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


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 :)

Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...


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101 thoughts on “Bentonite Clay: The key to long lasting curl/coil definition?

  1. I’ve never tried this product before, but I’ve seen it mentioned on fellow youtubers channels. It looks pretty interesting, so is this more for the hair and not the face? or both work just as well.

    Also, came across this on Alexandrabond YT showing off celebrity Dabrat has natural hair, and it looks good on her with the mohawk.
    Here’s the link for the video


  2. I have been completely natural for 3 months. In this short period of time I often find myself laughing at the abundance of hair product I have used compared to being relaxed for 15 years. So I shall venture out on this natural hair journey limb and try this clay.Why not add to my list of trial and error hair endeavors? Also can someone explain the need for naturals to give a ” I WAS NOT LOOKING TO DEFINE MY CURL PATTERN” Disclaimer, when giving the reason for using said product or henna? If you want to define what you naturally do or do not have using product its your hair,money and time! People need to chill on the judgement “ish” forreal tho.


  3. HELLO ALL! Just for clarity, the point of this post was not to focus on curl definition. I wanted to show all of you BGLH followers that the feats that we attempt with our hairstyles using so many products can also be achieved using a minimalist approach. Whether definition, softer/moisturized hair, etc is your goal, always consider the fact that you don’t have to go all the way around the block just to get from point A to point B. Just keep it simple :)

    • If it wasn’t the point then why is the title “Bentonite Clay: The key to long lasting curl/coil definition?” ..?

      • When I title posts, I assume people can pick and choose what is relevant/applicable to them. I personally don’t pursue curl/coil definition — because my coils are uneven in size, and I always keep my hair in stretched styles. But if there are people who can rock their hair with just curls/coils, this post would be applicable to them.

        Quite a few of our readers have curly hair, or coily hair that they rock out.

      • When I sent the post in to BGLH, I titled the email “Simply Natural”. It was not my intent to focus on curl definition, but the simple route that can be taken in achieving certain styles versus using a lot of products. The title of the post (“Bentonite Clay: The key to long lasting curl/coil definition?”) was neither my doing, nor my intention when submitting this post and I apologize if anyone took this as my intention. I celebrate textures of all kinds and actually find a problem with the way we label/term things in the Natural community, especially the term “curl definition” when we don’t all in fact have curls, but some kinks, waves or no definite texture at all. So again, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

        • You are very kind for apologizing. You have curls so what if you want to define it? People really need to get over themselves.

        • Thank you. This is a great explanation of the title. It angered me at first, so I’m glad I kept reading before I prematurely said my peace. Anyway, some naturals don’t have curls to define and that is okay. Topics about definitively defining curls burn me up because it fuels the fire for us, natural women, to separate ourselves from each other based on hair texture. We left the creamy crack just to tear each other down in other ways. It would be awesome if we were more accepting our inherited beauty no matter kinky or curly. Having defined curls is NOT the pinnacle of the natural hair community. In a perfect world we would just be glad and that we and others are embracing their inherited beauty whether their hair looks like Solange or Alicia Keys…

      • Why are you looking for an argument? If someone wants to define their curls/coils let them. If they don’t, let them. It’s not your hair so it’s not your problem.

  4. 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!

    • 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!

      • 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

  5. 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

    • 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

    • 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

  9. 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.

  10. Pingback: Bentonite Clay: Great For Curl Definition? | Dr. Phoenyx

  11. 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?

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. 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!!!

    • 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

  15. 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

    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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