I broke down the Cherry Lola Treatment in the previous article including the modified Cherry Lola treatment, step by step directions and options for high porosity hair.
One of those options is the max hydration method even though this method was developed for low porosity hair as well.
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This series started from the liquid amino acids for hair article so you may want to go back and start reading from there if you prefer. This article will cover:-
- Benefits of the Max Hydration Method
- Step by step instructions for the Max Hydration Method
- Modified Max Hydration Method
- A comparison of Cherry Lola Treatment vs Max Hydration Method
Max Hydration Method for Natural Hair
What is the Max Hydration Method?
It’s a 5 step method with an optional oil step to promote moisture retention and curl definition in low porosity hair.
There was an active maximum hydration method blog when the treatment first came out but the blog has since become defunct as PinkeCube is no longer active online.
Benefits of the Max Hydration Method
- The Max Hydration Method helps reduce frizz in hair and promote better moisture retention.
- The Max Hydration Method promotes curl clumping and definition from root to tip. This starts slowly from the first treatment and takes a few months to get your hair to maximum curl definition.
- It is extremely beneficial for dry hair. It will deliver much-needed hydration and moisture to your curls. You can still try the Max Hydration Method even if you don’t have dry hair.
- With the Max Hydration Method, you can expect less shedding, fewer single strand knots (SSKs) and fewer tangles making full regimen day a breeze to get through.
Max Hydration Method Regimen – Step by Step Instructions
These set of instructions are for someone who has never tried this treatment. You should do it from start to finish the first time.
Step 1 – Cherry Lola Treatment
The Cherry Lola treatment is the first step if you’ve never tried the Max Hydration Method. It involves 16 oz full-fat yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of liquid amino acids.
This step clarifies your hair and prepares it for the full regimen. You can see more about the Cherry Lola treatment with modifications you can use at DIY Amino Acid Hair Treatment – Cherry Lola Treatment.
After the Cherry Lola treatment the first time, dilute a spoon of baking soda with 4 oz of warm water to use as step 1 every time you do the Max Hydration Method.
If baking soda throws off the pH balance of your scalp and leads to itching, replace this step with diluted Castile soap and deep conditioner instead.
Add 4 – 6 oz of warm rose water. Close the bottle and shake. Apply to your hair like a shampoo, cover with a disposable cap and wait 10 mins then rinse out and continue with the rest of the steps.
Step 2 – Co-washing
After rinsing out the Cherry Lola treatment, dilute two tablespoons of moisturizing deep conditioner with warm water in an applicator bottle.
Apply to your strands in sections. Lightly detangle then twist and pin up each section.
Cover your hair with a disposable cap and leave on for 1 hour to overnight. The next morning, detangle thoroughly then rinse out and move on to step 3.
Step 3 – Clay Washing
This is the step where you start to see results. Pour 3 heaped tablespoons of bentonite clay into a plastic bowl and pour in two cups of hot water.
Use a plastic utensil to do this. I use a balloon whisk like OXO Good Grips Better Silicone Balloon Whisk.
The end result after mixing your clay wash should look something like below depending on what kind of clay you use:-
Wait for the mix to cool down then start applying to your hair in very small sections. This step requires a lot of patience because the clay needs to cover all of your hair.
Your curls will start to clump together at this step. When you’ve covered all your hair, pin up and cover with a disposable cap. Leave on for 45 mins – 2 hours.
Some people leave it on overnight but I didn’t like the way it made my hair feel when I rinsed it out.
After 45 minutes, rinse out the clay with lukewarm water. A few rinses will be required to get all the clay out. Do not dry your hair.
Here’s a picture of my hair with the bentonite clay mix in it. You can see the great curl definition:-
Step 4 – Leave in Conditioner
You should have this prepared before you rinse out the clay so you can apply immediately after rinsing while your hair is still dripping wet.
Apply this mix generously to your hair. Let it drip through your strands and don’t squeeze out the excess. Move on to step 5.
Step 5 – Hair Gel
Apply the hair gel over your dripping strands and work through with your fingers. This will promote definition and help curls clump even better.
You can use a commercial hair gel (recommendations in next article) or make your own. Read Homemade Gels for some inspiration.
Step 6 – Gel Cast with Oil (Optional)
This step is optional but it forms a nice cast on your strands. Before you do this step, shake out the excess product from your hair after the leave-in conditioner and gel application.
Don’t squeeze it out. Just bend your head over and shake out the excess then pour about a tablespoon of olive oil, sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil into your palm and spread through your curls.
And you’re done. At this point, you can let your hair air dry. Your curls will shrink slightly but the definition will remain.
You can also diffuse your hair with a blow dryer to dry it faster. Shrinkage won’t be as much as if you let it air dry.
If you’re familiar with the max hydration method and just looking for a shortened version, then continue to the shortened Max Hydration Method below.
This is the method I use now. I only go through the full method from start to finish a few times a year.
Modified Max Hydration Method
In trying out the modified max hydration method, the order the products are applied changes slightly but the results are equally effective.
Step 1 – Clay Washing
Rinse your hair and apply the clay wash the same way as above. The clay mix acts as a sort of shampoo here.
Cover your hair with a disposable cap and leave on for 30 – 45 minutes, an hour if you have the time. Rinse out the clay with lukewarm water.
Step 2 – Deep Conditioner
Apply diluted deep conditioner to your hair in sections then sit under a hair steamer for 30 mins with your hair loose.
Step 3 – Leave-in Conditioner
After steaming, apply diluted leave-in conditioner then shake out the excess product and finish off by rubbing a tablespoon of oil between your hands and working through your strands.
This shouldn’t take more than two hours from start to finish. I loved the results of the shortened method.
Below is a short video explaining the shortened Max Hydration Method:-
How Often Should You Do the Max Hydration Method?
Once or twice a week should be fine for this method especially if you want to do other things to your hair.
If you’re doing the Max Hydration Method for the first time, do it every day for 7 days as recommended then you can reduce it to once or twice a week.
Cherry Lola Treatment vs Max Hydration Method
I’ve been asked if the Cherry Lola treatment can be used to replace the Max Hydration Method and vice versa and the answer is no.
They are two different treatments and are meant to achieve different results. The Cherry Lola treatment is more for strength, shine, and softness while the Max Hydration Treatment is more for moisture retention and curl definition.
These results are interchangeable between the treatments depending on your hair type and current hair health.
Max Hydration Method can be repeated more than once a week without issues whereas doing the Cherry Lola Treatment more than once a week after a few weeks can lead to dry hair.
The Max Hydration Method is also better suited for high porosity hair while high porosity hair might not take too well to the Cherry Lola Treatment alone.
Final word, use the Cherry Lola Treatment every 8 – 10 weeks and the Max Hydration Method every week or two for best results.
Results vary from person to person and you may well find out that your hair prefers one over the other so pay attention to your results.
Max Hydration Method Results
Below is a video collage of some results trying out the Max Hydration Method on 3c/4a/4b hair:-
Do you have any questions about the Max Hydration Method? Ask them in the comments section.
The next article will cover the ingredients in hair care products to avoid for the Max Hydration Method and the best products for each step of MHM. I will also share my tips and tricks for this method.
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Abi delved into the world of hair care after suffering from a bout of severe hair loss. She is the founder of Healthy Natural Hair Products & Natural Oils for Hair and Health, as well as the writer of the Healthy Hair Care Series. She is also the creator of the The Self-Empowerment Network Portal. Read more…