The Benefits of a Bentonite Clay Mask for Natural Hair!

Updated: April 16, 2021

bentonite clay for hair

If this is not the first article about Ayurveda for natural hair you’ve come across, then you’ve probably already heard about Bentonite clay! It’s a magical, “healing” super ingredient, that is often used as a natural hair mask. In this post, we’re going to be talking about the benefits of bentonite clay for hair, how to make it, and why you need it in your hair regimen right now!! 

Bentonite clay is a naturally-occurring calcium clay, and it gets its name from Fort Benton, Wyoming where it is most present. Bentonite clay has also been studied extensively to prove the anecdotal benefits of this ingredient that have been celebrated for centuries. 

The bentonite clay can either be consumed internally or used externally to reap the benefits, but as you know here at Hibiscus Roots, we only focus on the use of ayurvedic ingredients EXTERNALLY!

If you’re looking for a Hail Mary to save your natural hair, or your products don’t seem to be working anymore to hydrate your hair, a rich bentonite clay mask might just be what you need! 

Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of using bentonite clay, especially as a hair mask!

What is Bentonite Clay?

Bentonite clay is an ancient clay that is formed from aged volcanic ash. It has been used for thousands of years for its healing and cleansing benefits for the skin and scalp. Today, you can purchase it in pill or powder form for use as shampoo, lotion, skin care masks, toothpaste, or as a dietary supplement! 

Bentonite clay is an absorbent clay, which naturally has a negative charge and works like a magnet to attract positively charged dirt and toxins on the scalp. It is rich in magnesium, sodium, potassium, aluminum, and silica which are essential for healthy hair growth! The best and easiest way to use bentonite clay, and reap its benefits, is to use it as a hair mask!

Benefits of Bentonite Clay for Natural Hair

If you’re curious about what bentonite clay does for natural hair, keep reading to learn more about all the amazing benefits of a bentonite clay mask! 

1. It is antibacterial

Bentonite clay can kill harmful bacteria on the scalp. This alone is enough to promote a healthy environment for hair growth.

2. It is anti-inflammatory

This ingredient can also help reduce inflammation and irritation on the scalp. These are both properties that could hinder hair follicles from being healthy enough to produce strong hair!

3. It is an antioxidant

Bentonite clay helps reduce the number of toxins on the scalp and in the body. These toxins could form from mold, pesticides, and other forms of metal poisoning.

4. It is a deep cleanser

This clay absorbs dirt, oil, and excess sebum on the scalp. Bentonite clay can also absorb the excess minerals on your hair that can buildup from hard water deposits – especially if you’re not using a shower-head filter. Using bentonite clay to deep clean and chelate your hair regularly is a great way to make sure your hair is in optimal condition for continued healthy hair growth!

Be sure to check out this post for more details on when and how you should be washing your natural hair!

Easy DIY Bentonite Clay Hair Mask Recipe!

What you will need

  • ½ cup Bentonite Clay
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 4 drops Rosemary essential oil
  • 4 drops Lemon essential oil


  1. Add the bentonite clay to a non-metal bowl (use plastic, ceramic, or wood).

  2. Then, add in all your oils and the apple cider vinegar and stir it in.

  3. Allow your mixture to foam for about 10-15 seconds, then add in the water.

  4. Now, begin to still your mixture until it reaches the smooth consistency of thick yogurt.

Warning: The FDA has not approved all brands of Bentonite Clay for internal use. You should always check with your doctor before you decide to take any Ayurvedic ingredients internally. You should also do a patch test (on the inside of your elbow) before you try bentonite clay on your whole head!

How to Use a Bentonite Clay Hair Mask Recipe

  1. You should apply your bentonite clay to damp hair from root to end.
    You can either wash your hair before using bentonite clay or use the clay itself as a shampoo. Use bentonite clay on damp hair rather than dripping wet hair for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it prevents the product from dripping everywhere. Secondly, natural hair is a lot more fragile when it’s dripping wet.

  2. Always work in small sections!
    Always apply the hair mask to small sections of hair to ensure an even application.

  3. Don’t try to detangle your natural hair with bentonite clay in it.
    This hair mask has no slip whatsoever and dries rock-solid, pretty much on contact! So, attempting to detangle your hair with this in it will just lead to snapping and breakage!

  4. Cover and let it sit.
    Once you’ve coated your hair with the bentonite clay mask, cover your natural hair with a plastic cap for about 20-30 minutes. Optionally, apply heat by using a thermal cap or hooded drier!

  5. Rinse ALL the clay out.
    Rinse the mask out completely, and ensure that the hair is completely free of clay. Bentonite clay is incredibly drying to the hair, as one of its primary purposes is to absorb oils. This isn’t an ingredient you want sitting in your hair for longer than necessary.

  6. Put the moisture back in!
    Follow this treatment with a moisturizing or balancing deep conditioner to restore moisture to the hair that the shampoo and bentonite clay mask definitely sucked out! 

What is the Difference between Bentonite Clay and Rhassoul Clay?

Have you read our article about rhassoul clay? Or are you curious about ayurvedic clays and wondering which one your hair needs most right now?

Here’s an easy comparison of Bentonite Clay and Rhassoul Clay:

  1. Rhassoul clay is considered more of a gentle cleansing clay, while bentonite clay is considered more of a powerful detoxifier

  2. Rhassoul clay is used to moisturize and soften natural hair, and actually makes detangling easier! Bentonite clay, on the other hand, helps restore pH balance and other aspects of the hair’s balance — except moisture. Bentonite clay is actually unfortunately very drying.

  3. Rhassoul clay is mostly used for cleansing hair and makes a great substitute for a co-wash. Bentonite clay is also a powerful cleanser, however, is the first step in many curl-defining routines as it has been shown to improve curl clumping and promote curl definition! 

  4. Rhassoul clay is often made runnier/thinner in consistency and is intended to be used as the shampoo step of a hair routine. Bentonite clay on the other hand is usually made thicker and is intended to coat the hair and scalp to draw out toxins. It is usually used as a hair mask or treatment.

How Often Should You Use Bentonite Clay on Hair?

A bentonite clay hair mask recipe is very drying, so it should only be used betweeen once a month to about 3-4 times a year! It works as a powerful detoxifier, so your need for such a product will vary based on your hair care regimen or your hair porosity.

If you use heavy styling products, or you use hard water on your natural hair, then you need to use Bentonite Clay often. Similarly, you have low porosity hair for example, and are prone to product build-up, you will absolutely love using bentonite clay often for getting rid of this buildup! 

Can You Leave Bentonite Clay in Overnight?

Bentonite clay is excessively drying and should not be left in your hair for longer than 30 minutes. This is because bentonite clay is highly absorbent and will absorb more moisture and oil from your hair than you want. Leaving bentonite clay in your hair overnight will definitely result in excessive dryness and breakage.

How Do You Mix Bentonite Clay Without Lumps?

To ensure that your bentonite clay has a smooth consistency, without lumps, pour the liquid (ACV or Water) into the clay while slowly stirring. Then, allow the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes before using it. Doing this will allow any lumps formed during the mixing process to dissolve before use.

Where Can You Purchase Bentonite Clay for Hair?

The most popular brand of bentonite clay is this Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. You can easily find it on Amazon (here) or at your local vitamin / health foods store! 🙂

Don’t forget to let us know in the comments if you decide to try a bentonite clay mask in your natural hair routine. As usual, don’t forget to add it to your state of the union list so you always have a point of reference and an objective way to determine if it worked for you!

Grab a free hair journal here!

Read Next: Washing Your 4C Natural Hair Wrong might be Ruining Your Progress!

The Benefits of a Bentonite Clay Mask for Natural Hair!

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