Bentonite Clay: Natural Cleansing Mask for Hair & Skin

It's that time of the month. It's time Bentonite clay treatment!
Bentonite clay can be found all over the world but the largest deposits lie in North America and the Italian mountains. The clay is comprised of deposits of volcanic ash and has been used by different communities, most notably the Aztec people....when they were around....for centuries. It contains important minerals including magnesium, calcium, potassium, etc, which are important for hair growth and skin rejuvenation.  Bentonite clay regulates the amount of sebum secreted from the scalp and skin, which is what makes it such a great cleanser and detoxifier. When applied to the hair and skin, the clay swells up like a sponge and attracts toxins into it.  Drawn by the electric charge of the clay, the toxins stick to it and wash off when the clay is washed off!

Bentonite clay is really popular in the natural hair community. When I first went natural and read about women buying "ancient healing clay" to clarify their hair, I was like "This is too much! I'll just buy some clarifying shampoo instead and call it a day." Then....I changed my mind actually after reading about the efficacy of this mask on skin. I hopped over to the Vitamin Shoppe and purchased some Bentonite clay. I've been hooked ever since! I do this treatment on my hair every 4-6 weeks, depending on how dirty my hair is.  And I do this treatment on my skin twice a month.

Some Benefits of Bentonite Clay:
  • increased curl definition for hair
  • increased shine for hair
  • anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial
  • clearer skin
How to make the Bentoinite Clay Mask:

What You'll need: 
Water/Water Bottle/Hair clips/Towel/Plastic cap
Bowl + non-metal spoon
Apple Cider Vinegar
Bentonite Clay
(Optional additional ingredients include: aloe vera juice for added softness and conditioner for added moisture)

1. Pour 1 cup of Benonite Clay into a bowl
2. Add 1/2 cup of warm water to mixture
3. Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
4. Mix, Mix, Mix until the mixture forms a pasty consistency
Hair Application:
1. Separate hair into 4 sections with clips
2. Spritz each section of hair with water
(Optional step: gently finger detangle with conditioner)
3. Apply Bentonite Clay paste from root to tip
*Avoid getting the paste on your scalp since it is difficult to get out.  Also avoid detangling with the clay since it is drying.
4. Put on a plastic cap and leave mixture on for 15-25 minutes
5. Rinse out and proceed to washing- I follow a bentonite hair mask with a deep conditioning mask to restore the moisture, then I proceed to shampooing and conditioning.

Bentonite clay makes my hair soft, curly, and shiny.  Consistent with the experience of other naturals, my hair usually shrinks up ALLOT. My almost shoulder-length curls shrink up to about chin length, but it's all good! Bentonite clay gives your hair a clean slate and a fresh start!

Facial Application:
1. Dampen face with warm water
2. Apply mixture evenly to face
3. Leave on for 5-10 minutes
4. Run hot water on a towel
5. Wipe mixture off
6. Rinse face with cool water to close your pores

Bentonite clay makes my skin nice and smoothe. It could be a little irritating and drying for me because I have really sensitive skin, but overall the pros definitely outweigh the cons! Once I rinse the mixture off, my skin looks a little pale (see picture below) but after I add some shea butter to my skin, I'm good to go!

See how I don't really apply it close to my scalp?
 I like to create a smoother liquidy paste for when I apply Bentonite clay to my face because it makes it easier to wash off!
Curl definition!
Curl Definition/shine/shrinkage! 

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out my popular henna post and my henna update post with PICTURES.

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*Medical Disclaimer: Though Naïka of Naïka in Balance is in pursuit of a medical degree, she is NOT a licensed health practitioner. 
Naïka believes individuals have the power to make informed health decisions on their own. If you feel that it is necessary to consult your healthcare provider before using any of the remedies mentioned, please do so. Knowledge is power and your health is your wealth.


  1. This was so informative! After reading this and doing some more research, I went out and bought some. Bentonite clay really made my curls pop. It also made my hair squeaky clean, without stripping it. This is a new staple product! I might even have to say bye-bye to shampoo from now on. Thanks for posting.

    1. HI! Thanks for commenting. I'm so glad you had such a great experience with it!

  2. Hello thanks for the info loved it

    1. Hello! You're welcome, thanks for commenting! -N

  3. I just did this and loved the results!

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  5. That's interesting! Can you please share more about it? Thank you.

    Makeup Removing Cleanser

  6. Why do you still use shampoo and conditioner after already using the clay and deep conditioner? I thought the clay cleaned the hair! Could you elaborate on this please? I use rhassoul clay all the time on my hair/scalp, (sometimes followed with a conditioner, but it's not necessary as it also acts as a conditioner and is well documented not to be as drying as the bentonite, hence,conditioner follow up), I have never tried bentonite before and have never heard that it could not be used on the scalp. I have heard good things about bentonite but cannot elaborate since I have not tried it yet. Looking forward to hearing from you. Be blessed

  7. This was so informative! After reading this and doing some more research, I went out and bought some. Bentonite clay really made my curls pop. It also made my hair squeaky clean, without stripping it. This is a new staple product! I might even have to say bye-bye to shampoo from now on. Thanks for sharing the useful information.

  8. So, that’s what it does to your hair. Your hair looks shiny and supple. How about if you use it on your skin? You mentioned about using it twice a month. and I think people would love to know if it yields the same wonderful results on your skin as it does to your hair. Thanks for sharing this amazing trick!

    Hugh Barber @ Laser-Clinique

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  10. Your receipe looks great, thanks. But, is there a substitute for the Apple Cider Vinegar? Thanks.