Friday, 4 July 2014

Max Hydration Method: Can you get 4c hair to have clumped curls/ringlets?

The max hydration method (mhm) makes a big bold promise of getting type 4c hair to get its natural coils into clumped up curls. Are you curious? I love scrutinising things so here is my analysis of the method.

What is the max hydration method?

The author of the method Pinke Cube sent me some notes on the method. She is active on black hair media so do go there if you want more details. Here is a video of an mhm afficionado Ms.Dee Kay explaining part of the method in a few soundbites; there are different versions of the method, she is explaining what is regarded as a routine for a regular user.




What other versions of the method exist?

I am going to be lazy here and tell you to click on the previous link to black hair media. I also believe an e-book will soon be available with further details. The one major addition that I can say is that a modified Cherry Lola treatment is recommended for beginners. If you do not know what that is.........here it is.



Does the max hydration method work?

There is evidence that the method works although the group number is small (about 10)  - testimonial page. There is a lot of emphasis that for success, this method has to be done regularly and consistently - repeated daily/ every 2-3 days. Additionally a curly girl route is recommended with elimination of products containing sulfates and silicones and users saying that using a standard shampoo/conditioner does not replicate the results.

Should I be concerned about the high pH of the baking soda/ Will it relax my hair?

Baking soda dissolved in water has a pH of around 8/9 and certainly while I do recommend that the mild acid to neutral range (5-7) is better, pH on its own is not sufficient to relax hair and hair is pretty resistant to change within the pH 4-9 range - (jog your memory)

Do baking soda or ACV actually clarify?

If you are a high/heavy oil user then the likely answer is no. I base my answer on my previous mini study of baking soda/ACV cleansing. If you are only lightly oiling on occasion and washing your hair daily as required in this method then maybe the result is different.

Can this method damage my hair?

I am generally not for daily washing of hair as it introduces a lot handling wear and tear to hair. Additionally there is one study that has linked prolonged hair wetness to damaging the inner cuticle cement that holds the cuticle layers together. However, many people are able to daily wash and still continuously grow long hair, so you have to analyse the long term effects for yourself.

Each cuticle is made up of several layers
Each cuticle layer is 'glued' with a fat layer/cuticle cement in yellow


Does hair really get more hydrated than normal with the max hydration method?

There is no study done to show the level of water in the hair before and after the max hydration method. Ultimately though, hair has a limited amount of water that it can accept and it will generally reach this limit within 15 minutes of immersion in water. I do not believe that hair gets more hydrated, but what I think is possible is that the moisture levels in hair are not allowed to drop far down and balance out with humidity. The hair is almost constantly surrounded by water with a regular washing cycle combined with the use of a leave in conditioner and gel layer to further prevent moisture loss between the cycles.

Are there any downsides?

If you are lazy like I am, this method is not for you. You have to be ready to spend quite a bit of time washing your hair and if necessary overnight conditioning, steaming and the baggy method can come into play. I do not have the will to sit with conditioner on my head for more than 10 minutes, so count me out. However if playing with your hair for hours is your thing......this method will give you satisfaction.

What about shrinkage and long hair, will it still work?

This method requires you to embrace your shrinkage fully. This is generally true for curl enhancing methods. I have not seen anyone with particularly long hair use the method, so I cannot tell you how well it works for long 4c naturals. Here is Pinke's own video, she has longer hair than Ms. Dee Kay



Here is another video from Protective Princess who was suggested as a long 4c natural by Pinke, she discusses in depth on shrinkage, knotting, tangling and curl clumping.



So will you be trying the max hydration method?


33 comments:

  1. No....cos I am lazy too :) thinking about it is exhausting *yawn*

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    1. lol! I think there are some girls though who could put up with the hard work........hoping they are here, would love to see more evidence of the method.

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    2. Hi Nikki, I know what you mean. But let me tell you what you get for 7 days hard labor: hair that FINALLY retains moisture when wet or dry, hair that is EASY to detangle when wet or dry, hair that is easy to manage, hair that is easy to style, hair that is no longer breaking but retaining length. For the first time in my 5 year natural hair journey, my hair is not acting the fool. Since doing the MHM, my hair is like a well behaved child that don't embarrass you out in public. You will be so amazed by the transformation in such a short time, that it will be all the encouragement you need to continue doing it. I have never been able to achieve the right balance of oils and butters for my fine low porosity 4c hair and resigned myself to protective styling 99% of the time. With the MHM, that is no longer an issue. I stronger believe that the effort you put in now will reward you tenfold. Your hair will become your new BFF. The curls that start poppin outta nowhere is simply the icing on the cake.

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    3. lol Cottony this made me laugh - 'my hair is like a well behaved child that don't embarrass you out in public.'

      Glad it is working for you too

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    4. This doesn't work at all for me. I followed the instructions for a month and don't see any improvements. My scalp is dry from the baking soda and ACV. My scalp is very sore to touch. I really couldn't afford to purchased the ingredients for this method. I thought this would have been a break through for us 4C naturals. I just want to cry and pull my hair out.

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    5. Anon so sorry that the experience was so bad for you. I think you can try substituting the baking soda /ACV with just a regular silicone free, sulfate free shampoo. You definitely need the clay but you can try substituting the kinky curly leave in with something like giovanni and the gel with something like pure aloe vera gel or a glycerin based curl activator. I think while the products do play a role here, there must always be room for substitution.

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    6. Anon, I am also very sorry to hear of your bad experience. We discovered that if we mixed too much baking soda with the conditioner, it could make the scalp sore. If you are still game, try only using 1 tsp baking soda in 1/3 cup of conditioner diluted in 4-6 oz of water. If you are able to obtain the Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle conditioner ($3.99 for 16oz) you can dilute 1 oz of conditioner with 4-6 oz of water. The same conditioner can be used in step 1, step 2 and step 4. You can also dilute the kinky curly curling custard with water as a little goes a long way or you can substitute flaxseed gel. The bentonite clay is less than $8 for a pound. It also comes in larger sizes but I don't remember the cost. Finally, you can actually post your regimen on black hair media on the maximum hydration post. Pinkecube and many others post daily and would be more than happy to examine your routine and products that you are using to trouble shoot any problems, answer any questions and simply lend support. I hope this helps because there were lots of times I felt frustrated with my FINE 4c hair and I have been natural for over 5 years now. Since doing the maximum hydration method I have really come to love and appreciate my hair. I wish you the very best in your natural hair journey because there is light at the end of the tunnel. http://forum.blackhairmedia.com/the-max-hydration-methodfrom-my-other-post_topic368937_page153.html

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    7. @Anonymous, I am sorry to hear about the struggle you are experiencing. Do not give up. Baking soda and/or some of the other ingredients probably just are not the right fit for your skin and hair.

      I have spent a lot of time (with much frustration and triumph) learning about what my hair likes and dislikes (and skin too, because what you put in your hair affects your skin). So, based on what I know about myself, baking soda is honestly an ingredient that I am not even willing to try at the moment.

      I think hydration is very important to the health of your hair - but there are many different methods to try. I personally use a sulfate-free shampoo and try to wash 4-7 days a week. I use a light leave-in (sometimes just an oil). My hair does feel like it is changing. Your will change (for the better) once you find what your hair needs.

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  2. I have 4c hair and definetely want to give it a try. I´ve discovered the method one week ago, and after reading all about it on the MHM blog , I came here on wednesday to see If you already knew about it, or reviewed it. I am so glad you do, because I Looove your studies and Blog.

    It has been only 4 days since I stardet it. so far everything the MHM promises is true. I also have a blog and instagram I will share my journey with all others.

    ps: excuse my englisch I am a french speaker but I live in germany.

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    1. Merci Ornela. ll n y a rien probleme avec votre anglais et si tu veux, moi je parle aussi Francais :)

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    2. Started it 6 weeks ago and the results are amazing. I have a mix of 4b/4c and in the past, wash and gos were always knotty and all the other problems that comes with it! Since doing MHM, I have no knots, and detangling is a breeze!!!Also, check out Aketafit Girl on you tube. Her hair is longer and looks awesome!!! It is time consuming to begin with, but the site also offers shorter versions. Miss DanaBNatural has a short version which Pinke shows. Lesss products to use,; only drawback for me is finding products that are suitable and within an affordable price range, since the recommended product is KCKT and KCCC! I have been using them and the KCKT is sooooooo slippy! Love it! The gel is okay (for my hair). I have been making my own hair gels that work pretty good so not stressing about it. Struggling to find the Tresemme Naturals Radiant Volume, also recommended, here in the UK. I think what I love about the results is that the curls I achieve is my own natural curl pattern, and not those manipulated by 2-strand twists or braid outs

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    3. Thanks for the review! Can I ask if you do get clumped curls/spirals?

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    4. I just looked at Aketafit Girl too, she has very pretty hair but I don't think I would call it 4b/4c. I think she is one of those with undefinable curl types like Curly Chronicles where their ringlets are smaller than 3c/4a but too big to be 4c. She does have cute hair and seems to use a version of the mhm routine!

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    5. Yes, JC, I am getting clumps and spirals. It seems the more I repear rhe process, the more curls are spreading. Still have a way to go but my husband has noticed and ommented

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    6. Hi Jc, this is Pinke Cube. Thank you for choosing to review this on your blog. For a long-haired natural doing MHM, you can follow Protective Princess's journey, she is documenting the method on Youtube. Her hair is bra-strap length and she has 4c hair.

      Here is one of her videos:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWSVrrXYUbI

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    7. Thanks Pinke, added that one to the list

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    8. Thanks Christine for responding to my question :)

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  3. So then, is there a concern for hygral fatigue? If the hair is basically in constant moistness?

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    1. In some senses, yes it would be a concern as there is a lot of washing but it would be different form the cycle you get when you wash, let hair completely dry and wash again. This cycle is wet - stay very moist- wet again.

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  4. Hey! I had commented before but I don't think it even made it to moderation because I wasn't logged in. I have been doing the MHM for nearly a month and have begun writing about it on my blog. Someone had asked how the regimen would work on long hair which made me want to comment originally. I am MBL. I do not have. 4C hair as I discovered on this regimen. The curls started appearing from where I don't know!

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    1. Thanks for review Kayla - sorry my comment box has been sending comments to oblivion, still trying to fix that but glad you came back to comment

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  5. So what happens when you have been doing this method for say one month and you then stop. Does the hair lose the curl clumps?

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    1. The maximum hydration method works on the premise of building up moisture over time, which means the longer you do it the more 'hydrated' your hair becomes. It is recommended that after doing it every day for 7 days, you can stretch your wash days to every 3 days. If you do it consistently for a month building up hydration and then stop as in stop entirely, then I guess your hair will eventually begin losing moisture and stop clumping or curling. If you stop doing it as frequently but continue doing it regularly AND keep the routine I guess you won't lose the 'clumps' or curls. Remember the clumps and then curls you get is a sign that your hair is properly absorbing and retaining moisture. It also depends on how quickly it takes for your hair to achieve maximum hydration and that depends on hair type and porosity and the condition of your hair. From what I've read and watched on you tube, it has taken some up to 8 months for their hair to achieve maximum hydration after which time they can go almost a week before wash day. Hopefully after a month of doing this regimen you'll be so amazed with your hair that you won't want to stop lol!

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    2. Thanks for responding Cottony :)

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    3. Cottony thanks for the response

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  6. Thanks for this really good review of the method JC. I too was worried about hygral fatigue but see your point that if moisture is properly retained and you don't bake your hair in the sun to dry then you should be OK. I'm going to give this method a try (Cherry Lola treatment in my hair as I type) as I'm 2.5yrs natural and its a constant struggle to retain any moisture in my hair. I also think the point that conditioner only has effects for 3 days is a valid one especially if you wash once a week/2 weeks and expect the same lasting hydration throughout the week. Thanks again for casting your scientific eye over it ;)

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  7. I am on day 3 of the MHM. The curls really 'come out of nowhere' sha! I'm looking forward to where this will go.

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  8. Nice article. Thanks for sharing this post. Have a great day!

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  9. Im wanting to do the MHM, but I have an old twist out in my hair now... I used the Shea Moisture gel with coconut oil on my twist out about 6 days ago, but you can still feel the gel in my hair. Do i need to wash my hair first before doing the caramel treatment and co-wash? or Just go ahead and do the treatment and co-wash on top of my old twist out.

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    1. I am sorry I am not sure of the best answer to give you. I highly encourage you to post your question on the maximum hydration thread over at black hair media. The forum is active over there and all questions are answered on a daily basis.

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  10. Can I use this method on my 4a hair

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