of clean water
  3. 1/2cup of apple cider vinegar
  4. Your best essential oil
  5. Ceramic bowl

When you gather all supplies, follow these steps to make the clay mask that works great for your natural hair.

  1. Add your bentonite clay to the ceramic bowl.
  2. Add all the apple cider vinegar and water into the bowl. If you have an essential oil like tea tree oil, you can also add it to the mixture for a better smell.
  3. Mix the clay mixture until you get a creamy texture.
  4. Your bentonite clay mask is ready to use

How to Apply Your Natural Bentonite Clay Mask for Softer Hair

Bentonite clay works well to encourage hair growth. So, now that you have the best mask that will leave you with soft hair, here is how to apply it at home. You will need bentonite clay, water, and a spray bottle.

  1. Section your natural hair for easy application.
  2. Pour the warm water into your spray bottle.
  3. Take the first hair section, detangle it gently, then spray the warm water. Hydrating your hair before applying the bentonite clay will prevent new tangles while also leaving your hair most to prevent breakages.
  4. Scoop a good amount of the bentonite clay and apply it to your hair from root to tip. Make sure each strand of hair is well-coated, and massage the clay into your scalp.
  5. Repeat the process for each hair section. While continuing to other sections, keep spraying some water to the treated hair, so the bentonite clay does not dry your hair.
  6. Once you apply the bentonite clay on your entire head, spray your air with more water, then wear a shower cap to prevent drying.
  7. Since bentonite clay works quite fast to draw out natural minerals and dirt, you will want to leave bentonite clay on your hair for about 5-20 minutes.
  8. After 5-20 minutes, rinse your hair with warm water.
  9. Apply a deep moisturizer to soften your strands when you get the bentonite clay off. You will also notice how nicely your hair will take in the moisturizer after the bentonite clay removes dirt and toxins.
  10. Moisturize your hair with your best products like coconut oil or olive oil, then style as desired. You could also use a leave-in conditioner every few days to keep hydrating your strands before the next time your use bentonite clay.

If you are worried that bentonite clay ruins your natural hair, using it with apple cider vinegar is believed to balance out the acidity so you will have healthier and shinier hair. But, for a sensitive scalp, it could be best to dilute the apple cider vinegar with three parts water.

Now that you have a gentle bentonite clay treatment to work with, you can repeat the process once a month to strengthen your strands.

What are the Benefits of Using a Bentonite Mask on Natural Hair?

Sold on bentonite clay as your best hair mask? Here are some of the benefits of using this mudlike substance on your natural curls.

  1. With a negative charge, bentonite clay is anionic. The clay hair mask attracts positively charged (cationic) ions when applied to your natural hair. The cationic ions include dirt and product build-up on your hair and scalp. As such, the clay is a detoxifier and clarifier that will remove all hair impurities with one wash.
  2. Apart from dirt and product build-up, bentonite clay will also attract heavy metals and chemicals found in the hair products you use.
  3. Bentonite clay is great for your scalp. It has antimicrobial properties to remedy certain scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, fungus, dandruff, and viruses.
  4. When applied properly, bentonite clay will clump curls for better hair days.
  5. It reduces frizziness and encourages moisturization and shine.
  6. Since it softens your hair, you will have an easier time removing tangles.
  7. Bentonite clay encourages hair growth as it stimulates the scalp to unclog pores.

Using Bentonite Clay for the First Time? Here Are Some Tips to Save Time and Money

Bentonite clay is a mineral-rich clay that can eliminate toxins, dandruff, product build-up, dry skin cells, and other impurities for better natural hair. But, the process of applying this mask will be messy, which is why we share the following tips to make your process easier.

  1. Remove all jewelry on your hands and ears. Trust us, removing these will save you a ton of mess that could get stuck, especially once you start rinsing.
  2. Use old towels or t-shirts when applying the bentonite clay. Since the mixture is so messy, you will want to use fabrics you won't stress when cleaning. In addition, if you use extra ingredients such as essential oils, you will want to avoid anything that can stain or store the smell.
  3. Rinse your hair in the shower. Again, the mixture is quite messy, so the last thing you need is to rinse it on a sink. Soon enough, you will be left with a whole mess to clean off, so it is easier to rinse under a shower where the dirt goes straight into your drains.
  4. Reuse the leftover mask on your face. Bentonite clay has healing properties for the skin, and since it is a fresh mask you made at home, you might need to use it within a few days. But, before applying all the clay mask all over your face, you can do a small patch test on your knee or elbow to rule out a bad reaction. If you still have the leftover mask, you can store it in a closed lid container for a few days before you can use it again.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Bentonite Clay for Natural Human Hair

What does bentonite clay do for my hair?

Bentonite clay can take the place of your harsh shampoos if you are struggling to restore shine and strength to your natural hair. It is a natural way of deeply cleaning off toxins, dirt, dead skin cells, and other impurities that lead to dry hair. For best results, you can use bentonite clay with natural ingredients such as essential oils and apple cider vinegar, so the mask is gentle yet effective on your scalp and hair.

What are the drawbacks of using bentonite clay?

Bentonite clay has been used for thousands of years for its healing properties, and there have been very few cases of bad reactions. But, before you use it on your hair, it is best to understand your hair porosity so you can understand how much moisture it can draw from your healthy strands.

What should I do if bentonite clay ruined my hair?

If you applied the mask and ended up with dry and heavy hair, the best thing to do is deeply moisturize your hair to rehydrate it. You will need to use a deep conditioner after re-rinsing the hair. Then, after you rinse off the moisturizer, you can use the best protein treatment before styling. Also, as you style, you might want to use a leave-in conditioner with ingredients like aloe vera to help the strands lock in moisture.


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