MHM 7 Day Challenge- Days Three -Six

     If you haven’t been playing along, I took the Maximum Hydration Method 7 Day Challenge (click here to learn more about MHM), and had some really amazing results so far on Day One & Two. The only problem was the frizz factor was worse than I’d hoped it would be, although the weather was pretty humid the entire time. For the most part the first three steps stayed the same, with the exception of toggling Step One’s clarifying rinse between diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) and the option 2 baking soda rinse. Steps 4 & 5 gave me the most trouble, and took the longest time, so this is where I experimented the most. For these next few days I’ll only be highlighting the differences in my methods. For a complete rundown on each of the steps check out my Day One & Two posts.

MHM Day 3

Step One: Option 2 baking soda rinse.

     I can safely say that using a spray bottle to apply the rinse is the easiest and most effective method. Each application uses about 4 ounces.

Step Two: Deep Condition

     Instead of adding warm water, I chose to pour just boiled water (after I made some mid-morning tea, of course) into a mug and let the applicator bottle sit in there for five minutes.

Step Three: Clay Rinse

     This is when I started sectioning my hair differently. Instead of thinking about my hair in sections (left, right, crown) I thought of it in layers from the nape of my neck to the front of my head. It took FOREVER. I also decided to rinse these sections out individually, and roll them into little buns in the shower. The clay can be hard to rinse out, and this helped me make sure I was getting it really clean.
     Remember when I was complaining about how the clay made my hair feel? By Day Three I’d begun looking forward to it. Because curly hair strands are naturally ridged, it is not actually supposed to feel smooth.

Steps Four & Five: Leave-in Conditioner & Curl Definer

     These are the steps where I’d been breaking the MHM ingredients rules. Miss Jessie’s Leave-in Condish actually contains denatured alcohols, which are drying. I picked up a bottle of Curls brand Blueberry Bliss Leave-in Brûlée, which doesn’t have any of the MHM no-no ingredients, but I stuck with Miss Jessie’s Multicultural Curls as my definer. MHM is a very hands-on process which calls for you to detangle and style with your fingers. My hair is pretty long, so pulling the product through to the ends is quite the workout on my arms. I took breaks. The definition of the curl comes from these steps. While you might have heard of Ouidad’s rake and shake method (pull each section, shake it, and release it), others might call it shingling. I like this term better, because it is more accurate. I like thinking of each section as shingles on a roof.

These pictures were taken before my hair was completely dry, which is why my roots look so much darker (also I need to get my hair color updated). I will say, that I did have a halo of frizz by the end of the day, and my hair felt sticky. I’m pretty sure it came from the new leave-in, so abandoned it, and decided to buy the products recommended by the creators of MHM.
Knot Today Leave-In & Kinky Curl Coiling Gel. I ordered them on Amazon, so it’ll take two days for them to arrive. Still, the results were enough to push me to the next day.

MHM Day 4

Step One: Baking soda ACV

Steps Four & Five:

This time I decided to dilute Miss Jessie’s Leave-in Condish, according to the rules.
Today I got my eyebrows done at Ulta’s Benefit Brow Bar. I let the waxer fill in my eyebrows, which is always a little strange when I’m not wearing any other makeup.

You can see the frizz really well in the pictures, but this is the day that I realized I could separate my curls without losing the definition. From everything I’m reading the frizz comes from the curls clumping together. Despite the frizz, I’m still pretty stoked about how far up my hair is curling. In some places it’s all the way up to my scalp which usually doesn’t happen even after a professional Ouidad style.

MHM Day Five

Ugh by this day I’m so ready for this to be over. As much as I love the results, all the rinsing and application of products is incredibly time consuming. I am seriously not the kind of girl who spends so much time on her hair. Not to mention that even by the end of Day 4 I’m still getting more frizz than I’m happy with. If I have to choose between a better defined curl, and frizz, I’d gladly choose the pretty curls, but after all this work I really hope that I’m getting more than that.

Step One: ACV

Steps Four & Five :

Knot Today- diluted as per proper instructions
Kinky curl custard
I really don’t like the Kinky Curl Custard. It dries up as soon as it touches my hair, which I’ve read is simply casting the shell to hold the curl. I haven’t used a gel in a really long time, so I forget how my hair responds to it, but I’m pretty sure it’s never been like this. It leaves my hair brittle to the touch and crunchy for the entire drying process, but the curl definition is incredible. Once it’s completely dry, all I have to do is scrunch and separate. Even the frizz is better managed today.

Day Six

Step One: ACV

Step Two: Condition

This time I decided to try the conditioning overnight. It wasn’t a hair thing. It was a time thing. I had places to be on Saturday, and the entire process is easier when all you have to do is the clay rinse and the styling.

Steps Four & Five:

Knot today
Kinky Curl Custard
     This time I diluted the gel with water. The instructions didn’t say to do it, but after reading some of the reviews which claimed it works better for 3b hair when diluted, I decided to give it a shot. I also thought that my hair might be rebelling against the way I’m trying to combat the years of parting my hair down the middle. So I went for a side part. This was a mistake. I hate the way my hair falls in my face, so I’m constantly touching it. We all know that anything rubbing against curls may as well be a latex balloon.

     I took these shots after being at a BBQ all day. You can see my hair has held up pretty well even with all the grabbing I did. Still I don’t love the way the gel feels in my hair, even diluted. The gel casts so quickly I don’t get a whole lot of time to style or place the curl. My hair does curl all the way to the tip now, and it feels much healthier. It doesn’t shake all in one clump. Day Two was definitely my best hair day so far, but considering the weather, that’s not the fairest assessment.
     By the end of Day Six, though, I’m ready for this to be over. Seven days is a long commitment to spend so much time on my hair. I’ve thought about giving up so many times, but day by day I’m am watching my coils change for the better. Would I do it all over again? Well you’ll have to wait until my next post to find out!
     In my next post I’ll recap the MHM Seven Day Challenge, deliver the verdict on whether or not is was worth the trouble, and post side by side shots of Day 0 and Day 7 so you can decide for yourself if the MHM Seven Day Challenge is right for you.

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.