Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Shampooing with Dirt

Shampooing with Clay

Yep…you read that right. Shampooing. With dirt. Since I started this blog a year ago, my inner geek has taken over and my interest in learning about ingredients and cosmetic formulation has skyrocketed. That process has lead me to learning more about DIY cosmetics and more “natural” ingredients. There are so many resources out there (some not so good) where one can get information. One good resource is the mommypotamus blog. When I found this blog, I had already began researching skincare ingredients, specifically clay masks (this happened as I was testing the Glam Glow mask, which I reviewed here). I already knew that clay had been used for centuries as a natural exfoliant and cleanser for the face but I had no idea it could be used (and has been for probably thousands of years) to clean the hair! My eyes had definitely been opened! I searched the mommypotamus blog for clay recipes and found the one I’m using in this post. You can find the recipe here.

New Directions Aromatics Rhassoul Clay

So why in the heck would anyone want to use clay to wash the hair? Well, first of all it’s gentle to both the scalp and hair so it doesn’t strip the hair or dry things out. Secondly, it doesn’t contain sulfates, which are the bane of anyone with any kind of treated hair (especially straightened hair). Thirdly, it’s really inexpensive (I paid about $7 for 1 pound of rhassoul clay at New Directions Aromatics). Last but not least, I found out that not only does it work  incredibly well as a shampoo, rhassoul clay (which is probably used for cleaning hair more than any other type of clay) left my hair clean and soft! Rhassoul is only one of many clays that are available today and people have been using it for a thousand (or more) years to clean the hair and scalp. It’s a natural clay that is mined in Morocco and is often used for skincare and in Turkish baths. Rhassoul is a light brown powdery substance with really no odor at all.

New Directions Aromatics Rhassoul Clay 2

Okay…so how do we do this? You can find the recipe on the mommypotomas site here. First thing is to gather your ingredients, which are:
  • Vinegar (white or cider)
  • Water (I used distilled)
  • Essential Oil (I don’t think this is a must have but it does make the vinegar rinse smell better. I used Peppermint essential oil from Skin Actives)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Plastic container to mix clay
  • Plastic container to store leftover hair rinse
New Directions Aromatics Rhassoul Clay 3

I placed 2 tablespoons of rhassoul clay into the plastic container and then added enough water to make a paste. At first I wasn’t sure how much I needed so I added it slowly, beginning with a one teaspoon measure. To get to the right consistency, I think I used 5 or 6 teaspoons of water. Here’s what it looked like:

New Directions Aromatics Rhassoul Clay 4

Yeah, I know. It looks a bit scary but I promise you it isn’t! Okay, now on to the rinse. For this measure out one half cup of vinegar into the glass measuring cup.

Shampooing with Clay 2

Then take your distilled water and fill up the measuring cup until it equals one cup.

Slin Actives Peppermint Essential Oil

Add eight drops of essential oil to the vinegar and water mixture.

Shampooing with Clay 3

You’ll use about half of this mixture as a final rinse after your clay shampoo. Pour half of it into the second plastic container to take into the shower with you. Keep the other half to use at another time. Now we’re ready to go!

Shampooing with Clay 4

Here are a couple of (blurry) pictures that I took of my hair prior to using the clay. My hair hadn’t been washed for about four days so it was good and ready for a wash.

Hair before Clay Shampoo

Hair before Clay Shampoo 2

In the shower, I wet my hair thoroughly and then squeezed out the excess water. I then began applying the clay. My hair is not very long but it is incredibly thick and I used every bit of the mixture. Not only did I apply it on the ends and all over the hair, I got it down into the under layers of my hair and all the way down to my scalp, making sure it covered everything well. Then I went about by normal business in the shower. I’m a “get in and get out” shower taker so the clay was on my hair for probably five minutes. If you wash your hair every day, you would only want to have it on the hair for about two minutes. Here’s proof that I actually did this:

Hair during Clay Shampoo

After about five minutes, I rinsed the clay out of my hair thoroughly. I was actually really surprised at how easily the clay rinsed out. Amazing! Once the water ran completely clear and I was satisfied that the clay was gone, I turned off the shower and then poured the vinegar rinse onto my hair as the last step. The peppermint essential oil really masked the smell of the vinegar so all was good. The vinegar rinse adds shine and apparently, does a decent job at conditioning. My hair is so thick that I have to comb it out in the shower while the conditioner is on my head or I can’t get a comb through it. I had no such issues after rinsing in the vinegar solution. How cool!

Hair after Clay Shampoo
Natural, not styled

Hair after Clay Shampoo 2
Natural, not styled

Hair after Clay Shampoo 3
Natural, not styled

So, as you can probably gather by now, shampooing with rhassoul clay worked incredibly well! My hair turned out so soft and clean! It was bouncy and had lots of body. The three pictures above show my hair as it air dried. The picture below shows what it looked like after I straightened it with a flat iron. Styling was just as easy as if I had used my regular shampoo and conditioner.
Hair after Clay Shampoo 4

This experiment was a huge success and I will definitely use rhassoul clay again. Call me shocked!

So have you ever used clay as shampoo? Would love to hear about your experience!