MHM Recommended Product List

Below is the list of No-no ingredients that we avoid in this regimen and  a brief explanation of each:

TEA-triethanolamine and other ethanolamines(MEA, DEA,etc):

A drying alcohol derived from ethanol, forms lye salt in water based products and dissolves certain types of hair after long term use (like wearing a product with this ingredient on your hair for the whole day and overnight, or using it daily).

Hydrolyzed wheat protein/ peptides :

Bad for low porosity hair and most kinkier Type 4 hair.

Panthenol/Pro-Vitamin B5 :

build up and acts like protein.

Glycerin& Propylene glycol :

Pulls moisture out of hair cortex in dry conditions, glycerin is also astringent.

Mineral Oil and petroleum jelly :

Builds up and is difficult to remove all residue without shampoo.

Polyquats :

Just another version of silicones.

High amounts of quaternary salts

build up on the hair as well, although this is primarily an issue for those in a cowash only routine. Still we look out for it when it becomes excessive. Quatsalts are great lubricants, make great slip for detangling, and hold moisture well to the hair, but If you have 4-5 or more quatsalts in your conditioner, it will start to affect how it absorbs into your hair. It also depends on how high they are on the list. 4 quatsalts at the top of the list, is worse than maybe 3 at the top and one beneath the first 5 ingredients.  The issue with too many quatsalts is it will sit on your hair more than it moisturizes and absorbs. This can affect your results as well. For some it can weigh down their hair, though that mostly effects those with looser textures. Tighter textures may notice a bit more frizz or feel like it didn’t absorb as well into the hair as a product that contains less.

Silicones –

build up, can’t be removed without sulphate shampoo.

Denatured and drying alcohol – drying to the hair

Salts and sulphates

– Drying to the hair sodium hydroxide or any form of lye or hydroxide/ NaOH: Lye, dissolves hair after long term use.

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. Aloe is okay in gel, since it is going to dry and form a cast, but some may even be sensitive to that.

Below is a list of gels, conditioners and clays that have been approved for this regimen. These products, have been chosen based on the criteria that they do not contain ingredients that:

– Cause build up and prevent hair from absorbing moisture efficiently.
– Steal moisture from the hair and prevent it from retaining moisture efficiently.

These two factors are especially important for those who are Low Porosity and have kinkier, coarser texture (4c) hair. In order to adequately care for Type 4 or low porosity hair and to make sure it is thoroughly moisturized, we need to go beyond the no sulphates, no parabens and cones from the Curly Girl Method and really dig deep into other ingredients that our type of hair is sensitive to.

I know the list seems very limited, but once you start going through ingredients in products it becomes apparent really quick that there are very few products out there, that do not contain at least one of the NO NO ingredients that affects our Type 4 hair’s ability to retain and absorb moisture. For those who do not have type 4 hair you might be able to be a bit more lenient with your products. Still try to use the approved products until you have reached higher moisture levels, then if you still want to use the old products you can introduce them and see whether your hair will have any set backs or not. It is better to do it that way than to start off and not know whether using an unapproved product is affecting your results or not. Silicones should be avoided permanently no matter the hair type, if you aren’t using a proper sulfate shampoo.

A great thing about the Maximum Hydration Method Regimen is that there is really no need for Product Junkeism. Once you choose one of the products on the list and start doing the regimen consistently, there is an immediate improvement on your hair. Which eliminates the need to keep looking for that “perfect” product.

This page will continue to be updated as more products are analyzed. Make sure to click on the photo to read the description, it includes links where to buy it and the ingredient list.
Where can I purchase Max Hydration Recommended Products? – International MHM FAQ

Max Hydration Method Approved Gels

A lot of people ask why is the gel step necessary for this regimen. The botanical gel functions as a sealant in this regimen, because it forms a cast, it seals in moisture more effectively than oil. It seals the moisture in, and your cuticles are closing because the gel is ph balanced. It is water based and so it is easier to remove the product residue from the hair than a heavy oil or butter. The gel also helps with definition, by keeping the coils in their clumps and preventing them from tangling onto each other, acting like a protective style, yet you get to enjoy you hair loose. The gel cast also protects the cuticle layer.

EDIT: Some people like to layer their gel with oil. This is okay to do. An oil I recommend is 100% Lanolin. This is sheep sebum and not only is a good sealant and provides lubrication and is compatible with our hair because of how similar it is to our natural oils. I think this is the only oil I’ve ever gotten excited about. It is thick, but applied under running water with an eye for the amount you are using and you’ll have light layer from root to tip on your strands with the sebum. You can get it here.

The great thing about this list is it contains a wide range of gels created by black entrepreneurs who understand the special needs of our type of hair.  By purchasing products from these black owned hair care lines, we are also supporting and helping to build our community.

Note: make sure to click on the photo of each product to read details like the ingredient lists, and link to buy it online.

If none of the botanical gels on either list are an option for you, you can also create your own DIY Botanical gel using mucilaginous substances such as:

Flax seeds, Okra, Chia seed, Marshmallow leaf, Marshmallow root, Common mallow leaf, Narrow leaf plantain, Comfrey root , Aloe vera leaf, Fenugreek seed, Licorice root, Slippery elm bark, Mullein leaf, Sweet violet leaf, Oats, Seaweed, Apple pectin , Oat bran, Soapwort, Kudzu, Arrowroot, Irish moss, Kelp, Comfrey leaf, Hibiscus, Mullein, Cinnamon, Malabar spinach, Nettle, Horsetail, Watercress, Rosemary, Burdock Root, Cornsilk, Coltsfoot, Couchgrass, Icelandmoss, Ginseng Root.

The great thing is once you find a recipe you like you can make a lot and store them in the freezer and it will stay preserved for awhile.

Naturally50 on instagram shared this recipe for her FSG

Combine in pot, boil on medium/low heat 12-15 minutes
3 cups of water( I used distilled),1/4 c of flax seeds, 1 tsp of irish moss, 1 tsp of burdock root, 1 tsp of marshmallow root 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp of lemon juice
Strain( I use a strainer and a whisk) and add
1 tbsp of honey, 2 tbsp oils( 1 used 1/3 tsp JBCO, 1/3 tsp sweet almond oil, 1/3 tsp jojoba oil, 1 tbsp of EVVO), 1 tsp vitamin E, drops of essential oil

This  yields 12 ounces of gel.  Let cool and Freeze in ice cube tray and can use the cubes as needed.

Costs – .75 lb of flaxseed $1.64, .08 lb of burdock root 2.46, .03 lb of marshmallow root $1.39, .05 lb of Irish moss $1.90 = total $7.39

Here is a great DIY flaxseed gel tutorial By Rachaelcpr to give you ideas:

Max Hydration Method Approved Water Based Creams

Soft holding water based sealants for transitioners and those doing set styles

I understand there are some who may still not want to use gel can choose to use oils, maybe if they are doing this while transitioning. Before using oil alone as a sealant I would layer it under or over the gel, or mix it with gel. Or use a water based cream styler or a gel with a very soft hold. Those will still be water based and so not as prone to leaving build up as oil alone. Below I have included a list of recommended water based cream stylers that will work for those who are doing set styles, but you can still do many set styles using gel.

For oils I recommend castor oil blended with another oil. Keep heavy butters to a minimum. Glycerin is not approved. I wouldn’t recommend straight coconut oil either for those who know they are sensitive. Plus coconut oil is not an effective sealant anyway.

If you are making your own cream, you can still make use of that list of mucilaginous substances under the approved gel heading. Use those in your cream as the base and simply add more oil, maybe a bit of butter, and along with honey or agave nectar. The honey is sort of like an emulsifier and will make the oils you use less greasy.

Max Hydration Method Approved Conditioners

Which ever one of these conditioners you pick, they are going to function as your Cowash, your Deep Conditioner, and your Leave in. There is no need to use a different product– all conditioner functions the same unless its specifically a cleansing cowash, with an actual cleanser in it. None of these are. You can choose to water down the conditioner differently depending on how thick or watery you want it during each step.

Note: make sure to click on the photo of each product to read details like the ingredient lists, and link to buy it online.

Max Hydration Method Approved Clays

When selecting clay for your hair, It doesn’t really matter what kind of clay you choose as long as it’s pure clay. If you choose to go with a mud wash such as Terressentials just be cautious of ingredients such as Aloe Vera. This is because some naturals especially those with low porosity or type 4c/kinkier texture find it to be stripping to their hair. Glycerin is another ingredient to watch out for in pre-mixed mud washes because it pulls moisture out of hair cortex in dry conditions. Both Aloe Vera and  Glycerin are astringent.

Below you can find some of the clays that are recommended as part of the Maximum Hydration Method Regimen.

 Note: make sure to click on the photo of each product to read details like the ingredient lists, and link to buy it online.

For the clay recipe used in this regimen, click here You are free to experiment with your own clay recipe, however. Do try this recipe at least once to see how it works for you.

Where can I purchase Max Hydration Recommended Products? – International MHM FAQ


268 thoughts on “MHM Recommended Product List

  1. Hi,
    I live in a small farmers village in the netherlands and i cant find al the products for the cherry lola treatment and the products on the yes list im still trying the method but will it work without the clay? The rest of the products i can make myself


  2. Hi Pinkecube,

    I’ve been researching the water only wash method
    and I think Dubaidee4c is experimenting with it too.
    This method is used to get our natural sebum to cover our
    hair. Our natural oils are supposed to help prevent dryness and
    naturally give us root to tip definition if we have full sebum coverage.
    Does the maximum hydration method help us to achieve full sebum coverage as well?


  3. I forgot to mention that there is a woman with natural hair who has been
    doing the water only hair wash method for a long time and has reached full sebum coverage. Her site is :


  4. ettenio moisture milk

    water, chamomile, oolong tea ,roobios,catnip,nettle,marshmallow,abbyssiniam seed , broccoli seed oil,coconut esters vegetable emulsifier , sea kelp, creatine , vitamin e , panthenol, msm, potassium sorbate , spearmint essential oil, tea tree essential oil. hyaluronic acid , beet sugar extract .


  5. Pingback: My Winter Moisturizing Regimen | Mocha Curls and Wellness

  6. Hi, I just want to ask if the MHM is only for natural hair? I have relaxed hair and it’s always so dry and thirsty no matter what I do? Can this method apply to relaxed hair? Secondly any suggestions for my very dry hair?


    • Yes, it can, there are a few people that have done this one relaxed hair. Just make sure you adjust as needed, and it should effectively bring moisture. For example relaxed hair needs regular protein treatments, and gel wouldn’t be an ideal sealant. You can use lanolin oil as you main sealant and apply the regimen. make sure you don’t use products with mineral oil or get a lanolin that is 100% lanolin and has not been mixed with other stuff like petroleum. hth


  7. Hi! As I was co-washing my hair this evening I started researching daily routines and found your post on naturallycurly and you are the TRUTH! My question is whether you use the mhm to replace a daily moisture routine? and how often do you wash your hair with shampoo and such?


    • All oils are fine except petroluem jelly/mineral oil. I also do not recommend glycerin and coconut oil, especially in the winter. An oil I really like is 100% lanolin(link). Its sheep sebum extracted from sheep wool, and very compatible with our hair because of how similar it is to the oils that we produce naturally. This gives a very important type of lubrication to the hair strands which the effect has been unlike any other oil. I’m planning to edit this post mentioning it soon. Apply under water to help it spread a thin coal on your strands to seal.


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