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Keeping up with your curls can grow somewhat tiring and feel like a job, but when we begin to neglect our healthy hair regimen our curls can take a turn for the worst. Maybe your curls aren’t popping the way they usually do, this could be due to product buildup, dryness, or heat damage. No worries! Adding an occasional Aztec Secret Healing Clay mask to your regimen can cleanse your hair and reactivate your curl pattern in a snap.

What is Aztec Secret Healing Clay?

Aztec Secret Healing Clay is a brand whose mask contains one ingredient and one ingredient only: 100% calcium bentonite clay. You may have heard of bentonite clay being used in skincare as a mask, and many curlies swear by its clarifying benefits. The powerful negative (anionic) charge of this clay draws out the positively charged (cationic) buildup of stylers, conditioners, and moisturizers that may be coating our head and scalp. 

Due to the high pH level of this clay there are a couple of things to avoid when using the Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask: using metal to mix or apply the clay, and using this mixture on chemically treated hair.

You can find Aztec Secret Healing Clay at many mainstream grocery stores and drugstores, like Target and Walgreens. You can find them online but there have been cases of fake Aztec Healing Clay Mask online so beware of the source you’re buying from. 

How To Use an Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask to Revamp Your Curls

To prep, you want to take two non-metal tablespoons of Aztec Healing Clay and mix it with equal parts apple cider vinegar in a non-metal bowl. Depending on how much hair you have, it’s likely you’ll have to adjust the recipe. If you have a full head of long hair, you may want to double this recipe. In some cases, people also use water as the mixing medium, so it’s all about choice! Personally, I’ve had the best results when using apple cider vinegar. The pH level of apple cider vinegar is low so it works to neutralize the high pH level of the clay. 

Next, apply the mixture to your unwashed hair in sections. You can dampen your hair first but I prefer to apply it to my hair completely dry. I find that if my hair is wet or damp, the mask will never dry and most likely lead to a difficult mess when I try to wash it out! This may be a personal preference depending on your porosity. 

Once you’ve prepped, you want to evenly distribute from root to tip. This is a cleansing mask, so it’s meant to lift any product buildup from your scalp and your ends. It’s vital that you coat every strand of hair! Otherwise, the mask won’t work as well.

When you finally have your hair coated (your arms may be tired by the time you’re finished!), leave the mask in for 15 to 20 minutes. Adding a shower cap or saran wrap will help trap in the heat and moisture. 

Image by Jesus Santos/Unsplash

How to Remove the Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask

To wash out the mask, I recommend using warm water. A big rule for many curlies is to always rinse our hair with cool water, never hot. However, in this case, the water should be a tad bit warm to help loosen the mask. There is also no need to rinse with a shampoo! The Aztec healing clay mask does the cleansing for you. Adding another cleanser to the mix could really strip your hair of its natural oils.

As you wash out the mask, gently massage your scalp. Be as thorough as possible! There’s no worse feeling than believing you’ve washed it all out and then going to style your hair later on and discovering bits of the clay still in your hair! It happens to the best of us. The easiest way to prevent that is to take your time while rinsing it out.

Lastly, apply your favorite conditioner to re-moisturize your curls. Any conditioner you typically use will work. 

I like using this mask once or twice a week to revitalize my curls. Depending on the level of buildup you experience in your hair, and where you are in your healthy hair journey, you will need to experiment to find the right frequency for using this treatment on your hair. This is a great option for anyone who wants a more natural cleanser, as many shampoos have sulfates and other undesirable chemicals in their ingredients. 

The Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask and Apple Cider Vinegar mixture is a common and simple recipe to follow, but if you want to amp up the benefits and take this DIY to the next level, check out Christina’s bentonite clay mask recipe with coconut and essential oils. 

For more about the benefits of washing with clay, check out this article.