The Max Hydration Method Detailed Regimen

This is going to be extremely detailed. If you are not ready, Click Here to Read The Quick Summary.

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.

Part ONE:

Preparation step for first timer- DIY Cherry Lola Caramel Treatment (Done once):

Click to Read more

The DIY treatment is only done on day 1 of the 7 day challenge. 2014-07-04_1404517711 It is also optional. 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). The Cherry Lola Treatment replaces the clarify step on Days you do it. It is not in addition to that step.

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 70% 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 reached max hydration a few weeks ago. This is not limited to curl pattern, you can have some 4c strands 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 1-2.5 oz
conditioner. Add 4-8 oz of water. Shake. Apply to hair in sections and let sit on the hair for 15-60 minutes. If being done on product free hair, or you feel the rinse is stripping, lower bakingsoda measurement to 1-2 teaspoons.
This step is ideal for low porosity hair, since it lifts the cuticle as well.


Option 1.2: Alternate Baking soda rinse

  •  2 tablespoons bakingsoda
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 6-10 oz of water

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 15- 60 mins before rinsing. Note you can choose to only do the acv for 15 mintues, like the BS, but the longer you can leave it the better.

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 4-8 oz of water into an applicator bottle.Get a feel for the consistency you want from watering it down. 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 not a necessity for those who have a TWA.

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 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 evenly distribute in sections, from the tips to the roots, and get it on your scalp as well. You want to make sure your hair is visibly coated and weighed down with the clay. It needs to look something like this.





If it doesn’t you are not doing this step correctly, the clay is not evenly distributed, and your hair may actually feel dry.


When applying clay mixture, try to separate your coils, don’t try to smooth your hair into one big slick slab. Apply the mask in thin layers of hair starting at the nape from your scalp/roots to the ends of your hair. You do not need to be scooping the clay, squeeze it directly onto your hair and work it in, as per the video.

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 folded paper when needed, you can pour each ingredient one at a time into a large empty 32 shampoo/conditioner/soap bottle, shake afterward to mix the ingredients. after you use it, 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 until 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.



Step 4: Leave in Conditioner

This will be 1-2 oz of conditioner and 5-8 oz of water into an applicator bottle. Get a feel for the consistency you want. You may like it more watery, or more thick.
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.

You can also wet you hair right after you rinse out the clay step, apply the watered down leave in all over your head first, focusing on the roots and working it down the hair in the same smoothing and raking motions. Then wet your hair again, shake and section with clips. Then you can rewet or add more watered conditioner if the area is not wet enough. From then 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.

Option 2: 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 (Liquid, Conditioner, Oil), 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


Option 3 *new* : you can use a water based cream styler in alternative to gel. Updated list here







Optional steps 6: stretching or Maintaining your WNG



Link to Recommended products page.



Max hydration Method Bald Spot Regimen. (or if your hair is too short for gel)



Bakingsoda concerns addressed


Shortening Up the Regimen


312 thoughts on “The Max Hydration Method Detailed Regimen

  1. Hi, I have done this about 3 times now – my hair gets defined during the process while its wet but always end up frizzy when it dries. I think this is because of the products I have been using though – ACV, Tresseme naturals, giovanni direct leave in conditioner and homemade flaxseed gel. Also I need to be careful with the frequent raking of the hair I think some of my hairs can’t handle it very well and are breaking. But I am resolving all these issues – I have bought some Kinky curly conditioner and custard just waiting for it to be delivered.

    My question is more about maintenance. I wear a wig so I just roll my hair while its wet, put on a plastic cap and go to sleep. I wear the plastic cap underneath my wig too so its like my hair is wet for as long as possible until the next wash day. However – maybe due to the flax I’m starting to notice that my scalp is extra itchy and also has a very slight smell. Should I let my hair dry by not wearing a plastic cap over it all the time? Also just to clarify – can you sleep with ACV in your hair? or is the maximum for it 1 hour??

    Thank you


    • If your hair is smelling, it’s probably because its mildew. Just like wearing a sew in and not drying your braids underneath can produce a smell, this is also the case for the shower cap/wig combo. Your hair needs to breathe as well and having it covered by a shower cap AND a wig is not only suffocation it, but also most likely contributing to the buildup if mildew. For instance, if you wash a load of clothes and forget to put them in the dryer, the clothes start to smell from being in a closed, wet environment. Your hair may not smell like the clothes, but its the same concept.


    • Don’t use products with glycerin because glycerin draws in moisture which might be causing you to frizz back up. Try moisturizer without glycerin if there is a day you want your curls to stay. Same for styles you want defined but not to frizz up


  2. I’ve been all natural for a year and a half and in 4th day of 7 day challenge. My hair is some what thick very coarse and dry. According dubai (a blogger for mhm) I have low prosperity hair. My hair only has curl definition when the clay is on it. After rinsing clay out its back to a cotton ball appearance. But a lot less tangle. I apply first the leave n conditioner and water and then the gel. Then after air drying I rewet and twist to sleep in. I do this because the 2nd day it was really tangled and dry. When my hair is pulled is about 3.5 to 4 inches long. I have a twa. Are their any instances were the mhm doesn’t work? Can the mhm be use on relaxed hair?


  3. It has been a week and my hair feels drier than when I started. My hair feels fine after the conditioner step, but once I put on the clay and rinse that out, it feels dry even while its dripping wet. the gel is also making my hair hard.


    • try a different clay recipe. One that i’m doing now uses 1/3 a cup of milk, and less clay. Your hair should feel great afterward. Also, before starting this regimen, if you used a lot of silicones or mineral oil, do a sulfate shampoo. this will get you past the detox phase a bit quicker. also, you may want to look into dubai dee’s modified MHM which eliminates the use of conditioner. you’ll be surprised at how effective it will be for the issue you’re describing


      • So eliminating the conditioner will help with dryness? I thought the conditioner was the only part that was really getting moisture in. I’m at 3 weeks and hair still feels very dry. I have also modified the method the last 2 times i washed it and added conditioner after the clay step and eliminated the gel. My hair is not hard anymore but still dry.


  4. hello,
    i am excited about starting this regimen as my hair suffered serious heat damaged from using a flat iron at too high of temp. i know this question has probably been answered but i couldn’t find it. my question is, would this regimen work for hair that has heat damage? just wanting to have presentable hair without wearing a wig all day. and my 2nd question is. do you have to do the apple cider vinegar rinse everyday or is that just once every 2 weeks.


    • every 1-3 days. and as you get more hydrated you can space it out my doing modified versions. yes this regimen can help on damaged hair to and extent but if its really bad you’ll have to transition it out if you want the hair to match the rest


  5. I have been doing the cherry lola for 2 weeks. My question is I’m using the knot today leave in and when I do not wash it out it leaves these white clumps in my hair. It’s a leave in but should I wash it out? When I put it in and then use the knit today curl custard my hair looks like a bad case of dandruff!


  6. Hi. I have done the method 3 times now since the last week of December. Roughly every 3 weeks. While I have more curl definition my hair is rough. Help it was in excellent soft condition before I started I not supposed to wash out the leave in conditioner form the night before and just apply thane acv rinse? I do have color on my hair but it is dark brown and copper brown like.

    I have tried hot oil treatment and the yogurt deep condish but still rough hair😬.
    I need hair rescue.
    Please note that I was using products with cones etc so is it because I have switched over to the non cone etc products.



    • hi Techdiva yes if you were using silicones before starting you may want to shampoo with a sulfate shampoo to get the silicone residue out of your hair and shorten the detox phase. I would axe the hot oil treatments as well. maybe try a final cold rinse. You would do the acv before DCing overnight, then in the morning rinse out and do the clay. hth


  7. hello,

    i’ve used this method as my routine now. now i dont do it every single day, but about every 2-3 days. my question is. how do i get bounce in the curls, they are cute and bouncy when wet, but the moment my hair dries, i get stale cruchy hair. what is the best way to have my hair bouncy and and not so stiff?


    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think people are still getting dry hair as a result because of the first step with the ACV or baking soda. I want to try this method but without doing the ACV/ soda rinse every time. I think my hair will stay more moisturized because don’t these things strip the hair?
    Has anyone else tried this before I attempt?


  9. I’m so excited about this regimen, but unfortunately due to my job’s strict appearance standards (military) and my thick collar length hair I cannot wear a wng, also due to my super busy schedule I can only do the regimen every 3-5 days. If I do the regimen every 3-5 days from the start, using only approved ingredients, but keep it in flat twists will I get the same results in a delayed timeframe?


  10. Hi,I’m a newbie to the mhm&I’m on day 5 of 7.I need to know what is my next step after day 7 or do I do the 7 day regimen again? I have been using flaxseed gel but I think I’m a try the kinky curlyh&I have low porosity hair.I’m trying this regimen because my curls are popping in the back but not so much in my front&crown area.Any help will be appreciated.


    • After your 7 days you do it every 3 day, and than after 70% hydration every 5 days. However, I’m not sure when 70% max hydration is, it’s kind of hard to get the people the started to respond I’ve been trying to get some answers forever. I hope that helps, if you have any more questions I can try and help from the articles I read😊


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