- So what’s the maximum hydration method?
- Why is clumping important?
- What does the regimen consist of?
- The 5 Steps
- Does it really work for 4c hair types and will it work for you?
- Points of concern
- My own results
Do you love the look of wash n’ go curls on others but don’t think your own texture will allow you to pull it off? If straight styles were your go-to styles after going natural, I totally get it since I went through that phase too. It may seem counterintuitive to go natural and not enjoy your natural texture but straight hair was all I knew how to care for at the time and truth be told, I was loving the sudden thickness that my natural hair had given me along with the length of course.
As time went on though and I began to be more confident in natural styling, curly sets especially braid outs became my go-to styles with the occasional wash and go thrown in for good measure. You should know those weekly straightening sessions are not a good idea due to all the damage that could be sustained over time.
With that said, there is a method on how to achieve root to tip curl definition which essentially equates to wash and go hair for any hair type. And yes that includes 4c hair too. Intriguing right?
Now I remember the very first hair chart that was introduced by Andre Walker which interestingly did not include a 4c hair type, it was a grave oversight in my opinion but hey ho. At the time, the type 4 category was divided into 4a (visible curls when dry) and 4b (no visible curls when dry) but as time went on and various hair charts came into existence, our sistas who felt that they didn’t quite fit into either box introduced the 4c hair type.
If I’m being honest I don’t think everyone’s natural hair fits perfectly into the letter and number system seeing as our individual curls vary so widely. Not to mention that what each of us see is often subjective. Where I may see 3c, someone else will see 4a or even 4b! Still, people continue to feel the need to place themselves neatly into a box…but I digress.
So what’s the maximum hydration method?
I would like to start by saying that it’s kind of sad that so many of us have gone natural to enjoy our natural texture only to find that because our hair does not curl evenly, wearing that very texture results in a myriad of tangles, knots, and single strand knots. This has led to a lot of people being natural in name only and they constantly wear wigs, weaves, crochet braids, or anything else other than their natural texture.
Even though we still love our natural textures, we do have to accept its limitations so we find ourselves relying on styles like braid-outs or twist-outs to achieve a textured look with less tangling on the rare occasion when we wear our own hair out. Even more of us, myself included, are forced into having to wear our hair stretched 95% of the time. Enter the Maximum Hydration Method.
The Maximum Hydration Method is a unique regimen specifically formulated for those with low porosity kinky* hair. With this method, the idea is that ALL hair types including 4c hair has the ability to clump into neat coils, curls, or ringlets and the reason why many ladies do not achieve clumping is because their hair does not uptake, nor hold on to enough moisture to allow this to take place. In essence, frizz is a sign of low moisture in the hair strand.
Added to that is the fact that many of us, even as part of our healthy hair journeys are not using appropriate products or techniques for our hair. This method aids by removing these harmful products and replacing them with natural ingredients that allow your hair to be the best version of itself that it can be. The regimen will not change or ‘loosen’ your hair texture, but what it will do is allow you to wear your unadulterated natural curls perfectly clumped in wash and go’s which remain tangle and knot-free. And again yes, this also applies to those with 4c hair.
While the regimen was initially created for those with low porosity hair, with small adjustments those with medium to high porosity hair can also enjoy its benefits.
This is interesting. I do W&Gs 95% of the time and I always redo my hair on day 3. Many naturals and “gurus” alike say that’s way too much manipulation on my fine 3c/4a coils. I do this because I don’t use gels at all (can’t seem to find one my hair likes). I use KCKT. I have the KCCC, but again, I don’t like the way my hair looks when I use the gel. Great article. I will continue my process and perhaps play around with the KCCC to see if I can get better results.
I was hoping to see a picture of your own hair too as you testified that it is working for you. Could you do that please?
Alma Ruddock says
I certainly will in the next post Titi 😉
Mary Howard says
I enjoyed your article/blog and having so many different options that works best on natural hair. I do have one suggestion: PLEASE STOP USING INITIALS WITHIN YOUR ARTICLE. For newbies and others, It’s very confusing and not knowing what they mean makes you want to pull out your natural hair 🙂
This suggestion would go for all who write blogs/articles. Using INITIALS just slows down everything when trying to learn about all the suggestions.
Alma Ruddock says
Actually Mary, when you hover over hype initials you get the full definition of what the initials mean
Jesslyn Hendrix says
I don’t see a definition for CG as in “Again use a CG friendly leave…”, nor for acv or a couple of the others. Perhaps I’m using the wrong browser, but Chrome isn’t showing any mouseover text.
Tiffany L. Tillis says
I gotta try this. I’m about ready to give up on my natural hair. Smh
Tiff Dizzle says
Lord that is just way to much to do….. I’m good…
But…what if I don’t want to wear WNGs…?
Read the last 4 or at the very least very last paragraph… smh
Max Hydration Method says
Hi Nubiennze, You can complete all the steps and just style how you wish. That’s how many transitioners are doing this method. Whether you choose to braid your hair as you go along or do a rollerset or twistout, that is up to you. Some people do all the steps and braid their hair and wear a wig on top.
The Max Hydration Method says
Thank you so much for this feature and article Alma Ruddock and black hair information! This is Pinke Cube, by the way and yes I am the founder of this method. Thank you so much again!
Alma Ruddock says
Thanks for responding Pinke cube! And kudos on the method 🙂
LaToya B says
I’m on day 3 of this and I’m loving it already. My hair is mostly 4a and I was having so much trouble with my hair retaining moisture. I just couldn’t figure out what it was. I’ve been natural for 2yrs next month and I can truly say that in the two years I’ve been natural I have yet to find and product or method that could moisturize my thick hair up until now and I’m only on day 3. Don’t knock it until you’ve given it a real shot. Meaning, follow it exactly how it’s written without short cuts. I’m not a “curl definition: chaser but I have been chasing moisturized hair since the beginning of my journey. Having curl definition is just the result of having moisturized hair.
Juanice Crenshaw-Moses says
MHM is a game-changer… my 4C hair is being transformed! Glad to word is getting out!
Dee Kay says
I love MHM, I have been natural for 5 years and I finally feel like I have a great relationship and understanding of my hair. Great Article enjoyed the in depth explanation.
I was just wondering…how do you know if your hair is moisturized enough? So curl definition is one way, and of course no breakage. Any other ways? Please enlighten me!:-D
I found the article interesting, but agree with Alma about the concerns. I have fine hair that looks wavy wet, but dries into pen size spring coils when dry. I’ve tried WnGs in the past, but the style only last a day or so because I cannot pineapple my hair. Then I came across Embrace Natural Beauty on YT. Abena’s concept is also about moisture, but differs in that we allow moisture to escape if we don’t take the steps needed to trap the moisture. Basically , you apply your leave -in, styler, and gel in the shower. While I didn’t do everything in the shower like she did, I did apply my leave-in on soaking wet hair before getting out of the shower to finish adding my styler and gel. Doing this has made a tremendous difference in my hair.
Max Hydration Method says
Hi Guys, I just wanted to add my thoughts on acv + bakingsoda. It’s been shown and proven in scientific studies that ph’s in a range of 4-9 do not effect the hair shaft, other that to temporarily lift or close the cuticle. That’s the same thing warm and cold water does to the hair naturally. Clay also has a similar ph to bakingsoda, but no one makes it an issue. And aloevera juice has a similar ph to acv. Ph’s in that range can be already be found in hair products. There are many conditioners can have a ph of 8-9 some conditioners have a ph of 4. Some people have tap water with a ph of 9. So really it isn’t as much of a risk as people believe. I’ve been doing this for 5 months, no issues. In fact many of the issues I was having before have been solved. I agree with what you are saying about applying product on soaking wet hair and being sure to seal in the moisture, That is also emphasized in MHM as well as it really makes a difference. Hope that helped!
What conditioners are you referring to which have a PH of 8 and 9 that is absurd. No one should use a PH that high. Nor should tap water be that high, that would require a water filter because continued use of that type of water will lead to damage. The problem with the continued use of a regimen like this is the hydra fatigue of the hair and your hair eventually breaking from weakness. Mostly when you do back to other styling. This happens with curly perms….. Baking soda should not be encouraged to be used on the hair at all. ACV is fine. Yes the weather changes the PH but that is a natural process. Anytime you apply product to the hair and it is way over the normal PH of the hair you will cause damage and over a period of time you will lose hair. All ingredients for this regimen sound fine just the same regimen which has been around for awhile. Just a combo of regimens already out there. But the baking soda is a no no and it should not be used on hair. Hair can get moisture without using baking soda. Type 4 hair is not that hard to mange.
I wouldn’t imagine that hygral fatigue would be an issue if your hair hasn’t become max hydrated, right? I’m mostly thinking about how your hair absorbs the water and then retains it.
There’s been a lot of back and forth about baking soda and hair, part of me thinks it might be one of those agree to disagree things. But I’ve looked at the before and after results on pinterest and instagram and those that are using it seem to be flourishing. Time will tell, I guess.
Max Hydration Method says
People say even simply cowashing daily is a cause for hygral fatigue so look up anyone doing the cgmethod. Aketafitgirl has been doing it for 2 years, cowashing every 2-3 days.. And doing things done in this regimen. She’s long such long, healthy, strong moisturized hair.
I honestly have never actually heard of any type 4 natural suffer from hygral fatigue even though it is thrown around so much. Mainly people seem to have issue with dry hair, and breakage from dry hair, which this regimen directly addresses and gets rid of. Dry hair is more of a risk factor and if you want to see it, you can find many naturals suffering from it.
Dry hair means you hair develops sharp bends and twists called kinks along the hair strands, preventing your hair from forming a uniform curl. These kinks are weak spots in the hair strand that actually can weather similar to how you are claiming hygral fatigue does to the hair, and can cause breakage. Why do many 4c naturals have hair that must literally be worn in protective styles 60-90% of the time in order to retain length? Our hair has the most weak points.
This is something you can actually visibly observe that many real people actually suffer from. This regimen hasn’t caused anyone problems long term, but actually is doing the complete opposite of what you are saying. But I should be expected to stop what I am doing because of a theory that has no visible evidence of ever having happened to anyone? And here you have all this visible testimony telling you the complete opposite.
Max Hydration Method says
Btw, Belinda only half of my comment above was directed toward you, the other half was directed at the user coils.
Max Hydration Method says
One conditioner I know of that has a ph of 8-9 is the Trader Joes tea tree tingle. There are also some shampoos that have a high ph, like Oyin Honey Wash, Aubrey Organics GBP, Karen’ Body Beautiful Cool Clarifying Shampoo. If you wash your hair with a soap bar or castille based shampoo, the ph is going to be in that range. Just because tap water shouldn’t be that high by your standard, doesn’t mean some ppl who do not have filters don’t have to deal with it. And many people do not have shower filters and are fine. Like I said, ph from 4-9 has already been studied, the behavior on the hair has been proven to do nothing but lift and close the cuticle.
Also, if ur against bakingsoda, by that logic you are against acv too. After all acv on the hair is also a chemical reaction that causes the cuticle to close instead. So there is no point to be made about the weather being a natural process then. Aside from weather, there is deep conditioning, GHE, steaming, and the like, that lift the cuticle due to heat. By your logic all those could cause hygral fatigue, and yet people do those daily with no issue. I infact GHE’d 24 hours a day continuosly for 3 months straight. Not only did I not get hygral fatigue, my bald spot (from breif experience with ecostyler gel) grew back finally after being there for almost a year. And this 4c hair grew out of my scalp coiling from root to tip.
You also didn’t address what I mentioned about clay having a ph of 8-9 as well. Which by the way you can find plenty of people having used long term with out issues. Why the fixation on bakingsoda. Despite the myth that keeps people paranoid about bakingsoda, it is not a relaxer. It having a high PH means nothing, it cannot break the hair as hair protein has a natural resistance to ph’s in the range I mentioned.
I have used both clay and bakingsoda on my hair for the past 5 months, regularly and very often. Not only am I not losing hair, areas that were thin and felt dry have actually grown in and have been retaining length. I can detangle my hair in 5 minutes, and basically wear my hair everyday with out having trouble retaining length, like most type 4 naturals. Several people doing this regimen actually report that.
Baking soda is not a no no for me or anyone else who can benefit from it just because you have a differing opinion or discomfort. Whether or not my hair is manageable enough for me is my own experience, and many people share that experience. Not everyone wants to protective style and stretch their hair all the time to retain length. In fact many protective styles require long terms of time with out properly clarifying and moisturizing the hair which caused issues for my fine strand 4c hair.
At the end of the day this method works too, for both me and many, many, people documenting their experience. It has proven to be the most beneficial thing I have done to my hair in my entire 7 years of being natural. Despite your argument there is no legitimate reason you came up with why not to use it when it is already being shown to be beneficial and also proven no to do harm by actual scientific studies.
Hi Pinke Cube,I have another question to ask
where can I purchase the molasses,does it have to be
I just wanted to add to the comments about the Ph of tap water. I live in western Washington state where we have plenty of good water. I garden a lot and have a ph meter that I frequently use to check my water. Usually it is around 7-8 but I have seen it be as low as 4 and as high as 13.5. Which is a crazy high number the ph scale goes from 0-14. The water is clear nothing ever seems wrong with it and it seems to be perfectly drinkable (although when I see the ph that high I dont lol) but Im sure i do drink and shower with the ph being high as I dont measure the Ph that often, especially in winter. I also dont have any of the hair problems associated with having hard or bad water or mineral deposits/discoloration in my shower.
I’m a pretty lazy girl,every 3 days to keep this going,is there another way to do this? Does it have to be every 3 days or can you just GHE after the third day,or will the hydration completely leave from the hair?
I was just on your site,how do you know when you are up to maximum hydration?
Is this for low porosity hair? And are you planning on writing a book on this method?
Where are you supposed to find these ingredients? I really need this method but I wish it was simpler.
Is there a vegan friendly version of this?
I am so glad that we are finally realizing what our hair is capable of! I have a kinky texture as well and wash and go 100% of the time. I don’t use the MHM, but I’ve seen my hair take off once I began doing wash and gos regularly. I think the main takeaways from this article, which I also emphasize on my blog are:
1) Don’t underestimate what your hair can do. People always tell me their hair is “too nappy to do that”. But what does that really mean? Don’t knock it ‘til you try it and really put the effort into it.
2) There is a wash and go regimen for anyone who wants to wash and go whether is MHM, CG method, or our own.
3) Frequent wetting and conditioning of your hair will dramatically increase the hydration of your hair over time.
4) Twist outs and braid out are options for wearing your natural hair, but not the only way.
So after you have completed mhm, How do you go about styling your hair if you do not want a wng. Do you use your regular styling products, such as twisting butters, lotion etc, or do you just braid or twist right after this method without adding products.
Will you please do a youtube video so we can see the results on your hair and any alterations you made to the regimen. Additionally, it would be nice to see a clearer video of someone with a kinkier texture than your.
I would really appreciate it.
Zina Jackson says
Thank u so much for this post! I want to start the regimen and it seemed daunting until I read this. Thank you thank you thank you!
Tanisa Brown says
I have been going the MHM for about 2 months now. While I do like 1) how my hair is hanging more 2) the tea tree conditioner and 3) the fact that I don’t have to use oily products anymore, this regime is VERY HIGH manipulation on the hair. I have already noticed a lot of breakage and tangling. At this point, I not remotely interested in having my hair curl from root-to-tip. Seeing the curls at the tip and midway up the strand works for me. Why? Well for one, hair sheds daily. So after a while, at least for me, the sheded hair gets trapped in the curl and I DON’T like that which hence, has been the reason for a lot of tangles I’m having (some of which I had to cut out with scissors).
I have been growing my natural 4b hair since 2009 and of all the hair videos and blogs I’ve read about growing natural hair long, LOW manipulation has been maintained the key. Not sure what to do because I want to reach max hydration, but I’m definitely having a real concern about all this manipulation. I mean come on, this regime has you going in the shower (or putting your hair under the faucet for those with shorter hair) 3 times!!! Sorry, but that’s a lot. Not to mention, due to the length of my hair (when my hair is stretched, it’s about bra strap length), it takes me 3-4 hours to do the MHM! I am not a fan of spending a chunck of my time, especially on my days off, doing my hair. I have more important things to do you know.
I guess I just have to figure out to how to modify this regime if I want to continue doing it. Other than that, I have been wearing my hair in low protective styles using no heat or combs to again, manipulate my hair as least as possibly because as is, I’m handling my hair too much. Any suggestions anyone? And btw, with as much patience I can possibly muster, I try to detangle my hair using a lot of conditioner and only my hands. Still, I am seeing a lot of tangles and as a result, breakage.
Hi! I’ve been rather inconsistent with the NHM for my 8 year old because it’s so hard to get everything done and her hair dry before bedtime each night with school–her hair is SO thick that it will not (and I repeat WILL NOT) dry under the hooded dryer. She can sit under a hooded dryer for 2-3 hours and it’s still soaking wet underneath. So I pull out my blow dryer and go to work and can get it mostly dry after about 40 minutes of sweating (me) and my arms tired.
So the NHM method has been like torture for her and me. The first night that we tried it, we started at 6PM. By 2AM, she came from under the dryer with her hair still soaking wet underneath and I finished blow drying it by 2:40AM. I had to let her stay out of school the next day and call in to work because we had not gotten ANY sleep. The next problem is that when she wakes up in the morning, it’s all smashed into a 1970s afro! The next few nights, I was able to go faster and be less precise and finish in about 3 hours. However, it’s still all smushed into a 70s fro in the morning. After all that work on both of our parts, it’s so discouraging to find the cute little curls ruined the next morning.
I know this isn’t for everyone but before we give up, I just wanted to post this question on a few blogs to ask for tips on drying, as well as preserving the curls overnight. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated, and thanks for taking the time to make this post!
Hi! What was your previous regimen that allowed you to grow waist length hair?