I came across the Max(imum) hydration method (MHM) through a post on one of the hair care forums and I was immediately curious upon seeing the results some ladies were reporting. Details on the method can be found on the official website or on the blog of Ms DeeKay who is quite passionate about the method and provides information on the method regularly.
What exactly is the Max Hydration Method!?
The way I understand it, the Max Hydration Method is a hair care regimen that aims to infuse moisture and hydrate the hair until it reaches the point of optimal hydration. It was originally designed for low-porosity, type 4C hair, but can be tweaked for high porosity hair as well.
Basically, low porosity hair does not absorb moisture easily so the regimen uses methods that open the hair cuticles to let in the moisture and help it stay in.
MHM is a five-step regimen and the steps are;
Pre-Step: CHERRY LOLA CARAMEL TREATMENT
It is recommended that this is done on the first day and every 2 weeks thereafter. It is a modification of the original Cherry Lola Treatment and the Caramel Hair Treatment. On the days it is done, it replaces Step 1 of the regimen.
Step 1: CLARIFY
This step involves the use of baking soda or Apple Cider Vinegar on the hair to clarify.
Step 2: Condition/Co-wash/Detangle
This step involves the use of conditioner on the hair; heat can be applied through the use of a steamer or warming up the conditioner. The conditioner may also be left in overnight.
Step 3: Clay Rinse
The clay rinse step involves the application of a clay like bentonite or rhassoul clay mixed with other items like honey and olive oil.
Step 4: Botanical Leave in conditioner
Leave-in conditioner is applied in this step
Step 5: Botanical Gel
A botanical gel is applied and this serves as a seal for the moisture and is the final step of the regimen.
**Note that there is a list of approved products for this regimen as it involves avoiding certain ingredients**
I started the 7 day challenge completed it over 10 days as I had to skip a number of days because other things came up and I could not make the time for the regimen. I did not do the Cherry Lola Caramel treatment as I did not have all the ingredients ready and was eager to jump in to start the regimen. I am quite pleased to have been able to complete the challenge and sticking to it, I sincerely thought I would be able to do only 2 or 3 days!
My routine was to Clarify in the evening using baking soda and conditioner, leave that in for 15-30 minutes, rinse and then apply the conditioner. I would then leave the conditioner in overnight. The next morning I would rinse out the conditioner, apply the clay mix (bentonite clay, honey, olive oil and ACV) leave that in for 15- 30 minutes before rinsing. My styling was a wash and go for the entire period, so I applied the leave in conditioner, sealed with olive or coconut oil and that was it.
I used only the approved products excluding the gel which I did not purchase (Kinky Curly Curling Custard is the approved gel that is readily available in
, although it is
expensive). The products I used are; Lagos
- Baking soda (purchased from Yem-Yem Supermarket, Unilag)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (purchased from De-Prince Supermarket, Gbagada)
- Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner (online purchase from Olori)
- Bentonite Clay (Natural Nigerian brand, online from Olori)
- Kinky Curly Knot Today (online purchase from Sizzelle)
I usually have my hand in my hair a lot, but even more so while I was on the challenge, I kept checking for the coils and to see how my hair was feeling.By day 3 my hair was feeling more moisturised, although the real test for me will be how long between washes this feeling lasts. I hope the pictures below can give an idea of the changes in my hair as I progressed with MHM.
|Dry hair before MHM|
|MHM Day 1 (after Clay rinse)|
|MHM: Seeing a difference|
|Dry hair after 7 day MHM chalenge|
From the pictures you can see that while some curls/coils are starting to form it is not uniform across all my hair strands. It is explained that not all hair strands will reach Maximum Hydration at the same time and you can say you have achieved maximum hydration when all hair strands clump together from the root to tip.
The journey to maximum hydration is not a fast one and the 7 day challenge is just a jumpstart. Following the 7 day challenge, it is recommended to redo the steps every 3 days and not to go beyond 5 days before going through all the steps.
Next up: My thoughts on the method