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Kelp on Natural Hair
Kaolin kelp hair mask in a bowl

Kelp on Natural Hair

In October, I started a personal protective style challenge with the intention of improving my length retention and the overall health of my hair.  As part of this challenge, I set out to use natural shampoos to cleanse my hair so that I wouldn’t have to take down my protective style each week.  During my research, I came across kelp powder and I was intrigued to learn how to use kelp powder on natural hair.

What Is Kelp?

Kelp is large brown algae seaweed that grows in underwater ocean kelp forests. 

It has become popular as a dietary supplement due to its iodine content.  It’s also rich in minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.  Kelp is used in a variety of culinary dishes. It is also used in deep conditioners. It is believed that kelp thickens hair and that its minerals help to stimulate hair growth.

Creating Kaolin Kelp Hair Cleanser

Kelp is easy to work with and is easily incorporated into clay washes and masks.  Kaolin clay is my favourite clay to wash my hair with, but in this recipe you can substitute it with rhassoul clay or bentonite clay. 

This recipe makes quite a bit of cleanser so feel free to cut it in half if you have shorter hair.


7 tbspKaolin clay
3 tbspGoat’s milk powder
1.5 tbspSea kelp powder
2 tspAloe vera powder
2 tspHoney
1.5 tspCalendula oil
1.5 tspGlycerin
2 gCocoa butter
0.5 tspMacadamia nut oil


1.  Place all of the ingredients into a heat safe bowl.

2.  Bring some distilled water to a boil.

3.  Slowly add small quantities of boiled water to the dry ingredients and stir, making sure not to allow any of the contents to splash outside of the bowl.

4.  Stop adding water when the mask reaches your desired thickness/consistency.

5.  Allow mask to cool before use.


The wonderful thing about this hair cleanser is that you can substitute the clays and oils with those that your hair prefers. 

Using Kaolin Kelp Hair Cleanser on Natural Hair

This shampoo is really easy to use and can be applied to loose hair or hair that is in two strand twists.  I find that washing my hair in loose twists prevents my hair from knotting as I wash my hair. 

First, rinse your hair with warm water to applying this cleanser.  When your hair is saturated, apply generous amounts of clay to your scalp and hair.  I like to spend extra time working it into my scalp to ensure that it is thoroughly cleansed.  Let it sit on your hair anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes before rinsing it out of your hair.

Results of Using Kaolin Kelp Hair Cleanser on Natural Hair

I love washing my hair with kaolin clay.  Normally, I do not allow it to sit on my hair for longer than 2 to 5 minutes because I find it to be drying.  However, with this kaolin kelp cleanser, I can let it sit on my hair for up to 10 minutes and my hair feels so soft and fluffy!

As with the soapwort root, rye flour, and yucca root shampoos, I didn’t follow this cleanser with a rinse out conditioner, but I did maintain my usual moisturizing routine.  My hair felt amazingly soft throughout the week.  This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Have you ever made a hair mask or cleanser with kelp?

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