MHM 7 Day Challenge- Day One

I decided to start the Maximum Hydration Method on a Friday to avoid having to worry about dropping my daughter off at school with a shower cap on. It was a LOT of work. I have pretty strict Monday-Friday rules for myself. I write a scene a day up front, and then I use whatever time I have until school pick-up for errands, or chores. I made sure I ran through my own usual process so I could fairly assess the before and after. I had an hour and half to gather all the ingredients, which included things that sounded hard to find like,  Bentonite clay, and liquid aminos. Between Whole Foods and Harmon, I found every single thing at a $50 price tag when all was said and done. Well, I did flub a bit on the applicator bottles. Why did I think 4 oz travel bottles would work? Probably because I was rushing. If I had to do it again, I would have prepped by hanging onto empty conditioner/shampoo bottles. Luckily I did have a couple hanging about, and the applicator tips from my too-small bottles fit them. I could have saved about $10 by planning ahead.
Once all the ingredients were procured, and the kids were back home doing homework, I got to work.

MHM Step One: Detangle and Cherry Lola

The Cherry Lola Treatment is a strictly Day One product. Once the 7 day cycle is complete you’re free to repeat it as often as every two weeks. I used half of the recommended baking soda, because this is an intended abrasive, and other curly girls have reported a potential disruption of curl. I also added an entire TBSP of avocado, because I didn’t have a 3/4 TBSP and I figured it couldn’t hurt. Oh, yeah, and I got to eat the rest of the avocado! Bonus yum! In my house bananas don’t last long enough to become overripe, so, at the suggestion of one of my friends, I baked a plantain in the toaster oven at 300 for 30 minutes. It worked to achieve the consistency the Cherry Lola Treatment requires, but I can tell you, after frying up the other half, it wasn’t sweet. Still, a couple slices double fried made excellent tostones! Bonus yum 2!!
My favorite part was detangling my hair. I never do this on dry hair, because it stretches my curl straight. Not completely straight. It’s about as straight as you can get a sheet of paper after you’ve crumpled it into a small ball. No matter how hard you push or press, without heat, it will always have creases. The same holds true for my hair getting detangled by a comb. It was like watching the balloons inflate for The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The circumference of my hair was stupendous. I couldn’t help but to take a selfie break. This needed to be documented. I should also mention, seeing the magnitude of my mane was a bucket lister for my husband. Bonus Dreams Coming True!

I combined the ingredients easily into the Ninja Blender Large Carafe until it looked like a kale smoothie. I didn’t bother trying to pour it into an applicator bottle. Instead I took the pitcher into the bathroom, and scooped it out as I saturated my hair with it. Definitely messy!! Be prepared to clean the tub afterwards.
The first thing I’ll say is that my hair did NOT like this combination of being detangled, and then coated with goop. Some of it started to frizz rebelliously, and it felt like it would never feel completely wet. I just kept applying it root to tip until it was all one big mass that I could wind into a bun on the top of my head. I covered it with saran wrap, and used a bandana to cover the edges.
     I stored the rest in a mason jar in the fridge. I think I have enough left for two more applications, but I’m not really sure how long this kind of mixture can be stored.
     Meanwhile, I prepared and bottled the rest of the rinses. I decided that I’d alternate ACV rinses and the option 2 baking soda rinse. Both were easy to prep. I used an old leave-in conditioner bottle to store the option 2 baking soda rinse, and still had about 4 ounces left over. Well, well, well, travel-sized bottle. One of you has served a purpose. The ACV rinse is all liquid, so I stored it in a 6 oz bottle I found, which an applicator tip fit on perfectly. *Note* Since writing this I have already completed some of the MHM cycle, and have since learned that the best practice for this rinse is a spray bottle.

     The clay rinse is slightly more complicated. If I’d bothered to read the directions more clearly, I would have seen the recommendation was to use an old 32 oz shampoo/conditioner bottle. It wouldn’t have mattered, because I didn’t have one of those, but I feel like I would’ve tried harder to source one. I mixed the conception in an old ricotta cheese container. It’s supposed to be a liquid consistency, but I left it a little gloppy. I figured I’d have to add water to it when I used it the next day, and would handle it in the moment.

This clay rinse is too thick to be used as-is, but I can add water when I need it.

     Once all the products were prepped and bottled, I took some time to clean up. Then I cooked dinner.
     It was over two hours later when I washed it off in the shower.

MHM Step Two: Deep Condition

     The MHM Method offers you a few options here, all of which involve 2-3 ounces of conditioner mixed with 4-6 ounces of water in an applicator bottle. The difference in the options has to do with length of time to keep the conditioner in, and the temperature of the conditioner you use.

Option 1 is to apply the conditioner mixed with temperate water, to your soaking wet hair, and leave it in overnight under a shower cap.

Option 2 is to apply the conditioner mixed with warm water (or tea), and then sit under a steamer hood (if you have one) for 15 minutes.

Option 3 is the same as option 2, just without the steamer hood, under a shower cap for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can sit in a hot shower and let that function as a heat source, but that may be a big wasteful for some folks.

     I picked option 1 for Day One, just to give my hair the extra oomph. I mixed 4 ounces of water with 2 ounces of conditioner in an applicator bottle, and applied that to my still soaking wet hair after I’d turned the water off. I tried the saran wrap and bandana method, but it didn’t hold up to couch cuddling with my honey. I swapped it for my go-to overnight hair wrap from back when I was plopping my curls on the reg— the Curly Hair Tee. The recommendation is to seal in the heat with some kind of plastic shower cap, I think, but I couldn’t deal with it overnight.
     Remember how I told you in the last post, how I chose the FaceValues Tea Tree Oil Conditioner? Before you run out and purchase it, let me first warn you that the ingredients DO include Tee Tree Oil and spearmint. Either of these ingredients will make your scalp tingle, but the combination is pretty intense. Personally, I didn’t find it to be horrible. In fact, since it’s allergy season, the aromas actually helped keep my sinuses clear, which I found to be a major plus. I could see others, particularly those with low pain tolerance, or sensitive scalps, being really uncomfortable with it. My husband did his best to tolerate my minty-fresh scent, but I know it wasn’t the most fun for him either.
     Going to bed was NOT the end of Day One.
     In the morning I rinsed the conditioner out of my hair. I’d read that the best method was to pour water over your hair with a pitcher. I tried it, and found that my hair was incredibly soft and easy to detangle with my fingers BUT I ended up using my detachable shower head to make sure it was all out of my hair. Either way, my back was very unhappy afterwards. Bending over for long periods of time stinks. Don’t forget to stretch!

MHM Step Three: Clay Rinse

     I admit, this time I was also not paying much attention to the rules. Instead of thinning out the goopy clay mixture, I used the same scoop and saturate method I’d used with the Cherry Lola Treatment. Again, very messy. I vowed not to do that again, as I washed the tub after application. This was another back breaker too. the recommendation was to NOT pull it into a huge mass, but I didn’t listen to that either. It was so messy I couldn’t imagine being able to apply this AND try to coil it. A better solution was required. Either way I wrapped it into a shower cap and left it for 30 minutes, but 15 minutes is the minimum.
     I rinsed this off in the shower. It was a little unnerving because my hair was so clean it was actually squeaky! I confess that I never let my hair feel like that, because it feels like it would get too dry, and then too frizzy. The other thing was how easy it was to detangle with my fingers. The squeaky feeling usually comes with extra tangly coils, but this was the exact opposite. Everything felt soft and clean. While I was still in the shower I separated and clipped my hair, starting from the nape of my neck, in sections. Part of my goal is to reshape the way my curls fall, so I could get rid of the part in my hair, so I chose to define these sections as Bottom Layer, left and right; left side; right side; crown, left and right; front of head.

MHM Step Four & Five Leave-in & Curl Define

     This part is kind of tricky, because the mirrors are so steamy after a shower. Letting the hair clips full of hair drip, I toweled dry and got dressed, and opened the door to let the steam clear. This step is to apply your MHM approved Leave-in conditioner, and then your curl definer (whether it’s a gel or a cream) section by section. Do not apply the leave-in to your whole head, and then do the definer. I did this bent over for the two bottom sections, and the side sections. The crown section and the front of my head section I did while standing straight up (my back was killing me.
     Let it dry. Don’t touch!
     Letting it dry without touching it was so hard. I was dying to see the results! For one, the curls had started forming much closer to the root, and they were spiraling fully! I think I may have used more curl definer than I needed to out of habit, which is something I’ll need to work on. I think it would have been even softer to the touch had I toned it down. Even so, Day One of MHM gave me my one of the best hair days of the entire year. The weather was good for it too, no humidity or excessive heat. My husband said it looked like I’d come home from Ouidad, which is high praise. If this is it what Day One does, I can only imagine how this will look by Day Seven!!! What do you think?

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In my next post I’ll take you through Day Two, the pitfalls and the successes, and we can both see what if there are any curl gains to be won!

The MHM 7 Day Challenge & Me

I found it while browsing the web for a new conditioner. My hair conditioner wasn’t packing the same punches like when we first got involved, and my curl definition was suffering. I’d picked up a bottle of Carol’s Daughter cleansing conditioner, but it felt too drying.

My hair really needs a change.

Then I saw it.
 The Maximum Hydration Method (MHM) seems to have gotten its start in a forum in a post by a user named PinkCube (click here to get the info direct from the source ). It’s original intention was for kinky curly type 4c low porosity hair ( Click here to learn more about porosity ), but has been used by naturally curly women with all curl types with some pretty amazing results. A simple Instagram hashtag search lead me down a rabbit hole so deep, and an array of such amazing curls that the complexity of the process didn’t seem so terrible. The entire process takes 7 days, if you wet your hair in the shower every day like I do, and is intended to get your hair to its maximum hydration. The results are supposed to leave you with the best curl definition and the least frizz your hair has ever seen. At least that’s what it looks like to me.
The science involves lifting your hair cuticle so you can dump in as much moisture as possible over the seven days. By the end your hair should be as full of moisture as it can get, or at its maximum hydration.
The cycles as set forth are pretty complicated, so I’ve separated them into Day One steps, and Days 2-7 steps.

Day One:

  • Cherry Lola
  • Deep condition overnight
  •     -you can also choose to add warm water to the conditioner, and keep this on for 15 minutes—a steamer hood will enhance this.
  • Clay Rinse
  • Style
  •    – in sections with leave-in and curl cream. It’s important to note that you should condition and define each section before moving onto the next. You should also remember that oil products, like serums, should be applied last because they create a barrier over your hair strand. The idea is to fill the strand with moisture, and then create a protective barrier. So keep that in mind as you go along.

Day Two:

  • Clarify
    •   choose from the three rinse options
  • Co-wash & Detangle -you can choose to apply conditioner overnight, as in Day One; or either of the 15 minute methods
  • Clay Rinse
  • Style

The Rules: 

One day equals a full cycle. Ideally, it is recommended to complete in consecutive days, but that may not work into your life. Still, the count happens by cycle, not by day.

You must complete all 7 days!

Choose hair care products (conditioner, leave-in, curl definer cream) without any of the following products:

MHM No-No Ingredients
TEA-triethanolamine, or any other ethanolamines i.e. MEA, DEA
Hydrolyzed what protein/peptides
Panthenol/ Pro-Vitamin B5
Glycerin & Propylene glycol
Mineral Oil and waxes
Polyquats
Silicones
Denatured & drying alcohols
Salts and Sulphates
Aloe Vera Juice & Coconut oil may cause sensitives for certain hair types, so use your best judgement on this
Why take the challenge?
I’m a big fan of curly hair. You’d think that was obvious, but you have no idea how many amazing curly haired women I’ve met who still want to damage their hair with heat, and then complain they can’t have hair like mine.  I’m not saying I have perfect hair. Far from it. Otherwise I wouldn’t attempt something that requires so much time and rinsing. No, I don’t think there’s been as much information available for curly girls, certainly not information that’s accurate. Do you know how many times I’m looking for naturally curly hair styles only to be met with pictures of straight haired curls with heads full of curling iron spirals?
  • They don’t curl to the root.
  • They feel weighed down and dry at the same time
  • My hair seems to not be growing, or has reached its length potential. I’d like to see if I can grow it longer.
  • The curls aren’t the full spirals I know they can be. It’s obvious my hair is suffering from too much product and not enough moisture.
 One of the biggest benefits of finding a path to the perfect curls is that little girls with curly hair, with parents merciful enough to spare their childish tresses the heat damage, can see that they do not have to grow up to wish to have beautiful hair. They already have it. They don’t have to struggle with flatirons and curse the rain.  It’s my obligation to all of the little curly girls and boys out there to normalize and redefine what beautiful hair can be.
Scroll down for all the MHM recipes I’ll be putting to use in my Day One MHM post. Until then, my next post will give you the rundown on my current hair care regimen, so we can have a good basis for comparison– and give me time to gather ingredients.
Clay Rinse
1 cup
 Bentonite clay powder
1 TBSP
honey
1 TBSP
olive oil
2-3 cups
water
mix together for a creamy consistency add water if it’s too thick until you have the consistency you need.
Baking Soda Rinse option 1
1-2 TBSP
Baking Soda
1.5-3oz
conditioner
mix together in an applicator bottle
Baking Soda Rinse option 2
1-2 TBSP
Baking Soda
2 TBSP
Honey
1 tsp
Olive Oil
6-10 oz
water
mix together in an applicator bottle
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
1:1 ratio ACV to Water in an applicator bottle
The Cherry Lola Treatment
2 cups
Greek Yogurt
2 TBSP**
Baking Soda
2 TBSP
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TBSP
Coconut liquid aminos, or liquid soy aminos
1/2 TBSP
Raw Honey
1 TBSP
Unsulfured molasses
1/2
overripe plantain or banana
3/4 TBSP
Avocado
1
Egg (optional- I left this out)
Instructions
Step One
Blend the ingredients in a blender.
Step Two
Detangle your completely dry hair
Step Three
Selfies!! Post your big hair selfie on Instagram and tag me @tr_patmore #JustMyInkblotBigHairDontCare
Step Four
Saturate hair with mixture. Cover with a shower cap. Leave in for 1.5-2 hours.
Rinse.
**Because this is intended for 4C kinky hair, and baking soda can disrupt curl pattern, I only used 1 TBSP of this.
Liquid aminos can be found near the soy sauce.

Plopping Curls

curlyhairproblemWhat is your favorite physical feature? Do you love your eyes? Do you have killer legs? Do you love the way your hips don’t lie?

For me it’s my amazing curly hair. Curly hair is a gift. It’s a statement. You never look at a curly girl and think, “She’s a pushover.” Curls are the only accessory I need. Curls can change an outfit from so-so to you go!

It’s dieta taken me the better part of my life, and a husband who loves a curly girl, to find an appreciation for my rambunctious ringlets. I didn’t even know that I had curly hair until I was in the third grade when my parents finally relented and let me chop my locks to the shoulder. My classmates were so surprised when I showed up coiffed in coils that they accused me of getting a perm. Over the years, my hair and I have had a serious love/hate relationship. I’ve been through every shade of the hair rainbow, plus some color wheel colors too. I spent a few years spinning my spirals into straw with a flatiron, and have had every specialized hair cutting technique a curly girl can find.

Curly hair requires a whole lot of trial and error. There’s thousands of dollars in curly products out in the world, and I’ve tried most of them. In the last year I’ve found a routine that works for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not always looking for new tips and tricks, especially when it comes to drying.

See, for wholesale MLB jerseys curly girls there are two options: air dry or diffuse.

Air drying is my go-to method. It’s easy, and fast. It does come with its own risks. It is completely dependent on good weather. A humid day will bring the frizz. A cold day will not only draw stares, but will freeze your locks, which, of course leads to frizz. There’s also the tell-tale wet spot on the back of your shirt, along with all the strangers who want to share superstitions about wet hair getting you sick.

Diffusing is not something I do. I’ve tried it. I have the cup diffuser, which lifts your curls while drying, and the Deva Diffuser, which is shaped like a hand to allow you to lift the curls, as well as drying the roots. The problem is that the curls tend to be wholesale Arizona Cardinals jerseys flatter, less defined, and either frizzy (too little product) or crunchy (too much product)–I’ve never found that happy medium. It also takes too long, requires an appliance it (blow dryer plus diffuser), is loud, and involves heat on your hair. I know that a diffuser month is supposed to reduce the damage, but heat is a curl’s worst enemy.

On a recent Pinterest session I discovered the most ridiculous sounding method of drying curly hair–plopping. After some Googling I discovered that there was a whole community of curly plopping girls. Wavy girls use this method to get curlier hair. The only thing I didn’t find was a good picture of someone with curls like mine post-plop.

So I decided to give it a try.

All you need is a t-shirt, preferably long sleeved.

Method:

  1. Plopping takes place after you’ve showered. De-tangle your hair, and náhradních add whatever product you use.
  2. I’m a big fan of Curlfriends wholesale jerseys Replenish Leave-In Conditioner, and Control Gel. I always rake product through my hair in sections, making sure to pull straight up to release it from my scalp, and define the curls.
  3. Spread your t-shirt on a flat surface and tip your head upside down.
  4.  Lower your hair into the center of the shirt. The Compliance trick is to pile your hair in the center of the t-shirt, so the curls will stack themselves, instead of hanging off your head.
  5. Pull the back of the shirt to your neck, just above the hairline.
  6. Roll the front to your forehead.
  7. Twist the sides until they are tight against either side of your head, pull around and secure to your head. This is where a long sleeved shirt is a better choice. I actually turned an Out old t-shirt inside out, and cut along the front of it so it was one big sheet of fabric with arms.
  8. As you can see, there's been no Botox in my ilfe...but the plop is in full effect--tag out and everything.

    As you can see, there’s been no Botox in my ilfe…but the plop is in full effect–tag out and everything.

    Wait. There’s a lot of discrepancy in the plopping community in regards to how long you should plop. Some ploppers only plop for twenty minutes. Others plop overnight. Some say you should plop until your hair is 90% dry.  I plopped in the morning–around 11AM, and waited until 3:30 PM to un-plop–which left my hair about 90% dry. The fun part is answering a door with a rolled up t-shirt on your head.

  9. To un-plop, bend over and release the t-shirt.
  10. Let your hair air dry the rest of the way. DO NOT TOUCH IT!
  11. Marvel at the results.
postplop

This is just after I un-plopped. The hair is still about 10% wet. Not the greatest curl definition, but not bad.

Wow! Plopping really works. My hair curled entirely to the roots. I ended up with soft (not crunchy) spirals. At first they weren’t as well defined as good air dry day, but definitely better than a diffuser. However, after my hair had completely dried….

perfectpostplop

Hair curled to the roots. Fantastic curl definition. Soft. I think I’ve been converted.

 

I achieved total curl perfection.

The only problem is how long this method takes. I mean, who has the time to walk around looking like a genie all day? So, I decided to plop overnight, and see if I could get the same results. Follow me on Facebook to see the results of my overnight plopping.

Do you plop? Do you have some tips or tricks to tame cheap jerseys your curls?