Usually I use cheapo Suave clarifying shampoo and sometimes a few drops of Dr. Bronners Tea Tree Castille Soap followed by a moisturizing shampoo. However, regular clarifying shampoos can end up being extremely harsh on the hair, even when moisturizing products are applied afterwards. Natural clarifyers such as bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda are a gentler option. And being the willing guinea pig that I am, I have embarked on an exploration starting with bentonite clay for your viewing pleasure :-)
Bentonite clay is an absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate, consisting mostly of montmorillonite usually forming from the weathering of volcanic ash, most often in the presence of water. (wiki). According to more than alive:
Bentonite clay is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays used to treat both internal and external maladies. Bentonite can be used externally as a clay poultice, mud pack or in the bath, and in skin care recipes. Internally, it can be added to water or glazed upon food to help those with sensitive palates. It has a very fine, velveteen feel and is odorless and non-staining. Its highest power lies in the ability to absorb toxins, impurities, heavy metals and other internal contaminants. Bentonite clay's structure assists it in attracting and soaking up poisons on its exterior wall and then slowly draws them into the interior center of the clay where it is held in a sort of repository. To state it another way, Bentonite is swelling clay. When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound.
Sounds pretty great right? I decided to do a hair AND face mask...a whole little 30 minute spa day =)
For my first attempt with the clay, I purchased the loose variety like the one pictured above from the bulk bin at Whole Foods. It was $1/oz, which I thought was pretty good but I don't think I purchased quite enough. Maybe about 3 ounces or so. The powder was chalky white and when mixed with warm water as I had seen online (mixture should not come into contact with metal), the result was a thick chunky paste.
I applied as liberally as possible with the amount that I had to my hair and face.
The second time I used a popular brand that I had seen on the net, Azteca Indian Healing Clay.
This one is strictly for external use only (food grade versions can be taken orally for internal detoxifying). I bought it from a local health food store for about $9 for a 1lb tub. Way better deal then loose version at Whole Foods. You can find it even cheaper on the net.
This one mixed into a much smoother concoction and this time I added a little apple cider vinegar as I had seen done in youtube tutorials. (Darn my lack of scientific method lol)
This mixture also had a more "clayish" texture and color that I was expecting the first time. I mixed quite a large amount and applied liberally to my hair and face.
This stuff dries to a super crisp very quickly. It's not recommended to keep this on your hair until its completely dry and should only be left on your face for 15-20 minutes.
|Cute...I know :)|
As for the face mask, I did feel like my skin had a little glow to it after I washed it off. My skin was definitely as soft as the back of a baby's knee. :-)
Well, waddya think? Lol
Overall, I think this was definitely a great natural alternative to the sometimes harsh clarifying shampoos on the market. It's always fun experimenting with these things and I will be trying other experimental options in the future. But for me...its soooo much easier to just grab the bottle of shampoo. So I'll be on a quest to find the perfect one. *rings product junkie bell*