I've been wanting to try a 'clay' as a deep conditioner for months - and I finally did. I have been reading up on bentonite clay and it's uses:
Here is what From Nature With Love says about it:
Bentonite Clay is a combination of montmorillonite and volcanic ash. Bentonite Clay is a highly absorbent clay that pulls oils and toxins from the skin and is one of the best clays for making clay poultices. It is best suited for oily skin. Bentonite Clay is also a good clay for shaving soaps (use about 1 tablespoon per pound of soap) and for use as an oily hair and scalp treatment.
I've used bentonite clay hundreds of times on my face (it's found in most clay based face masks). I came across lots of testimonies from ladies on natural hair site communities and blogs who make their own masks with the clay mixed with ACV (apple cider vinegar). I haven't tried that yet, but they say it works great and the vinegar creates a tingling sensation (they also use the mixture in their hair). I plan to try the face mask -clay/ACV mixture this weekend.
Anyway, since my scalp is not oily I decided to use a milder clay - Kaolin clay - check out it's description on From Nature With Love:
White Kaolin Clay, also known as China or White Clay, is basically kaolinite and is the mildest of all clays. White Kaolin Clay is suitable for sensitive skin. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. White Kaolin Clay does not draw oils from the skin and can be used on dry skin types.
So this sounded like the clay for me. Of course, I tried it first on my step-daughter and niece. They were looking in horror when I told them it was clay, but were actually willing to give it a try - with my prompting of course :o)
I mixed about a cup and a half of Kaolin Clay - that I purchased from Wholesale Supplies Plus so far they have the cheapest prices - $2.50 a lb . I had to use a little over two cups for my step-daughter because she has thick long hair, which almost used up my entire pound of clay - about a cup or so left, so her treatments may have to be every other month or so.
I then mixed the clay with three heaping tablespoonfuls of Castor oil, and an essential oil mixture - I actually used BB Growth Oil - check out it's ingredients:Olive Oil , Canola Oil , Wheat Germ Oil , Marula Oil , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract , Oat Kernel Oil , Shea Butter Oil , Sweet Almond Oil , Safflower Oil , Castor Oil and others.
After the oil mixture I added about a cup of water (one half cup at a time) - to make my mixture into a thick yogurt-like texture. I started from the back of their heads and worked my way up, spreading the clay on in sections starting from the scalp to the ends.
After I finished their entire heads I had them sit under shower caps for about 30 mins (it was actually a little over 30 - because I was cooking dinner - but I think 30 minutes is actually enough time). After thirty minutes or so - I thoroughly rinsed their hair.
It took a few rinses to get all of the clay out, especially from my step-daughter's hair. After rinsing I washed their hair and did a final rinse with an ACV/water mixture. The clay rinsed hair felt really soft, but I immediately followed with a leave-in conditioner. I used my favorite Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In, then styled.
I had a little left over after doing my niece's hair so I put the rest in mine! And yes, I am still wearing my box-braids. I think I left my clay conditioner or a little too long because it took a little longer to get all of the clay rinsed out - so that's why I suggest leaving it on for 30 mins.
Again, after I rinsed the clay completely from my hair it felt super-soft. I then washed and conditioned. Usually during the middle of the week, after I've styled their hair both my niece and step-daughter complain about their heads itching - but after the clay conditioning - they haven't complained at all so far and I haven't had to add any essential oil to their scalps at all so far and it's been four days.
I will definitely add the Kaolin Clay Deep Conditioning to my monthly routine. I meant to take pictures of the entire process, but found out too late that my batteries needed to be recharged, but I will document the process in pictures next time.
Peace and Blessings