DIY Cleansing Conditioner Recipe–100% Natural


This simple hair treatment will condition, cleanse, and detangle your hair especially if you have dry, damaged, or curly hair.  Many times we make hair care so complicated, but it really doesn’t have to be.  I’ve noticed that once I stopped using shampoo years ago and instead clays, herbs, and other natural ingredients,  my hair and scalp stopped having so many issues.  Going the simple route just works too well to go back to complicated regimens or even chemical hair care.

What you will need:

Organic Coconut Milk

Bentonite Clay

Coconut milk strengthens and moisturizes hair while bentonite clay detoxifies and cleansed the hair.  This DIY Cleansing Conditioner is so effective for creating soft silky tangle-free tresses.

To create this DIY Cleansing Conditioner blend equal parts of coconut milk and bentonite clay to create a creamy consistency.  How much you use of each will depend on the length and thickness of you hair.  I use canned organic coconut milk because I prefer the texture better than other kinds.  Apply this mixture to wet hair and massage into the scalp.  You may leave it in for as long as you like before rinsing thoroughly.  I usually leave this in for at least 20-30 minutes for extra moisture.  Rinse thoroughly and style your hair as usual.

What I love about this treatment is that it condenses the three steps of cleansing, conditioning, and deep conditioning into one!

For more on chemical free hair care check out this series!

(Image by Dawn Michelle)

Stay Connected with Minimalist Beauty & Subscribe with bloglovin’. Also Join the Community on Facebook & Twitter. For more about Dawn Michelle go here!



Your email address will not be published.

  1. keisha says

    I’m definitely going to try this! I just washed my hair and set it yesterday for an interview tomorrow and this makes me want to wash my hair right now! Thanks for the post!

    Side bar…I experience itching two days after washing my hair like clockwork. I use shampoo once every two weeks and cowash in between. i am trying to move towards natural cleansers (waiting on rhassoul clay to get here :)). did your scalp itches stop after you stopped using shampoo and cowashing?

  2. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Keisha,
    I usually had an itchy scalp when I used products with chemicals or if I applied anything to my scalp. I can’t put anything on my scalp without having major irritation. If I use an oil as a scalp treatment I have to do it prior to washing my hair and I hardly ever do it. I also have experienced an itchy scalp if I have product buildup.
    Let me know hot this works out for you!

  3. keisha says

    @ Dawn…. Thanks for your reply! I will definitely let you know how it works out. I hope I find a balance to my itchy scalp.

  4. Daisha says

    I want to try this but I’m kind of afraid of the coconut milk. My hair likes coconut oil but I’m afraid that milk may have a lot of protein in it which my hair does not like. I do realize our hair is made up of protein (keratin) but my hair tends to like more moisturing ingredients w/less protein.

  5. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Daisha,
    My hair doesn’t respond well to synthetic proteins like hydrolyzed wheat protein etc. but I have never had issues with natural hair strengtheners such as henna or coconut milk. Also I just looked at the nutrition facts on the back of the canned coconut milk and coconut oil jar and both stated that they had 0 protein. Maybe it does not contain enough protein to count. Either way I know that both coconut milk and coconut oil strengthen and penetrate the hair strands. Let me know if you do try it out.

  6. Maria says

    Hi Dawn,
    Thank you for the post. I will try this on Saturday, I have noticeable itching after a few days of styling my hair. I may need to change my routine as you have stated about using shampoos and conditioners that are synthetic.

  7. Daisha says

    Hi Dawn, thanks for responding. I’m trying to simplify my regimen as much as possible so I may give this a try. What brand of coconut milk do you use?

  8. Jean says

    Hi Dawn–

    I love this cleansing/conditioning recipe and am going to try it tonight. I have rhassoul clay; will that work as well as the bentonite clay?

    Also, I continue to deep condition my hair monthly, with a mix of coconut oil, olive oil, coconut milk, aloe vera etc. Do you think the coconut milk/clay recipe will be an effective cleanser after deep conditioning, or should I use conventional shampoo (a more natural brand, of course) so that my hair isn’t oily? Last week after deep conditioning, I mixed rhassoul clay, coconut milk, aloe vera, and a small amount of oil to cleanse my hair. It came out quite oily when it was dry. Maybe just use the clay and coconut milk to cleanse?


  9. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jean,
    I prefer to keep things simple and cut out extra steps. What I like about this DIY Cleansing Conditioner is that it will literally cleanse, condition, and soften your hair at the same time. I tend to deep condition my hair on a separate day usually not when I wash my hair. As for using rhassoul clay that should be fine. Bentonite clay is different than rhassoul clay but this combination with coconut milk is pretty amazing. At least I think so. Let me know what you think. <3

  10. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Daisha,
    I don’t use one specific brand of organic canned coconut milk. I just pick up whatever I can find at Sprouts or Whole Foods. I have also used the canned coconut milk at Trader Joe’s but it isn’t organic.

  11. keisha says

    i will be traveling home for the holidays. how have you packaged/labeled your clays for traveling? were you pulled aside during security check at the airport?

  12. Jean says

    Thanks for the reply, Dawn. I have been following your blog for about a year now, and I have learned so much about my curly hair from you. Thanks to your advice my hair is in the best condition it has ever been.

    One final question, when you do deep condition with oils etc. what do you use to “wash” your hair to remove excess oil?

  13. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Keisha,
    It’s mainly liquids that are the concern with traveling. You can see exactly how I travel with my beauty products in this article. Safe travels and happy holidays!

  14. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jean,
    I usually consider my monthly henna treatment my deep conditioning treatment, and I don’t always add oils anymore. Also shea butter is my favorite leave-in so I don’t mind the oils when I do use them. If you need to remove all of the oils from a deep conditioning treatment, bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar is the perfect mix. Add a few drops of essential oils to the mix if the smell is too much for you. Hope this helps.

  15. Aidan says

    Dawn, I just found your site this evening and I am ecstatic! It appears to be the Holy grail for true, “natural” curly hair care. So many natural hair products still contain synthetic ingredients, essentially oils or irritants. It’s refreshing to come across a blog that addresses the issues of product build up and how to truly take care of your hair and allow it to thrive on its own! Great!

    I am really excited to browse more through your articles. Ive always chopped my hair into a pixie cut because I have thick, Irish corkscrew curls and I never understood how to take care of them. Now that I’ve decided to grow my hair out and switch to organic/natural hair care. I was in desperate need of ideas on how to properly moisturize and condition my hair without it getting build up. You’ve given me some great ideas!

    Do you have any information on finding natural leave-ins that wont clog pores? I’m finding that too much products or oils in the hair will cause me to break out on my hair line, around my neck, and back! Thank you.

  16. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Aidan,
    I’m so glad that the natural hair care on Minimalist Beauty is giving you some new ideas on caring for your curls. I recently wrote this article on the best oils for acne prone skin and I’m sure that if you do like oils for your hair choosing an oil high in linoleic acid would benefit your hair and your skin. All the info is in that article. Also I do give some ideas for natural conditioners and leave-ins in this article. You may want to try aloe vera gel as well.
    Best wishes!

  17. sharon says

    Hi Dawn, can you please help? I have thin baby fine natural hair, which now falls evertime I twist, so I would like to know which herbal product to buy, without spending too much. Thanks Sharon

  18. Kelley says

    I used this over the weekend after my henna treatment; added a little ACV and tea tree oil for extra dandruff fighting power! My hair and scalp feel amazing!! Its been so cold/dry that my dandruff has really been kicked up. This will definitely become one of my winter staples until things clear up. It smelled a little like white bread and mayonnaise (that could totally just be me though), so I may add some more essential oils for scent. Thank you!!

  19. Steph says

    This article came right on time as I’ve been looking for a simpler hair routine as I have been irritated lately by commercial hair products. So thank you for sharing. I do have a question though. I usually use Terressentials mud wash, and detangle as I apply, because of the slip and it saves on water since I’m out of the shower. Do you find that you can detangle your hair during application or afterwards while rinsing?

  20. Genevieve says

    I think I will try this today. Do you add anything to lower the pH? I thought bentonite clay had pH much higher than the pH of our skin.

  21. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sharon,
    Our hair is the very last to get nutrients from the food we eat. You definitely want to look into what you are eating first. Avoid processed foods and try and consume protein rich foods along with organic fruits and veggies. As for herbs amla and brahmi are great for hair fall. You can make a tea from the powder or whole herb. If using the powder strain thoroughly. Because you are shedding so easily I would create a tea with the herbs and spritz your hair and scalp lightly. You don’t want to drench your hair daily just spritz lightly. I hope this helps.

  22. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kelley,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with the DIY Cleansing Conditioner. Definitely add some essential oils for scent if you like! Enjoy your holiday!

  23. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Steph,
    Bentonite clay does a wonderful job detangling your hair. I would detangle as usual using this mix as well. Let me know how it works for you.

  24. Steph says

    Thanks Dawn for your prompt reply. I enjoy your blog as I,too, try to incorporate simpler routines in my life especially when it comes to my and my daughter’s hair. Spending hours on our hair? “Ain’t nobody got time fa dat!” LOL

    Have a Great Day!

  25. Leah says

    i wanted to know if this mix would work well on transitioning hair (relax to natural)

    Thanx in advance

  26. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Leah,
    I don’t see why it wouldn’t work well, yet everyone’s hair needs are unique. Please let me know if you try it and how it works for you. Best wishes!

  27. Leah says

    Hi, i did try it and it worked great! wash routing took under 45 mins and it usually takes about half a day or more (i am about 11 months post and detangling is becoming alot more stressful). I should note, i did detangle before adding the mix with just oil (as i usually do so the only difference was the co-wash) and I added about 2 tbsp of marshmallow root powder to give extra slip. After washing i merely sealed with coconut/olive oil. mix My scalp is thoroughly cleaned and both my natural and relaxed hair are moisturized. This is definitely going to be a new staple for my wash days. thanks sooo much

  28. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Leah,
    Woohoo! So great to hear that this simple recipe did work so well on your transitioning hair. I also detangle prior to washing my hair because I spend less time in the shower that way. Thanks so much for sharing!

  29. Lana says

    Hi Dawn, thank you so much for posting a really simple cleansing and conditioning recipe! Not gonna lie, the homemade shampoo was just too messy and too much of a hassle for me to do every week. Since then I’ve been using store-bought natural conditioner (Andalou Naturals) for co-wash and Dermorganics conditioner for conditioning, which works pretty well for me. Not the most natural but better than most things. Lately my hair has been very dry and tangly, though! So I will have to try this. I try to use oil on it (dry) but it just sits on top and makes my hair look oily without moisture and still with frizz :( yes I have fine very curly hair.

    Can I ask about the dry detangling method? I spend a long time in the shower detangling my hair. I hate wasting all that water. Can someone please explain the method for doing it out of the shower? I am a cold sissy too much to turn off the water to do it during the shower! Haha.

    One more thing…how often should this wash/condition combo be used? And what do you use when you’re not using this combo to just rinse and detangle, or does this keep you moisturized all week? And any ideas for a daily moisturizer if needed?

    Thank you so much! <3 Hair still lookin' gorgeous with those bangs :)

  30. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Lana,
    When I detangle my hair prior to cleansing it, I use aloe vera juice to dampen my hair, then apply hemp seed oil and finger detangle it. I always do my hair in sections so I also detangle in section. Whether I detangle prior to cleansing or after it usually takes me an hour or more. I schedule the hour to detangle my hair then another hour for cleansing and styling. To save myself from spending so much time doing my hair in the shower, I apply my hair cleanser to my hair also in sections outside of the shower and only rinse when I get in the shower.

    For extra moisture I’ve added a glycerin/water spritz back into my regimen. There is so much info online saying that glycerin isn’t good in the winter but it works for me in Los Angeles weather and helps keep the moisture in. It is good to seal in the moisture with an oil or butter. I use a humidifier every night in my bedroom while I sleep so the heat doesn’t dry out the air or my skin and hair.

    Hope this helps and happy new year!

  31. Daisha says

    Hi Dawn Michelle & Happy New Year!! I had to come back to let you know that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS MIX! I was hesitant about the coconut milk but it created such a smooth mixture & felt luxurious going on. After I rinsed it off I couldn’t believe how soft & easy to detangle my hair was. This is definitely my simple cleansing regimen from now on. It has even inspired me to give henna a try once again using coconut milk.

    My next step is finding a leave-in to apply afterwards. I found Shea Butter to be too thick and coating for my hair, even after mixing it w/coconut oil & aloe vera gel. So now, I’m trying to get the Shea butter buildup off my hair strands. I think I’m just going to try straight coconut oil or a cocoa butter/coconut oil mix this time.

    Thanks again for all your helpful advice.

  32. Dawn Michelle says

    Happy New Year Daisha! I’m so glad that this hair cleansing recipe has worked so well for you too! One way to completely clear buildup off of hair is bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. This combo is also a perfect pH for hair. Best wishes this year!

  33. Daisha says

    I bought some bentonite clay from my local health food store that was sodium bentonite & it clarified my hair like nothing else mixed with acv. When I went to purchase it again they no longer carried it but had calcium bentonite instead. I have mixed it with acv & it cleans but not like the sodium bentonite. I have yet to find a retailer that has sodium bentonite. :(

  34. Monique says

    Hi I tried this and I like it almost as much as the rhassoul clay and aloe Vera juice cleanser. I will add the bentonite clay and coconut milk treatment to my regimen. I just have one question. Can it be stored once mixed and reused? When I mixed it I was a little overzealous and have loads of it leftover.

  35. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Monique,
    Any DIY mixes that I make that I know I will use in a week or so I store in the fridge. If I’m not sure when I will use them again I put them in the freezer. Hope this helps!

  36. Marita says

    Dawn! I am so glad I came across your site again and decided to stay awhile :) I am looking for something simple and natural: my long time beautician has some practices I don’t like and I am allergic to a lot of commercial hair care. I went to a local health food store here in IL and I hit a goldmine! I am hesitant about Cassia but I am going for it…I got Yucca Root, Methi, Amla, Hibiscus, and Brahmi all from the same store, the even carry neutral henna (Cassia)!!! Plus I picked up some aloe vera juice. I’ve been studying these recipes…lol. I have my coconut oil and milk ready…and I plan to do an herbal rinse. I plan to go to the salon next week for a curly cut…but with some courage…I may try it once on my own! Thanks so much for your research and resources :)

  37. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Daisha, You can find sodium bentonite clay here. It is true that it is hard to find in grocery stores. It is easier to find calcium bentonite clay. Best wishes!

  38. Dawn Michelle says

    You are so welcome Marita! I too have extreme sensitivities to commercial products. I do hope you enjoy your new all natural beauty care. It takes some trial and error, yet it is very cost affective. I’ve noticed that the less is more in this department too. Best wishes!

  39. Ashton says

    Hey Dawn! Would you categorize this as a clarifying treatment? I’m dying to try but I don’t know how to fit this in with my monthly henna treatments and my monthly apple cider rinse. Do you use this treatment on the weeks you’re not henna-ing? Would you recommend using this the week before or after a henna treatment? Does it even matter what treatment we use on our hair the week before henna? Help! You have the answers :-)

  40. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Ashton,

    I cleanse my hair at least once a week. This DIY Cleansing Conditioner can be used a weekly hair cleanser if your hair responds well to it and you like it. If you are not using a lot of leave-in products/ingredients you will notice that you don’t need to use harsh hair cleansers at all. You can alternate your natural hair cleansers as well.

    As for your henna treatments, I apply henna on dry/damp hair. I will spritz my hair with water or aloe vera juice, add a bit of oil (my favorite is hemp oil) finger detangle then apply henna. On the days I henna I don’t cleanse my hair too. I just rinse thoroughly and deep condition if needed. Hope this is helpful!

  41. Marita says

    Hi Dawn,

    I recently tried bentonite clay, amla, hibiscus, and methi powders, along with coconut milk…loved the results hated the graininess :( I tried mixing and blending as much as possible to prevent this…I’m thinking of adding aloe vera juice to thin it for more of a liquid…any thoughts? I know that all of the powders I mentioned are conditioning…but my hair can be really dry :(

    I also used the curl serum…loved it!!!! My hair is so shiny and it looks happy :) I had my hair shaped last week and it falls better with my wash-n-go, so far not too many single strand knots (maybe 2 while detangling and 2 after rinsing the paste out…I wore the wash-n-go all week. I’m trying to balance free flowing hair with a stretched style or pin up. Can’t wait to see where this journey goes :) I love your recipes, thanks so so much… If the methi is too much for my hair, I will use it on skin as mask. Have a great Sunday!

  42. Marita says

    One more thing…is it normal for hair/scalp to feel “gunky” after using this wash method and detoxing from commercial products or just having too much oil build up?

  43. Anne says

    Recently discovered your website and I love it! I tried this with just coconut milk and it gave me some acne … going to try again with the real mix. Should I be concerned about the clay clogging my drain. What can I do to avoid that? Also, my hair seems brassy. Is that dryness? Or is it red undertones? It is also just really brittle in the back — is that common? I eat such a nourishing diet, so I am at a loss about why I don’t care for my hair … but I am hoping to find some new tricks to improve it.

  44. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Marita,
    I’ve never experienced this mixture feeling grainy with just coconut milk and clay, yet when you add other herbs which may not be finely ground that is usually when you have a grainy texture. I’ve noticed amla and other Ayurvedic herbs to be grainy. The curl serum is great for hydrating the hair so I’m glad worked well for you.
    Best wishes!

  45. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Marita,

    If you are still detoxing from commercial products try mixing bentonite clay with apple cider vinegar. You can add a few drops of essential oil to help with the smell. This mix is the perfect pH for hair and helps to get rid of any product buildup.

    If you naturally have a very oil scalp then you may want to try using aritha or shikakai as a hair wash. You can make a tea with these herbs or use it in paste form with does have a very grainy texture. I prefer the tea form so that it easier to cleanse with and rinse. I talk more about these herbs in this hair care series especially Part 2 and Part 4.

    Hope this helps!

  46. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anne,

    I’m so glad that you are enjoying the site! As for the condition of your hair now it is challenging giving specific advise since I don’t know what your hair looks or feels like. If you have used commercial shampoos, hair color, hair perms/relaxers, blow dryers/flat irons/curling irons regularly etc. all of those things can cause havoc on the hair creating dry, brittle, and damaged hair. Using simple hair care that is chemical and heat free can really help with the overall condition of your hair.

    If the coconut milk caused you to break out, yet your hair loved it, if you can find a way to only have it on your hair and not touch your skin then you may have found a solution. Otherwise there are lots of other 100% natural ingredients that you can use to cleanse and condition your hair. I wrote a series about just that which you can read here. I also shared my transition to 100% natural hair care in this article if you are interested.

    As for using clays in hair or skin care I prefer a more liquidy mix versus using it in mask form so that it is easy to apply and rinse as well as being gentle on the shower drain.

    Hope this helps!

  47. Steph says

    Hello Dawn,
    So I tried the mix twice, once in my hair and once in my daughter’s. While I mixed it very well (1tbsp clay to 1/2 can of coconut milk, a spoon of EVOO) with an immersion blender, while applying to wet hair, both times it started separating like a cottage cheese texture in my hands, which I knew was gonna be bad in the hair. Nevertheless, really wanting it to work, I continued with the process, sitting under dryer with plastic cap for 20min. Upon rinsing,it was just as I thought, it was so hard to rinse out, as it got all gunky and built up on my hair. I know from past experiences of using clay mixes (i.e.-Terressentials and other recipes) that it detoxes well, despite the addition of oil. Our hair did come out soft, but it wasnt worth the nightmare rinsing. Oh well,not everything works for everybody. But thanks for sharing your recipes and experiences as they are very helpful to those of us looking to look outside the box of commercial products.

    Have a Great Day

  48. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Steph,
    Sorry this didn’t work as you hoped. There isn’t any oil in this recipe so I’m curious if you ever tried it before without. Also if you do decide you may want to try this again add enough bentonite clay to make a yogurt like consistency. It will not seperate with more clay added. Also if you want to find a natural hair cleanser which also has conditioning properties for you and your daughter check out this article.
    Best wishes!

  49. Lin says

    Hello Dawn…what a GREAT and helpful article! I used the canned organic milk and only needed barely half a can because I have short hair. Do I need to refrigerate the rest of the can or should I leave it out at room temp?

  50. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Lin, Yes you will need to refrigerate the rest of the canned coconut milk and any leftovers for this hair cleanser. Hope you enjoy it <3

  51. says

    Thanks for this recipe! I used organic canned coconut milk, raw honey and jojoba oil last night for a conditioning treatment and it worked wonders. Do you have a favorite brand of coconut milk?

  52. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi ScentualSoundtracks,
    I don’t have a favorite brand of coconut milk. I usually purchase organic canned coconut milk like you and have also purchased canned coconut milk from Trader Joe’s. Your conditioning recipe sounds incredible!

  53. blah blah says

    Just wanted to add … if you have a coconut allergy, avoid coconut milk and oil. Coconut milk obviously has tons of coconut in it, which can cause a reaction. However, raw or unrefined coconut oil can also have enough coconut residue in it to cause a reaction. I used to use coconut oil as a body/hair oil, but would get itchy later in the day. Then I looked over an old allergy test from a naturopath I saw. Coconut was one of my triggers. D’oh! Switched over to olive oil, and problem was solved.

  54. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi blah blah,
    I’m glad you found the perfect alternative solution for your skin and hair. Have a beautiful day!

  55. Josie says

    Is there a substitute for coconut milk that can be used in the natural hair creme relaxer formula mix? I am allergic to coconut oil and milk.

  56. Norma says


    I put that here even though I am not sure. A girl at my work who wears her hair natural told me today she will relax it, so I ask her why, she answered shyly, “because a lot of people are looking at me here and I hate that”, and she said even at the cafeteria some people pointed her with fingers and laugh. I find it sad and I just tell her to accept herself the way she is and to be happy with herself as she is unique and beautiful. I don’t know any other solutions. Me I wear them curly, as she is nappy so maybe that’s what shocked people. I would have loved to be more convincing and helpful. Sometimes, even though we tell ourselves to be happy with what we are, it can be quite hard to make others accepting it in certain environment like this old-fashioned France for example.

  57. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Josie,
    I’m not exactly sure what you mean about the “natural hair creme relaxer formula mix”? If you are looking for a substitute for coconut milk for the DIY Cleansing Conditioner or for a henna treatment you can try using plain yogurt. I’ve used yogurt for henna treatments in the past with success but not with this cleansing conditioner recipe. I hope this helps and answers your question.
    Best wishes!

  58. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Norma,

    Thanks for your comment. There is definitely stigma around what type of curls/coils are “accepted”. The truth and power is in truly accepting yourself and rocking it. When a women is confident no one really has any affect with their opinions.

    I shaved off my relaxed hair in college at a time when doing experimental things is somewhat more accepted because you’re young. I had been slowly cutting my hair shorter and shorter so went from a bob, to a shorter bob, to a pixie cut, to a buzz cut. At the same time I dealt with others ideas/opinions etc. I’m an artist and I didn’t care. I wanted to see if I could feel beautiful without it and it was a good experiment for me.

    We all go natural for different reasons. We all have a unique experience around it learning how to care for our hair and style it. Even with all the support online it can still be tough. Learning to truly love ourselves as perfectly imperfect, divine light beings, and as the powerful women that we all can be is what really matters. I wish you and your co-worker the best of everything <3

  59. Norma says

    Thank you Dawn for your quick answer, and as usual very deep and sound advice. You understand so well. M

  60. Norma says

    I always try to remember Louise Hay’s advice, above all that one “we are responsible for our experience in life”, so I only, at least I try, to concentrate on the positive only.Have a great week-end. One love.

  61. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Norma,
    Concentrating on the positive is so important. I can be difficult at times but its definitely the key to happiness. Have a great weekend too <3

  62. Kacie says

    Hey Dawn!
    I am just starting my natural hair care routine and was hoping for some advice. I am about to start a rinse consisting of yucca root powder, gooseberry powder, and fenugreek seed powder. I was wondering if you think that is okay? I have decently curly hair and am looking for less frizz and more distinct curls. I also have colored my hair quite a bit (now opting for henna) so My locks have been exposed to harsh chemicals. Would you suggest any adjustments to this remedy?

  63. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kacie,

    Your herbal mix sounds great! For amazing curl definition try doing a DIY banana conditioner. I wrote about it here and also share other deep conditioning options.

    Deep conditioning is very important for curly hair and dry hair in general. I would definitely suggest deep conditioning your hair every time you wash it. To make your hair care process as simple as possible use your hair rinse in tea form and spritz your hair and scalp with a spray bottle. Then apply your deep conditioner directly on top. Rinse, detangle, and style as usual.

    Let me know how this works out for you <3

  64. Grace says

    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you for making your website such a good resource-I’ve been trying to make my own shampoo on and off for a few years now(on account of super sensitive skin) without much success. When I came across Minimalist Beauty I had to pinch myself, it’s all here; recipes, sources, discussions – exactly what I’ve been looking for! Yay!
    Okay, I’m done gushing. Now for the questions.
    I’d love to try the coconut milk and bentonite clay recipe, but can’t find bentonite clay anywhere near where I live(the shipping charge from mountain rose herbs is too costly), can you think of any reason not to use french green clay instead?
    Also, you mentioned that shikakai is good for washing oily hair, but how do you use it? Do you make a tea? Do you mix it with anything else?

    Thanks in advance! :)

  65. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Grace,

    Welcome! I haven’t tried french green clay for hair so can’t tell you what the experience would be like. You can see a bunch of natural cleansing options for hair in this article though. If you are interested in using powdered herbs as a tea here is how you can do that as well. You can also find a list of a bunch of DIY recipes and articles at the top menu page under “DIY” to find more ideas.

    Have a beautiful weekend!

  66. Zelphia says

    I am so so happy that I found your site. Thank you for the wonderful hair guidance!! Last week, I used my first rhassoul clay with aloe vera juice as my base and some essential oils. I couldn’t believe how clean, soft and full my hair felt. I will never use commercial shampoos again. I also made infused oil with nettle, horsetail, rosemary. For some reason my hair doesn’t care for shea butter so I made a whipped mango butter with tucuma, murumuru and cupuac butter. I added some rosemary, neem, and vitamin e oils.

  67. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Zelphia,
    Thanks so much for sharing your progress. Your DIY hair care mixes sound amazing. I am so glad that you are enjoying your new simple hair care regimen!

  68. blossom says

    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you sooo much for your recipes! I didn’t have bentonite clay but I had rhassoul clay. I added a little aloe vera juice to the mix and left it in for an hour. The results were amazing, my 4a curls popped out like never before!

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and making me love my hair even more :)

  69. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Blossom,
    You are so welcome! I’m glad that this simple recipe worked so well for you. <3

  70. Jennifer says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,
    I am interested in a more natural hair care routine. I like the sounds of bentonite/milk routine and might try that. I’m also acne prone so how would the high linoleic oil be incorporated into a hair routine? Just put oil on ends for moisture? Also, I use heat to style my hair and unfortunately am not willing to give that up, in turn I use heat protection sprays. I also use hairspray for styles. Would it be worth it to do a natural hair care routine if I’m using unnatural products? Or would I constantly be fighting with trying to rid my hair of the daily products? Not sure if there is an all or nothing approach to this or instead of me using five unnatural products cutting that down to two and that would benefit my hair? Thanks for your time.

  71. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jennifer,
    It is great to begin incorporating as many pure and natural skin and hair care products into your regimen as possible. You can incorporate any of the high linoleic oils into your hair regimen by using an oil to condition your hair. You don’t need to use a lot though. I hope this helps!

  72. Rebecka says

    Hi Dawn,

    I would like to try this. But I am from Europe and have a dumb question:
    How much fluid do I need to have an equal part of cups?
    I mixed a 1/3 cup coconut milk with 1/3 cup clay but this is very dry.


  73. Kacie says

    Hey Dawn!
    Thanks for this post! I am curious as to how well this rinses out. I haven’t shampooed my hair since May (thanks to your blog!) and my biggest issue this far is finding something that rinses out well without feeling like my hair might fall out in the process of trying to massage it all out. I’ve read your blog about marshmallow root. Do you think adding this would help? I’ve been making my own rinses and shampoos but I’ve sadly resorted to using store bought conditioners to help take out the shampoos and I would really like to exnay all store bought items. Please let me know!!
    Kacie Gee

  74. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Rebecka,
    Whenever I’ve used clay for hair I prefer to use a very diluted mix. I only mix bentonite clay with apple cider vinegar at a 50/50 ratio. I don’t have a specific ratio for rhassoul clay and coconut milk although it will vary between 30/70 ratio or 20/80 with less clay more coconut milk. I think it’s best to find the best ratio for your hair needs. I hope this helps.

  75. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kacie,
    If you create a diluted mix of clay to coconut milk such as a 30/70 ratio or even 20/80 ratio it will rinse easily. Whenever I’ve used clays for hair I prefer a very diluted mix. You can also try following with an apple cider vinegar rinse for extra cleansing and conditioning as well. It just takes time to find what works best for your hair and styling methods. Let me know how this works out for you. <3

  76. Kacie says

    Thanks for the advice! Based on what you have said, I’m getting the feeling that bentonite is not something you would want to use every time you wash your hair because it is stronger. Would you suggest using rhassoul clay for cleaning/conditioning on a regular basis and a bentonite concoction once every couple washes? I just bought a 1 lbs tub of bentonite and I’m afraid of damaging my hair or overdoing it if I use it every time I wash because I also read your post about using bentonite for detoxing and “detoxing” sounds like a treatment more than a regular wash. But I have no idea!! :) please pour down some minimalist wisdom on me! :)

  77. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Kacie,
    If you use heavy products that can build up on your hair bentonite clay is amazing. It would be a good weekly or biweekly hair cleanser depending upon your hair regimen. It could also be a great monthly hair cleanser depending upon your hair needs. It’s all about finding what works best for your hair needs and styling preferences.

  78. Susu says

    Would you suggest mixing henna as well? Either with or instead of the clay? I love henna in my hair, but I don’t get to do it often enough and I would love to make a conditioner with it to use on a semi regular basis. Perhaps some coconut milk, henna, and a tbsp of lemon juice? Let it sit overnight to activate and store it in the fridge?

  79. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Susu,
    Henna and coconut milk make an incredible weekly deep conditioning treatment as is. I wrote about this specific combination here and about weekly henna treatments here. I currently use henna now every 4-8 weeks. I try to make time for a treatment as often as possible.
    Best wishes!

  80. Tania says

    I have very straight hair (Hispanic) and I was wondering if this would work for my hair type? Also, most recipes I see for coconut milk use castile soap and another oil…does the bentonite clay replace these other ingredients? Thanks!

  81. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Tania,
    No matter what you hair type is, if this is the first time you are trying non-commercial hair products you will experience a transitioning period for at least a month. I share my experience with this here. If you have dry hair coconut milk is incredible for conditioning and strengthening the hair. Clays are incredible hair cleansers. It really just depends upon where you are starting from and the current condition of your hair. Transitioning to no ‘poo hair care does have some trial and error. Hope this helps!

  82. Gina says

    Hi Dawn. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us. My hair doesn’t too care for Coconut milk, so I’m going to replace that with natural yogurt. But would you please clarify one thing for me; when you leave the Bentonite and Coconut milk on for 25-30 minutes, is that with or without a plastic cap? Thanking you in advance, and keep up the excellent work. You’re a real trailblazer.

  83. Teddy Fagan says

    I was wondering how many times a week you do the cleansing with the clay and the coconut milk.

  84. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Teddy Fagan,
    I have simplified my hair regimen a lot since posting this DIY cleanser. You can use this once a week or as you feel works best for you. I now use a clay wash (usually bentonite clay) mixed with apple cider vinegar. You can see my most recent hair regimen here along with other natural DIY hair cleansers here. I hope this helps!

  85. Claudette says

    Can I use tis treatment 2 times a week?
    i have high porosity hair and use the bentonite with acv. or aloe juice. to cleanse. But it’s drying my hair out more.
    Can i mix the coconut milk with the acv avj and the bentonite ?


  86. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Claudette,
    Yes you can. It’s just about finding exactly what works best for you. Feel free to modify any of the recipes on Minimalist Beauty to best suit you as well.