How to Detox Your Hair

Put mud in your hair natural clay hair detox for thick and shiny hair

A reader emailed me and asked if I’d ever heard of using clay to wash/detox hair. I hadn’t, but was intrigued, so I started researching…

Mud in Your Hair?

Turns out, clay can be very beneficial for hair in the same way it can be beneficial in the rest of the body: it removes toxins to leave hair super-clean and with a lot of shiny volume.

I still like my coconut milk shampoo, but from the comments, it definitely doesn’t work for everyone. This recipe is another great option that could be used regularly. It seems especially good for those with fine or naturally oily hair as it leaves the hair very clean, but I also found sites recommending it for those with coarse or frizzy hair for its ability to tame the hair (I can’t speak personally on this one as my hair is very fine.

If no-poo hasn’t worked for you, and homemade shampoo hasn’t worked for you, I’d encourage you to try this option. It can be customized for your hair type and lasts up to a week in the shower.

Sound strange to wash your hair with mud? Give it a try…

Optional Add-Ins

As I mentioned in my herbal hair colors post, different herbs can have darkening or lightening effects on hair. Nettle is said to be great for hair, so I would use this on any hair color. I used chamomile flowers on my hair since it is blonde, but rosemary would be a better choice for dark hair (and it is also supposed to be good for dandruff).

These are the mixtures I’ve tried:

After the mixture cools, I strained out the herbs and used 1 cup for the clay recipe and 1 cup for the final rinse with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar added.

Hair Detox Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brewed herbal tea or water (see above for herb suggestions for your hair type)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • approximately 3/4 cup bentonite clay or redmond clay
  • 10 drops of essential oil of choice (optional- I used Lavender and Rosemary for hair growth)

What to Do:

  1. Note: Bentonite clay is most effective if it doesn’t come in contact with metal before use. Mix with wood, plastic or glass for best results, though I haven’t found that this makes much of a difference for hair products. I use an old mini-food processor with a plastic dough blade that I found at a thrift shop.
  2. Brew the herbal tea and let cool slightly, make sure all herbs are strained out.
  3. Pour tea and apple cider vinegar in a blender, food processor or non-metal bowl.
  4. Start adding clay a tablespoon at a time while blending or whisking to incorporate it.
  5. Keep adding clay until mixture is smooth and about the consistency of yogurt.
  6. Add essential oils if using and mix in.
  7. Store in an air-tight container in the shower for up to a week.
  8. To Use: Wet hair. Starting at roots, massage a handful of the clay mixture into hair and work down to the roots. Repeat until all hair is coated. Leave 5 minutes or up to 20 minutes (do not let dry!) and rinse out with warm water.
    optional: Rinse with a cup of herbal tea with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar added.

Would you put mud in your hair? Why or why not?

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Reader Comments

  1. It’s important to use high quality calcium montmorillonite clay for the best results and to avoid clogging your drain. Sodium bentonite clumps which makes it harder to rinse and it can clog drains. If you buy edible grade montmorillonite clay, there is no end to the external and internal applications and benefits!

    • I just made Wellness Mama’s remineralizing toothpaste with Sonne’s #7 Detoxificant (Sodium: 5 mg, Iron: 2 mg). Other ingredients are bentonite clay and purified water.

      Is this also okay to use in this shampoo mud recipe?

      • My grandmother has been washing her hair with fuller’s earth clay since her childhood. She has way better hair than my mother (who always uses harsh chemical based shampoo). I was doubtful when I first hear about washing hair with clay, but some posts online has convinced me to try it.

  2. I’ve been doing this along time instead of shampoo, no poo didn’t work for me. Heads up to anyone who is planning on trying this, rinse extra well, my hair can still feel gritty especially if you us regular shampoo and conditioner often. Also mix it up and try clays other than bentonite (which can be found at whole food under the azteca brand) like green clays which I hear some people’s hair just love.
    Anyone who is considering going this route instead of shampoo or no poo, look up the company terressentials they make an amazing hair cleansing product. They’re website also has all kinds of tips and instructions to detox your hair completely off shampoo and it honestly makes my hair 500 times better then when I make my own with bentonite. Thank you wellness mama for sharing the knowledge to the paleo community, I honestly wasn’t sure this was ever going to make the leap.

    • It works Excellent. Surprisingly, the mud works as a cleanser though It takes a while to get used to putting mud in your hair, sometimes we also use one kind of Mud used to called multani mud in our face, which works so nice. Thanks for sharing such amazing information.

    • I never thought I’d go the “no-poo” route, but I made up a batch of this and have used it twice a week for the past month. I just use water because I have brown hair mixed with gray and I didn’t want to dull the gray. I follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse, and it makes my fine, wavy hair clean, soft and shiny. I’m not sure, economically, if it’s better than shampoo but I do like it and am not sure I want to go back to shampoo and endure the few weeks of transition again. The only problem I have is that it does make the shower pretty gritty and messy so I have to clean more.

  3. Yes. My hair is so sad with no-poo plus pregnancy and I don’t want to go back to the store stuff! I will give this a try!

    • Sarah,

      I have henna in my hair and using clay doesn’t seem to effect it all all. I use a mixture of coconut milk, clay, and a couple of other ingredients.

    • I use Red henna and Black herbatint coloring in my naturally light blonde hair and this hasn’t affected it at all!

  4. Hi! Have you (or anyone else) tried premade clay hair masks? I ask because I’m in Jordan and need something to naturally clarify my hair (for some reason it’s been pretty greasy for the last few weeks and I do not want to use regular shampoo), and I don’t know where to find specialized products here. I’ve seen clay masks in some stores here. The other option I’ve been looking into is baking soda, but clay seems to do more of what I need, so I’m curious to try it out.

  5. Made this with Green Clay. I only had Rosemary leaf for the tea. (No poo has never worked for me, even after the transition stage. Tried it 3 times) After using this recipe, my hair was soooo soft but not shiny at all. Do you know why that is?
    Also, can I use this everyday? I put ylang ylang essential oil and there was no smelliness.

  6. Oh, I forgot to add that this ended up all over my shower, I had to rinse the whole shower off. It was the Green Clay. I is there a clay that won’t clog up the drain that isn’t Green??

  7. Ooo!!! I really want to try this. my allergies have forced me to forgo store bought, chemical infested shampoos and conditioners. i keep getting contact dermatitis around my shoulders and back. I’ve always been allergic to perfumes, and lately it’s just been getting worse. :/ i tried the baking soda method and my hair felt horrid, which caused me to be hesitant about the coconut shampoo. hopefully this will work for me. i have no idea what else to do if it doesn’t.
    Anyway, my hair is fine and breaks easily. i was wondering if there were certain clays for certain hair types?

  8. I’m going to try this tonight! In the past I have combed in a small amount of apricot kernal oil to moisturize my hair… Do you think it would work now??? You know what, I’m just going to try it now and let you all know how it goes :)

  9. What Is Your Opinion On Doterra Oils Vs Mountain Rose Oils? IKnow Doterra Claim I Is The Only One To Take Internally And IsThe Strongest. BuT IsTheir Reall A Difference Besides Costs?

    • It’s hype. There are only a few places in the world that produce EOs and most companys ‘products are not that different from each other. In addition to being a MLM, doDeterra also trademarked their “therapeutic grade EO” – which isn’t backed by any governing body, it’s all their marketing. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • Thank You for an answer that would much like mine especially after I read the Intelligence of Essential Oils,(or something like that, I checked it out at the library, and felt like I got my use out of it, and didn’t want to purchase, so I don’t have the exact name), and asking many questions of those where I’ve purchase mine. My note to everyone on more than just oils, research, don’t believe all the hype of brand name products, like on groceries, I find that many times the lower price brand is just as good if not better than some brand.

      • Regardless if what you want to believe about marketing, please stop telling people that “there are only a few places in the world that produce essential oils.” That’s completely false.

        • The fact is, about 75% of oils come from the same distilleries (obviously different ones for different oils). They are big operations but quality varies because they can often redistill the material. Small distilleries can’t produce the amounts large companies need. And unless the company can afford to purchase everything the distillary products they can’t get exclusivity. I buy some of my oils for my business from the same distillates that doterra buys from. But I only buy first distillation.

        • Monica, she is telling the truth. Do Terra is just marketing and there are a restricted number of destilleries for oils. I don´t know why you got angry. And the truth is that there are other oils that are food grade just as DoTerra. It´s good to make some research.

  10. Oh boy, I love this mud shampoo but I also tried the 1Tbls Apple Cider with 1 cup of herbal tea after I washed my hair. I also tried the 1-2 drops of Argon Oil. and both of those don’t work. My hair feels soft but it also feels like waxy straw.(and I don’t mean the kind that you drink from) It’s hard to explain. When I am drying my hair, the brush doesn’t go through my hair smoothly, I have to keep pulling it and pulling it. I can a 1 day without washing but that’s it. This mud shampoo is the only thing that works without having a ton of oil on my hair. I don’t even have oily hair.

    • This very same thing happened to me. It almost seems to be coated in something. Very soft but not shiny and not easy to comb.

      • I’ve been using clay for about a year and noticed when I moved to a house with hard water that the same clay that worked before will now leave this terrible, unbrushable, dust-attracting residue. You two might be dealing with hard water too. I wish I had a solution.

        • I dealt with the same problems due to hard water as well! I have no clue why this works, but I have found that my hair isn’t straw-like if I increase the strength of my apple cider vinegar wash. Once I rinse all the mud out of my hair, I use 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water or tea, and that seems to take the straw-like feeling away. If your water is really hard, you can increase the strength even more until it works for your hair. Hope this helps!

  11. Made this tonight and it was lovely! Because I’m lazy and only wash my hair once a week I’ve popped the rest in the fridge in the hopes it will keep longer :)

      • Did it end up lasting? I’m curious, because I only wash once a week as well, and I don’t know if I want to spend the time making shampoo every week!!

        • I made one batch of this recipe with plain water instead of tea, and it lasted me a month of using twice a week. I just left it on the side of the tub, I didn’t refrigerate it. Actually I might have made half a batch, I can’t remember. I think I used more of a 1:1 ratio of water to clay, not 2:1 as this recipe indicates. I just kept adding clay until it seemed the right consistency. I’m not sure how I would tell if it went “bad” but it didn’t smell bad or change consistency or anything over the weeks.

  12. Katie, I super-appreciate all your efforts with your recipes and have enjoyed ALOT of them. I always do my best to click on the links to Mountain Rose Herbs so you get a little kickback. I am disappointed however in the shipping charges that they charge. They are OUTRAGEOUSLY HIGH in my opinion! Have you had any complaints from others? I emailed them directly as well, but was wondering if I am the only one.

    • In their defense, I have received shipments packed with natural materials, like recycled paper twists and thought how much more that must cost than styrofoam peanuts. The styrofoam people do charge less, but I don’t like getting it.

  13. I’m assuming you’re caucasian? I have African-American daughters… any word on how well this works for dry kinky hair? I’m always looking for natural hair products for them that WORK… seems like it might not add moisture and softness though… clay? I use bentonite in the bath now and then for detoxing, but on hair seems like it might dry out a bit?

    • In theory the clay should only pull out the metals, not the oils. I haven’t tried it yet, but I am today. I plan on adding jojoba and argan oil to my conditioner. A friend of mine recently applied a clay masque to her hair. She loved the end results!

      • what is your conditioner? do you make it? I am using this recipe for the shampoo right now for almost 2 months, but all of a sudden my ends started getting straw like and waxyish feeling and I’m thinking its that im not using conditioner really except once in a while but its crappy ology conditioner that I just don’t want to waste, but no clue on what to use naturally. I also have very curly hair

        • I use honey and aloa vera and I use this shampoo like once a month. And always AV, I also have curly hair. I also recently made the shampoo with the Coconut milk, I also use that about once a month, I don´t add castile soap to it but i use aloa instead.
          On the days I don´t shampoo I have a spray with water, Aloa, rosemary and sometimes jojoba or argan oil and sometime glycerin. It really gives my curls a boost in the mornings.

  14. Trying this tomorrow.. attempted no poo and it just left me irritated. This actually smells good to me (plenty of lavender and peppermint essential oil) and I even put some on my face tonight as a mask! *crossing fingers*

  15. Hi! This is my first time posting here! 😀 I have read some of your recipes and I loved them! But my experience with mud wasn’t very good… I started to go no-poo on June 10th and the first month I washed my hair with clay (first with kaolin and then with bentonite) but my hair was very sticky and greasy. I have greasy hair so I thought it was the detox period that left my hair like that, but then I saw that my last shampoo left me residues on my scalp, and the clay was stuck in that residues. So now I’m washing my hair with an egg + lemon mix but I’m not sure if the residues will disappear if I only do this and still today my hair is greasy. Do you know any natural remedy to remove all this residues of the scalp? or will they disappear after time? :)

    • I’ve used a mix of baking soda and water as a thin paste, worked into the scalp and throughly rinsed. The baking soda is a mild abrasive that will clear up any residue

  16. I made a tweaked recipe of the Terressentials Mud Wash that is similar to this, but my recipe is

    4 oz Aloe Vera juice
    1 oz Rhassoul clay
    4 drops Nettle oil
    4 drops Ylang ylang essential oil

    BOOM. This stuff does wonders for my oily scalp but dry end natural curls. Adds body, moisturizes, and defines my curls. I do this once a week to clarify.

    • Thanks this sounds awesome! My body has been craving Aloe Juice for some reason lately, or I can tell it’s “calling me” which is never has before. I feel so in a twirl with all this shampoo stuff, now that I went no-poo but dont’ want to use baking soda, but feel all greasy… this recipe just hits the spot. I haven’t tried it but it’s just want I want, and I don’t even know why! haha… I dont’ want to overdry my hair with the clay, this sounds nice.

      Anyone ever use a clay shampoo with honey? Or anything like that?
      :)

      • Hi Jamie! I made a Bentonite Clay shampoo yesterday using the clay, alovera gel, honey and a bit of filtered water. Shampooed with it, left it on about 5 minutes, rinsed it, then used my regular acid rinse of water and lemon juice. My hair came out wonderful! It’s soft, shiny and voluminous!

  17. I just recently started using bentonite clay as my shampoo and it does give my hair more volume, but sort of leaves a waxy and greasy look. It’s not like normal grease, but I definitely look like a grease bucket. HELP!?! Love your blog by the way :)

    • Hi Herron,
      If you don’t already- take Zinc it regulates sebaceous glands and keeps them from distributing to much oil to the hair and skin :-) (THORNE Zinc Picolinate) I take a truckload load cause I have a severe deficiency.. Anyhow my skin is smooth and clear and my hair is considerably less oily now…

      Katie thank you so much for your infinite wisdom and generosity in sharing xx

  18. Are the proportions correct for this recipe? I just tried making a half batch of your recipe. I used 1/2c water, 1/4c ACV, and started adding green clay powder. First I added 4tbsp (1/4c)… then another 4tbs… then another… and finally I’ve dumped probably 1c clay into the mix and it’s not thickening up at all. This clay works, we use it all the time for face masks, but it’s not thickening this mix up at all and now I’ve wasted half my bottle. I’m using green clay powder rather than bentonite but I don’t see how that should affect the proportions.

      • It’s been a while since I made this, but I think I used closer to a 1:1 ratio of vinegar/water to clay rather than 2:1 for the right texture. I used calcium bentonite clay. Other clays may have different properties.

  19. Oh my goodness this made my hair feel so soft and awesome! I had been using DIY shampoo (Dr. Bronners Soap, Jojoba Oil, Rosemary & Tea Tree essential Oils, rinsing with 1/2 ACV, 1/2 water) for almost 2 months and still my hair felt greasy (only washing twice a week). Thank you so much for sharing your DIY recipes for those of us who aren’t “home chemists.”

  20. I really would like a natural homemade remedy way to straighten my hair. my hair is thick coarse and dry and i have kinky hair. have you an idea?

  21. Made it today. The recipe has way too much water and vinegar so I made a smaller portion, to use for 2 washes. I started with the coconut shampoo, which by itself leaves my hair greasy, but I continued with the clay and followed with a quick vinegar rinse. Wonderful results. Thank you! Great blog! I’m addicted.
    I wish I could find a simpler regimen for my hubs. He’s still using Head and Shoulders:(

  22. Using the pro naturals hair repair sytem will help your hair get back to normal. I have been using it for a months and it has no split-ends anymore!

  23. I am going to try this tomorrow. ..with just water because I don’t have everything to make the tea. I have curly thin hair, so thin you can see through to my scalp…it drives me crazy(I’m only 27!) Its also very oily. I’ve been trying to go a more all natural route hoping it will help. Here is my question…do you use a conditoner after this or just the acv rinse? Since my hair is curly I have problems with getting very tangly

  24. I just tried this and I love it! The first time I only left it on for about 5 minutes and my hair was really soft and healthy feeling without too much greasiness or residue. Then I decided to try adding some black walnut powder to darken the color a bit. I left this on for about 20 minutes with a shower cap. It darkened it very slightly (I already have pretty dark hair) and the texture was just as nice as the previous time I tried it. Then I made the mistake of applying some store-bought conditioner afterwards, and what a mistake! If I had just let it dry naturally it would have been fine. When I put the conditioner on my hair I could tell immediately that my hair was actually rejecting the product. Then it started producing so much oil it was disgusting. I’m going to do this again today and see if I can get it right. I have the remains of an old perm in my hair, so it’s only wavy on the ends and straight at the top, so this looks a little ridiculous if I don’t blow dry it all straight. My problem is trying to fix my hair without drying it out too much. If I don’t add product then it is too dry; if I do add product after the mud masque then it is too oily. Looking for that middle ground. I want to completely rid my house of chemical-laden products but it’s been a challenge…

  25. Lovely. I have been using rhassoul clay on my hair which is fine but curly. The results are gorgeous, thick, curly and bouncy…not shiny but I like a beachy matt texture myself. I do still use low sulphate shampoo sometimes but the clay method is wonderful for volume and texture,. Good as a skin cleanser too…no nasty additives, OK it is messy but it all rinses away.

  26. I rarely post online but wanted to share my experience with Mamas mud poo. I have been a faithful Wen product user for years but still required weekly herbal treatments to fight off DHT – my hair is very fine, a bit thin on top and permed every 3-4 months. This poo was the answer for me. I started using every other wash, but my scalp and hair felt soooo much better on mud poo wash days that it is all I use now! I mix the recipe in a blender and get a silky smooth product with no clumping that easily rinses out. I do add a bit of honey for extra moisture along with other herbs that I have used for the last year to fight DHT hairloss (rosemary, nettle, saw palmetto, horsetail and gensing – and yes it has worked! Slow but I have lots of new hair growth!). I hope this helps others looking for alternatives.

  27. I’ve spent the past 5 weeks exploring a lot of natural options. I decided on week two to be faithful to the coconut milk shampoo featured on this site, but after 3 weeks of the grease ball look (I teach middle school and I seriously was in the running with some of the least hygienic for oil production), I tried this route–and LOVE it. I have naturally fine, straight blonde hair that after this past winter has been incredibly dry and dull looking. The natural gold color is back and my hair feels clean, soft, and strong!

    My only concern is static! I live in Denver where the air is very dry, but I have never had static hair (maybe it’s just never been this clean). I’ve tried to put oil on my ends by rubbing argan oil on my hands and brushing my hair with my fingers. The result is waxy oily ends that still have static power. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Wellness Mama,

      First off I wanted to say thank you so much for having this blog. It has helped me so much on my path toward being healthy…and not just me, but also several of my friends!
      I wanted to share what personally has worked for me as a natural shampoo. First off, I am completely allergic to regular shampoo, and the back of my head used to be always broken out, and I’ve struggled with dandruff for years. Over the past year I have made it my mission to find an all natural shampoo for myself.
      After trying all the “natural” shampoos at the health food store (they just left my head irritated), I tried, no poo (which was a disaster), your Castille and coconut shampoo (which I loved, and really wanted to work for my hair, but my scalp is pretty picky), and then lastly I tried your Bentonite clay shampoo which was by far the best thing I have found.
      I have super fine, super oily hair naturally…and the Bentonite clay kind of dried my hair out and left me a little frizzy and coarse, but still oily too. It was way better than my other options though.
      My hair (when I was using commercial shampoos) used to be super super soft, and I really missed that factor.
      After doing some research, I found some herbs that can really help…this is a recipe that I threw together and it has worked wondefully for my hair. It is moisturized and soft but not too oily. I just wanted to share in case anyone else was having the same problem…. I know how frustrating it can be!

      1 cup distilled water
      4 Tbsp Bentonite clay
      1 or 2 Tbsp Hibiscus leaves (for moisture)
      1 Tbsp nettle leaf
      1 tsp slippery elm powder (this helps with tangles and frizz)
      1 Tbsp lemon juice (this helps make the ph of the mixture more acidic, and it really helped with how oily my hair was. Apple cider vinegar could probably be used, but my hair doesn’t really like apple cider vinegar, even though I hear other people have amazing results with it.:)

      Directions: Bring water to a boil in a pan. Add Hibiscus, and nettle leaf, and let steep for 5-10 min. Strain out the herbs. Add the slippery elm powder. Mix the Bentonite clay in one tbsp at a time until the mixture is smooth. Add the lemon juice.
      Let it cool before use. (And refrigerate or freeze if you’re going to store it for awhile!)

      Thank you, Wellness Mama! I really appreciate all you do. You have no idea how much you help people like me. I pretty much stalk your blog in my free time haha!

      – a 21 year old in Arkansas

      • Hey fellow Arkansan!
        You list Hibiscus “leaves” in your recipe. Do you mean flowers or leaves? I’ve never seen the leaves for sale but I use the flowers often. Thanks!

  28. I just want to say thank you for sharing this!!! I have tried soooooooo many diff recipes and even tried baking soda and acv. My hair and scalp hated all of them. This is the second time i have used this recipe and its by far the best one! I have fine,curly,frizzy hair. With all the other recipes my scalp was oily and ends were dry. It was a hot mess! So thank you:)

  29. Hi, I just started to used bentonite clay masque, but I would like to know how can I use it for better results; meaning can I use it once a month? once a week? or twice or even more a week?

  30. Hi, is the nettle a bull nettle , like stinging nettle. We live in Texas and have that growing all around.

  31. I’ve been using a blender so far to make the clay mask but just recently I tried making the mask in a bowl with a wooden spoon. No matter much how I stirred the mask wouldn’t thicken and remained watery. Is there any other way to make the shampoo avoiding the use of a blender or any other machine?

  32. Yay! Something new to try, with ingredients I already have at home! My hair went wonky about a month and a half ago…just randomly…and I’ve tried everything that has worked in the past…and it’s still weird. So excited to give this a try!

  33. Well I was struggling big time going no-poo for several weeks and trying to use soap nuts, but they just didn’t seem to remove what felt like waxy ‘crud’ off my hair. I put a comment asking for help under the soapnuts blog and Wellness Mama suggested I needed to detox my hair – so I used a version of this recipe (I had green and jasmine tea bags only, and made a half batch) and it was brilliant!

    The clay recipe did get rid of the ‘crud’ off my hair, and yes, I have more volume (could have done without this as I have sooooo much hair already lol!).

    I am very happy with the results so far, thanks Wellness Mama. Now I am not sure how I will go with the soapnuts from here, but I always have this as a fall back. Yay!

    Cheers
    Jodi

  34. Any suggestions for a substitution for ACV? I absolutely CANNOT stand the smell of it…I know it’ll dissipate, but even that short amount of time drives me crazy! Otherwise, this was a wonder for my hair, which has been off recently!

    • Sarah, I know that this is a really late reply to your comment and you’ve hopefully already found a solution, but I personally LOVE aloe vera juice for my hair. Like ACV, it’s acidic so it balances the higher pH of clay and smooths the hair cuticle, but without the horrible smell (or the greasiness I experienced with ACV).

  35. Hi,

    Thanks so much for posting! I tried the no poo, then the sorta poo with coconut milk (to which my brother asked me if I still shower) and the shampoo bars. All of them “worked” in that they made my hair super shiny and I can already tell its growing longer – but it was just too oily and dirty looking! After a month I cant take it anymore. I tried this clay shampoo yesterday and it seems MUCH better! Is it safe for everyday use? I was my hair frequently

  36. Hi Katie!

    I just used the Sonne’s #7 Detoxificant in your remineralizing toothpaste recipe. Is this okay to use for this shampoo mud recipe as well?

  37. Hi Katie! Thanks so much for this recipe. I’ve used Morocco Method samples and I like them but I like to make my own products so I tried your coconut shampoo but the soap based stuff doesn’t work well for me. I am also giving African Black Soap based shampoo a try now. However, I like to get my hair highlighted at the salon every year or so. Recipes for the current DIY shampoos I’m using state that the pH is such that they shouldn’t be used with chemically treated hair.
    The MM website says it’s ok to use the clay shampoos with lightened hair. Do you know if your Mud shampoo recipe would be as well?
    Thanks!!

  38. This stuff has saved my no-poo regimen. I have thin frizzy dry hair and the basic diluted baking soda and diluted apple cider vinegar was leaving it stringy and reallllly dry. I’ve been using this for 2 weeks now and my hair is strong, shiny and has lost a lot of it’s frizz. I’m not quite out of the woods with my hair detox but I’m getting close to my month mark which, from what I hear, is when no-pooers start seeing their hair normalizing. I used basically the same recipe but for the cup of water I simmered fresh rosemary in it for 20 minutes.

  39. So, I must’ve done something wrong because it’s build-up city on top of my head right now.

    I used fresh herbs (mainly rosemary with a few chamomille flowers) and blended the ingredients in a food processor, adding Redmond clay 1 TBSP at a time. I finished the 3/4 of a cup and added an additional 2 TBSP, but it wouldn’t thicken. I decided to stop there and just try it as it was. The first time, I tried it with the final rinse and this morning I tried washing my hair twice with the mud mixture, but it still looks dirty.

    I also tried the coconut shampoo recipe with worse results. Wah-wah- wahhhhhhhhhh.

    Anyone have any suggestions?!

    • Try mixing it with distilled water. This is what saved my no-poo efforts.
      I have tried washing with soda, but it turned out to be a greasy, waxy disaster, as I have hard water. Today I bought distilled water and used it with Rhassoul clay and camomile tea made with distilled water. I rinsed with the tea mixed with ACV. And finally – success! My hair is clean, soft and shiny. NO-POO DOES WORK!
      I don’t know if distilled water was the reason it worked. If it was, it is a bit strange, because the clay is full of minerals and the whole point of distilling water is to remove minerals. But who knows?
      Next time I will try washing with baking soda and distilled water to see if the water is going to make any difference.

        • I wanted to share my results in case anyone else is having this same issue..
          I bought quite a bit of Redmond Clay on sale and kept forgetting to pick up distilled water. Instead, I used 1 part water, 1 part ACV and kept adding clay without even measuring it until it thickened up. I also squeezed some lemon juice into it. This works a lot better, though I still get a lot of dry flakes from my scalp.

  40. I’ve tried this and it has left my hair REALLY greasy! Is this just a side effect of my hair detoxing, or did I make it/use it wrong?

  41. Trying this with what I have on hand, which is just bentonite and rhassoul in distilled water. Hair isn’t dry yet, but feels greasy when combing out. I’m hoping it’s just conditioned and I’m freaking out because I don’t have tangles!

  42. Hi,

    In the recipe box, the links for the clays both go to the redmond clay. Can you fix the link for the bentonite clay?

    I love your blog! I visit frequently. =)

  43. Tried this recipe today. It might be unfair, but I didn’t love it. I did the ‘no poo’ thing last year for several months with the baking soda washes and ACV rinses. My hair was just mediocre doing it, and it was taking too much effort with too little pay off. I decided to go back to shampoo and my hair has been a wreck since. It’s so weird, it’s even hard to explain. It’s almost like it’s greasy at the roots, but only on the back and sides of my head. I’ve used so many different natural shampoo/conditioner combos and NOTHING is helping! Got any ideas? I’m going to stick with this mud recipe instead of shampoo for a while to see if it will help over time. I usually only wash my hair 2-3 times per week.

    • I had the exact same thing! I went no-poo last year and for about 6 months my hair looked awesome. Then it got sticky/waxy but only at the back of my head. I tried low poos, even went back to normal shampoo, but it make my hair a disaster. Low poo makes it oily after a day or so, so I don’t really like it. Currently I’m back doing no-poo but not a lot of luck.

      I read about an applesauce mask for waxy/gunky/sticky/oily hair when doing no poo and I’m going to try that this weekend. I found it on the no-poo group on Facebook, you might want to check that out, a lot of great tips :)
      Also going to try the clay shampoo to see if it will work for me!

  44. Definitely! I bought a small container or clay/dirt/mud recently and I actually enjoy taking baths with it. My husband thinks it’s hilarious when he sees the mud all over my face and body but that doesn’t stop me from doing it. LOL I also give my son clay baths (once a week) to help detoxify the body. I feel refreshed after so I’d definitely consider using it in my hair as well! I absolutely LOVE your shampoo recipe. I use it on myself as well as my son. :)

  45. I have never seen natural recipes recommended for white or gray hair. Would you use the same things that are used for blond hair?

  46. I’ve been reading that using baking soda and then ACV is bad for the hair and will damage it. (Trying to balance the alkaline and acidic…) I have stopped using this method for that reason. (Also didn’t love the results enough :P) but I read a comment here that mentioned clay was alkaline and ACV was acidic… (or was it the other way around?) either way, so I’m wondering, is it just the same type of thing as using baking soda and ACV or is it gentler? I dont’ want to pretend to be a chemist and if I’m messing with PH’s and stuff, and it’s the same risk-factor as baking soda, I’d rather save my clay :)

    ALSO – Anyone know of any good PH-level natural shampoos? Like, ones that are already neutralized PH or whatever they say is good, so I don’t have to figure it all out? I’ve never known to look for that in a shampoo, and now that I think of it, I haven’t seen any. I’ve heard of Morroco Method, but the possible hair loss issue is bizarre to me, so I’d rather not dive into that just yet. :)

    Thanks!

    • Have you tried the castile/coconut milk combo? I’ve been using 1 tb, liquid castile and 2 tb. coconut milk, the kind you get in the paper carton, I think it’s a pint size. I portion the 2 tbs into ice cube trays and freeze, then put them in a glass jar and keep them frozen and take a cube out the night before I need it. I add whatever EO I feel in the mood for and the castile and I have enough for about 3 shampoos. The coconut milk makes it really creamy and gentle. A pint of milk last a really long time!

      • I haven’t used the castile soap recipe, but I tried another one which was just coconut milk (the full-fat kind in the can) and aloe vera juice. I forgot to make the ACV rinse, so I just rinsed with water. I used a LOT because I felt it wasn’t getting to my scalp, so I used way more than the recommended amount, and it made my hair extra-super greasy. It was so bad I was embarrassed to go to work like that. That night I had to do a dry-shampoo treatment (arrowroot and cocoa powder) before bed then the next day this mud recipe got me back to normal. I think with coconut milk a little goes a LONG way and my guess is that it should only be used if you have very dry hair. I haven’t tried it again since, though.

  47. Wow, this was fun : )
    It is a lot of clay, but I hope I like the results coz the rest is waiting in the fridge.
    I added two tablespoons of raw honey and used ACV and rosemary and lavender water that I had made earlier. Just tried this on my hair and face, I had to change all my clothes : )
    Am now waiting for hair to dry to see the results. It fells good, and the hair felt very nice when I was rinsing it out. I have been no poo since Oct, can not use BS but the ACV works fine, I recently made Honey shampoo ( just raw honey and water) and that worked wonders. Wish I could use coconut oil in my hair but don´t know how to get it out again.
    Love the site, tomorrow I will make the gelatine vitamins, so excited
    Greetings from snowy Iceland : )

  48. I’m ditching the chemical laced shampoo and conditioners. It’s been 5weeks since I scrubbed my hair (so embarrassing to say that) I just can’t find a shampoo that’s not filled with something that isn’t natural,even at my local coop :( soon looking into making my own 😉 my hair looks soo oily and greasy! Normal ? How long does this last? Will it ever go back to sleek smooth and shiny? I know my hair is detoxing but wow! Right now hats are my best friend lol thankfully my hair is shortish (neck length). Anyone have suggestions ??

    • Michelle- This detox has been good for me- I have been off shampoo for 2 weeks and so far the only grease comes after 2 days of not detoxing. I really try to cover all of my hair good with the mud and massage the scalp then leave on for roughly 5 minutes and rinse super good- otherwise I notice dried clay on my ears, neck and sometimes in my hair throughout the day :-)

      I’m not sure if this suggestion is as natural as you’d like but I use gold bond powder instead of dry shampoo and it soaks up any greasiness for days!

      • I just want to say thank u so much for posting this recipe!! Just used this morning and my hair feels 100%better!!! Silky smooth!!! I’m in aww that “mud” can make ur hair feel so wonderful!! I’m hooked and I’ll never go back to commercial shampoo/conditioner!! Thank you thank you thank you!! :))

  49. I’m still very puzzled about bentonite clay. You recommend it for so many things, yet the bottle says it has traces of lead in it. Isn’t that always bad for you, and should never be on your skin? Someone please explain this to me! I won’t be using it until I have a satisfactory answer.

  50. You say in your post that this mud shampoo only lasts a week. How do you tell when it goes “bad” I made up a batch and used it but there’s so much left over! And my hair is amazing and soft, shiny and I don’t need to wash it again just yet…I didn’t use tea just water instead. Does that make a difference in keeping it longer?
    Thanks Michelle

  51. Hi,
    I had the same problem, made huge batch and my hair was great! I kept it in the fridge for nearly 4 weeks with out it going bad, used it twice. Once I added some AV to it and that worked great also.

  52. I wanted this to work for me, but alas, no cigar. For others having problems on here, it’s possible you made a mistake or your hair needs time to adjust, but it’s also possible this is just not the right fit for your hair type.
    If you are desperately searching for another option to try, I recommend egg yolks. I know it sounds crazy and maybe a bit gross, but egg yolks make great shampoo. I have tried *many* no-poo concoctions out there (including the Katie’s coconut milk/castile soap recipe, which works great for a friend of mine) and all of them left my hair feeling off somehow. Egg yolks are an annoying solution because I have to mix up my shampoo before every shower, and it’s utterly useless while traveling, but they work SO WELL on my hair. I guess I should count myself lucky that I found a no-poo method that suits me, since so many others are still in the hunt. Anyway, don’t take my word for it; Google it, it’s the American way.

  53. I’ve been using morrocco method shampoos and rinsing with ACV for a few months now and my hair is still very dry and very oily. Even after I wash my hair, I’m using dry shampoo (corn flour) to make it look presentable and its getting frustrating. I still think the MM products are great, however. I hear it can take a while to detox but I don’t know. I’m keen to give this a go and see if it makes a difference. I’ve heard aloe vera is very good for hair, as well as the ingredients recommended here. Thanks for the idea.

  54. If I could, I would hug you!!!! This clay shampoo has absolutely saved my hair!!! I have ALWAYS had bad dandruff with no luck from any shampoos I’ve ever tried throughout my lifetime. My mother broke the bank trying to buy me different things when I was younger, tar shampoos, head and shoulders… NOTHING WORKED. I had finally settled on clinical strength head and shoulders which sort of reduced it, but never got rid of it. When I started using all natural products a few years back I didn’t want to use my head and shoulders anymore (the smell isn’t pleasant either). I have been struggling with finding a shampoo ever since. I started using this clay shampoo two weeks ago (with rosemary water, lavender and peppermint EOs) and I have not seen one flake!!! No more dandruff for me!!!! It also gives my hair amazing shine and volume <3 I will never, ever, EVER use another shampoo!!! Thank you Wellness Mama!!!!! 😀

  55. I’m surprised nobody realized that clay, while feeling soft to the touch , is an abrasive and long term use will damage the hair just like baking soda.

    • I think it would be safe if used only 2-3 times a week with days of no washing in between and regular oil treatments. This is the only thing that has ever worked for me, so please don’t bash it until you try it. Even if you think it’s not good for frequent use, it’s still a good recipe to use every once in a while.

  56. Hi Katie,

    I typically shampoo my hair 2-3x per week (but I’m trying to cut down to only 1-2x per week). Could I use this to replace my regular shampoo, or is this something that should only be used once a week or on occasion? I’m worried that the Bentonite clay could be too drying if I use it multiple times a week. Do you use it regularly? This recipe looks great, though! I’ve tried no poo and it didn’t work for me, and the coconut shampoo recipe didn’t either. I’m really excited to try this!

  57. I am just switching over to going to nopoo and I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or if I’m still in the transitioning period…but my hair feels chalky and a little greasy. I’ve been washing it every other day with the recepie provided for the past week and the chalky feeling isn’t going away. I spend a good 5-10mins alone rinsing out of my hair to make sure that I’m getting it all out. Has anyone else experienced this? It looks clean but I just don’t like how it’s feeling right now.

    • I’ve found that hard water makes it chalky feeling. Clumpy, too if you try to make it with regular sink water, so it could be that. I made mine the other day with only apple cider vinegar and no water. The consistency was beautiful! Like thick, smooth Greek yogurt. It rinsed out much easier, give it a try.

  58. Wish I had read the comments first. Mine is watery and I doubt I have enough clay left to make it like yogurt. Think I will put it in squeeze bottle and try that.

  59. I made mine with a little less than 1 T. clay, 4 oz filtered water and 4 oz. aloe vera gel. I shook the mixture up in a plastic dispenser type bottle and used the entire amount to rub into my scalp and spread through my hair, waited 5 minutes and rinsed it out for quite a while. My final rinse was a tea made from hibiscus flowers which is conditioning and brings out the red in my hair. I love the results and for once my scalp isn’t itchy. My hair is soooo clean. Now I’ll try the leave-in conditioner I made. This has given me new hope. The medicated and organic stuff have all just made things worse, so this and the soap-nuts shampoo is my last hope.

  60. Wonderful recipe… but my hair is so greasy you could fry an egg on it afterwards…

    I tried this recipe for the first time last week & followed the instructions carefully, leaving on for around 15-20 minutes the first time. As soon as I rinsed I could tell the difference to the feel of my hair, never before have the ends felt so nourished. Unfortunately after drying my hair with a hairdryer I realised my hair was even more greasy at the roots than when I got into the shower; I have never known anything like it before. I did rinse thoroughly but it was unbearable.

    The next time I used an ACV rinse & wondered if my hair may have adjusted slightly since the first attempt – no, still just as greasy.

    I can’t explain the level of grease on my roots like nothing you have seen before except if I brushed oil through my hair – even home made dry shampoo cannot touch this level of stickiness.

    I love love love it… but I can’t handle this level of grease at all – and my hair wasn’t terribly greasy before this whilst using a deep sea mud shampoo… Do you have any hints or tips as to what I might be doing wrong?

    I did use filtered water.

    • Could you have overdone the essential oils? I skipped them altogether and I get wonderful soft clean hair.

  61. Both your links go to Redmond Clay, so there’s no recommended brand for bentonite clay…recommended brand?

  62. I made the mistake of washing raw (straight clay mixture on 4 day old dirty hair) and let me tell you my hair feels anything but clean. it actually feels dried out in some spots (like its been fried with hairspray and a blow dryer) but in other spots its still just as oily as before I washed. but now it has a gritty unnatural texture. I’m assuming this is the result of my hair being stripped from years of chemically shampoos/conditioners?

  63. I have a clay product from France ” Argile Verte ” after using my face become full of pimples ( I am in my 60s ) and also I have bought Grey Clay from A.Vogel, have not used it yet, and it says for ” Mud bath never use it in a bath tub as the clay would obstruct the drain pipes.
    1- About my pimples, is it natural or I am sensitive to clay.
    2- If the clay clogs the pipe, where should I use it?
    3- Do they have expiry date?

    Thank you for your response, I appreciate it.

  64. I love this stuff! My hair loves this stuff!
    But it might be worth mentioning: if it “goes bad”, it won’t just start smelling less-pleasant, it will actually MOLD. Apparently I need to get 2-3 smaller jars and keep most of it in the fridge. :(

    • ohhh..just discovered it also molds in the fridge. Does it FREEZE? or do I need to make itty bitty batches for my short hair?? :(

  65. Hi wellness Mama.. please help me!!

    I have been using bentonite clay as a face mask for a while, mixed with about 2-3 drops tea tree oil and decided to apply it to my scalp BEFORE reading anything on the internet

    Now my hair is falling out like crazy:'( please please help

  66. I have not used shampoo on my hair for over 2 years, and have tried ALL sorts of “no-poo” methods. I did try a bentonite clay one, but not your specific recipe. My ALL TIME favorite is a RHASSOUL CLAY WASH. It only requires 1 Tbl. of the clay, which I get from Mountain Rose Herbs, 4 oz. of water, 1 dropperful of Rosehip Seed oil (amount is adjusted for your particular hair needs), and essential oils for fragrance, IF desired. I use a few drops of NOW Rosewater Concentrate, since EO’s are too strong for me. Shake up well in a small applicator bottle from the beauty supply. After wetting your hair, just squeeze onto roots, massage gently throughout hair, and rinse – you are done, since the conditioner is included!

    I am amazed at how such a small amount of this clay cleans my hair so beautifully! Rhassoul clay is antimicrobial, non-drying and soothes the scalp. It is brown, but doesn’t seem to stain anything, or be hard to rinse out. I have fine oily hair, and no scalp conditions. I wash it every other day. If you have dry hair, you may need to use up to 2 tsp. of the oil. Just wanted to share this great hair wash!

  67. Didn’t work at all for my hair. I have super greasy hair, especially in summer. Decided to try this instead of a cleansing shampoo, left on for about 5-7 minutes and it left my hair stripped and insanely dry. Trying a castor oil mask overnight to bring my hair back.

  68. One time I used a bentonite based shampoo with a bit of coconut oil and water, along with lavender and tea tree added. At first, I thought it was amazing, until I rinsed it out. I don’t know if it didn’t all wash out or what, but my hair felt grossly waxy and residues for quite some time afterwards. I actually resorted to a gross conventional shampoo to remove it from my hair…….. Do you think this would react similarly? Do you know why the shampoo reacted that way? My hair is thick and frizzy. I’ve also tried the same thing with kaolin clay with no adverse effects whatsoever. I know I tend to have sensitive skin, so I wonder if it could have something to do with that??? Would the detox work with kaolin instead of the bentonite??? Thank you sooooo much for your help and for all the amazing things on your blog; it is one of my faves :)

  69. why would we brew 2 cups of tea if the recipe only calls for 1 cup? I assumed we would use all of the tea and now I do not have enough clay to make it thick enough… what I can do with a soupy version of this?

  70. I tried this mud detox about two weeks ago. Since using this I have noticed a tremendous amount of breakage in my hair. I used the exact recipe and instructions given. I do have highlighted and colored hair..blonde/brown. I don’t know if that may be the reason since it was previously processed but it’s still breaking off. I’ve been using excessive amounts of mango and coconut oil since to help my hair regain elasticity and add moisture. Just letting you know of my experience.

  71. Such good information on this page! :) Luv it!! I am curious what are your thoughts on Wen shampoo that you see advertised on tv? They say that its all natural with no chemical but I expect that with all the knowledgeable people here, I could get an answer 😉

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