Maximum Hydration Method: My Thoughts

Hi Everyone,

There a big buzz around the web about a new method of moisturizing and defining naturally curly hair. This method is called MHM, short for maximum hydration method. I’ve received a few comments from readers asking me whether I’ve tried it or am willing to give it a try.

I won’t be trying this method and will discuss my reasons in this post. However, this is not to say you shouldn’t try it, because it seems quite effective and the feedback from those who have tried it has been overwhelmingly positive. So, this post is not “casting shade” on the method, but just reassuring those out there with curly/kinky hair that don’t use this method that they can still have healthy hair without the MHM.

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. If you aren’t familiar with the method, then check out this link to find out more.

So, without further ado. My top 5 reasons.

1. TIME

I don’t have time for a 5 step wash and condition process for one day, let alone every day for an entire week. The MHM requires a baking soda clarifier, finger detangle, deep condition, clay rinse, leave in conditioner every day, over the course of 7 days. I love my hair, but that’s just a little too much love for me.

2. CONSTANT EXPOSURE TO HIGH PH

If you read my blog, you know I often recommend high PH/alkaline products, to open up the cuticles and help the hair absorb moisture. I still believe this is the best method for low porosity hair to receive moisture. I’m just not sure that exposing the hair to high PH products (baking soda and clays), multiple times per session and every day, could have long-term consequences on the hair shaft. I don’t have any scientific evidence, that is just one concern I had when reading about this method. I love a good baking soda deep conditioning treatment, but I don’t think I’d do it everyday. I have rhassoul and baking soda as options to use during my weekly/monthly regimen, but not daily.

3. SEEMS COMPLICATED

There are a lot of steps involved in this process. I’d be afraid to forget one. These days, the simpler the regimen the better. I went natural for the simplicity and for my health. I don’t want to feel trapped in another hair relationship, as I did with my relaxer. If I’m too tired to wash on wash day, it’s not the end of the world. Call me a committment-phobe, but I just can’t give that much time to my hair.

4. COST

The ingredients in this regimen don’t come cheap if you need them all (exception: baking soda).

5. TIME (TO REITERATE)

I think high hydration can be achieved for low porosity hair by using deep conditioners, High PH products such as rhassoul clay or baking soda. These items help open up your cuticles to receive moisture. A solid weekly to twice per week regimen, can help you get healthy, soft and moisturized hair. So if you don’t have the time to commit to the MHM, it doesn’t mean your hair will suffer.

I’m very interested in hearing about everyone else’s experience with the MHM. Since I’m not doing it, I can live vicariously through you. So keep your comments and feedback coming. It’s always nice to see people, finding tricks that work for them.

Have you tried or will you try the MHM?

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20 thoughts on “Maximum Hydration Method: My Thoughts

  1. It’s an interesting method. I’d definitely be concerned about putting something as alkaline as bicarb on my scalp let alone my hair (skin is naturally acidic as part of it’s defensive features). Out of interest, have you heard of squish and condish? 🙂 It seems really quick and easy, although may need tweaking from a low porosity POV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDofglvTFx8

    • I saw that video after I read a blog. I think my hair needs a tweak. I found that less wet hair responds better to leave-in as I read on the Science-y Hair blog to work with the surface of my hair after DC. Also saw a video on YouTube about conditioner on dry hair.

    • I looked up the video. I like the squish method and do it often with a paper towel or micro-towel. I agree with shushugreen, my hair seems to absorb leave-in better when it’s not soaking wet. I like the simplicity of this video.

  2. I am excited to give my feedback since I’ve done the MHM at least 10 times. Let me say this: I needed it really badly as my hair was brittle and all dried out. It was a miraculous treatment for me: hydration, coils, softness, bounce, no tangles, etc.

    I tweak it a bit: deep conditioner on dry hair, baggie, then water-deep conditioner-baking soda on top, sit, rinse, detangle, condition, mud (used bentonite mainly,, used rhassoul once). I did an ACV rinse once.

    I don’t like the time commitment, but I needed to rescue my hair. I have better moisturized hair, very little tangling, hardly any shedding.

    I was and remain concerned about the frequent and long term effects of baking soda. I guess I could be concerned about ingredients that force the cuticle closed too.

    I will do maintenance treatments only if I feel I really need it. Right now, I need to practice my new healthy hair habits and make MHM a last resort.

    • Thank you so much for this comment. I’m thrilled to hear about your results and so happy for you that the MHM worked well for your hair. And I like your approach, using it as an emergency/rescue solution and keeping healthy hair habits in the mean time. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I’m with you. That’s too much time for me. I have a 4 year old and 2 year old and I’m already pressed for time. I’m an advocate for healthy hair, but I’m also an advocate for mommy sanity lol I can see how it could work for others. It really boils down to what people have time for in their schedule.

  4. I just ended the 7 day MHM challenge only because I been on a week break from work. I have 4c low porosity hair. I initially thought it was too time consuming and it was confirmed for me that it is. I noticed pros as well as drawbacks of the steps. It introduced me to clay washes which I had never heard of (I opted for the betonite clay) which I will definitely add to my weekly routine as well as the baking soda rinse which I also want to incoporate not sure weekly or what. I noticed a more clumped elongation of my coils but I also noticed a dryness which I attribute to the drying affects of the daily baking soda and clay usage, also a lack of a deep condish treatment. I plan on tweaking the regimen to counteract those drawbacks. Now that the 7 days are over I will try to do my hair every 4-5 days where I was only doing it about every 7-9 the method did open my eyes to maybe I needed to introduce more water to my hair at last twice a week to keep a higher moisture level alternating between the clay wash/shampoo and a co-wash. *sorry so long I wanted to be detailed to maybe help someone else

    • Hi, thanks for your comments on the MHM challenge. I’m happy you were able to take some practical and simple ideas to use in your regular regimen. I agree with you, I think the dryness could have been due to prolonged baking soda use.

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