Two natural elements straight from Mother Earth that provide powerful cleansing and detoxifying effects on the hair: Bentonite clay and Charcoal. Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are not related, yet both have similar qualities and capabilities aside from cleansing when it comes to your hair. Putting clay or charcoal in your hair may not seem glamorous, but it’s proven to have many benefits when used safely and properly. Today’s post focuses on the beneficial attributes both have to offer and five DIY recipes to try on your own hair.

Activated charcoal is a type of charcoal used to trap toxins, impurities, chemicals and prevents the body/hair from absorbing them. The process is called charcoal detox. The negatively charged charcoal attracts positively charged toxin molecules.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal Detox

Activated charcoal helps to gently cleanse impurities by attracting dirt and oil and is then washed away, all the while not disrupting the hair’s natural moisture levels.

As complex as it may seem, most hair detoxing instructions are cost-effective and use just a few simple ingredients. As with all at-home methods, make sure to do a patch test before use, and immediately wash off if your skin feels uncomfortable.

Bentonite Clay

This is a natural clay that is sourced directly from the earth and contains natural minerals beneficial to your hair. It is also known as Aztec Indian Healing Clay, formed by the weathering of volcanic ash in the presence of water.

It has a negative charge (anionic”> that makes it effective at drawing out toxins, chemicals, metal, and impurities. It also attracts positive charged (cationic”> products that build up on the hair and scalp, working as a clarifier and detoxifier.

Bentonite clay also has antimicrobial properties to help with an irritated or flaking scalp. It moisturizes, conditions, and softens hair.

Note: Make sure to use a non-metal spoon and bowl to mix ingredients.

How to Detox Natural Hair with Bentonite Clay and Charcoal

Image Source: @naturallycurly

Here are five DIY recipes:

1. Activated Charcoal Hair Detox


  • 1 teaspoon activated charcoal
  • 1-2 pouch shampoo


  • Mix activated charcoal with shampoo
  • Apply it to hair
  • Massage for 5 minutes
  • Wash with water

How it works: the mixture of regular shampoo and activated charcoal not only removes surface dirt but will also pull out even more.

2. Bentonite Clay Hair Mask


  • ½ cup bentonite clay
  • 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional”>
  • ½ tablespoon castor oil (optional”>
  • ½ tablespoon almond oil (optional”>
  • Water


  • Mix the bentonite clay, coconut oil, castor oil, & almond oil in the bowl with a spoon.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar and let it froth for 15 seconds before mixing it vigorously. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes. It should create a smooth, yogurt-like consistency.

3. Hair Detox Mask


  • Bentonite clay powder
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Aloe vera gel


  • Combine 1/2 cup each of bentonite clay powder, apple cider vinegar & aloe vera gel.
  • Spread generously throughout the hair, applying on the scalp as well.
  • Place a shower cap on and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Don’t let the mixture dry out.
  • Rinse your hair with 1 cup of vinegar and allow it to sit for at least 1 to 3 minutes, then use a gentle clarifying shampoo.

4. Bentonite, Tea, and Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Mask


  • 4-5 Tbsp. Bentonitie clay
  • 1 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oils
  • Cooled herbal tea of your choice (I.e. nettle, rosemary, chamomile, calendula, etc.”>
  • Water


  • Combine and mix all ingredients in a bowl
  • Wash your hair as usual, rinse, and start applying the mask from the roots and work down to the entire length.
  • Massage gently and leave on for about 20 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water and for the final rinse

5. Bentonite Clay & Honey

Mix clay, apple cider vinegar and honey to the consistency of yogurt. The procedure will be the same as the Bentonite, Tea, and Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Mask recipe.

Bonus: Create Your Own Detox Recipe

If you’re cautious about using clay or oils in your hair, there are other natural ingredients you can use to help remove buildup.

  • Micellar water. This cleanser draws out impurities without drying out the hair.
  • Baking soda. It may remove oil and buildup, but it’s not suitable for dry, processed, or heat damaged hair. Do not use too much baking soda as the ph level is pretty high. Use with caution.
  • Use lemon with water as the final rinse.

Which one are you going to try? Share with us in the comments!

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