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A Guide to the Maximum Hydration Method

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Happy Black Woman for A Guide to the Maximum Hydration Method blog post.

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When your hair constantly feels dry despite using conditioner or oil, or it seems to resist moisture no matter what you do, chances are you have low porosity hair.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, let me introduce you to the Maximum Hydration Method (MHM). This technique focuses on achieving maximum hydration and nourishment for your hair. Specifically designed for naturals with 4C low porosity hair (or type 4 hair), the MHM aims to help retain moisture and achieve the desired look.

If your current hair care routine isn’t delivering the desired results, it might be worth trying the MHM. Keep in mind, though, that while effective, this method requires dedication and consistency, so it may not be suitable for those seeking quick fixes.

What is the Maximum Hydration Method?

The maximum hydration method is a hair care regimen tailored specifically for 4C low porosity hair. It is an intense, step-by-step process that helps to open the cuticles on your strands and lock in moisture. This method uses six steps to help you achieve maximum hydration for your hair.

Even if your hair type isn’t low porosity 4C hair, you can make it work by making a few adjustments.

The Maximum Hydration Method requires you to:

  • The Cherry Lola Treatment
  • Clarify your hair
  • Co-wash
  • Bentonite Clay Rinse
  • Leave-in Conditioner (other styling products)
  • Stretch your hair (not really part of the method and is optional)

We’ll guide you through the Maximum Hydration Method in just a moment, but first just a little history, and to give credit where credit is due.

The Maximum Hydration Method was developed by Pinke Cube, blogger MsDeeKay. The MHM became popular on a Black Hair Media thread in 2014 when Pinke Cube shared how to disprove the long-standing claim that 4c girls can’t wear a wash-and-go because our hair is too kinky.

Advantages of the Maximum Hydration Method

If you want the optimal wash-and-go, then focus on hydration, which is something the MHM method emphasizes. Hydration and moisture are key to keeping your hair healthy since they work hand-in-hand.

The Maximum Hydration Method helps to lift or raise up the cuticles of your hair, allowing moisture in. It also keeps your strands moisturized and prevents breakage.

The Maximum Hydration Method helps reduce frizz, making your curls more defined — a great way to show off the natural beauty of your coils.

Finally, this method may help you retain length by providing deep nourishment and strengthening the hair from root to tip.

Step by Step Maximum Hydration Method

To achieve maximum results, you need to complete this regimen every day for one week so that the hair cuticles can raise or lift up and absorb a lot of moisture.

The regimen can be done every three days after the first week, but no longer than that.

Note – these steps must be done consecutively. 

You will need a few ingredients and tools, and you should plan to spend a few hours washing and styling your hair.

Step 1: The Cherry Lola Treatment

In the tutorial below, skip to the 1:45 mark to see the Cherry Lola Treatment.

The Cherry Lola Caramel Treatment should be the first step for anyone with low porosity hair. This will allow the hair to better absorb moisture by lifting the cuticles.

The Cherry Lola Treatment has a few variations, but the two key components are always yogurt and amino acids. Other ingredients you can add are greek yogurt, honey, molasses, coconut oil, and more. Feel free to leave out or substitute ingredients that don’t work for you.


2 cups greek yogurt (fat or non fat)

1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp liquid soy amino acids 

1/2 tbsp raw honey

2 tbsp baking soda

1 tbsp unsulfured dark molasses

3/4 tbsp avocado

1/2 an overripe plantain or banana

1 egg (optional)


  1. Blend the ingredients you chose to use together.
  2. Then pour the mixture into a bowl.
  3. Apply the mixture (from root to tip) to your dry, detangled, and sectioned hair. Make sure each strand is saturated from root to tip.
  4. Put a shower cap on your head and leave the mixture in for about an hour (or up to 2 hours, depending on how your hair absorbs the ingredients).
  5. Rinse it out with warm water.
  6. Follow step 2 (clarify) below or use the Green House Effect. Instructions below.
  7. Continue with the rest of the MHM regimen but skip step 1.

How to do the Green House Effect

The Green House Effect (GHE) is a great way to promote healthy growth on their scalp. It encourages the use of shampoos, conditioners, and other products that are made from only natural ingredients.

The purpose of this technique is to stimulate hair growth by encouraging follicle activation through increased blood circulation while you sweat (body heat).

The Green House Effect not only helps your hair to grow, but it also keeps it moisturized. When you sweat, natural oils are released from your scalp, which can help keep your hair healthy and hydrated.

Not only will the green house effect make your hair feel softer, but it will help your dry and brittle hair.

  1. Applying a natural oil blend, butter to damp hair is key.
  2. Then, use a plastic bag or cap and tie it to your head.
  3. Place a satin or silk bonnet over your head before you go to sleep, and allow it to stay on your hair overnight.
  4. Then, continue the Maximum Hydration Effect regimen, but do not include step 1 – go directly to step 2.

Below you’ll find a link to mango butter and shea butter products.

Step 2: Clarify

The next step is to clarify your hair. This will remove any build-up or residue from any other products that you may have used.

What you need 

  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Conditioner


  1. Mix ½ tbsp. of baking soda and 1/3 cup of thick conditioner into a bottle.
  2. Add 4-7 oz. of water and shake well until the baking soda is fully dissolved.
  3. Apply the mixture to your hair using sections.
  4. Let it sit for up to 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse thoroughly.

Step 3: Co-wash and Finger detangle

What you need


  1. Wet your hair and apply the co-wash evenly throughout.
  2. Use your fingers to work through any tangles, starting at the roots and working down to the tips.
  3. Cover your hair with a shower cap and use a thermal heating cap, handheld steamer, or sit under a hooded dryer for approx. 20 minutes.

Step 4: Bentonite Clay Rinse

What you need

Here you can get three clays!


  1. Mix everything into a bowl. If the mixture is too thick, add more water until you reach a thick but still liquid consistency. It shouldn’t be so think that it resembles cake batter.
  2. Apply to hair in small sections.
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for approx. 15 min with a shower cap.
  4. Rinse out thoroughly.

Tip: To use this product on your hair, think of it as you would a deep conditioner. When applying the clay mixture, apply it in thin, more manageable layers from the root to the ends of your hair, which will give you better results than one big glob.

Signs of progression

By now, all residual product should be gone from your hair and you can finally see how far you’ve come! Your hair will start to clump and curl at the tips, and gradually reach the roots, which is when you can achieve maximum hydration.

You will also notice your hair is shakeable and bouncy and feeling nourished. Maximum hydration does take time and patience, but the results will be worth it!

Step 5: Botanical Leave-In Conditioner

What you need


  1. Mix the conditioner with the water and shake until emulsified.
  2. Starting at the roots, apply the mixture using your usual technique (i.e. raking, smoothing, shingling, etc.) thoroughly in sections.

Tip: If your hair is feeling wet and slippery, that means the gel will dry softer, so take note.

Leave-in Conditioner Recommendations

Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave In Conditioner

4C ONLY Too Soft Leave-In Conditioner

Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Leave In Conditioner

Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Leave-In Conditioner

Soultanicals Hair Sorrell Knappylicious Kink Drink

Naturall Club Nourishing Avocado Leave-in Conditioner

Step 6: Botanical Gel

What you need

  • Botanical gel
  • Oil (optional)


  1. Begin at the roots of your hair, and then apply the gel in small sections using your regular styling technique. Continue this process until you reach the ends of your hair.
  2. Make sure that the product is evenly distributed on your hair. Your hair should feel slippery.
  3. Optional – Use a small amount of oil before or after gel. This is called the “L.C.O. Method,” and it helps to lock in the moisture.

Step 7: Stretching

What you need


  1. If you have time, allow your hair to air dry. If not, use a blow dryer with a diffuser and set it on the low setting. Do not touch your hair as it is drying to avoid frizz.
  2. While drying, carefully use your fingers to stretch and your coils from root to tip. This will help elongate the hair.
  3. You can also use clips or the Banding Method to help stretch and shape your coils for maximum definition.
  4. Before bedtime: tuck, and pin sections of your hair before bed.
  5. Start by sectioning your hair vertically into 4-6 sections (or more, depending on the length and thickness of your hair).
  6. Then roll each section, tuck it in place, and secure with a bobby pin.
  7. After you’ve rolled your hair in the direction you want it to fall, gently tie on a scarf.
  8. In the morning, simply shake at the roots to bring your hair back to life.

Helpful Tips

-Start this regimen on the weekend so you have ample time to get all the steps done.

-Take your time with each step and make sure that it is thorough and even.

-Be gentle with your hair and scalp when styling.

-The simplest method to follow this routine is to clarify your hair at night, directly after applying a deep conditioner. In the morning, rinse out the conditioner and continue with the subsequent steps.

-If you have high porosity hair, take fewer ingredients and spend less time on each hair step.

Maximum Hydration Method for High Porosity Hair

YouTube video
Video credit: Imperfectly Natalya


How do you know the maximum hydration is working?

You’ll know the method is working when your hair forms clumps, curls at the ends, and when your curls are still bouncy and moveable even when your hair is completely dry.

How often should you to the MHM?

The Cherry Lola Treatment should be done every two weeks, while the remaining steps of the Max Hydration Method should be completed weekly to keep hydrated and moisturized.

It is also important to clarify your hair once a month, or more frequently if needed, to remove product build up.


I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

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