You are probably familiar with Cleopatra, ancient Egyptian Queen and her elaborate beauty regimen. It’s said that she took baths in milk and honey to beautify her skin. It’s also believed that she used clay as a main ingredient in beauty masks for her face. The clay pulled impurities from her pores, such as dirt and bacteria, leaving her face looking succulent enough to topple ancient dynasties.
In more recent times, beauty routines have begun to take advantage of the detoxing properties of clay and using it to cleanse hair of product build-up and other things that weigh hair down.
Say goodbye to limp hair after reading about the trendy Aztec clay mask for the hair.
What is Aztec Clay?
Aztec clay is a trusted brand of bentonite clay used in healing masks for the skin and hair. In the ancient times of Cleopatra, the bentonite clay in Egypt was made from volcanic ash and other holistic minerals. Regular face-washing can remove environmental pollutants from your face or hair. However, some particles still remain and hide in the pores or hair follicles. These leftover pollutants can cause dry hair and scalp, frizzy hair and an overall dull appearance.
Aztec clay moisturizes the scalp and hair follicles while drawing out dirt and oil left behind by simple hair washing. Using a lot of hair products, even natural shampoos and conditioners, can cause a lot of build-up that weighs the hair down. The clay mask can help loosen the dirt build-up from their hiding places in the hair, making them easier to wash away.
A clay mask can help ease dry scalps, frizzy hair and heat damage to your hair, leaving it shinier and nourished. The Aztec clay is mixed with water and a few other optional ingredients to form a mud-like paste that is applied to the hair and left to ‘cook’ for a set amount of time, depending on your desired outcome. The clay mask can be used as a shampoo or a quick detoxifying treatment. When you’re done using it on your hair, you can even use it on your face or take a mud bath.
Benefits of Aztec Clay
Bentonite clay absorbs the toxins and hair product build-up that hide in the roots of the hair. Dirt and other impurities are held inside the clay and wash out from the hair when you rinse the mask off. The same process of drawing out toxins applies if you use the clay on your face or internally. That’s why the clay has been used for medicinal and beauty purposes for centuries.
Gives Your Hair More Shine
The product and oil build-up on your scalp can make your hair look dull and flat. The clay mask has calcium, iron and other minerals that are essential to having shiny, fresh hair. You can use the clay as an after-shower hair rinse to give your hair a shiny, glossy look.
Since the clay mask is so good at removing toxins, you might wonder if it also removes the hair’s natural (and necessary) moisture. It doesn’t. Instead, it opens up the hair follicles, allows more moisture to be absorbed than before the mask was used. The mask can repair dry scalps, leaving your hair stronger and cleaner.
Dry and infected scalps are a main cause of dandruff, brittle hair and other hair problems. The healing properties found in the clay mask cleanses your scalp of the oil buildup that contributes to scalp issues. The clay mask helps protect your hair from bacterial infections that can weaken and damage your hair.
Dandruff is the result of too much sebum (oil) production in the scalp. The body has pores that naturally secrete oil to keep the skin smooth and moist. The pores on the face and scalp are actually small hair follicles. If you have oily hair or an oily face, it is probably caused by the hair follicles producing too much oil.
The clay absorbs the excess oil, resolving and preventing further issues with dandruff. The body has a pH level of acidity that needs to remain balanced to prevent irritations and impurities. The clay has properties that help balance the body’s pH level.
Promotes Hair Growth
Sodium, potassium and calcium are just a few of the minerals found in clay. They are also three essential minerals required for hair growth. The clay mask helps promote hair growth through this minerals and by removing dead skin cells from your scalp. Dead skin cells are part of what clogs hair follicles, preventing new growth. With the dead skin cells out of the way, your hair is free to grow unencumbered.
As an added benefit, the clay mask can help tame frizzy curls. Aztec clay hair masks help make your curls more defined while preventing clumpy curls.
Can Aztec Clay be used on hair?
While Aztec clay is more commonly used in body baths or facial masks, it works wonders on dry, dull hair, too. The healing minerals in the volcanic ash leave hair vibrant and soft after stripped hair of built-up hair products and toxins.
The clay can be made into a hair mask that can be applied as a shampoo or a one-off detoxifying treatment.
To use as a shampoo, follow the recipes below for a DIY clay mask and apply to every inch and strand of your hair. Cover your head with a hair cap plastic film and let the mask sit for 45 minutes. Rinse with warm water and follow-up with a deep, moisturizing conditioner.
As a detoxifying treatment, you want to wash your hair with shampoo as usual before applying the clay mask. Leave the mud mask on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing out with a natural oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil. Since you’ve already washed your hair with shampoo, you can dry and style as usual after the treatment.
How long do you leave aztec clay mask on hair?
The length of time the clay mask is left in your hair depends on how you are using it. As a shampoo, the mask is left on for an hour to absorb all the oil and toxins. As a quick treatment, 30 minutes is enough time. However, no matter how you use the clay mask, it is important to rinse it completely out of your hair so that it doesn’t dry and clump into your hair.
DIY Aztec Clay Hair Mask
Bentonite clay hair masks are so simple to make, you can create them in your kitchen in minutes. When you’re mixing together the clay and other ingredients, it’s important to use plastic or ceramic utensils and bowls, not metal ones. The metal can reduce the effectiveness of the clay by activating its healing properties before you can apply it to your hair. Apple cider vinegar is an optional ingredient that is used to balance the acidity of the clay mask. It helps your hair shine brighter and longer.
You will need the following items to make the clay mask:
- Aztec brand of bentonite clay
- Non-metal bowl and spoon
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Natural oil, such as Coconut oil or Olive oil
- Dilute the Apple Cider Vinegar with hot water by adding 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar
- Add the Aztec clay
- Mix the 2 ingredients with spoon until it forms a yogurt-like texture
- Add in a few drops of oil
- Apply mixture to damp hair
- Cover hair with a hair cap
- Leave mask on hair for 30 minutes
- Rinse with warm water to remove all of the clay
- Use shampoo if needed for tough-to-remove pieces of clay
- Apply deep conditioner to hair after clay mask treatment
After you’ve finished using any type of clay mask, you need to flush your drains with water for about a minute to be sure the clay has been removed from the drain. The anionic properties of the clay can ruin metal drains (and utensils, hence the plastic bowl and spoon.)