Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Bentonite Clay | Reservations & Reactions

I put MUD in my hair last week on my last wash day.
..ok ok, Clay, does that sound more kosh?

I actually purchased my Bentonite clay a few months back and hadn't quite yet found the right time to incorporate it in my hair care regimen...quite frankly, I'm still not sure I have.  But, that initial test run is always needed so that you know?

To use the clay I followed the Max Hydration Method (MHM) which incorporates a clay rinse as one of it's steps.  I chose the MHM as I've been wanting to try this method maybe as long as I've wanted to try Bentonite Clay, since learning about them both early in my natural hair journey.

Before using the clay, which came in a fine powdered form, it required activation, so I mixed it with water, ACV and jojoba oil, as prescribed in the MHM  Although the particular clay I purchased indicated it only required mixing with water, because I was following the MHM I used the recipe provided for mixing and using.  I figured it could be a test run for the MHM as well as the Bentonite Clay, and I went ahead and followed the MHM recommendation.
Bentonite Clay Reactions & Reservations | This Natural Thing

The mix was left for 2 hours for activation, then applied to my hair, in similar fashion to a relaxer or colour application process; in small sections coating all strands evenly and thoroughly.  Then it was left on my hair for about 20 minutes before rinsing.

If you caught my last wash day post, you would know that while the clay mix was in, my hair had amazing definition, it was soft, springy and movable, and I really loved it.
Bentonite Clay Reactions & Reservations | This Natural Thing
And then I had to rinse it out...

When I rinsed it out, my hair felt clean, like really really clean.  I guess this was a good thing, as Bentonite Clay extracts toxins, product residue and build-up from the hair. So it achieved that.  But it was bordering on stripped.

My hair did not feel nourished and conditioned the way I felt it should have, based on my research of Bentonite clay's properties, and reviews by others who have used it.
It made me reflect on my reservations...there are always reservations, why is it never 100%?  Going into it there was a possibility the results would not be the exact same as others, but this is the case with all things, especially with DIYs and using natural elements (food, plants, oils...clay etc) 
It's trial and error.


My first reservation was with the use, the Max Hydration Method,.  This may be the reason I stalled in undertaking the MHM in my hair care routine this long.  Aside from how lengthy and arduous I find it to be, the steps of the MHM always seemed counter productive.  Specifically the order of the Deep Condition and Clay Rinse.  My main issue was DC before Clay Rinse?  In my understanding, the clay is "stripping" in the process of removing reside and toxins from hair, which makes it an excellent cleanser.  Therefore, because of this, it should be and in many recommendations is, followed by a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment.  This however, is not the sequence in the MHM.   Since this was my ride on this rodeo I decided to go through with it as outlined because of the reviews...and frankly, curiosity.

My second issue was the recipe for the clay rinse mix.  I actually had 2 issues here.  
The first, which can also be classified as an issue with the MHM in general, is that the recipe includes ACV when it is preceded by a step that also has ACV or Baking Soda both of which can be considered cleansers.  Therefore the Max Hydration Method has 2 cleansing steps, is that really necessary?  I know my hair isn't that dirty.  
My second issue, is again that the recipe for the clay rinse also includes ACV.   I understand that it helps in activating the clay, as well as balance the pH, but it just doesn't bode well with me...and my hair.  And I know that now.


Did I do something wrong?  Did I mix it wrong?  Did I use it wrong?

Sigh!  Have I been duped??

It's been just over a week since conducting this experiment.  My hair didn't wander into the Sahara, as I feared it would, but, I did intensify my moisture regimen.  I did 2 co-washes and a moisturizing DC in the space of about 10 days.  I was also wearing my hair out the entire time and had a couple beach visits - usually my hair would probably have been in some flat twists, tucked away.  So I can't say my hair craved moisture solely because of what was done on my last wash day with the order and use of Bentonite clay, nor can I say I would not have co-washed having used other products.  
It was not a controlled experiment.

All in all I would say that this trial for me personally was an error.  This does not mean I have closed the book on Bentonite Clay, after all I have a 2lb package of it waiting to be used.  It does mean that I need another recipe and another method that would better suit my hair so that I can reap all it's benefits at once.   There are recipes using coconut milk instead of ACV, adding more oils, some with honey etc.  So I guess I'll just have to try, try again.


What this has reiterated to me is that  no matter the reviews and how much research  is done, sometimes it takes testing yourself to determine 

How many chances do you give a product to work for you in your hair care?

~ Josie Jo ~


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