Back in early October of 2014, I did an all-encompassing article for Black Girl with Long Hair, summarizing my experience with the Max Hydration Method. At the time, I had just finished day 7 of the MHM, and was riding a tidal wave of accomplishment (for a product junkie), and awe at my well-behaved curls.
Well, a lot has changed since then.
Since my MHM days, I've gotten a number of questions and e-mails about whether I still do the Method or not, and why. Since I'm many months past the MHM, I'd like to share my answer to those questions in more depth. I know this seems so far removed form my experience, but I gave myself a little more time because I wanted to experiment and see which portions of the method I'd be able to rule out and still reap benefits. Well, the time has come, and I've made a few decisions. Keep reading to learn what I've kept, eliminated, and modified.
[More: 4 Major Mistakes I've Been Making with My Hair]
I (Don't) Got Baking Soda, I (Don't) Got Baking Soda!
One of my goals for 2015 is to get with someone like Sister Scientist or Jc of The Natural Haven and get to the bottom of one question: what happens to hair that is consistently exposed to baking soda long-term? This is one of the main things I was quick to drop post-MHM, for two reasons. One, I felt like the baking soda was beginning to do too good of a job at de-frizzing my hair. Yes, de-frizzed curls are cute, but with my big head, the baking soda was beginning to give me less bulk and volume. The second reason I ditched baking soda has everything to do with my hair color and henna. While doing the MHM, I absolutely could not do my regular henna treatments to strengthen, treat my scalp, and add a lil' color. Why? Because as soon as that baking soda x conditioner mix hit my tresses, all henna stain bets were off. And if the color deposits were running away from my strands, you can bet the strengthening properties were too. Oh, and baking soda after getting my hair professionally dyed? Fah-geddaboutit!
My Shampoo Fallback Game Strong
Another eye-opener for me was shampoo. I never really considered that the root cause of my frizz came from my beloved shampoos, because some of them seemed to really abate my frizz problems (at least temporarily). But for several washes after the MHM, I used two of my favs -- Ouidad's Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo, and TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate-Free Shampoo. My hair felt great and looked decent enough, but I noticed more frizz and poof following these cleansings than I had come to expect from my hair. While on the MHM, the baking soda co-wash left my hair virtually frizz-free -- and that just wasn't the case post-shampoo. Ironically, I used to rely on Superfruit Renewal to deliver de-frizzed results....until I learned what my hair really looked like sans frizz. Since this revelation, I have adopted a 3:1 ratio -- over the course of the month, I use conditioner (minus the baking soda)to co-wash for 3 weeks, and on the 4th week, shampoo. Yes, I totally kept the Tresemme Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, and added Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner into the mix.
I Need Cones (And Protein)
When I'm alone in my room, sometimes I stare at the wall, and in the back of my mind, I hear my deep conditioners call... Lol. I didn't mean to give ya'll classic LL, but I really did a reach an "I need you" moment with silicones and protein. The MHM had me seriously curving some of my favorites -- ApHogee Texture Treatment, Eva NYC Therapy Session, and TGIN Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner to name a few -- in the name of going cone-free. Don't get me wrong, there are some good cone-free deep conditioners out there (Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi was my rock during the MHM), but my hair absolutely could not function post-color job without silicones and protein. My hair, and deep conditioner with proteins and silicones enjoy a rather salacious relationship, one that I now know cannot be allowed to suffer. When it comes to hair color, proteins help to strengthen strands weakened by dye, and silicones help smooth the rough patches. That's a tall order that the MHM-approved type deep conditioners couldn't fill. If I wanted my hair to stay attached to my head, I had to bring back my A1 from day 1 roster.
|Bentonite curls for the masses!|
So, what exactly did I keep from the MHM? Bentonite Clay! For a while, I was doing the masques, but that got to be entirely too messy and caused me to run through the clay too quickly. Although clay is like $11 a pop for a 2lb jar, buying bentonite every few weeks can add up. My workaround and saving grace on that end has been mud rinsing. I incorporate mud rinsing into my wash day near the end, and although the results aren't completely identical to the MHM bentonite clay, they're pretty darn close. I get curl clumpage and tamed frizz without suffering from de-bulked hair. My curls pop and have awesome definition without losing their strength or vibrancy. And because everything happens inside of an applicator bottle in the shower, there's no mess, no drama, and I'm able to make a little clay go a long way.
For the full breakdown of my Max Hydration Method experience, click here!
Are you still doing the Max Hydration Method? Why or why not?