Finding What Works for You
As we gain more access to hair products, we need to remember to be aware of our hair’s condition to be able to give it the best care possible.
A favorite ingredient we are adding to our hair regimen is clay. As funny as it may sound to some, it takes getting a little dirty to get clean. It may be new to others too, but we’ve adapted the methods used by our ancestors from choosing natural, holistic techniques to treat our hair.
Many customs throughout North Africa to Southeast Asia have used mud for hair and skin for detoxing and defining properties. For centuries, women have mostly been the ones to mix clay with water for a magical, universal paste. Now, this doesn’t mean to run to your backyard to try to revive some damaged hair, but it does mean to look into various organic approaches to helping your hair thrive. There are many advantages of using deep cleaning and strengthening treatments for luscious, vibrant hair.
Many of us are missing out on lasting moisture that helps to strengthen hair cuticles. Bentonite clay, also known as “healing clay,” is full of beneficial nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium.
Rhassoul, also known as Moroccan Red Cay, is another nutrient-rich favorite used by many for its softening and cleansing abilities. Kaolin clay is excellent for the skin and hair, as it cleanses and soothes any irritations or itching.
These are the most popular kinds of clay, but the earth’s composition is full of various remedies for everyone.
What Can Mud Do For Me?
Besides providing the hair with nutrients needed to make it look as good as it feels, mud can do so much for you.
Different types of mud concoctions can be manufactured to help restore dry, damaged, or breaking hair. Depending on your hair’s needs, you can do some research to find out how you can benefit from the glories of mud.
Here are five reasons why you should use clay in your hair:
1. Cleansing/Clarifying Properties
A mud wash is perfect for those with curly to kinky hair types because, unlike shampoo, no natural oils are being stripped from the scalp.
If you have highly porous hair, it absorbs moisture quickly, so it dries at a faster rate. You moisturize in the morning before your day begins, but by the end of the day your hair may appear dry and worn out. This could mean your techniques or products are causing the dryness.
A mud shampoo can help combat quick moisture loss without added toxins. When you wash your hair, you should be looking to refine it. You want to avoid products or methods that overclean your scalp. A scalp free of any natural oils is a scalp that becomes dry which inevitably causes breakage and tangles.
You can use any chemical-free clay wash to gently clear your tresses of excess oils, dirt, and product buildup. It is okay for your hair not to be completely clean, as some dirt is natural. But for your hair to be filthy, now that we want to avoid at all costs.
How often you wash is dependent on your hair and lifestyle. You should wash at a rate that keeps your hair generally clean at all times. You can purchase a mud shampoo, which is more pricey than generic shampoos, but worth it for a better wash and shine. You can also save a few dollars by creating your own shampoo.
Here’s an example recipe of the many you can create for yourself:
- 4 oz of Aloe Vera Juice
- ½ oz of Rhassoul or the clay of your choice
- A few drops of any essential and carrier oil mix of your choice
Add parts into a bottle and lather into scalp and comb through to detangle.
Rinse thoroughly. The measurements of the shampoo are to last 1-3 washes.
2. Detoxing/Exfoliating Abilities
To keep up with your hair’s health, invest in a detox routine.
Just as you detox your body, you can cleanse your hair from the residue that is easily missed by a simple method. Deep cleaning your hair is necessary, especially when you opt for an all-organic routine. Gentle washes get rid of the visible buildup, but there are more dirt and oils left beneath the surface that removes with a hair detox.
You can detox with a hair mask. Within hours, you can transform the feel of your hair for an even volumized and cleaner look. A homemade mask is very simple to make and a popular favorite among naturalistas who seek restoration from product damage.
To make a mask, you need:
- ½ cup of bentonite clay powder
- ½ cup aloe vera gel
- 1 ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Mix the bentonite, aloe vera, and ¼ cup of the apple cider vinegar into a paste and in sections, lather the mixture into the hair.
Cover the hair with a plastic shower or heat cap and sit for about 20-30 minutes, and ensure the mask does not dry.
After the time is up, rinse with the cup left of apple cider vinegar. Sit for another minute or two before you rinse; this will help dandruff and flaking many women tend to deal with when working with organic products.
Rinse again thoroughly with warm water and allow 10 minutes for a conditioner of your choice.
3. Reviving Moisture
Did you know that Cleopatra had used Moroccan Red Clay for her magnificent curls?
The difference in the hair’s appearance when you allow mud masks to hydrate your hair allows for more definition and shine. How often you choose to restore your curls is dependent on you and you only.
One thing that most naturals have learned is that once you pick the right products and discover the best techniques for taking care of your hair, you have to maintain a regimen. Consistency gives the hair a chance to work in a cycle, allowing you to be able to do whatever it is you need to do for your hair at a particular time.
For those with tighter curls, it is harder for moisture to travel down your strands to keep the ends as secure as the roots. For all-around moisture and strength, a weekly, biweekly, or even monthly mask can be the game changer for you.
Most store-bought, generic shampoos are made with a pH close to that of your hair’s natural pH.
Clay, on the other hand, has a higher pH but must be restored after usage. Nothing wrong with it, but there are precautions you must consider when dealing with mud washes or masks.
To close the cuticles and to finish strong, after completing your mask, you can rinse your hair of all clay and ensure it is all clear with a follow-up conditioner, but you can also create your own shine-boosting rinse that is meant to help bring the cleansing to a close. Apple cider vinegar is an antibacterial ingredient that can work hand in hand with the clay to stimulate optimal luster.
To make your shining rinse, you only need:
1 cup herbal tea
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Use that mixture to rinse your hair, focusing on the roots and ends to ensure they are clear of all mud residue.
As great as mud is for your hair, you don’t want it anywhere near you once you have finished with your regimen. After you rinse and style as desired, you will notice how moisture lasts longer and throughout your hair for more strength and shine.
5. Healing Scalp Conditions
For those with any scalp condition such as psoriasis, dry/flaky scalp, or sensitive skin, you want to find the right products to nourish the skin as well as heal impurities.
You can go so far as to using a medicated shampoo. However, the switch to an all-natural remedy might be your best bet if you’re searching for a more mild approach. Focusing on your condition might lead you to use Rhassoul or Kaolin clay for their soothing and softening abilities.
After a few uses of the shampoo, mask, or both, you should already begin to see improvement in your scalp.
Seeing It For Yourself
I’ve heard from a few people they don’t like doing certain hair and skin treatments because they can’t stand the texture or feeling.
Are you one of these people? Finding ways to overcome the uncomfortableness can improve your life in ways you cannot imagine! You can work in the bathtub or a sink to monitor the mess so that it is easy to clean, and you can even wear gloves if the texture freaks you out.
Mud is one of those natural remedies that you just can’t say no to because it does nothing but benefit your hair and skin. If you’re looking to bring more life into your look and to continue to glow naturally, then find the mud regimen that benefits you personally! And share with us in the comments of all the ways we can flourish together in the name of dirt!
So no matter who you are, if you’re not looking for healing for your scalp, you at least want your hair to be feeling as good on the inside as it does on the outside.