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So I finally took the plunge and tried some bentonite clay. I sent my friend to the store to buy it for me (thanks again health foods store!) and she couldn’t find it at first because it was under the name Redmond Clay. I found out why when it arrived with a brochure. Directly quoted:

Millions of years ago, long before the earth knew pollutants of any kind, a range of volcanoes erupted-sending volcanic ash into the water of the ancient Sundance Sea. The water in this sea evaporated, leaving behind a bed of mineral-rich sodium bentonite. Near the small town of Redmond, Utah, we extract this ancient volcanic ash resting within the earth and bring it to you in its pure, natural state. A food grade clay, Redmond clay contains more than 50 natural trace minerals essential to human health.

The clay can actually be found in various parts of the US and also around the world. From another section of the brochure:

Sodium bentonite is naturally absorbent and extremely gentle on the system. Redmond Clay acts like a sponge, drawing substances , including toxins, into its internal structure. Sodium bentonite clay can absorb virtually anything. One gram of clay has a surface area of 800 square meters. The greater the surface area, the great the power to absorb. Due to its absorption capability, it is recommended to stay hydrated while using bentonite clay.

Though the brochure mentions using it as a poultice for bee stings, bites, infections, etc and also for internal use, it does not mention using it on the hair. I’ve seen several people, including Black Girl with Long Hair use it and love it.

Now, the following pictures are not for the faint of heart. In fact, they may cause heart attack and stroke. You have been warned.

Behold, the mud monster:

Ok this one isn't so bad. But as it dried I realized that it wasn't on very thick so I decided to add more. My hair, btw, is freshly washed with castile soap. Weird that my coils stayed in for the most part even though I finger combed and manipulated it a lot.

No, I am not made in this picture, I just could not smile because of the clay! It felt a little itchy on my face and tightened it up a lot.

No, I am not mad in this picture, I just could not smile because of the clay! It felt a little itchy on my face and tightened it up a lot.

I applied liberal amounts to my hair after washing with castile soap. It was kind of clumpy so I made sure to squeeze/mash it in as I applied it. It started to harden as it dried, just as it did on my face. It just took longer.

I applied liberal amounts to my hair after washing with castile soap. It was kind of clumpy so I made sure to squeeze/mash it in as I applied it. It started to harden as it dried, just as it did on my face. It just took longer.

It feels like mud, but a little clumpier. I read mixed reviews on NaturallyCurly.com about mixing the clay with ingredients other than water, so I decided to just mix it with water for now. I do want to try mixing it with ACV when I use it on my face next. However, I think I will stick with water for the hair mixture.

It feels like mud, but a little clumpier. I read mixed reviews on Curltalk about mixing the clay with ingredients other than water, so I decided to just mix it with water for now. I do want to try mixing it with ACV when I use it on my face next. However, I think I will stick with water for the hair mixture.

As a facial, this stuff rocks! My skin felt toned and fresh, and I had a small pimple above my nose that was noticeably smaller after I washed this off. Wow!

As a facial, this stuff rocks! My skin felt toned and fresh, and I had a small pimple above my nose that was noticeably smaller after I washed this off. Wow!

My hair felt different after washing out the clay. I left it on for 30 minutes or so. I'd thought that my hair would be drier but it wasn't at all. It was much springier and felt fluffy. I did not let it dry, though I was curious how it would feel if I'd just left it. However, it was time for a DC, so that was next.

My hair felt different after washing out the clay. I left it on for 30 minutes or so. It felt different. My hair was springier and felt fluffier. I had thought that it would make my hair dry, but it did not feel dry at all. I wondered what it would feel like if I'd just let it dry like that, but it was time for a DC, so that was next. I also wanted to do a DC to make sure that I'd gotten all of the clay out of my hair.I imagine that leaving some in would not give your soft bouncy hair :)

So in conclusion, I love the clay for my face and can’t wait to use it again in a few days. I’m not sure about the hair, but I will be trying this again to re-evaluate.

One of the best things about this clay is that it is super cheap if you buy it from a health foods store. This one application cost me about $2.50. Not bad at all. And if I just used it for a facial, it would last forever. Blended Beauty does sell a version that seems to be bentonite clay and marshmellow root. Here are some reviews if you’re interested. It’s pricier though.

I’ll try this again soon.

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Thanks to the beautiful and stylish Nneka for sharing her natural hair story! You can check her out at her blog Darker than Brown. She’s also got a Facebook and Twitter. Annnd if you’re lucky enough to be in the New York area you can check out her meet up group

My name is Nneka and I am the owner of Darker Than Brown.  I reside in the lovely state of New York, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I am currently, on my second natural hair journey, and I’ve never been this content. The journey started with healthy hair, and gradually went to healthy diet. Other than that, I’m just like you all out there, happy some days,and sad on the others.

Kcurly: How long have you been natural?

First let me share that this is my second time going natural.The first time lasted, no more than a year and a half.  This time around,  I am approaching my three year anniversary  in May (maybe June, or July).  My journey wasn’t planned, so I don’t have a specific date.  I sure wish I did though, so I could have that special day to celebrate like all the other ladies do. I didn’t start this journey because I hated perms. I was one of those people, who heard the ramblings about the possible dangers, but still got my perms. I am not anti weave, and  I did not do this to embrace anything (myself, my heritage).

Honestly, I stopped perming my hair because I saw it as a waste of money. I wore weaves every day, minute and second, and figured it made no sense perming hair that was always hidden. My mother says I am the cheapest person she has ever met, and she may be right! Who knew then, that I  would end up on this fantastic journey.

Kcurly: What have been your biggest obstacles to overcome?

I have had two main obstacles to over come, myself and breakage. Every forum, blog  and Youtube video  I watch/read,  all have women who love and  seem to embrace their natural hair instantly.  After a year and a half, I stopped wearing weaves and wanted to give wearing my own hair a try. I was fearful of what others would think. I had it in my head that this unkempt hair was not to be seen outdoors. So I wore a hat, literally everyday and everywhere.

One day a six year old asked “why do you always wear that hat”, and all I could think of was “I like it”. However I didn’t like the hat, and that had me thinking. I credit the Darker Than Brown meet up group with  helping me find the confidence I needed to proudly wear my hair. I am the owner/host so I felt I HAD to come with my hair out. At every meet up the women wear their hair so  proudly.  Then my new arrangement was to wear my hair out once a month for the meet ups only! However before you knew it,  I threw the hat away, and it’s been me and my hair ever since. My second obstacle is breakage, it has been a my Achilles’ heel! No matter how I try, or what I do it is there. Very often I ramble on my blog about it, I should rename  it the “Breakage of Darker Than Brown”.

 Kcurly: What are your favorite styles to wear?

My absolute favorite style to wear right now is a flat chunky twist, with curled ends. I set flexi rods on the ends, to get the curled look. The results are always big fluffy hair, and if the weather cooperates, I walk around all day with it. The reason I love this style, is it frames my face nicely. I also wear a lot of  updos, my dream is to one day achieve a great pompadour. However for now I like my old fashion pin a tuck styles.

Kcurly:  What are your favorite products?

The funny thing is the products I use now are all different, from the start of my journey. Hopefully, these are here to stay. My hair adores all the products I am about to share. However, due to cost or convenience I am not able to use them all regularly.

Favorite shampoos: I prefer to use bentonite clay to clean my hair. However most times laziness takes over, and I grab a bottle of shampoo (Giovanni or Shea Moisture). If I could get my hands on a few bentonite clay bars I’d be in heaven!

Deep conditioner: If only I was a rich girl! I swear i’d never be without a bottle of Jessicurl Deep Treatment. Since I’m not a rich girl I use Shea Moisture Deep treatment mask (honey & olive oil added), or ORS deep replenishing treatment.

Rinse out conditioner: I use  Mill Creek Keratin conditioner once month. Other than that I think rinse out conditioners are a waste of money.

Leave in conditioner: I am flexible here, many time I use one of the deep conditioners as a leave in. The Jessicurl deep treatment is also great as a leave in too! Other times I use Shea Moisture restorative conditioner, Giovanni direct leave in, or some Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine.

Kcurly: Any advice for the newly natural ladies out there?

In the beginning of this journey, I focused my whole world around natural hair. Take my word and don’t over do it, because  I was surely obsessed! After a while the newness wears off and then you will figure out if you are on this journey for the long run. I’m glad to say I am!

 

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Company Name: Butters and Bars

Product Name: Conditioning Hair Masque

Ingredients: 100% Australian Pink clay and Moroccan Mud (Rasshoul clay), aloe vera  juice, hemp seed oil, olive oil ,raw honey and silk protein, grapefruitseed extract, and germall (formaldehyde and sulfate free preservative)

Consistency: Muddy, moist

Price: 6 oz-$6.99 (also available in 12 oz and 16 oz)

Purchase from: Butters and Bars

Review:

I have to admit it.

I just bought this because I wanted to put mud in my hair.

And that’s what this looks like. A container of mud with a reddish hue.

 

I purchased the 6 oz jar and that was enough for my whole head. Let me start with the positives. My hair felt super soft and springy afterwards. It was moisturized without feeling heavily weighed down or oily. It also gives your hair a cool red look while it’s in. I felt like a Himba lady for a minute :) There was not much of a scent and you can’t beat the price for the ingredients. Overall, it’s a wonderful treatment.

Wet hair...after rinsing...and rinsing...and rinsing :)

 

Unfortunately…it was hard to wash out. It wasn’t as hard to wash out as cassia or ZSC but I had to go back several times to rinse because I’d find a patch of it here or there, mostly near my scalp. I can usually rinse out my conditioner while it’s in big twists but I had to undo them to make sure I’d gotten it all out. Truth be told, I still had a small patch in my middle part and it made my scalp look red.

It also had very little slip. I like to detangle while I apply my deep conditioner. I was pretty much not able to do that. From reading the website, I gather this mask is supposed to be a henna-like treatment. If you think of it that way, then I should not have expected slip in the first place.


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