Usually used for facials or for washing the body, clays can also be applied to your hair. Used as a hair mask, they give the hair the benefit of its properties.
Clay is a material that is naturally present on the earth in some parts of the world. So that it is found in powder form and that it can be used in cosmetics, it undergoes some transformations. The clay is first dried in the sun or in large ovens specially designed for this use. When dried in the sun, it captures its energy and will therefore have more properties than if the clay is kiln-dried. In general, clay, whatever its type, is absorbent, that is to say, that it absorbs sebum, impurities, and toxins, and it is adsorbent, which means that it gives minerals. Then, each clay will have its specificities. With regard to the hair, "the clay will eliminate all that is toxins in the scalp, cutaneous secretions (sebum and sweat), will have a regulatory action and will regulate the various problems", explains Mathilde Angibaud, trainer for Dermaclay. Thus, the clay helps restore a healthier scalp and a shinier hair fiber. If you want to start the transition to a healthier hair routine, using clays can be of great help. If you've been using shampoos with a lot of silicones and other petrochemical ingredients, they will absorb all of this to cleanse your scalp and hair fiber.
In cosmetics, there are three major types of clays: montmorillonite, kaolin, and illite. Montmorillonite is the most common green clay. It is "highly concentrated in silica, minerals, magnesium, iron, manganese, soda, and potash" making it one of the most active. Kaolin clay, on the other hand, is what is more commonly known as white clay. It is much softer than the others and contains alumina and silica. Finally, "illite can have many colors": green, red or yellow. "Depending on its color, it can have different minerals, but as a rule, it is rich in iron, magnesium and is very absorbent." Red clay is rich in trace elements and yellow in manganese. Finally, there is pink clay which is actually a mixture of red and white clays. You will understand, each clay will therefore have a different impact on your hair, depending on the needs of your hair.
For oily hair: just like for oily skin, opt for green clay, whether montmorillonite or illite. An oily hair being the result of a scalp producing too much sebum, green clay will be very beneficial because it is cleansing, purifying, and sebum regulator. "It's perfect for people who are really looking to regulate sebum and space out shampoos, you can't change one hair type, but the scalp will be healthier," warns Mathilde Angibaud.
For dry hair: yellow clay is the best bet. But be careful, because being absorbent can dry out your hair. On the other hand, it is invigorating and soothing, which is advantageous because dry hair is often synonymous with itching.
For colored hair: colored hair is often dull, lacking in light. Red clay is ideal in these cases, as it restores luminosity to the hair fiber. You can also use it if your hair color is blonde, white, brown, or even red. There is no risk of it coloring your hair, unlike henna.
For sensitive and irritated scalps: if this is your scalp condition, turn to pink clay. It has the advantage of having the mineral richness of red clay and the softness of white clay. So it's a great mix and a great balance to counter the itchiness and repair your sensitive scalp.
For dandruff: if you have dandruff, you probably have a problem with regulating the sebum in your scalp. So, the best is to opt for green clay which will regulate the production of sebum.
To apply clay to your hair, you don't have to do what is called a poultice, which is mixing the clay with water and allowing it to dry. It is rather reserved for treating important problems on your body (such as injuries for example). To properly use clay on your hair, it must be rehydrated with floral waters. To this base, you can then add essential oils, plants, or even vegetable oils to create a DIY mask that adapts perfectly to your hair concern. You know all the ingredients are well mixed when you get a smooth, non-liquid texture, so you don't have to add a lot of floral water.
Be careful not to let your clay dry on your hair, especially if you have dry hair, as this is when the drying effect will take effect. If you need to cleanse your scalp, you can do a poultice, but you don't have to do it often. If your hair is very oily or you have a lot of dandruff, you can make a green clay poultice every 6 months, but not more often!