Clay and Mud Hair Masques and Washes

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Ever had a cool, smooth, luxurious mud pack at an exclusive spa?

Me neither.

But, I found a way to give myself this mineral-rich, skin firming and hair purifying treatment every week. And I get the same benefits for a lot cheaper.

So … let’s talk mud

Why would you want to put mud on your hair?

1.  Clay exfoliates dead cells on your skin and scalp. The scalp is part of the epidermis just like the rest of your skin. That means dead skin cells accumulate on the scalp layer and around individual hair follicles. That thin layer of dead skin mixes with the sebum — naturally occurring skin oils — and eventually clogs the hair follicle which can weaken and slow new hair growth.

2. Clay naturally and gently clarifies the hair shaft. Just because shampoos provide lather doesn’t mean they clean any better than clays. In fact, Cocomide DEA, MEA or TEA — the foaming ingredient used in most soaps and shampoos — is not the reason they clean. Moreover, the sulfates and derivatives commonly used in soaps and shampoos were formulated to hunt and dissolve oil. Clays gently and effectively remove product build-up without stripping the hair of its natural oils.

3. Clay deposits trace minerals that nourish the hair and scalp. There are many different types of clay. For instance, Bentonite Clay — which is is harvested from volcanic ash primarily from the US West — is high in sulfur and calcium which boost hair cell generation. Rhassoul Clay comes from volcanic ash in the Atlas Mountains and is rich silica — a mineral that  promotes hair growth and strength.

4. Clay draws out impurities in skin and hair as it dries. When clay is mixed with a liquid — such as water, apple cider vinegar or aloe vera juice — it swells. That swelling power retracts and sucks up dirt, oils and impurities as the mixture dries, then it washes away when rinsed.

Clay washes and packs as your go-to no-poo

Given the multiple benefits to your hair (and your skin … but that’s another post), clay is a gentle, nourishing alternative to shelf-bought cleansers. Whether you mix it into a paste, slather it all over your hair from root to tip and dry or you mix it into a creamy wash a la Terressentials Organic, you can’t go wrong with clay. After all, using clay from the good earth as a cleanser is a 3,000 year-old idea — ancient brilliance at its best!