Sunday, 12 October 2014

Curl Clumping in 4c hair : Bentonite Clay vs Hair Conditioner Take 2

After the last post on clumping curls in 4c hair, many of you wanted to see a strict conditioner only vs bentonite only set of results. I have now had the chance to repeat the experiment and this is what I did.

The Experiment
- My own hair - 7 inch segment cut from the crown area (details here). This cut is selected for this experiment as all the hair comes from the same general area and should therefore clump if it can. Hair is kinky curly with very tight coils. I am not a fan of hair typing but most would call it 4c hair.

Experiment 1 - Shampoo + Conditioner + Rinse
-Hair detangled first then shampooed (2 mins), rinsed (2 mins), conditioner applied (1 hr with heat) and  imaged before being  rinsed (2 mins) and imaged

Experiment 2 - Shampoo + Bentonite Clay + Rinse
- Hair detangled first then shampooed (2 mins), rinsed (2 mins), bentonite clay suspended in water applied (20 mins)  then imaged and one final rinse (2 mins) then imaged.

In both experiments the exact same hair swatch was used. This is because I wanted to do a direct comparison on the same hair. You therefore see the effect of using either clay or hair conditioner. Additionally all hair was shampooed to remove traces of previous products.

Results
Experiment 1 - Shampoo + Conditioner + Rinse 

I placed the images of the hair in all the key stages in the image below.  Hair conditioner for my hair (emphasis on my) does not really clump curls. It does start off the process and the hair strands get more orderly but there is no real curl clumping. The final rinse image can be expected to shrink down to the complete shrinkage state as the hair dries out.

Appearance of 4c hair from complete shrinkage, stretched and conditioned

Close- up view of the effect of hair conditioner on 4c hair - before and after rinsing

Experiment 2 - Shampoo + Bentonite Clay + Rinse 

I would normally always shampoo and condition before applying clay but I did the experiment with shampoo to cleanse followed by direct application of bentonite clay as some readers wanted to assess whether the clay on its own was actually responsible for the clumping result

Curl clumping in 4c hair induced by bentonite clay

Close- up view of the bentonite clay curl 4c clumping effect - the image to the left shows hair with clay still on it and the one to the right shows the hair with the clay rinsed out.

Please note that these are the results for MY hair. Your hair may behave differently. I also would not normally shampoo hair and then apply bentonite clay. I would always condition hair first because I find it easier to detangle with conditioner rather than with clay. These are MY preferences and you need to create rules for your own hair.

Additional Notes:
Conditioning time: In practise, I never usually use heat or condition my own hair for extended times 20- 30 mins at most, but in the interest of doing what many naturals do, I chose to apply heat and extend the conditioning time to the swatch.

Products: Herbal Essences Dazzling Shine Shampoo, Tresemme Naturals Conditioner, Bentonite Clay from Detox People

17 comments:

  1. Wow!! Thanks so much for doing this. Can't wait to see how my hair responds to the Clay!

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    1. No problem, do report back with your result!

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  2. I'm assuming the image of the rinsed clay is still wet. What does it look like after it's completely dry?

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    1. See theprevious article (first link highlighted) in the post for dry hair post bentonite clay rinse

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  3. I love this website and the experiments, awesome and thank you for sharing.

    Is it possible to check the PH value of clay? I read somewhere that it was alkaline 8-10 ph that seems quite high. Will the hair degrade if the clay is used too often?

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    1. pH is only valid for water based liquids. The clay is a paste so those particles interfere with the measurement of pH and therefore there is no pH for a clay suspension. People do pH test it but the result is meaningless scientifically. It goes back to the mathematical definition of pH which is calculated from the ions in water and when particles are present, it is not possible to accurately measure these ions.

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  4. So the clay is used as a conditioning agent as opposed to a cleansing agent? I've never used it this way before.

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  5. What's your mix for the clay? Can we have ratios, ingredients, etc?

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    1. Just the clay and water. The mix is made into a weak paste. There are no fixed quantities, just a consistency that is easy to handle.

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  6. How would you describe the porosity of your hair texture in this experiment? Im asking bc I have high porosity hair and I know I may not get the same results (I use clay on my face and know although it gives me great facial results, it can be very drying. So it makes me nervous as to how it would react on my hair strands).
    Also did you notice any significant difference in split hairs (appearance of them or nothing)?

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  7. This is making me want to try bentonite clay!

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    1. I use it now regularly because I am in a short hair shrinkage loving phase. I do always condition first though

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  8. Thanks so much for your work. I read somewhere that mixing bentonite with acv would make a better cleanser/conditioner than mixing the clay with water. Could this be true? I know you might not have done the experiment but what do you think?
    Thanks again for your efforts on this blog: much appreciated.

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  9. hello,
    I asked a question but for some reason it didnt go through. I wanted to know if your hair is high porosity? (simply bc I have high porosity hair and find i have to be careful with what i place on it). Also did you notice any sort of difference in split ends (more or less from using this)? wondering if it affects the hair shaft in any way. Thanks (the hair clumping has me excited to try it, just trying to be careful before jumping)

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  10. I like this scientific approach to this conditioning thingy. I ould like to ask though that if you used the same hair for the experiment and having done the conditioning first on the hair before the bentonite clay, is there a possibility that the conditioning may have affected how the bentonite clay affected the hair pattern?

    In order to e clear sure how both worked it would have been better to used different hair for the experiment...i.e cutting the hair into two parts and using those for it. I have hair that I have kept from various trims and sheds, i might give this a try.

    Thanks for the information!!~!

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    1. It is important that the tress of hair is long enough to manipulate and also that the hair is from the same area ...doing this test on shed hair or trimmed hair from various parts of your head may not give you a result. Clumping tends to work best on hair from the same section. The hair was shampooed to remove hair conditioner before the bentonite clay experiment.

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  11. This is really nice. Definitely makes me want to try out the Bentonite Clay I own.

    www.barbara1923.com

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