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How To Wash Your Hair With Clay

on January 24 | in DIY Beauty | by | with 134 Comments

How To Wash Your Hair With Clay

I Wash My Hair With Mud

And I clean my face with oil. Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

The thing is, in an age where ramen noodle spa bath’s are not out of the question, the fact that a beauty treatment exists is not really saying much. So, rather than try to prove to you that washing with mud just might be something you should consider, I’ll just show you. And yes, it’s ridiculously easy.

Me: Pre-Mud Wash

hair mud wash
Note: My hair didn’t look dirty enough in the first photo I snapped, so I **may** have drizzled oil on my head for dramatic effect. Not a great idea unless you want to wash a few extra times.

Me: Mid-Wash

hair mud wash

Yes, I hopped out of the shower for this shot. There are already enough people with me in there already.

How To Wash Your Hair With Clay

Me: Post-Wash

hair mud wash

Now, are you ready find out how easy this is?

How To Wash Your Hair With Clay

As I mention in my ebook, DIY Organic Beauty Recipes, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. First, store bought shampoos usually have a pH level of around 5-6, which closely matches your hair’s natural pH. While this is a good thing, it is most often achieved using toxic surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate.

Clay, on the other hand, has a much higher pH which can leave hair dull and gummy. Fortunately it’s very simple to restore your hair’s natural pH after washing – simply follow with the shine boosting rinse listed below!

Another consideration when transitioning to natural shampoo is the use of silicone in many commercial brands. Silicone coats the hair much like plastic to give it slip and shine. If you have been using a shampoo with silicone or other chemicals your hair will need to detox – a process that can take up to a few weeks depending on the types of product previously used. During this process hair can feel very dry and tangle easily. As the follicles shed the coating they will begin to be able to drink in moisture, but this can take time.

Also, keep in mind that your hair’s needs can change over time. I alternate between this and my other homemade shampoo’s based on the needs of my hair. If it is feeling a little dry I use Sweet Orange & Honey shampoo from my ebook. If it is feeling a little oily I use the clay.

Selecting Your Clay

When deciding what clay to use for your mud wash here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Rhassoul clay yields the best results in my opinion – it leaves hair with the best texture and is less drying than other clays. It is not usually available in health food stores, but you can easily find it online.
  • Bentonite clay is widely available and works okay, but it can be a drying if left on too long. Also, it can leave a certain texture on the hair that I am not fond of. For the easiest application, either buy it in liquid form or give your hand mixed concoction a whir in the blender before heading off to wash. Otherwise it can be a bit clumpy. I recommend giving this method a try with bentonite if you have it on hand and then switching to rhassoul if you decide it’s something you’d like to use long term.

Step 1: Mix Up Your Mud Wash

Water is best for frequent use, but apple cider vinegar can be substituted for an extra deep clean. How much you’ll need will depend on the length and thickness of your hair. I use about 1-2 tablespoons of rhassoul for my medium length, thick hair. The consistency should roughly resemble an egg yolk.

Quick Tip: If your clay tends to clump toss it in the blender beforehand.

Step 2: Apply

Wet hair thoroughly and then wring it out. Dip the ends of your hair in the container with your mud mixture and then pour the remaining wash over your head and work it through to the tips (this just helps with even distribution). Let your hair sit for about 5 minutes – you can adjust this as you figure out what works best for your hair. When I wash every day about 2 minutes is right – otherwise it starts to dry out my hair. When it’s every 2-3 days about 5 minutes works better.

Rinse until the water runs clear and then . . .

hair mud washStep 3: Follow With My Shine Boost Rinse

This simple rinse helps to close the hair cuticle and restore pH.

Ingredients

  • ¼ – ½ cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar and enough filtered water to bring vinegar mixture to 1 cup.*
  •  8 drops essential oil – rosemary and peppermint work well for most hair types. See DIY Organic Beauty Recipes for other options

* Vinegar derived from non-organic sources is likely to either be a product of GMO corn or petroleum.

Quick Tip: If your hair looks a little “matte” after washing (like mine does in the photo above because I overcompensated for the oil), you may want to use straight vinegar

To Use

Blend ingredients in a clean contain. Pour about 1/2 cup over hair and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, then rinse. Cool water is best because it helps the hair cuticle close, but warm is okay.

diy-beauty-ebook-coverLooking For More Recipes?

This clay hair wash didn’t make it into DIY Organic Beauty Recipes because I was still testing it when the book was released, but if you are looking more non-toxic, tested recipes that WORK definitely check it out. It’s a 180 page guide that covers how to whiten your teeth without toxic chemicals, make lotions, deodorants, bronzer, baby products and more!

Questions?

I imagine some of you are wondering if this wash is safe to use on color-treated hair. According to one manufacturer who makes a similar clay wash it will strip commercial dyes but not henna-based dyes. I have not tested this.

If you have another question please leave it below!

 

 

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134 Responses to How To Wash Your Hair With Clay

  1. mamatree says:

    how is this on your tub’s drain? I know a clay mask gets rinsed down the sink but most people wash there hair a lot more than they use masks. I’ve been doing great by just not washing more than every two weeks and using coconut oil and warm water rises the rest of the time but just ruined my hair with a free sample of shampoo, conditioner, and deep treatment with silicon in it so I’m back to square one.

    • Heather says:

      Hi mamatree! The consistency of this wash is very, very thin when it washes down the drain. I personally don’t have any concerns about it. Though washing my hair with clay is still fairly new to me (I was still testing this recipe when I released my book), I’ve been using clay masks, soaks and other applications for a long time with no problems.

      • Laura says:

        Hi! Do you think it might leave any residue in the shower or tub?
        This sounds quite interesting. I tried the no poo method (b.s. + acv) for 5 months and it was ok, but quite a hassel, and I found gross residue in my hair. I came to the point of washing my hair with nothing but water and a little honey, because I wanted my hair to keep it’s natural oil. I’m in my second month of doing this and it’s actually pretty succesful, but my hair is relatively greasy. Does the clay or vinegar strip your hair from it’s natural oil?

        • Heather says:

          Hi Laura, I haven’t had any issues with residue, but I do rinse the tub after I use it. It does remove oil from hair, but I have not found that it strips the hair in a way that stimulates the production of more oil if that makes sense. I use homemade shampoo most of the time and clay if it needs a deep clean – works really well for me!

  2. kumquaty says:

    cool! my hair is henna and indigo dyed so thanks for the heads up that it may or may not be color safe. I like this idea more than washing it with baking soda, will have to try

  3. Alittle2green says:

    This is amazing! I have followed your blog for a while, but never post. I had to today, because, no lie, just yesterday, I decided to quit with the ACV and BS because it just isn’t working for me anymore. Then I thought, “Hmm, I wonder what Mommypotamus uses?” (Granted this thought came because I have seen your ebook around, and figured you would have great ideas, but still) Then I find this post today. Your timing couldn’t have been better. Thanks so much! Have to purchase the book now too!

  4. Aubrianne says:

    Do you also use the shampoo recipe in your book and do this once a week? Or is this the only cleansing method you use now? Thanks!! :)

    • Heather says:

      Aubrienne, I alternate between this and the shampoo’s based on the needs of my hair. If it is feeling a little dry I use the moisturizing shampoos. If it is feeling a little oily I use the clay :)

  5. Sara says:

    Hi Heather, is your diy organic beauty recipes book available as a hard copy for the technologically challenged? It looks great and there are sooooo many recipes you’ve mentioned in your posts that I want to try:) Also, I have dyed my hair around 10 times in the last year -my natural color is horrendous and I don’t plan on going back to it any time soon, so what would you reccomend?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Sara! Unfortunately, the only way I could offer it at an affordable price in hard copy is to make it black and white with no pictures. No one seems to be interested in that kind of book! :-D

      In my book I do share some recipes for rinses that can naturally tint hair. They’re not permanent so you have to use them often to maintain color, but they are an alternative to conventional dyes. Henna-based dyes are also an option.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve used henna for years and it is wonderful for your hair! there are also a lot more colour options with henna than there used to be!

      • shalima says:

        Robin,
        You should be very careful… Henna comes in only ONE colour.
        Please check online for the right colour of pure henna.
        Henna with tint of black or purple or deep red are definitely NOT real henna. Those are chemically derived with little or no henna in it. After long time use, your hair get rotten. yes i really mean rotten… No i dont mean dry and damaged or brittle , i mean ROTTEN. best is to use henna leaves which you crush in your blender and apply at home or search online for pure henna. be careful in yoru serach and good luck! :)

        • Faith says:

          Hi Shalima, there are natural coloring options that do use pure henna mixed with for example indigo to create different hues. Henna cassia is mixed with henna to go blonder. Your absolutely right; there’s a lot of junk out there relating to henna, but I think Robin was right, there are a lot more options with henna colors these days and not all are toxic (I believe Khadi is a good example of a safe brand).

  6. Cate says:

    Hello Heather,
    May I ask what you use for oils on your face?
    Thank you!
    Cate

  7. Alisha says:

    I love this! I have a question though. I have been doing the baking soda wash and vinegar rinse for a little over a year now and have had to stop, except for like once every week and a half b/c my hair just got too dry and was actually lightening in color. Even with using a little almond oil afterwards. Have you tried the baking soda method before? and if so how would you compare it to the clay? Thanks a bunch!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Alisha! Both baking soda and clay are alkaline and have a tendency toward being drying, but baking soda is more harsh in my opinion. Also, clay contains minerals that are beneficial for hair. What’s worked for me is to alternate this recipe with a moisturizing shampoo (there are a couple in my book), or to wash less often. There’s a leave-in conditioner in my book, too, which might help :)

      • Alisha says:

        awesome, thank you!

      • April says:

        She mentioned lightening in color the hair what would cause that ?the baking soda do that too? Which do you think?

        • Rebecca says:

          I’m using baking soda and ACV and I’ve noticed my hair lightening, too. I always imagined it was the vinegar as I thought it might operate along the same principles as lemon juice, which is known to lighten the hair. I’ve heard that rising with black tea can help darken, but I’m not keen to absorb the tannins through my scalp. Does anyone have any other rinse suggestions for darkening the hair (as an alternative to ACV)? Thanks :)

    • Amina says:

      Hi Alisha,
      I started baking soda and vinegar a little over a year ago too, and after only a few months found it was just drying out my hair too much. Before giving up on it, I decided to try only ACV + water rinses (without the baking soda first) and have had much better results. I’ve been doing this since last May and in general my hair feels healthier and softer than it ever did before. The lightening of the color stopped when I stopped using baking soda. Occasionally I’ll do a tea or lemon/honey rinse, or if my hair is getting too dry I rub a tiny bit of coconut oil into it after washing. I’m still experimenting with different DIY hair treatments/routines but on the whole things are better after cutting out (or reducing) the baking soda rinses.

      • Carrie says:

        Amina,
        I was told that rosemary tea darkens your hair. I started using it as a rinse after baking soda and vinegar to treat dandruff. No before and after pictures were compared, but I do believe my hair is darker after 6 rinses (3 per week for two weeks).

  8. alyse says:

    Oh, how I needed to see those sweet funny faces! LOVE this! I have been so faithful in smearing egg whites and a couple combos of oils and tallow on my face (which have worked out!) all of your recipes for shampoo in my hair (unfortunately they have not worked out and my hair is very well conditioned but not what I call presentable to the public eye, but it’s been fun to test out anyway) NOW for some hair MUD! Whoot! Brings back memories of my little ones and some warm mud at a hot springs we regularly visited and had mud fights in. And yes, my adult kids will laugh when I tell them I was playing in mud in the tub! Thank you for all the wonderful info and playful way you approach life.
    xoxo

  9. Gill says:

    Hi Heather, do you think white clays that ceramic artists use would be suitable ( like porcelain or white stone wares) would be suitable or not? They do have extra ingredients in them like silica so was just wondering what you thought. Thanks.

  10. Sara says:

    Thanks! I am excited to try! Do you know of any non toxic options for covering gray hair? I tried henna but it turned my gray hair orange. I applied an indigo rinse and the orange died down but I couldn’t successfully get it to my brunette color. I would love any ideas!!

    • Edi says:

      I’m with Sara. Looking for a good way to address grey. We are early grey-ers in my family (my mom was completely grey by 21, full on white by 35!) I started growing it out after a henna dye didnt take and have been wondering what to do…I’m 40 but don’t look it & I’d rather not look 60 (seriously my mom stopped coloring her hair once and someone asked if my father was her son…honest truth so I don’t want people asking about my 8 month old grandson :)

      • Carrie says:

        I went gray early too. I am 44, my son is 3 and I often get asked about my “grandson.” I have also had my young students ask why i have “old man hair.” Being a 1 year breast cancer survivor, I’d rather be mistaken for a grandmother than put chemicals in my body through hair dye ever again. I have learned to embrace my gray…easier since I am also now glad to have hair again! And I also did a henna-indigo combo for a long time. Natural is just easier and cheaper to maintain.

    • Carol Ann says:

      Rosemary oil will darken grey hair, I know this because I used to use it (diluted) as a face oil to shrink enlarged pores and my streaks of silver around my face disapeared.

    • Sharon says:

      The following have been reported to keep hair it’s natural color:
      Minerals, Vit B5 (pantothenic acid), horsetail, biotin, lecithin, yarrow tea (used as a hair rinse 2-3 times/wk or drank) and magnesium chloride (used transdermally).
      My sister is only 1 year older than me (I’m 50) and my brother is one year younger. They both have lots of gray hair. Someone asked once if she was my mother. No one in her family believed that I didn’t color my hair.

  11. Betsy T says:

    I use baking soda and ACV, but will occasionally use Mississippi Miracle Mud as it is acidic, not alkaline. It may work better for some of you out there. The alternating pH seems to balance quite nicely. I love clay because it is so smart – puts in when needed (minerals) or draws out when necessary (toxins). Thx for an excellent article!

  12. Candi says:

    I wash my hair with clay as well! And coconut oil on my face. I have found that Hesh Amla powder mixed with henna gives a less orange red (I go 50/50). Amla will also work without henns. Cassia also colors grey hair a strawberry color. I have been using a line of henna/ cassia/ indigo dye and clay based shampoo at: moroccomethod.com their “light brown” is similar to an auburn to cover grey. Check it out.

  13. Tamar says:

    Thanks for sharing. Do you use it also for kids?

    • Heather says:

      No, I use the african black soap shampoo from my ebook on them :-D

    • Lara says:

      I never wash my three little children’s hair and it always looks clean and healthy. It gets rinsed with water a few times a week as they are in and out of the tub but I don’t use anything else on their hair. I think if you keep it natural from the beginning the body maintains it’s one balance of oils. My 13 year old daughter (with very oily hair) wishes I had done this with her. She has stopped washing her hair and brushes it twice a day with a boar’s hair brush to try to get it back to it’s natural condition. I hope it works for her because I would like to do the same thing with my hair. We tried the baking soda and vinegar for a while and it destroyed our hair. I only used it once a week and it still caused a lot of damage. I’ve gone back to organic shampoos for now but I’ll have to try the coconut oil rinse to see if it will help repair my dry, damaged hair.

      • mae says:

        I am glad to hear someone else say this! Lately I’ve ditched the baby shampoo for my 5,4, and 1 yr. olds. I rinse their hair with just water most of the time, but once every 1-2 weeks I give their hair a baking soda rinse. Even with all the sticky, messy stuff that kids tend to get in their hair, I think my kid’s hair looks clean and healthy. :-) I’ll keep up this non-shampoo routine for as long as I can!

  14. Sarah says:

    Hey Heather!

    I have started putting coconut oil into my scalp and all over my hair every 1-2 weeks to get rid of my dandruff. I have been suffering from it since birth. I am also currently on the GAPS diet (10 months so far!). This has not gotten rid of my dandruff. The coconut oil has been amazing at getting rid of the dandruff (at least temporarily)! The only problem I have is washing out the oil. I have had to wash my hair 5-6 times with shampoo to get out all the oil. Do you think the clay mask would do the job of removing the oil? I also saw your honey recipe in your eBook, but like your disclaimer said, I am afraid of it having a lightening effect on my hair. Thanks for your help!

    Sarah

  15. Katie says:

    This looks like an incredible way to wash your hair. I have been searching high and low for a natural hair wash and I think I may need to try this. I like Dr. Bronner’s but it makes my hair feel dirty even though I know it’s clean!

    Thanks for this awesome tip!
    Katie

  16. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been trying to go back to other no ‘poo articles and figure this out…I’ve been using baking soda and ACV for probably a year now with great results, and all of a sudden my hair is coming out super oily, like I haven’t washed my hair in a couple weeks. I read that if your hair was too oily you could rince with ACV, but I already do, so I rinsed with straight ACV today instead of diluted and got the same result. I’m kind of stuck now! I don’t know if this is pregnancy changing my hair or what. Any suggestions?

  17. Michele says:

    You all need to try Redmond Clay its good for everything: http://www.redmondclay.com/

    • Kat says:

      There are various clays from various different sources – the one you linked to is a regular bentonite clay and overpriced at that. You can find it at Mountain Rose Herbs and other reputable online sources for less than 11 Dollars for 10 ounces.

  18. [...] had your brain zapped and we named my last physician “Dr. Quack.” The fact that I wash my hair with mud and brush my teeth with clay? Not even worth [...]

  19. Traci says:

    I considered doing this with my bentonite clay, but will try Rhassoul instead. Good to know that it can be drying. Your hair looked great after it was dry, but do you know if it helps to improve shine? I wonder if adding a tsp of EVOO would help with that. Anyway, great post. Thanks!

  20. Erin says:

    For the shine rinse- I have heard (and seen for myself) that ACV can dull blonde hair and I find white vinegar to smell heinous- I wonder if lemon juice, chamomile tea, or a mix of the two could be substituted?

  21. [...] How (and why) to wash your hair with clay. [...]

  22. How’d you get so smart? ;) I added clay to your sweet orange and honey shampoo recipe, and may I say that my hair and Miss Katie’s hair were so gosh darn pretty that we could have have been cover models? OK, not me but Katie could have!

    I waited a couple too many days between washings, and thought I would need to take an apple cider vinegar bath to help break up the oils around my scalp before I showered. Nope! A quick shower with the clay + shampoo, and my hair looks perfect and saved me a full *hour* in the bathroom. Mommypotamus = ROCKSTAR.

  23. I’m so excited I found this post. I’ve been wanting to go poo-free but didn’t like the idea of just baking soda. I like the idea of using clay and then a vinegar rinse.

  24. Robin says:

    Thank you for this wonderful idea Heather! I’ve been shampoo and soapless for two years now and I sometimes rinse with lemon juice when it gets too oily but that tends to fade my henna and dries my hair out a little too much. I’m excited to try the clay wash and see if I get better results! I’ll have to purchase your e-book as soon as I have a little extra cash.

  25. Raquel says:

    Hello Heather,
    My mom gave me your ebook for Christmas and I’ve tried the “man-stink killer” (which works great by the way :D) and a shampoo…which I’m having a bit of an issue with. I started with the African Black shampoo and I’ve been using it almost 3 weeks now but my hair is still not presentable…it’s super oily and dirty looking as soon as it dries. I make sure I don’t use very much, rinse very well, and follow with the “Shine Boost Rinse” but alas I still have to wear my hair tied up in a bun all the time. Do you have any helpful hints for me?
    Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Raquel! If it’s looking super oily you might try this clay wash for awhile. I highly recommend the rhassoul over the bentonite, but you could start with the bentonite if you have it on hand and then order some rhassoul if you think it’s working well. (bentonite can be drying over time). I find that alternating the clay with one of my shampoo’s is what works best for me. If you try it please let me know how it goes!

      • Raquel says:

        I tried the bentonite since that’s what I could get a hold of easily. I didn’t have great results. Though it was less oily than with the soap it was still not what it needs to be presentable. I did give the baking soda and ACV a whirl though and that worked great, a little drying perhaps, but at least my hair didn’t resemble an oil slick! I’m thinking I need to try the liquid version of the clay before I give up on it…

        I’m hoping my hair will get to the point where I can use clay and soap with more success because I know the baking soda is quite harsh. But at least I’ve found something that works for now :D.

  26. Raquel says:

    Thanks Heather,

    I will give it a shot and let you know how it goes :D.

  27. Paxton says:

    The Alaffia brand that makes the African Black soap for the shampoo. Have you tried their brand of shampoo or is the recipe just as good.

  28. Mrhycannon says:

    ………………………. There is a small window covering part of the text.. It also covers part of my answer.. Have tried to remove it with no success.. I had to start typing way out here to see my words.. The window contains what I assume are links to facebook etc… Are any of you seeing this.? Does anyone know how to get rid of it.? I’d really like to know how to use the clay method..

  29. mae says:

    I am curious about what you said about vinegar: “Vinegar derived from non-organic sources is likely to either be a product of GMO corn or petroleum.”

    What is considered a non-organic source? Any vinegar that isn’t certified “organic”? I get white vinegar in bulk from Costco (for cleaning, laundry, hair rinse, etc.) and am wondering if it’s safe? I know organic ACV and specialty vinegars are available at the health food store, but I’d like to know what to look for/avoid. Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      Since the U.S. doesn’t require labeling it’s impossible to say for sure, but most white vinegar made in the U.S. is derived from corn. Since most of the corn grown is GMO, there’s a good chance the vinegar contains GMO’s. Does that help?

      • mae says:

        Yes, that is helpful! Do you have any recommendations of where to purchase vinegars, especially white vinegar by the gallon?

  30. Crissy says:

    Clay + Soap = Cement. I’m not kidding–I’m a potter. So if you try this, be sure to waste a lot of water (let the tap run on full blast for a few minutes) before using any soap.

  31. Jessica says:

    I have been reading about the ACV rinse; however, I’ve heard that is not good for color treated hair. I dye my hair blonde, would this still be the case?
    Thanks.

    • Heather says:

      It tends to draw color out of hair, which if your hair is bleached wouldn’t be an issue. However, I can’t say for sure that it won’t do funny things with the color since I’m a brunette :)

      • Jessica says:

        Sounds good. I guess I will just have to give it a go and see what happens. Wish me luck!
        I’ve been trying to find a natural way to condition. It seems to be harder than I had planned :)

  32. Vicki says:

    I tried this lastnight and had trouble working my rhassoul into the lather you have in your mid-wash photo. Any advice on how I can improve the application as I was pleased with the new texture it gave my fine flyaway hair?

  33. Ashley says:

    Hi Heather! I was curious, do you ever mix up a few batches of the clay/water mixture at a time and store if in a jar to save time? Or do you just mix it up fresh each time before you use it? I was thinking it might be nice to mix up a week or so up at a time but I didn’t want it to dry out and waste clay. What do you think? Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’m allergic to almost all soap (containing coconut or palm derived ingredients) and have been using an olive oil bar soap with ACV rinse which as been ok. The soap was coating my hair and this clay recipe is really great and leaves my hair nice and clean! I love the rhassoul clay…it’s much nicer than some of the other clays I’ve tried. Thank you thank you and I love your DIY beauty book!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Ashley, I’m so glad you like Rhassoul! I have tried mixing it up ahead of time and found that – for whatever reason – I didn’t seem to get the results that I do when it is freshly mixed. :(

      • Ashley says:

        Thanks Heather! I was wondering, do you ever experience static in your hair after using the clay? I live in Seattle which isn’t a very dry environment so I was wondering what might be making this happen? I tried smoothing my hair with a bit or argan oil which helped a bit but it’s still pretty staticky. Does this ever happen to you? Thanks!

        • Laura says:

          Yes I was just reading through the comments to see if anyone else was having static problems too. I switched to clay washing a few weeks ago using Rhassoul clay mixed with aloe juice followed by the vinegar rinse. It has worked so much better than any other no poo option I have tried. My hair is very fine but I have a lot of it and it gets very oily. The clay washing has helped so much. But when I wash my hair and blow dry it, it seems to get very staticy… I look like I have been touching one of those electric static balls. Any suggestions? Thanks!

          • Goldi says:

            Static! Oh my gosh, it is terrible. I love how the clay make my hair look pretty, very clean and sleek, but I can’t comb it. Or touch it. Or put a top on. Or go outside if there is wind.

            My hair reminds me of my 7th grade science class when my teacher had me put my hand on an electrostatic generator to illustrate the properties of static electricity by making my fine thin hair stand on end! The clay actually makes my hair more staticy!

            Below I saw that you suggested to use the clay less often. I do not know how to use it less often than this was crazy static occured the first time I used it.

            In your post about hair gel I saw that you recommended chamomile for dry hair. I will try to chamile rinse and if it is still staticy I will try a bit of gelatin and pot an update!

  34. Susan P says:

    Hi! I left a couple of questions on Facebook but don’t see them there anymore so maybe I’m not supposed to ask questions there? I DO have a couple of questions though if I may:

    I have the DIY book. It’s lovely – can’t wait to dig in and try things out. Just made up the Sweet Orange and Honey Shampoo and THEN saw the disclaimer about the alkaline nature and it shouldn’t be used on color-treated hair. I’m not sure why. My hair is highlighted – what will using the shampoo do to it? If I use one of the rinses won’t it bring the pH level of my hair back to normal? What do you recommend then for highlighted hair? (I have VERY gray hair and I put a blond temporary rinse on it and it STUCK! I’d LOVE to get rid of the temporary blond (I don’t mind being gray) so the highlights are an attempt to bring it back to a more normal looking color. I have a greasy scalp but Straw-like texture to the ends. I’d love to have something that could make my hair look smoother. I’m just not sure what to do. Thanks!

    Also, I use Sensodyne b/c I have very sensitive teeth. I’m concerned about using that though b/c of the other ingredients. I’m not sure what makes a sensitive tooth paste, do you know if one of your recipes would work for that? I can do trial and error of course, but if you know, I’d sure appreciate the heads’ up.

    Lastly, where you do you get your cute containers to put your finished products in? Or is that a trade secret?

    Thanks much! I’m not a new mommy anymore, but I sure enjoy your site and your recipes. Thanks for all you do to help us be more natural, safe, and “green.”

    Blessings!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Susan! I’m sorry for the delay in responding. I do my best to answer questions as I can, but due to the volume I receive it often takes awhile! Regarding the shampoo, virtually all homemade recipes are soap-based rather than surfactant-based. As such, they all have a pH that opens the hair shaft and will allow color to leak out. If you don’t mind losing the color it shouldn’t be an issue. Just a note: If you tend toward greasiness in the scalp area transitioning to a natural shampoo may be a little rough. The scalp tends to try to compensate for the surfactants in shampoo by producing more oil. Natural shampoos do not strip oil in the same way that surfactants do, but it can take a good while for the scalp to calm down and stop over producing. If you find things getting out of control you might try alternating with a clay wash: http://www.mommypotamus.com/how-to-wash-your-hair-with-clay/

      Regarding sensitive teeth, I am not sure what your experience will be with my recipes. Personally, I have found that after a severe fever (which pulls calcium from the bones) I began to experience sensitive teeth. By restoring my mineral balance with lots of bone broth and raw milk it completely resolved. Nos sure if that is worth mentioning, but just in case!

      • Rene says:

        Another thought on sensitive teeth – My dentist says my are healthy, but I overbrush and those areas can be sensitive to sugar or regular toothpaste. I also noticed that citrus will make the surface of my teeth sensitive. Sensodine masks the sensitivity. Fine in the short term, but it doesn’t do anything for you. Crest Pro-Health Clean Night Mint uses a different form of fluoride that greatly reduces sensitivity even after you stop using it. I don’t remember the specific type and I don’t know if all the “Pro-Health” line uses it. A caveat – my dentist and the package – say not to use it longer than 4 weeks. Apparently this fluoride was marketed in the 70s and found to cause spots on teeth for long term use. All that might sound pretty unnatural and bad, but it your teeth bother enough you might consider it.

        If your sensitivity isn’t too extreme and definitely for longer term use, you can find a toothpaste (like Tom’s Clean and Gentle) that has NO-SLS. SLS is a foamer and – for me anyway – that is what bothers my teeth the most. Well, that and too much citrus =). There are also a lot of natural non-SLS toothpastes out there that don’t have fluoride.

        Good luck!

  35. Samantha says:

    Hi I just purchased you DIY e-book. Which shampoo, African Black Soap or Sweet Orange and Honey, do you recommend most? I have long, thick, dark brown wavy hair that easily straightens with an iron. My hair gets oily at the roots but the ends are a bit on the dry side. Thx!

  36. Susan P says:

    Tried the clay wash tonight. nice. My issue is not with the scalp right now, but how dry the ends seem. I’ve used the Sweet Orange & Honey shampoo, and am using the Shine Rinse. Got some Fenugreek seeds to try the deep conditioning. I haven’t used commercial products on my hair in years. I try to use as natural a product as i can (without making it myself) until now. Should i still detox? Will the ends not be so dry after continuing to use your shampoo and rinse? (I’ve only been using them a week so I’m willing to be patient… :-) I’ve also got Argan Oil I’ve been using on the ends especially and combing it through. i know you don’t have my hair so may not know, but am curious if others have my issues (Like Samantha above who sounds like has the same issues I have)

    Thx!

  37. Megan says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I had been afraid to try baking soda because my hair is super oily and I was afraid of a long transition time. I started alternating this method with baking soda about a month ago (when I was already home bound potty training my daughter) and I love it!! My hair feels so amazing after washing with the clay, and it helped tone down the transition off of shampoo by dealing with the greasiness more than baking soda alone. Thank you!

  38. Britta says:

    I have used rhassoul for half a year now and I love it. I mix the clay with boiling water, the night before I want to wash the hair ( abouth once a week). In the morning I put a littel honey, lemon juice and some drops of essential oil (rosemary, lavender, ylang ylang or patchuli), sometimes glycerine, oil or what I fell for at the moment. I massage it into the hair and leave it, while I wash the rest of the body. I have tried BC, but it did not work for me.

  39. Hi Heather! I have a question about long-term use – are you still using this? Have you found that it’s drying out your hair? I’ve been doing baking soda for 1.5 years with great success the first year, but now my hair is really dry. I’ve read on other sites that clay will really dry your hair out. I use ACV as conditioner.

  40. Amy says:

    Hi Heather! I’ve been a fan of your blog, etc for a little while now. I purchased your DIY organic beauty book last October/November. I have used your orange shampoo recipe for a while and I’ve used the clay a few times, along with some of the other suggestions in your book (molasses, etc.) I have long, dark brown hair and I have exclusively used home made shampoo and ACV hair rinse since this past November. However, I’m still struggling to get it right. Often my hair doesn’t feel super clean and when I touch it, sometimes it feels like it is dry and greasy or oily at the same time. Do you wash your hair every day? I’ve tried washing it every day with the orange shampoo and I’ve also tried extending the time between hair washes but neither method has worked great for me. I’m not giving up yet though because I really don’t want to use commercial shampoo. My biggest question is about residue. When I comb my hair, often I have what I refer to as “hair lint” on my comb or brush, for lack of a better word. It is a slightly tacky/gummy substance. I can easily pull it off the comb. Any ideas what this is? I live in the country and use well water so wondered if it was minerals in the water or something. At first I thought maybe it was part of the detox process but I would have thought that after nine months, my hair would be done detoxing! Have you heard of anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions to solve it? Thanks, I really appreciate your website and blog and book. I am constantly going to your book and looking at/trying the recipes. My most recent try at one of your recipes was the beet powder! It’s all ground up and just waiting to be used : )

    • Daniel says:

      Hi Amy! I think you’re probably right about it being a hard water issue. If it were me, I might try the african black soap recipe because it seems to rinse out better when lots of minerals are present.

      Oh and no, I definitely don’t wash my hair everyday. That used to be just because I have small kiddos but now my hair has adjusted to the point that I really don’t need to :)

    • Rachel says:

      Hi, Amy.
      Just had to say, your hair sounds like mine (long, dark brown) and I’m experiencing the same problems. The length of my hair feels brittle but greasy, even when my scalp feels and looks clean. I, too, get the gummy lint in my comb and brush. I’ve been commercial shampoo-free for about one year, using various homemade recipes, and living in two different states (Texas and Georgia) with hard and soft water. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I thought I’d let you know that you’re not the only one experiencing these specific issues.

      • Rene says:

        Not many people mention water, but after all I’ve read and all I’ve tried I think the water plays a HUGE part. I live somewhere that has water hardness in the 350ppm range, which is about double the top of the scale. Absolutely nothing natural works for me and we have horrendous mineral deposits in our tub. I keep trying different things, but have had zero success with natural hair washing except using a bit of baking soda as a natural hair de-gunker. I tried rinsing my hair with only filtered water for about a month with some pretty good results. Surprise – my sometimes itchy and sometimes slightly flakey scalp was completely normal. Unfortunately the water picture routine is hard to maintain with waist length hair and it’s difficult to get all the residue out with one picture. Until I deal with my super hard water I can really only gather info and try to find less toxic shampoo. Heather, I’m enjoying your site, which I just found today.

  41. Tara says:

    This clay washing was working well for me at first, but now it is making my hair really static-y!! Any suggestions? I’m about to give up on these natural remedies soon!! I havn’t used regular shampoo in 11 weeks, I’m still waiting for that “breakthrough” moment when I figure out what works for me…

    • Heather says:

      If it were me I’d consider using it less often, or maybe follow each shampoo session with a smidge of argan oil.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi! I’ve also had the problem with static. I’ve been carrying a dryer sheet around in my purse everyday. I will try the argan oil and hopefully that will work. *crosses fingers*

  42. Sam says:

    Hiya Heather , this is my story . . . .
    I have been no poo for about 9 months now (after discovering your site.) It has had it’s moments. My initial motivation was an out of control itchy scalp that was really stressful. I started with BC and ACV rinse daily and ultimately reduced to once a week. However by day 3 it starts to look oily and towards the end of the week my hair looks like an oil slick. I find i cannot wear my hair down, it looks disgusting. The itch went, it was great. But then at about month 5 the itch returned. I then used Henna and the itch went away again until just the last couple of weeks it has reared its ugly head again, plus gross dandruff. Last night I lathered my scalp with coconut oil and kept it on overnight. I washed it out this morning with BC and then used ACV rinse. Really hoping to get some relief. I guess time will tell.
    I get less oil if I use BC more often, but am aware it is drying. I love NOT buying “shampoo” or “conditioner.” I am trying so hard to persist, and I don’t want to go back to shop bought shampoo or conditioner. But I don’t like my scalp and hair feeling dirty, and I don’t want to use BC every day or two for fear of drying out my scalp and hair too much. And most of all I want the itch to go away!!

    Any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Sam (Australia)

  43. Vivien says:

    Thanks for the post! Have to try this. I currently use pro naturals moroccan argan oil shampoo and conditioner, it’s the only thing that makes my hair healthy, and plus it’s sulfate free.

  44. I usually use alcohol vinegar in my hair, I will also try clay.

  45. […] How To Wash Your Hair With Clay | The Mommypotamus | organic SAHM sharing her family stories and rec… […]

  46. Lauren says:

    What brand Rhassoul Clay do you recommend?

  47. Christine says:

    Hi There!
    Thanks for this great post! I bought clay for my homemade deodorant and was excited to see I could use it for my hair too. I was wondering if there is an “adjustment” period with using the clay to wash hair. I ask because even after about 5 washes, my scalp is very oily feeling and it leaves a film on my hands when I touch it. It looks like I need to wash my hair right after I get done drying it. Is this typical for the first handful of washes? (I am making sure to rinse with the ACV!) Thanks for your insight and fantastic website! :)

    • Heather says:

      Some shampoos have silicone in them which coats the hair. Clay will remove this layer and can cause things to be a bit wonky for awhile as the hair adjusts. If hair is really damaged it can take a significant amount of time. Hope that helps!

  48. Heather J says:

    Maybe I missed this and I feel silly asking but what amount of clay and water do I need to mix together? I think I got mine too thick and had trouble rinsing it out! :)

  49. Rachelle says:

    This is great! However, I was wondering if it’s necessary to follow up with a conditioner after? My hair is very fine, and tangles easily. Will the rinse do the trick?

  50. Sarah says:

    I find it great that people try beauty techniques from all over the world (rhassoul clay comes from Morocco) ! I’ve seen this clay over and over in my life while accompanying my family’s women in hammams on summers and always wondered why it wasn’t well-known elsewhere at the time, given its effectiveness and natural quality.

    I recently created a small business called Alia Casafes, with the same purpose of providing Moroccan natural products to people, starting with shampoo kits made ouf of rhassoul and black soap. My goal is really to make these techniques accessible and easy to use to everyone !

    All the best,

    Sarah, Alia Casafes founder (http://www.etsy.com/shop/aliacasafes)

  51. Emilee says:

    This sounds amazing! Can it be made/stored ahead of time or will it harden/dry out?

  52. Joy says:

    Just wondering – where did you get the neat little glass container w/ the rubber lid pictured in this post? I’m looking on Etsy for a similar one, but if I can’t find one, what size/shape container do you recommend as a user of this shampoo? Do you think a shallower, wider container would be better than a tall bottle?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Joy, unfortunately I’ve had this one for quite awhile and can’t remember where I got it. FYI, though, I usually use a mason jar because it’s easier to mix than something with a narrow neck :)

      • Joy says:

        Thank you Heather! I will try the mason jar. I can’t wait to start using this. 2014 is the year to go chemical-free and detoxifying my hair is at the top of my list. :) Thanks for sharing all your awesome insight.

  53. Shandra Grace says:

    I have a question, apple cider vinegar is fairly expensive… Could I possibly use less than 1/4 cup of vinegar? Would it still be just as affective? (I have quite long medium-fine hair) Is there anything else I could use instead? Thanks! :) Loving the clay “shampoo” so far!

    • Amanda @ Mommypotamus Support says:

      Shandra, Heather also mentions you can use distilled white vinegar which is cheaper than apple cider vinegar. Hope that helps!

  54. Mel Stevens says:

    I so have to try this out! Right now I’m using pro naturals shampoo and conditioner and I love them, but this clay thing intrigues me. Thanks for sharing, your hair looks awesome btw.

  55. Sara says:

    Hi Mommypotamus,
    I’m loving this so far! Have been washing with your honey/orange shampoo for a few weeks now and just tried the Bentonite clay and it seems to keep my scalp from itching like nothing else! Any ideas why that would be? I always thought I had dry scalp and that was the cause of the itch/dandriff, but now I don’t know? I’m hoping to find rhassoul, do you have a brand you recommend?
    Thanks!

  56. Sara says:

    Hi Heather,
    I’m loving this so far! Have been washing with your honey/orange shampoo for a few weeks now and just tried the Bentonite clay and it seems to keep my scalp from itching like nothing else! Any ideas why that would be? I always thought I had dry scalp and that was the cause of the itch/dandriff, but now I don’t know? I’m hoping to find rhassoul, do you have a brand you recommend?
    Thanks!

  57. Rachel says:

    Hi, Heather!
    Thank you for this post. I’ve been commercial shampoo-free for somewhere around 9-12 months, but I still haven’t found the perfect recipe to make me happy with my hair. My hair, and problems I experience, sound exactly like Amy’s comment on August 3, 2013. For the past few months I’ve been using Bentonite clay to wash my hair twice a week; mixing it with Aloe Vera gel, ACV infused with red rose petals, double brewed black coffee (I have dark hair), and sometimes coconut milk–because all of these ingredients have a pH close to my hair’s pH. However, I did not realize until I read this post that a) clay is alkaline, b) Bentonite is drying. I really enjoy the textural component of washing my hair with clay because I don’t miss the lather of commercial shampoo that way. However, like Amy, my hair seems dry and oily at the same time; even when my scalp is clean, the length of my hair is either very matte and brittle, or very greasy/gummy, or both–somehow! I spray my rose ACV into my towel-dried hair after I shower, as a detangler. Like Amy, I also find the gummy lint residue in my comb and brush.
    I suppose I should try Rhassoul to see if I like it better; I haven’t bothered before because it would be one more ingredient for me purchase, while I already use Bentonite in my tooth powder recipe.

  58. Laurie says:

    Hi ! So I did my first clay wash last night and I am pretty happy with it ! Couple ques tho.. firstly I used green clay because I couldn’t find bentonite or rhassoul, I must have missed the part where you mentioned putting in on wet hair and I put it on dry hair. Oops. I let it sit roughly 3 mins then rinsed well. Or so I thought.. after I did my acv rinse my hair was VERY hard to comb through and felt “dusty” and dry. When I got out of the shower I combed it again and found some of the dried clay still coming out so obviously I didn’t rinse enough I guess then I blow dried it and it still had that same feeling but it was far less oily (I was using honey to wash and didn’t realize that was a big no no for people w oily hair so it was pretty bad) my ques is, was my hair feeling dry and dusty and tangled because I put it on dry hair? (The ends aren’t as bad as the scalp) I don’t think it had a chance to harden or anything. My plan for next time was to obv put it on wet hair and leave it on for less time and up the vinegar or use straight acv. But do you have any other tips? Clearly I’m doing something wrong even tho the oil prob is much better. My second ques is I found another recipe for a clay wash but it had acv and raw honey mixed into it. Would this be ok? Sorry this is so long but thanks ! :)

    • Heather says:

      Yes, the wash with acv and honey would work. The dusty feeling you describe happens when the hair shaft does not fully close. If it were me, I’d increase the concentration of the vinegar rinse you’re using. I’d also leave the vinegar on a few minutes before rinsing, and of course I’d do all of this with wet hair. :)

      Hope that helps!

  59. Melissa says:

    Hi!
    I just wanted to leave my experience with using Rhassoul clay as a hair wash in hopes that it may help or answer some questions. My hair type is fine with a slightly oily scalp. I had not ever colored my hair when I started going shampoo free. Also, I never use ‘product’ such as hair spray or mousse in my hair.

    My sister and I decided to get rid of using any kind of shampoo about 1 1/2 years ago. I did the baking soda/acv thing for 5 weeks straight. I had read that your hair and scalp would go through a ‘detox’ period. My hair is fine and thin, and the baking soda did not work for me. I had some sort of weird, white residue after I washed and rinsed really, really well. I also tried diluted Dr. Bronner’s, but the results were awful for me.

    My sister and I then read about an organic hair mud wash that can be purchased. We used that for quite some time, and we loved it, but it was quite expensive. My hair and scalp had finally detoxed, though, and I loved the results.

    Then I read on this website about using Rhassoul clay. Thank you Mommypotamus! My sister and I use distilled water and mix it with the clay until it reaches a very slightly runny consistency. We’ve been using this method for about a year now with excellent results. My scalp is no longer itchy and sensitive. Sometimes I’ll add a drop of an essential oil if I feel like it. I rarely rinse with acv.

    My sister and I started coloring our hair with henna and indigo. We both love that, too! If you’re going to try to dye your hair with henna, do your research. Not all henna is the same. I don’t find that the henna and indigo get washed out with the clay wash, but it may depend on the kind of henna that’s used.

    As far as whether or not it clogs drains, we haven’t had a problem so far, and we both use it every single day. Unfortunately, our hair and skin type do not allow for skipping a day, really. If anyone else has used it consistently and has had a problem with drains, I’d love to know as that is a concern. I don’t EVER want to go back to shampoo again!

    Thanks again, Mommypotamus, for turning us on to this great way of taking care of hair!

  60. Izzy says:

    Thank you for sharing. I bought your E-book & I just love it! I have used this clay wash twice with bentonite clay since I had some on hand & I am super happy to report I love, love, love the way this makes my hair look & feel. I have fine medium length curly hair. My scalp tends to be on the oily side. I wash every other day. Next time I order from Mountain Rose Herbs I will add rhassoul clay to my order & try that out too.

  61. Beth says:

    I ordered some Rhassoul clay last week. When it finally arrived I googled how to use it as a shampoo and came across this post.
    I tried it for the first time this morning – but I mixed it up last night before bed.
    I think I made it a little too thin, but I am still happy with the results. Shiny & bouncy hair without drying it out.
    Had been using the bs & acv every 4-5 days for the last year or so. Will see how the clay shampoo works on the same schedule.
    Thank you for posting such a great & inexpensive poo-less alternative.

  62. Beth says:

    Forgot to mention that I mixed the clay powder with cooled mint tea, and it had a nice cooling effect on my scalp.

  63. Satu says:

    Hi, please help me! Two weeks aho i went to hairdresser because i had coconut oil stuck to my hair. Stylist used green clay to dry hair because i had oily residue due to clay. Unfortunately green clay stuck to my hair and now my hair is slighly khaki green and light green. I have washed it almost every day but the color is stubborn. Please help me

  64. Rachel says:

    Good evening!
    Ive been looking for an inexpensive diy shampoo similar to the Moroccan Method clay shampoos when I stumbled across this. Have you tried their products and if so, how do you think this compares?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Rachel, I just got some of their products in the mail yesterday. I haven’t tried them yet, but I will post a review after I do. As far as ingredients go I think they are one of the best companies I’ve come across and my friends that used them have been very happy with their products.

      • Rachel says:

        I’ve tried their shampoos and LOVE them. However, they’re really expensive, especially for me because my hair is well over 3/4 down my back and very thick. I’ve been looking for a good diy dupe. I’ve played around with a few formulas myself but nothing I’ve come up with feels or works as well.
        Is there any chance you’ll try and create a diy version? =)

  65. […] but there's a lot of sebum or something built-up on my scalp. Honey Shampoo Updates and FAQs How To Wash Your Hair With Clay | MommypotamusMommypotamus | http://wellnessmama.com/9321/detox-your-hair/ I have bentonite clay. I might try this (and I have a […]

  66. Rene says:

    Hi again Heather. Your site is really interesting. Thank you.

    I’ve had a lot of difficulty with natural hair care. I’ve heard of using clay in masks, but hadn’t thought of it as a “shampoo”. I’m intrigued, but, as a former potter, I’m horrified for your pipes. Clay is sticky as all get-out. Combine that with the usual hair and other nastiness and your clogs could be worse than a commercial product using household. When working with clay, in a setting that is not equipped with traps and sieves, I would go outside and wash my hands off in the yard with the hose. I’m not sure I could let myself run a head full of it down my pipes. I’ve used Rhassoul clay in a bar soap, but that is a much smaller volume.

    Clay can contain a lot of different things and the “liquid clay” another commenter mentioned is “slip,” which is a general name for a lot of different, similar things. Depending on where someone gets that slip it can contain things that are known to contain toxic ingredients. I don’t mean to be alarmist – just be sure you research before you slather yourself in something. Also, a word to the wise, a lot of potter’s clays are gritty. Bentonite is a very fine clay, used to suspend other ingredients in ceramic glazes. It’s highly absorbent. Please be aware that it’s not good to breath the dust of any clay, but Bentonite more so. Incidentally, it’s used in scoopable cat litters, which I highly recommend not using. Your cat licks their feet and consumes and and both your whole house inhales it.

    Be safe everyone and good luck!

  67. Ashwynn says:

    Hi, I am trying to transition from commercial shampoos and am currently using a recipe from Wellness Mama. I have curly hair that frizzes easily. Most strands are fine with a few coarse ones thrown in. Ends are dry and it gets oily after a day or two of no washing. I tried no poo for a little while with no success. Everyone swears by ACV but I think it leaves my hair soft but dull looking. I use curling products and a hair dryer with a diffuser to achieve my look, but I wonder if these products are defeating the purpose of “detoxing” my hair. Do you have any suggestions that may help me? Thanks!

  68. sarah says:

    Hello! This is the first recipe for shampoo that I’ve had any success with! I needed to share a tip that works for me. When I first started using the rhassoul clay to wash my hair, my scalp hair would have a good texture, but the rest of my hair would be straw-like and I was worried about long-term damage. I was tempted to stop using it, but couldn’t find anything else that remotely worked for me. I FINALLY realized that I should put the bulk of the clay on my scalp (the oily part) and just work a tiny amount into the length of my hair. I just leave the clay on the length of my hair for a short time and then rinse out, but I leave it on my scalp for longer. Then, I do a QUICK rinse (or else my hair looks greasy) with the ACV/water combo squirted out of an old Dr. Bronner’s container. Changing the amount of time on each section of hair has worked great! Problem solved!

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