The Max Hydration Method Quick Summary

Below we have a quick run-through of all the versions of The MHM.

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The Max Hydration Method Quick Summary
ooo Version 1(Day/Night regimen) ooo


Step 1. Bakingsoda/ ACV rinse
Step 2. Deep condition/GHE, may add light oils to scalp. You may use thermal heating cap or steam for an hour before wearing the shower cap to bed


Step 2.(continued) Rinse out DC and detangle in morning.
Step 3. Clay
Step 4. Leave in. Hair should be soaking wet, no matter how you go about doing it.
Step 5. Gel/ Oil to set into style (no glycerin or coconut oil)

More detailed version, mixtures, and stretching options :

Note: Both mini options 3 and 4 still need to be alternated with version 1 or 6 of the regimen. These versions may not be as effective for those just starting.

ooo Version 2: MHM Mini ooo

Step 1. Wet hair

Step 2. Clay rinse

Step 3. Bakingsoda rinse

Step 4. Apply conditioner on sopping wet hair under shower. Slide off access conditioner with hands to avoid residue

Step 5. Apply gel on sopping wet hair and keep hair wet. Shake. Or apply an gel or oil and set into style.

ooo Version 3 Mini ACV ooo

Step 1. ACV
Step 2. Clay
Step 3. Leave in, as in version 2.
Step 4. Gel/ Oil

ooo Version 4 Bald spot recovery regimen (Also for people who's hair is too short for gel) ooo

Step 1. ACV (can also add cayenne pepper)
Step 2. Clay (with cayenne pepper and light stimulating oils added)
Step 3. Apply light oils to scalp(I Recommend a light oil mixed with stimulating antimicrobial oils)
Step 4. Deep condition for 2-3 weeks before repeating whole regimen.


ooo Version 5: Cherry Lola Starter Regimen ooo
(Done once, then afterward no more than every 2 weeks.)


Step 1: Cherry Lola
Step 2: DC overnight

Step 3. Clay
Step 4. Leave in
Step 5. Gel/oil(if doing set style)

ooo Version 6 Original All in one go ooo

Step 1. B.S./ACV
Step 2. Steam/thermal heating cap/Warm conditioner
Step 3. Clay
Step 4. Leave in
Step 5. Gel/oil(if doing set style)

For all options, note: Do not dry hair after each step/rinse. You want your hair to be very wet especially when you are applying the leave in. You can even do this under the shower. As you section your hair to apply gel, if the hair section you haven't gotten to yet is getting dry, apply or spray more watered down conditioner to the section, and slide of excess foam off as you work it in. Make sure it gets to your roots too. The wetter and more slippery your hair is after the leave in step, the softer the gel dries.

Basic MHM outline:

o Gentle Clarification of product residue and build up that blocks cuticles and gets on scalp.
o Cuticles are lifted.
o Moisture is introduced and readily absorbed.
o Moisture is sealed in and cuticles close.

The Max Hydration Method (FULL step by step)

THE MAX HYDRATION METHOD full Regimen (Revised)

Do the steps in the exact order, and do not skip any step, or it will not be as effective. Do not use any drying products. For the first week, these steps must be completed everyday. The DIY treatment is only done on day 1 of the 7 day challenge. After the 7 days are up After the 7 days are up, the DIY can be done as often as every 2 weeks, even only a few times a year or how ever many times you feel(not any more frequently than every 2 weeks).

Part ONE:

Preparation step for first timer- DIY Cherry Lola Caramel

Treatment (Done once)

If you're doing this method for the first time, I would suggest starting off with a Modified or regular Cherry Lola Treatment. The modified version is a combination of the Caramel Treatment, and Cherry Lola. It can be done as often as every two weeks, or every few months. It's up to you.


  • Greek yogurt (2 cups)
  • Baking soda (2 tbsp)
  • Organic apple cider vinegar (2 tbsp)
  • Raw coconut liquid aminos or liquid Soy aminos (2 tbsp)
  • Raw honey (1/2 tbsp)
  • Unsulfured molasses (1 tbsp)
  • Half an over ripe plantain or banana
  • Avocado (3/4 tbsp)
  • 1 egg (optional, but I used it no problem)

  1. Blend the ingredients in your blender.

  1. saturate your dry (but detangled) hair completely from root to tip with the mixture.

  1. put a shower cap and let sit for 1.5-2 hours.

  1. Rinse out completely with warm/hot water.

  1. Green House Effect /deep condition overnight directly after rinsing out the treatment with botanical MHM approved conditioner.

  1. Continue with the rest of the MHM regimen but skip step 1.

Never do an acv rinse directly after this. The point of temporarily opening the hair cuticle is so the moisture can get in, it makes no sense to just reclose it before actually putting the moisture in your hair.


Do the steps in the exact order, and do not skip any step, or it will not be as effective. Do not use any drying products.

For the first week, these steps must be completed everydayThe DIY treatment is only done on day 1 of the 7 day challenge. After the 7 days are up, the DIY can be done as often as every 2 weeks, even only a few times a year.  

As for the regimen, you want to do your hair at least every 3 days
Never ever go past 5 days, and do not attempt to stretch to 5 days until you have 60% max hydration all over your head.

The way this regimen works is by the number of times you complete the full regimen. So if you do your hair, wear the style for 3 days and then repeat the regimen, that was one days completion of the regimen, not 3 days.

Also note, not all your strands will reach max hydration at the same time, but they will all get there. Different levels of hydration in strands take different amounts of time to bring up. I have some strands that have had total max hydration since april, and the kinkier strands just began to so signs of moisture retention at the tips. Now, some of these kinkier strands have began to curl to the tip and have reached complete max hydration. This is not limited to curl pattern, you can have some 4c's that reach max hydration faster than others.

Part TWO:

The 5 step MHM Regimen:

Step 1: Clarify

Option 1: Baking soda rinse. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda into thick 1.5-3 oz 
conditioner. Add 4-7 oz of water. Shake. Apply to hair in sections and let sit on the hair for 30-60 minutes. If being done on product free hair, lower bakingsoda measurement to 1-2 teaspoons. 
This step is ideal for low porosity hair, since it lifts the cuticle as well.

Option 2: Apple cider vinegar rinse. You do a 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar with water in an 8oz applicator bottle. Apply to hair in sections from tips to the root, and on scalp. Let it sit in the hair for 30- 60 mins before rinsing.

Option 3: Alternating between both rinses. You can opt to do either rinse every other day/night/week. It's up to you to experiment with how often you would like to alternate.

Step 2: Cowash& finger detangle

Option 1: Apply conditioner to your hair in sections, and deep condition overnight by covering your hair in a shower cap or thermal heating cap. This will be 1-2 oz of conditioner and 4-6 oz of water into an applicator bottle. In the morning you rinse it out and it will function as your cowash. You can tuck roll and bun(or bobby pin) sections to keep from creating tangles during the night. This is also shown in my vid.
On days you know you will not be able to complete all the steps in full for whatever reason, simply stop here. Keep the shower cap on underneath your wig cap, beanie, r headscarf until you can complete the rest of the steps. This will prevent you from having any setbacks. It doesn't count as a full day though until you complete the rest of the steps.

Option 2: Apply conditioner, put on a shower cap, and Steam. Steam for 15-20 mins under a steamer, hooded dryer and rinse it out.This will function as your cowash. Use 1.5-2 oz of conditioner and 4-6 oz of water into an applicator bottle. 

Option 3: Apply warm conditioner in your hair in sections. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes under shower cap, and rinse it out. This will function as your cowash. if you are doing this step, first pour 1.5-2 oz of conditioner into an applicator bottle. Then pour in 4-6 oz of warm/hot water or tea and shake.

Finger Detangle: No matter what option above you choose,you finger detangle before and/or during your cowash under the warm shower. Section your hair before going in with shower clips. Focus on removing shed hairs, smoothing, raking, and separating tangles each section, from the root of your hair to the tip.

Step 3: Clay rinse

With all options, leave the rinse on the hair for at least 15 minutes before rinsing, and remember
to even distribute in sections, from the tips to the roots, and get it on your scalp as well.

When applying clay mixture, try to separate your coils
, dont try to make it into one big slab of hair(see video for what my hair looks like with clay on it, i go out of my way to separate some of the coils there, and i always apply the mask in thin layers of hair starting at the nape from my scalp and roots to the ends of my hair.

Let sit in hair for at least 15 minutes, There's nothing wrong with leaving it on much longer, either. Rinse out the clay. This is the part of the method where you will be checking for signs of max hydration. Your hair is now going to be completely clean of any left over product residue, and you will be able to check your progress on your product free hair. Coils will be felt at the scalp first while washing your hair. /you will then start to clump and curling at the very tips of the hair, and slowly progress up to the root, which is when you can claim max hydration. Other visible signs include shakeable hair even when hair is completely dry after having completed all the steps. This is the added weight of moisture retention. If you're doing this regimen and transitioning, just check your new growth for signs.

Option 1: Clay rinse
This rinse can be done using any pure clay powder, like Bentonite Clay, Rhassoul clay,
red clay, zeolite clay, european clay, French Green Sea clay and more.

Using a funnel or paper when needed, you can pour each ingredient one at a time
into a large empty 32 shampoo/conditioner bottle, shake afterward, use, and then
store for the next day.
 If the clay dries up, just and more water as needed and shake.

mix ingredients: 

  • 1 cup pure clay powder
  • 2-3 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
If the consistency is to thick, just add more water untill you get a thick but still liquidy consistency. It shouldn't be so thick that its cakey and solid. 

Option 2: Ready made clay rinse like terresentials. Make sure you look at the ingredients
in what ever clay rinse you get, to make sure it's MHM approved.

They put more than just clay in these rinses-- So watch out for No-No ingredients, like glycerin. Also, many ppl find clay rinses that include aloe vera juice to be more stripping. This is because aloe vera is an astringent. You also want to steer clear of aloe in conditioners, in gels it should be okay though since it will form a cast and seal in moisture once you have applied enough. The higher the aloe is on the list, the less hold the gel will probably have, so if it's the first ingredient or only holding agent in a gel, keep that in mind.
Steps 4 and 5 will be done as you go along section by

Step 4: Leave in Conditioner- 

This will be 4-7 squirts of conditioner and 6-8 oz of water into an applicator bottle. 

Apply thoroughly in the section by smoothing, pinching, and raking. apply enough so your hair feels wet. You want to concentrate it at the root first and work it in, then bring it down the rest of the hair shaft. The wetter and more slippery your hair feels, the softer your gel will dry, so keep that in mind.

Do not apply the leave in all over your head first, and then do the next step. Steps 4 and 5 must be completed section by section, as you go along.

Step 5: Apply Botanical Gel of your choice

Option 1: Application of gel- you should be putting enough so your hair feels slippery along
the shaft, that way you know it's evenly and thoroughly distributed on the hair, and is properly
sealing in the moisture before the gel cast forms. Apply the gel from the concentrating at the roots of the hair first, working it in. Then bring the product from the roots of your hair to the
tips, making sure to smooth and thoroughly rake with your fingers. Otherwise your hair may
clump into sections that are too big and frizz.

Option2: use a small amount of oil (or however much you feel you need) for extra sealing
before or after gel if you find you need it, for soft hold. It isn't entirely necessary because you
can control the softness of your gel cast by the amount of conditioner you apply in your leave in

Layering options can be LCO, but Never do the LOC layering order. oil is not a
moisturizer, its a sealant. you wouldn't put gel on before conditioner, so don't practice that with


Optional steps 6, that do not contribute to Max Hydration

 stretching optionsThese options should stretch your hair into the shape your want, with out drying out your hair out with heat. They can be done on wet or dry hair. If you must use a diffuser, make sure it is at the very least on cool. But I still wouldn't recommend it for at least the first week.

Option 1: Roll, tuck, and pin sections before bed. 

You can section your hair into 4-6 vertical sections(like cornrolls) or more depending on your hair's length, roll, tuck,and pin them into place with a bobby pin. You can roll them in the direction you want your hair to fall. The thicker and longer your hair is, the more sections you will need. Then gently ties on a scarf and go to bed. This is a great option in comparison for pineappling and twisting, it preserves the curl and does not rebend it, you have control over the way your hair falls, and no awkward smushing or sticking out in lopsided directions. In the morning, just unravel and take your fingers to the roots to shake them back and forth.

Option 2: Clipping

Taking as many sections as you need, Rolling/French rolling and clipping it in place with a shower clip. Leave it like that for 30 minutes or more or as you get dressed, take the clips out, and shake. This should give a slight stretch.

Option 3: Wear your hair in a style that includes french rolling for a 

Just section your hair the way you would like to style it, roll and pin into the style and wear it for the day.

When you get back, your hair will be dry. Take the pins out, unroll your hair and fluff. Your hair will be stretched but may be sticking up. Take a satin scarf and arrange your hair the way you want it to fall before gently securing it (not to tight).

By the morning your hair will be a little smushed, but the curls will remain unfrizzy, and they won't be completely obliterated either. Now take you fingers to your roots and jiggle them in a back and forth motion, gently. This should shake loose your now stretched curls with out causing frizz. If you want a stretch for third day, you only have to put the scarf on your head to sleep.

Option 4: keep braided or do set style

you can choose to complete all the steps and end it by braiding each section or twisting, or what ever if you want to wear it under a wig. You can also do set styles with this method(twist out, flexi-rod, whatever). The important this is to not omit any of the 5 steps, including gel.

Refreshing hair.

option 1. Simply fluff by bringing your fingers to your roots by jiggling them back and forth to shake the hair loose.

option 2. If your hair is very smushed beyond fluffing for some reason, rewet your hair super fast under the shower to refresh them, and shake. Curls will unflatten and unsmush.

Recommended products.

exclude the following gels:
4 naturals spring back curling custard, Bain de Terre Bamboo Ultra Control Styling
Gel, Curls Goddess Glaze

other links:

No-No Ingredients:

Ingredients to take note of caution for sensitivities:

Aloe vera juice and Coconut oil. Both can leave the hair feeling hard even though they aren't official No-No ingredients

What your hair is specifically doing in each of the main 5 steps:

Rearrange your thinking with a little Kinks 101 course:

My hair's progression:

Don't forget to follow msdeekay's video's on youtube. Shes making an MHM series

Conditioners That Can Be Used

When you start doing #MHM you cannot use just any old conditioner. Yes, even one of your conditioners/deep conditioners that you swear is your holy grail may not make the cut. The conditioners allowed on the regimen leave minimal build up. Here's a list of conditioners that can be used (this list is not exhaustive. If you think you have a good conditioner, go to,  post the ingredients and we'll let you know if its good to go).

As always, make sure to join the mailing list to get updates here:

1.Kinky Curly Knot Today $11.99 8oz
Maximum hydration approved conditioner kinky curly knot today
curls curl ectacy maximum hydration approved
Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner
Jessicurl Too Shea Island Fantasy
6.Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus $11 16oz ($4.99 if bought at an actual Trader Joe's store)
.Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus
7.TRESemme Naturals Radiant Volume Conditioner with sweet orang and lemongrass 25oz ($4.34)
The old formula has been discontinued in stores and is only available at desktop, last time I checked. It is now out of stock and I don’t know if they will be restocking this same exact formula.
The new formula is NOT recommended for this regimen because it has some drying ingredients.
Thanks so much to veegirllove on the forum she was able to locate the old formula at Walgreens online and it’s currently on sale for $4.34!!!
Below are the ingredients for the approved version of this conditioner:
Water (Aqua); Cetearyl Alcohol; Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine; Behentrimonium Chloride; Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer; Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract; Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract; Fragrance; Dipropylene Glycol; Potassium Chloride; Lactic Acid; Disodium EDTA; DMDM Hydantoin; PEG-150 Distearate; Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Lauroyl Lysine; Methylchloroisothiazolinone; Methylisothiazolinone.

tresemme naturals radiant volume with sweet orange

Giovanni Direct leave in- Pure OrganicMake sure it says "PURE ORGANIC" and not "ECO CHIC"

Aqua (Purified Water) with (1)Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Oil, (1)Nettle (Uritica Dioica) Oil, (1)Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) Oil, Birch Leaf (Butela Alba) Oil, (1)Clary (Salvia Sclarea), (1)Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), (1)Coltsfoot Leaf (Tussilago Farfara), (1)Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) Oil, (1)Mallow (Malva Sylvestris), (1)Horsetail (Equistetum Arvense) Oil, (1)Soybean Protein (Glycine Soja), Cetyl Alcohol (plant derived), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Trace Minerals, Citric Acid (corn), Sodium Hydroxymethyglycinate, Grapefruit Seed (citrus derived). 

Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner - 8.5 fl oz

Tiny Twirls - ingredients: mangifera indica (mango) friut extract*, ulmus fulva (slippery elm) extract*, althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root extract*, cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass)*, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, ctric acid, phenoxyethanol*certified organic
$12, 8oz

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