rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


If you have eczema, psoriasis, sensitive skin and/or a dry flaky scalp then you are probably familiar with the constant search for that perfect shampoo. The solution to all your dry itchy scalp woes and an end to all those embarrassing flaky bits of skin that look like dandruff.

Rhassoul clay - Image from Natural Spa Supplies

Rhassoul clay – Image from Natural Spa Supplies

I’ve tried everything from coal tar and medicated shampoos to high street products that claim to be fantastic for dandruff of dry flaky scalps and none of them quite work.

This month I have been experimenting with rhassoul clay which is basically mud, but a it’s a special type of mineral clay which has been used for centuries, since the eight century, to clean the body and hair in Morocco where it was mined. It is used today in Turkish baths as a mud wrap treatment, face masks and poultices for skin treatment. It’s actually pretty easy to make and use, so this is what you do.

What you’ll need to make rhassoul clay shampoo

Buy some rhassoul clay which comes powdered. I bought mine from Natural Spa Supplies.

  • Find a small, clean bottle or pot with a lid to put the clay shampoo into.
  • Get a bowl, a spoon and some cold water.
  • In the bowl, mix about two tablespoons of clay with enough water to make a paste.
  • If you have long hair you might want to make it slightly sloppier.
Making rhassoul clay shampoo

Mix two tablespoons of rhassoul clay with cold water and mix to a paste

How to wash your hair with rhassoul clay shampoo

  • Thoroughly wet your hair.
  • Scoop out some of your mixed clay and rub it into your scalp, give yourself a really good massage and really work it in. Don’t worry about washing the rest of your hair at this stage.
  • Now comb the clay out through your hair, carefully teasing out all the tangles.
  • Rinse well.

So how did rhassoul clay perform on my dry eczema scalp?

Not bad to be honest. I was quite hopeful because I really love the idea of using one natural ingredient and my hair did look clean. It didn’t look greasy but it didn’t feel quite so squeaky clean as my normal shampoo gets it. It had a kind of sticky feeling to it, sort of dull and lank.
On the other hand each day that funny feeling lessened, it felt softer each day and looked quite good. I didn’t wash my hair again for three days which is pretty good and just as good as normal shampoos I’ve been using, if not better.

The reason for the lank and dull hair with rhassoul clay is that most shampoos are ph balanced. When you wash your hair you strip out all the natural oils so the shampoo needs to contain ingredients which restore the natural ph of your hair. Rhassoul clay is quite alkaline so this is why it can make hair a little limp.

Luckily a little extra google searching revealed a surprisingly easy solution.

Mix cider vinegar with water to make a ph balanced hair rinse to use with rhassoul clay

Mix cider vinegar with water to make a ph balanced hair rinse

Cider vinegar rinse to replace hair ph balance

There is a really easy solution to this ph problem, and it’s remarkably simple. I found a blog by Mommypotamamus which is just what I was looking for. She suggested cider vinegar after using the clay and problem solved.

Mix a quarter of a cup of cider vinegar with water to make a total of one cup of water. Then, once you’ve rinsed out the clay, pour half a cup of this mixture over your hair and leave for 2-3 minutes. Then rinse in cool water, if you can bear it as it helps the hair cuticle close but warm is OK and better than hot water. You can also add about 8 drops of essential oil to this vinegar mixture; Mommypotamus suggests rosemary or peppermint but you can just use straight vinegar. I just used cider vinegar with no essential oils.

It worked a treat! I will definitely be continuing with this rhassoul shampoo. I found that by making up a batch in a small tub with a lid, enough to do two washes, it stayed moist and saved time the second time.

However it is time consuming as it does take a little effort in the making and preparation, measuring up the cider rinse and actually working the clay into the scalp, combing through the hair, rinsing sufficiently etc. If you can do this leaning over a bath, sink or shower you can also avoid rinsing the clay down over your body, which I find helps with any shampoo too, especially if you dry, sensitive skin. Although rhassoul clay shouldn’t irritate your skin, women in Morocca have been washing their hair and bodies with this clay for centuries, it should even help skin health.

Rhassoul clay shampoo helps heal eczema on the scalp

Now I can’t categorically prove this worked in just two washes but I haven’t tried anything else in between so I think it has really helped. I now have only a few scabs on my scalp after only a few weeks of trying it. I think my scalp is also slightly less dry and flaky but it’s not completely healed. It is certainly massively different compared to the open wounds and hair shafts caked with blood that I was struggling with a few weeks ago. Not to mention blood on the pillow case and endless itching. It feels a little tight this evening but I may begin to treat my scalp in between with my favourite scalp oil, Scalp Salvation from PurePotions which contains sunflower, olive, hemp, borage, chickweed, calendula, nettle, tea tree and rosemary oils.

Although I haven’t experimented how well rhassoul would wash off the oil yet, Mommypotamus proved that her clay wash did get oil out of her hair so it should work.

I now have a routine where if I have time, I will use the rhassoul clay and cider vinegar technique, but in between I am using Allergenics gently medicated shampoo as this seemed to be the least irritant and most soothing from my previous trial of shampoos. I have a few more shampoos to try out this year so will write another review soon but if you want to try out rhassoul clay to help your scalp I would recommend it. Give it a go. I was a bit worried I might smell like vinegar but it didn’t seem to linger. Adding some essential oils would help mitigate any vinegar wiffs even more but I didn’t find it a problem.

The only thing I worry about a little is that the clay may block the pipes, it makes a right mess of the shower if you aren’t careful. I didn’t notice the first time I used it that it has splashed onto the screen but if you give it a wipe when it’s wet it cleans off easily. And so far no blocked pipes. Perhaps the vinegar even helps clean it away.

Has anyone tried this? Did it help your scalp?



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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