Scroll through your social media feeds and you’ll probably see videos featuring clay masks that tout skin purifying benefits. Clay is a powerhouse when it comes to degunking pores and absorbing water and sebum, which is why it’s often used in facial treatments. But did you know that clay-based haircare products have a host of benefits as well? Bentonite clay has a long history as a traditional remedy for everything from relieving the discomfort of a poison ivy rash to preventing dandruff.
What is Bentonite Clay?
Absorbent aluminum phyllosilicate clay (aka bentonite) has been around for thousands of years. When volcanic ash mixes with water, the glass particles transform into minerals – either sodium or calcium bentonite. Sodium bentonites are highly absorbent, making them ideal for detoxing the hair and scalp.
A Little Science
Hair and bentonite clay both have a negative charge, which means they wouldn’t ordinarily bond with one another. The benefits of bentonite clay on hair begin when the negatively charged clay attaches to positively charged elements coating the hair, like styling products and conditioner. When the two unite, the bentonite safely removes those elements, leaving the hair with its natural negative charge. In people-speak, bentonite eliminates product buildup and positively charged chemicals on the hair’s surface, making it a great addition to your hair styling arsenal.
#1 Bentonite Clay Cleans Thoroughly and Gently
If you work outdoors, swim, exercise frequently, shampoo infrequently, or just have oily hair, including a bentonite-enriched product in your weekly routine will help remove excess scalp oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. The clay attaches to impurities, so that they can be removed without vigorous scrubbing or needing a harsh, chemical-laden clarifying shampoo.
#2 Bentonite Clay Contains Healthy Hair Minerals
Wondering how to keep your flow healthy? Just like your body, hair needs the right minerals to keep it growing strong. Sodium bentonites contain, you guessed it, sodium, magnesium, and iron. Sodium absorbs water and makes the hair swell up, so hair feels and looks thicker. Magnesium prevents hair follicles from clogging by preventing calcium buildup on the scalp. And although iron hasn’t been clinically linked to stimulating hair growth, it does contribute to healthy hemoglobin levels – which are necessary for good oxygenation and your body as a whole.
#3 Bentonite Clay Reduces Dandruff
Dandruff plagues most adults at one time or another, but it isn’t always caused by overactive oil glands. Some forms of dandruff actually stem from a type of fungus called Malassezia. Bentonite has both antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it can control the fungus and restore your scalp to its flake-free self. Check with your primary care provider or dermatologist, though, to rule out other conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
#4 Bentonite Restores Hair’s Luster
Hair looking a little lackluster or lifeless? Chances are your strands are coated with shine-dulling product. Bentonite removes those unwanted deposits while rehydrating hair. And it doesn’t need to be used daily to see the results. Curly or kinky hair often lacks moisture because the tiny cellular layers of the cuticle do not lay flat against one another – kind of like a fallen pine cone. Try using bentonite clay for natural hair benefits, including shine restoration and textural improvement.
How Our Hair Clay Benefits from Bentonite
With the benefits of bentonite clay for hair being so abundant, we knew we wanted to include it in our Hair Clay. Bentonite amps up the moisturizing factor while also giving you a sticky-in-a-good-way texture for better control and malleability. And since bentonite helps those cuticle layers stay smooth, it keeps frizz and flyaways to a minimum. Try pairing it with our Sea Salt Spray for your pre-styling needs or our Hair Moisturizer to improve your hair’s overall health.