Bentonite Clay: The key to long lasting curl/coil definition?

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Reader Jarquisha (pictured above) shares a hair discovery;

After doing a detox on my hair using Bentonite clay, my eyes were opened to something I had never noticed before. All of the previous time that I had washed, conditioned, etc my hair, I always had to go through so much to get my true texture to not only show, but remain once my hair dried. That involved many styling aids, mainly Kinky-Curly Curling Custard. Even with that, my hair only lasted for so long before turning into a puffy mess.

Fast forward to my clay detox yesterday (my second time ever). All it took was a 15 minute clay session and NOTHING ELSE to bring out my texture AND maintain it.


Clay application

I couldn’t understand why this was so until I did some research and stumbled upon Naptural85’s Youtube Video and thus the Terressentials website. This completely BLEW my mind.

For the past 2 years I have fought through product after product trying to find “THE ONE” only to find that it was as simple as using mud. Imagine that. Not only did my hair feel moisturized, but I did not have to put ANYTHING ELSE on it after rinsing out the clay (no conditioner, styling aids, etc).

So I’ve decided to keep my routine simple from now on: Terressentials shampoo/hair oils, my homemade flax seed gel (courtesy of Naptural85… I just LOVE her!) if I want a sleek style, braids or twists and my trusty coconut oil, shea butter and extra virgin olive oil. I never thought that being Natural could be so simple until now. My wallet (and my hair) will thank me later :)

I, too am a huge bentonite clay fan; what have your experiences been with it ladies? Do you get good moisture and curl definition from bentonite clay? Or did it not work for you? Share your experiences :)

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media and black beauty enthusiast.

 
  • lanni

    I’m glad to see that so many people are having positive experiences with the bentonite clay especially since I have a whole container of it from an impulsive PJ purchase a little while ago. I’m also curious about this Terresentials wash though it is severely out of my price range at the moment. I see that a lot of people have made mixes using ACV and some other things but I’m wondering if anyone has tried to recreate the Terresentials wash by mixing their bentonite with Aloe Vera juice and some other oils. If so, how did it work out for you?

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  • rae

    So timely! My absolute *best* wash n go was a few days ago after using bentonite clay! I hate the way shampoo makes my hair feel (even sulfate-free ones like Giovanni), so I think I’m a convert.

    I didn’t buy bentonite clay for any curl-defining properties, I just thought it would be a good alternative to shampoo. After rinsing out the clay I just added a tiny bit of Oyin Whipped Pudding to my hair (no shingling or intense raking or anything) and air dried — I didn’t need a gel or anything — and my hair held up very well.

    I must check out Terrestrials though. With it all mixed up and ready in a bottle, my wash sessions will be a *lot* shorter. Thanks for bringing this up, Jarquisha :)

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    • rae

      Whoops, Terressentials, lol, not terrestrials :-P

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    • http://sheabutterafropuffs.tumblr.com Jarquisha Hollings

      You’re welcome!

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  • CindyP

    Jarquisha, I would like to know how you prepare your hair for sleep at night? Do you experience shrinkage the next morning? Is the oil/water spritz the only thing you apply daily? Love your hair!

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    • http://sheabutterafropuffs.tumblr.com Jarquisha Hollings

      Hi CindyP! Thanks for your compliments. I really appreciate them. Previously when I did similar styles, I’d put a satin bonnet on my head. I didn’t like how it’d turn out the next morning as it smushed my hair to my head. So now when I do this style, I just sleep on a satin pillowcase and do not tie my hair down at all. I do experience some shrinkage, but no very much. You can look at the picture posted in the comments versus the picture at the head of the post for comparisons. The water/oil spritz is the only thing that I apply daily. I have opted for the minimalist approach to caring for my hair so I don’t use very many store bought/manufactured products. Just simple, unadulterated products like oils, water, etc. Hope this helps!

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      • ADRZ

        many ppl are different depend where they live, what hair condition, etc. my hair can be easy curl defined by simply co-wash or dc, it can be because I take really great caring of it almost 3 years. But it aint point…ppl know themselve more sometimes than we do. Something they need more products to try that

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  • babycoily

    I just gave bentonite clay another try yesterday. I usually just use it for my face because the first time I tried it on my hair I only used the clay and water. Dry crispy hair. But yesterday I was all out of shampoo and I saw this post, so this time I mixed it with aloe vera juice and honey. My consistency was super liquidy so I could just apply and rinse. Best detangler ever! Super soft hair. Forget shampoo. I’m sticking with this.

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    • lanni

      I’m so glad to hear that! I’ve been wanting to try it with AVJ and have been waiting to see how it worked for others. Did you make extras or just enough for that one time? I’m thinking about making stuff and storing it if I can just to limit having to make it fresh every time. Also, did you condition afterwards?

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      • babycoily

        Hey. Washing with baking soda,bentonite clay, or anything else with a high ph (around 9) always severly dried my hair out. I think it works better for me with AVJ because it lowers the ph. I just made enough for the one time. I suppose if you were to keep it in the fridge it would do fine. I did condition afterwards just in case.

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        • lanni

          Great, thanks!

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    • ADRZ

      Yea it is not called shampoo but detoxing . That is what I use all time, it will detoxe whatevr is leftover by shampoo or clarify. None dry , just to clean up dirty. that is why it is detangler easily

      Use it anytime you wanna, no need limited once a month like regular shampoo

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  • http://jeemz.tumblr.com iri9109

    i did this today…i already had the clay b/c i use it occasionally on my face…now when i first put it on it made my hair rock hard and straw like…i was sooooo scare i thought my hair was literally about to snap off in my hands…i think my mixture wasnt thin enough, but i also didnt want it super watery and making a mess…im used to using cassia and when i do cassia treatments i run my fingers through my hair as i apply it…i couldnt do that with the clay…so after i applied all the clay, i put condish on top, and finally able to detangle a little, but my hair felt dry so i rinsed it out in like 5 mins…and it took almost an 8oz tube of condish and 10 mins of rinsing to get it all out…but after all that i will say i have good clumping and less frizz, and my stubborn waves in the front actually curled..and my hair feels heavier like it might not shrink s much when it dries…but my hair still didnt feel that moisturized, so im DCing now…i think if i do this again i’ll add condish to my mix and use aloe vera juice instead of water and skip the ACV…i also might look into the terresentials b/c this is kinda messy and i’d like to be able to just have the bottle in the shower.

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  • http://un0pulardemand.tumblr.com Lola Devereaux

    I have been using bentonite clay in my one year being natural and I absolutely love it. I use ACV and Aloe Vera Juice/Gel to lower the PH and provide shine. Aloe Vera Juice has a ton of conditioning properties on its own and it able to provide a bit of hold to your curl pattern. I try to do this treatment at least once a month on my hair and I’ve always loved the turn out. However, I never knew I could use this as a wash and go. My hair is in serious need of clarification and I plan on trying to leave my hair as is after rinsing.

    I also purchased the Terressentials yesterday after reading this post and I can not wait for it to arrive.

    Simple routines are amazing! Healthy hair growing ladies.

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    • http://sheabutterafropuffs.tumblr.com Jarquisha Hollings

      Share your experience using the product with me!

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  • Anonymous

    I’m constantly worried about clogging my shower drain with all my various trial-and-error product runs (especially because I have two white roommates who can’t sympathize with my need to concoct new potions). Has anyone experienced any drainage problems from using the clay?

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    • lanni

      I didn’t have a drain clogging problem because it seems to loosen up relatively quickly in the presence of liquids but after I started washing it out, there was a weird rotten egg type smell and I am worried that some sort of reaction was occurring from my experiment. :/ Guess I need to do some more research

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  • MissGhana

    Hi, your hair looks lovely. If you don’t mind could you tell me what your hair type is, cos I’m just wondering if this method would work for someone like me who is 4c, at least I think it’s 4c, but suspect ill isn’t cos it’s coarser. Anyway thanks for posting this cos it seems simple and looks great.

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  • Pingback: Bentonite Clay: Great For Curl Definition? | Dr. Phoenyx()

  • LesIsBest

    Quick questions. Not sure if you’ve answered this as yet. But after you use the mudd and you go to work/school whatever… What’s next(that night… next couple of days)? Do you put a silk cap on at night… and the next morning wet it and condition? Or just wet it? Also… I’m not one for at home chemistry projects… I prefer to buy my product… Can I purchase this mudd? If so, where?

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  • http://www.maryknowltonart.blogspot.com St. Mary

    I just tried the Terressentials Hair Wash today and the results are awesome! My hair air dried fast because there were to extra products and it’s still curly and soft. If you want to see how it turned out check out the video I posted(naturalhairbrush).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVybS-olF1Q&feature=channel_video_title

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  • Real RBN

    I love it! My hair is Soft and detangled. No shampoo for me ever. The only problem I have is I need to find a new conditioner. My conditioner makes my hair hard after using the clay.

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  • CJ

    Jarquisha,

    I learned a bit about the Clay, however, more importantly, am totally turned off by the bottom portion of the picture showing vagina. Please clean it up!!!

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  • Lowkey

    What deep conditioner do u refer or is it needed

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    • ADRZ

      most ppl use the same clay to dc too but you can add to get it moisturzed or make it look cake mixture. If you are familiar of many products at anita grant (hair products shopping online) she also sold clay with condition. it is popular with many

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  • ADRZ

    Funny is that I love benionte clay sooooo much way than clarify shampoo of any kinds. I definetly believe it is 100% better as detoxing to use than clarify. Clarify shampoo can dry your hair follicle, scalp, or anything. Leave you to flake and you will wonder if it is dryness, allergic, etc.

    I found out mainly from hairlista formus that suggested on detoxing. I was wondering the difference between clarify /detoxing. I researched and they said you only detox to clean out everything like toxic, deep dirty that been hidden and clarify shampoo didn’t get to it, detox can do job, you get a lot of posion like dirty from pollution, airbone, ppl being close to you with sickness, etc.

    It is similar to requirement applying cleansing on face because it getting dirty everyday. Plus it has to have vitamin c sermun , right?

    It is similar to hair needing detox. Clarify shampoo, chelathing shampoo , or anything really can’t do a lot jobs. They only adds up more buildup from harash chemical . We need detoxing , that is why you see brown or black water when you rinse out hair from beniote clay. It really is detoxing. The real great-quality detoxing is any kind clay at hennasooq.com

    Real clay really was supposed be purpose for any parts of body helping detoxing , cleansing (deep conditioner), relaxing, etc.. It helps clear up pimples either.

    I only use clay as detoxing , now, I don’t use liquid (clarify shampoo) unless it is black african soap in Shea Moisture container with clay. It definetly can give bounce and extra curl definition , but i have to add moisture after that. It only is for ppl with none chemical in hair.

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  • Donna

    This is good information to know. Thanks.

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  • http://www.lillian-mae.com LillianMae

    I’ve used Bentonite Clay once. I liked the result, however, I noticed I left some in my hair :(

    Will try again.

    One question: You don’t shampoo or condition afterward, but do you use a leave-in? I am transitioning still so a leave in has been instrumental in my ‘transformation’, LOL ;)

    (Check out my website for the Goddess Comb :))

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    • http://sheabutterafropuffs.tumblr.com Jarquisha Hollings

      I don’t typically put anything on my hair after my clay sessions. If I do, it’s only a spritz of water/extra virgin olive oil. Good luck with your transition!

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