Spas have been using clays in their operations for some time too. You too might also be going “These natural/healthy hair quacks will do anything in the name of hair…that is nonsense,” but don’t knock it until you check out these cool facts about why the clay wash is here to stay.
Clay is a fine grained soil that is rich in minerals and traces of metal oxide as well as other organic material like decayed rocks or soil or ash. Clay exhibits a plastic like quality when it comes in contact with water and it can hold water for long periods of time. There are different types of clay, each classified by the concentration of certain minerals.
Owing to the mineral rich character of clay, wide variations of it is used for a number of cosmetic purposes especially with hair. Clay washes are said to be gentler than commercial shampoos and stronger than co-washes, so they are ideal for those who want an organic cleansing solution that does not have harmful chemicals to strip hair or contribute to possible side effects in the long term. There are rave reviews for the Terressentials mud wash and Bentonite Clay*, but I wanted to delve a little and see what else exists.
Dead Sea Mud
This comes from the Vale of Siddim or Salt Sea referred to in the Bible so it has a very interesting history. It is rich in magnesium*, sodium, potassium* and calcium. It’s odd that the soil from here actually pulls out toxins in the skin and stimulates the regeneration of cells to assist with hair growth, considering that no marine life can grow in the Dead Sea owing to its high salt content.
Kaolin clay* also called China clay, white clay or Multini Mitti results from decomposed volcanic ash and is rich in silica* and does a good job at detoxing as well. It can come in a variation of green, pink, yellow or grey hues regardless of being called “white clay”. It is often used in face powders and other skin care products. This is thought to be especially great for chronically dry hair since it is the gentlest of clays. It helps increase the elasticity of hair, ultimately boosting its tensile strength. It is not ideal for oily hair types though because it does not draw out oils* and does not get rid of heavy buildup.