Friday, August 26, 2011

Bentonite Clay~ Hair Detox

The photo of my hair above is how it looked just prior to the treatment. My hair has been so neglected and I feel like someone should have called hair protective services on me ;o). It was dry as the Sahara which was all my fault for not using a moisturizer daily in this triple digit heat.
I know...I must be one of the only Naturalistas that hadn't tried a Bentonite Clay treatment on my hair.  Well, I have now and here is Kynxx contribution on how it worked for me!

After reading a number of blogs and watching videos I decided to go with MopTopMavens tutorial.  I love her hair and admire her contribution to helping us grow longer healthier hair.  So many journeys I see start from transitioning from relaxers and its refreshing for me to see someone who had a journey similar to mine recovering from heat damage.
I gathered everything I would need to mix the clay.
Like MopTopMaven I added Apple Cider Vinegar and Aloe Vera (pure refrigerated gel form) to the mix.


I was very fortunate a client of mine, Rebecca Jones, gave me a bowl of bentonite clay powder she purchased online for me to try. I recently purchased some from Whole Foods but I really wanted to compare to see if there were any differences in the two. One of the main differences was the consistency of the clay. This one mixed up without any lumps and I didn't have to use anything but hand mix with my wooden spoon. Another difference was the color, this one was grey and the brand I'd gotten from Whole Foods was more off white.  The smooth texture made it so easy to apply.  This was much easier and less mess then when I apply henna.
I co-washed first using VO5 conditioner.  I noticed MopTopMaven applied hers to dry hair but I wouldn't have been able to part it to apply the clay without it being detangled.

I separated front half from the back...

Starting from the back I applied the clay from root to end.

I took heed to make sure the clay didn't dry on my hair only leaving it on for 20 minutes.  This is actually perfect because unlike Henna I can do this treatment without it taking up most of my day or needing to sleep in it if I don't have enough time in my day. 

I took a cold shower and rinsed the clay from my hair and scalp.  It didn't take very long to get it all out.  I could tell right away all of the impurities and any remaining product build up had been removed from the process.  My strands were so clean they just stood one on top of the other instead of lying beside each other.  I could tell the difference in the way my hair not only looked but felt after my deep conditioner was applied and rinsed after 45 minutes, no heat.

There are a few things I want to note.  Adding the ACV to the bentonite clay powder and the Aloe Vera gel may have aided in the fact the texture was much more smooth then the clay I used for my facial.  Also, my conditioner that I have used now for over a year, had even better results then it does when I normally use it without detoxing first.  Since this is such a time friendly treatment and can be used as often as I like, I will be adding this step moving forward prior to at least every other deep conditioning. I just feel without any build up the conditioners have a much better chance of offering better results.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Bentonite Clay~ Facial Detox

Calcium Bentonite Clay

I recently asked a few of my FB friends for information about Bentonite Clay and what if any benefits users felt it provided.   Nothing but great responses, and the one that caught my attention most was the comment made about it being a cure for acne.  My skin is not problematic but I do have a teenage son I knew could benefit from using it.   A few days later I made a trip to my local Whole Foods market and bought some.  One of the things that I found VERY pleasant was the price. Bentonite Clay is not expensive at all especially when you compare it with the benefits it has both internally and externally.  This post will address its benefits when used as a facial detox.  I will follow up as I begin using it for other reasons with posts specific to how I'm using it, like when I treat my hair with it for example. 
I bought this for 10.99.  The instructions read that it may be mixed with apple cider vinegar and/or water.  I've had the same gallon size of ACV underneath my kitchen sink for about 9 months and have only used it twice.  I don't too much care for the smell of but I figured I would strap my big girl boots on and give it a try anyhow.  Well my son was completely against it so I didn't mix it with the ACV and used distilled water instead.  I scooped one cup (way too much for 2 facials) and added equal part water.  I was so anxious to use this on my son and myself I didn't bother researching correct amounts to use or anything ;o) .

I wanted to take before and afters of my son and I and unfortunately he wasn't having it.  He didn't mind taking it with me in full garb but didn't want his face photographed prior too or afterward.  That's vanity for you.

This was the amount of clay left in the bowl AFTER it was applied about a half inch thick as the directions called for.  A little goes a long way.
We look like two alien goons in this photograph and I'm just smiling away.  I applied the clay to my sons face first then to mine.    I felt it pulsate to the fullest.  So much so it frightened me at first and I was about to wash it off.  Information on the canister states that you will feel a pulsating effect on your skin as it dries. I left the clay mask on my face for 20 minutes.  

To me when it is mixed it looks like cottage cheese.  Those bumps are just clay that didn't mix smoothly with the water.  I pressed on a few of them with my finger pads and rubbed them in. 

In case  you're wondering, I didn't shave my hair.  My hair is getting a much needed henna treatment and I have Cling Wrap, securing the henna on my head.  This was about 10 minutes into the pulsating as yet.
This is just before I rinsed it off using Luke warm water.  As you can see the clay is now cracked from drying.  At this point it was pulsating like crazy.  I cant describe it aside from saying it feels like your heart beating, only its in your face and not your chest creating a very warm sensation at the same time.

I took these close ups to show how clean my skin looks.  The softness over the past few days has given a feel my skin hasn't had in years.  I have combination skin that is oily where my nose, chin and upper forehead are,  dry in between my brows and on my cheeks.  I noticed even in this hot humid climate I didn't have as much shine as I usually get, a great bonus to me.

Why Calcium Bentonite Clay Is Beneficial?

Not all clays are the same.  Some can be ingested while others must be used externally only. Upon researching the benefits of Bentonite Clay, I learned Calcium is best.  Bentonite clay was originally found in Fort Benton, WY.  There is a company that sales the naturally occurring clay from its place of origin and it can be purchased here; Earth's Living Clay .  As I mentioned before, the price is really inexpensive.  On this site it is sold premixed for internal ingestion, detox baths, and as a facial kit.   Bathing in Bentonite Clay works in detoxifying minerals from the body and impurities like worms, and skin ailments like gangrene.  Due to it's strong absorption properties it can draw impurities from our bodies through the skin:

"The condition of the skin is a good indication of what is happening inside the body.  Most people are not aware that the skin is the largest organ and a means of eliminating waste; each day waste passes through the pores of the skin.  Everything that affects the body in turn affects the skin.  When the body is full of toxic wastes and cannot eliminate them properly, various skin ailments may result.  The only effective way to get rid of these conditions is by cleaning the body inside and out."  
Calcium Bentonite Clay is one of the safest, easiest, and least expensive detoxing substances available today. Clay is a non-evasive (non surgical and pain free treatment, and when it is properly used, clay treatments cause no harm. Rapid healing often results, such as a noticeable reduction in pain, irritation, and inflammation, even when many other methods have failed. Clay functions several ways:
  • Minerals that make up Bentonite clay (which the body cannot absorb) work together to absorb heavy metals and other toxins in the gut (digestive system). Thus, clay taken internally, can help improve intestinal health and keep the toxins from being absorbed into the body.
  • The energy of clay stimulates the revitalization and rebuilding of damaged cells and tissues.
  •  Clay baths, through clay's strong drawing powers, help your body detox through the pores of your skin.
  • Internal parasites are drawn to the clay and expelled from the body.
  • Most clays are naturally alkaline and as a result, balance the body's pH and reduce over acidity.
When taken internally, it acts as a laxative and relieves constipation. It improves digestion, restores appetite, and alleviates problems like indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, and gas.

It also neutralizes the harmful free radicals in the body and lowers the risk of many diseases including cancer. A bentonite detox is a very effective way to detoxify your body, increase vitality, and improve overall health.

This photograph was taken 3 days after the facial...I sometimes get small pimples around  my hair line from butters and oils I use. Since this facial I dont even have one small pimple on my face and the oily shine I often get is gone!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Protective Styling & Hair Shed (How much is too much?)


Protective styling is a must for me this summer.  Wash n' go's I normally look forward to wearing during summer months is no longer an option with temperatures in my city soaring well above 100 for the past 30 days plus.   Week before last, I styled my hair in cornrows, leaving them 2 weeks.  The style lasted 14 days and I could have kept them in for another week had I not gone swimming. One of the issues that comes along with wearing a non manipulation protective for an extended period of time is that once you do take it down, you will shed all of the hair you would have lost during daily styling, all at one time.  For me this can be overwhelming, especially since I've had my bout with excessive hair fall in the past.  I dont like seeing so much hair being shed from my head all at once.

On average its is said the normal hair loss to expect each day is between 50-100 strands. This means I should shed at max, 1,400 strands (goosebumps). I wouldn't even know what 1,400 strands of shed hair look like to assess if my own hair is shed at a normal rate. I took a photo of the hair I lost during my, one week protective and compared it to the protective worn and the hair shed after 14 days. 

14 days off  hair loss...a bit much.

Bundle on left after 14 days of wearing braids...Bundle on right hair loss during detangle of another protective I wore for only 7 days.  Seems my hair loss MORE than doubled.
 I spread the larger ball of shed hair apart to show the volume. To me, this is excessive and I will be returning to my monthly Henna treatments ASAP!

These were my braids following the swim.  I washed my hair while still braided with black soap and clarified with a lime juice and water rinse. My braids were frizzed out once they dried so I just took them down.  I'm going to continue to save my hair bundles for comparisons so I can accurately measure my standard hair loss rate.