Why I Finally Tried the Max Hydration Method & What I Think About It
Well my naturalistas, I finally took the plunge. I tried the Maximun Hydration Method (MHM) & I’m here to tell you my results & exactly how I feel about it.
I read about this method a while ago, but at the time I had locs & would not have dared to even think about it. It’s been a year & a half since I cut my locs but I still never gave it a thought. Honestly I never thought I would try the MHM because:
- I am not into a whole heap of “steps” to care for my hair. I find what works, do it, & keep it moving.
- The ingredients. I don’t really like gel or protein conditioners, I don’t normally buy OTC hair products, & have never bought or tried a clay of any kind. Some of the items listed have to be ordered & some are pricey.
- Practically everything I read about the MHM says it’s for type 4 curlies who want to do a good wash ‘n’ go. Nothing against anyone who loves them but I do NOT like or want that type of wash ‘n’ go – they put me in mind of Jheri Curls & that is a time in space I prefer to reminisce about but NOT go back to. Sorry.
So… no Maximum Hydration Method for me.
Until yesterday. Story time… and it’s a long 1.
I do not like to comb my hair. No surprise there – most people already know this about me. Now that I have stopped cutting my hair to keep the tapered style, I typically wash it then put it in a protective style – usually french braids or some sort of halo twist variation or a modified updo – and keep it like that all week.
In February I broke my foot but didn’t realize it until March. After that, I had nothing but time on my hands since I couldn’t work or play or ANYthing that required me to be on my feet at all. You would think it would be a perfect time to do more with my hair. No. I love my naps, but I do NOT have the patience to do things like extensions on my own head. Individual twists is as far as I can go with that, and I haven’t even been interested in doing those lately.
At the same, since I couldn’t do anything I began to get very down on myself & literally did nothing. Self care took a back seat; only the basics got done & my hair suffered. But like many things, it wasn’t obvious right away. I washed on the same schedule & followed the same routine. I didn’t really notice anything until this week; I had washed the previous week, moisturized, put in 2 loose twists & went on about life. BUT I did not spritz everyday, nor did I do anything else other than sleep in my bonnet.
We naturals have to be careful. We can’t just do 1 or 2 things, we have to do most if not all things. All week I’ve been saying “I need to wash & deep condition my hair”, “I need to do something with my hair, it is SO dry”, “Lord why is my hair so dry & brittle right now”, “Sweetie, my hair is breaking & falling out”. All week. Yesterday I finally decided to actually DO something about it. But first… I needed a conditioner pack. I don’t keep deep conditioner on hand & I didn’t feel like making any so I had to make a run.
Since I had to go to the store anyway, I thought “hmmm, let me do a quick google search… see what’s the best way to really get some moisture back into my hair.” I am a 4b/4c extremely low porosity natural. My hair might even be no porosity, it’s so low! So you can see why it’s so important that I moisturize the right way.
My search led me back to the MHM. And damn if I wasn’t trying to avoid it! I mean I was really trying to get this OUT of my search results. But there it was over & over. So… I did it.
I made my shopping list & compared prices online… only 1 problem. I need to do this today, especially since there’s so many steps & they take so long & have to be done for days. I took down my hair, spritzed, detangled & got myself together enough to head out. I couldn’t do this fast enough… look at this hair! This doesn’t even include the hair that came out in my hands. Such a sad day…
Thank goodness for my HEB. I got everything I needed to complete the MHM right there in the healthy living section where normally would shop anyway.
1. Apply the Cherry Lola treatment – yogurt, baking soda, liquid aminos. I used half the recipe because my hair is short. I did not like this. I may actually hate it. Sorry. It is hella messy, drips down my neck & face & formed a “pool” inside 2 plastic caps. Also there was a faint chemical smell, which I assumed was from the baking soda because that makes sense in my mind.
I’ve read that baking soda can “relax” the curl pattern – NO THANK YOU – but that it may not be an issue on resistant hair. Mine is so I didn’t worry much about it. But I don’t like anything chemically smelling at all, which is why I don’t buy many OTC hair products.
3. Next morning, rinse out the conditioner (serves as a co-wash). Then apply the clay mixture – bentonite clay, honey, oil, water. I used 1/3 of the original recipe because of my hair length & because in step 1 I learned that half was still too much. I also used less water so it wouldn’t be so runny.
I took this opportunity to do a face mask with the same mixture.
4. Rinse the clay out really well. This was a hard step for me – I did it in the sink, but ended up having to get in the shower. During this step also run some more conditioner through as a final rinse.
And I skipped step 5 because I don’t like to use gel unless I’m working on a twist-out or some style where I need hold. So far so good. My hair is super soft & I can see my curls more than normal. This is what a true “wash ‘n’ go” looks like on my 4b/4c low porosity hair – exactly what I want it to be, a TWA:
Am I done? No! This method requires that you do the same steps for 7 days. YES you read that right. 7 DAYS. Only differences are:
- in step 1 – do a baking soda, water & conditioner rinse OR 1: 1 ACV + water rinse
- in step 2 – you don’t have to do the overnight thing; instead just condition for 15-20 minutes
This MHM is so long & it better be worth it. I’ll let you know in a week.
*5/30/201 Update – 1 week later
On day 3 I noticed that I was able to detangle much easier, with less breakage, & was not as dry. I also noticed that my hair was kinda “loose”. I don’t know how to explain it but it started to droop a little.
Everything I read said that this is a sign of hydration which is a good thing, but I don’t really care for droopy/floppy hair (i.e. hair that hangs). I prefer big hair. And since all the research shows that it could also be due to the baking soda, which could alter curl pattern, after day 3 I stopped using the baking soda in step 1.
On days 4-7 I just did a hot water rinse as step 1 since the hot water would serve the purpose of opening the cuticle. I also skipped the clay mask on days 6 & 7 because I had things to do and could not dedicate an hour to doing the full method.
So essentially I did a modified version of the Maximum Hydration Method for 5 days & then just conditioned for the last 2 – during the entire 7 days I did sleep in a plastic cap under my bonnet (greenhouse method for moisture retention).
My Final Max Hydration Method Review:
Would I do this again. Probably not – there just is not enough time in the day (or week for this). But there are parts of it that I might do periodically including:
- pre-poo overnight with conditioner using the baggie/greenhouse method
- deep condition every 2 weeks or so possibly with the Cherry Lola treatment (it’s just so darn messy)
- use a clay mask when I deep condition