Hi luvs,

It’s time for another MHM feature YAY!!! I’m always so excited about sharing these because, they inspire me and I learn so much from everyone’s journey and I hope that they do the same for you :)

Today, I’d like to share Sarah’s hair journey, she left a comment on one of my videos and invited me to check out her progress on her google+ page. Her progress was very inspiring to me and it reminded me of my own hair journey so I asked her to share..I hope you enjoy her feature as much as I have putting it together :)

mhm-after-texture-sarah-curls

How long have you been natural?

I have been natural since I big chopped in July 2009.

Why did you decided to go natural and what are your experiences being natural?

I decided to go natural because at the time, I was temporarily living in Utah, which is a very dry state with very hard water! I didn’t know this fact at the time, and was washing my hair like every other day. I was thinking that it would help my hair get healthier since my hair was already shedding in handfuls due to a very high level of stress and over processed hair. Boy was I wrong! It made it worse! The hard water made my hair come out in clumps in the middle of my head. I was mortified! I didn’t know what to do anymore with it.

So one day, I was looking in the mirror at myself, and I got fed up. Without thinking or hesitation, I just grabbed some sissors and started chopping away until I only had about 2 inches or less of hair left! My experience of being natural has been a very daunting task because I had to immediately learn how to work with a different texture of hair that I wasn’t use to.

I had always gotten perms throughout most of my life which burned my head and thinned it out like crazy, but I was satisfied because my hair was bone straight and easier to manage. Plus I always flat ironed my hair like everyday. Now I didn’t have either of those things, and I was determined never to use perms or the flat iron again, so for the first 2 years of being natural I would wear my hair in an afro style and braids.

I was as you would call it, “EMBRACING THE NATURAL!” I was always doing research on natural hair care and trying to do all of the things that I thought were right. My hair was thriving some and getting thicker but I wasn’t completely satisfied. There were still days that I secretly wished that I had a perm or flat iron!

sarah-before-mhm

Sarah before MHM

Tell us a little bit about your hair, like your hair type, porosity, texture, length.

My hair type is mostly 4c with some 4b strands in the front, sides and at the nape of my head. I have low porosity hair which makes it very hard for my hair to fully absorb water. Water just seems to bead and run right off of my hair as if its waterproof!

My hair strand’s texture is very fine on most of my head, especially around the edges. Like thinneer than a piece of thread! But some pieces of my hair in the middle are a little thicker. The density (or thickness ) of my hair is very weird. It’s very low density around the perimeter of my head and at the back of my head, but the middle part is normal or medium density. I just recently gave my hair a shape up about 1 week ago by cutting off an inch all the way around my head so my hair is currently about 4 inches long with the shortest piece being 3 inches and the longest piece being about 5 inches long.

What are some of your struggles (if any) being natural before MHM .

I’ve struggled a great deal with my hair before finding the MH method. It’s been a love/hate relationship because at times I’ve loved it whenever it wanted to act and look right, and at times I’ve hated it.

The thing that I learned to love about my hair ( but in secret ), was my curls! I knew that I had very tight, cute little curls. And whenever I would put gel in it, I would see that. I would be like, “Oh wow they’re so cute! Why can’t it look like this all of the time? Is there some way it can?” But the love ended as soon as my hair dried which was not long at all. It would turn into a hot frizzy mess! And it looked “nappy” and all dry and dull again.

I also loved how soft it felt whenever I would use a product that seemed to moisturize it well like the Shea moisture products. The things that I hated about my hair was it’s ability to grow and retain length. I have struggled with that my whole life even before I went natural. My hair has never been long, not even touched shoulder length, even after all these years. Of course I’ve cut it about 4 or 5 times over the years but no more than about 3 inches. I’ve often wondered how long is my terminal length and will I ever get there? I would see people on youtube that would go natural and in a year their hair would well surpass mine. That was very discouraging to see, because I was doing everything that I could think of to grow my hair long.

I didn’t use harsh drying products, no chemicals, washed my hair every week, did protein treatments at least once a month, drank a lot of water, ate healthy and stayed away from sweets, got enough rest and exercise, and took vitamins! Why wasn’t it working for me, I would ask myself. Then finally one day I just gave up on the notion that I could grow long hair and just began putting my hair away more in braids and mostly glueless lace wigs. Surprisingly, I actually gained the most length whenever I wore the lace wigs! My hair got at its longest at my 4 year mark. It reached about 10 inches long, which was a lot for me! I finally had some hang time and I began wearing my hair in twists with the kinky curly curling custard.

That’s when I started to love my hair again and I did get a lot of compliments! This product was helping my hair to hold on to moisture very well which showed in my hair big time! But then as usual I got bored with it and started to neglect it and let the wigs and unhealthy hair practices take over. Then I got tired of my 1b ashy hair color and began dying my hair jet black with Garnier Olia permanent hair color about a year ago. I guess you could kind of say that I gave up on my hair, and began to prefer style and convenience over health of my hair. 

sarah-close-up-texture

Sarah’s Hair after MHM

How did you find out about MHM and why did you decide to give it a try?

I found out about the MHM actually by accident! I was doing some randaom research of gels and techniques that would bring out my natural curl pattern naturally without the crunch and heaviness of the Olive Oil Eco Styler gel. I stumbled across a video on Curly Nikki that had a hair stylist at a natural hair salon talking about curls clumping and forming with maximum hydration. She was demonstrating it on a client’s head who seemed to have very little curl pattern. Her hair came out gorgeous! I was curious about what this “Maximum Hydration” was so I went to youtube and typed in maximum hydration. It immediately took me to msdeekay’s video. I watched it and after that video, I just knew that is was going to be the answer for my hair. It made so much sense, and ironically, I had already used all of these products in this regimen! So I already knew how these things would work and respond on my hair. I was kind of thinking “Oooh this is going to be time consuming at first and will it be cost effective for me?” But I figured that I might as well go for it. I had nothing to lose but my hair! It couldn’t get any worse that it already was. I had already just taken my hair out of 2 months worth of micro braids and my hair was undernourished, dirty, dry and brittle!

How long have you been doing MHM?

I have been doing the MHM since December 30, 2014, and have currently did the entire regimen from start to finish 13 times. ( I usually split the regimen into 2 days.) 

mhm-after-sarah

What are your experiences with MHM so far.

I went into this regimen with high hopes for my hair, and I have not been disappointed. My first day was ok, but by the 3rd application, I could really see and feel a difference in my hair. My curls are clumping more and my hair just cooperates better even without product! My hair loves the apple cider vinegar which makes it so silky and soft, and the Bentonite Clay is everything for my hair whenever it comes down to making my curls clump!

I don’t really like how dull it leaves my hair looking at the roots, so I have been experimenting with adding milk to it instead of water which has been helping some. I really want to invest in the Rhassoual clay ASAP, as I have heard that it  has more of a moisturizing effect on low porosity hair.

My problem areas that seem to be more stubborn to curl is the left side and the crown of my head. Even though I still have a long way to go and can’t claim max hydration yet, I still have max hydration in about 15-20% of my hair strands. The rest is clumping about 2-3 inches up the strands.

My hair has plenty of shake when damp or wet, but it doesn’t move freely yet whenever completely dry unless the wind is blowing hard! LOL! I am also experiencing my hair being kind of crunchy sometimes whenever 100% dry after applying conditioner and kinky curly curling custard. I know that it could be because of the aloe in the gel or just that my hair still needs to build up it’s moisture levels completely. I am confident that it will in time with consistency. I might experiment with other gels on the list and also make my own flaxseed gel soon.  

sarah-mhm-close-up-texture

What are your views/experiences and maybe other people’s view of your hair before and after MHM

Before MHM, I secretly really did love my hair texture, when it was wet or cooperating with me. But I was unhappy with it because I never thought that it would reach it’s full potential and grow to longer lengths. Other people have surprisely always loved my hair’s texture and I would get compliments no matter how I would style it, especially from other races.

Now since starting the MHM, I can actually see what my hair is supposed to look like! I love my tiny little curls and I fully appreciate the uniqueness of them. Others such as family and friends and even some random strangers compliment me on my hair. One friend even thought that it was due to pregnancy hormones that made my hair look this way! People tell me that they actually prefer my natural hair like this over the wigs and extensions! Surprise, surprise! Even my husband, who has been known to tell me that I have “African hair” is coming around to the idea and likes my curls! I no longer have to hide behind the wigs and my hopes are high as far as length retention.

This time around I’m not so focused and obsessed with length because I know that it will get there. I’m more focused on obtaining maximum hydration this year, not just because of the curls that it will produce, but because it will being giving clear evidence of the health of my hair. It will mean that my hair is moisturized to the max, and we all know that moisture, coupled with a healthy protein balance, equals healthy hair. That’s what this journey is all about, not overobsession with curls. The curls are just the extra icing on the top!

Any advice to anyone who is considering trying MHM for the first time or to other naturals in general.

I would say to anyone who is considering this method whether natural or not, first do your research and make sure that you understand it and all of it’s steps. It can seem overwhelming at first, but it really isn’t once you understand it. Also come into it with realistic views and realize that you aren’t going to receive maximum hydration overnight, not even in a week! It will take time! Natural hair takes time, so be patient and treat your hair kind! And know that it will not change your hair pattern or texture, just enhance what you already had all along. 

Also I would recommend that if your’re going to be doing the one or two week challenge to speed things up, order your products in bulk if you can. It would also be wise to figure out a schedule in advance that works out for you. Have a plan set into motion so that you do not get discouraged and overwhelmed and give up before the week is over. Stay consistent and don’t keep looking at other people’s results and comparing your hair’s progress to theirs. It will only rob you of your joy and mess up your experience. You might have to stay away from youtube for a little bit so that you don’t get unrealistic views of what your hair should look like! ( I’m having to do the same thing.)

But overall I would say that once you have all these things in mind, just go for it! It will be the best treat that you can give your hair! And if your hair doesn’t seem to respond well to one or more of the steps, don’t be afraid to experiment and switch it up. But only do so with approved products of the MHM website. You can also talk to others who have been doing it for a while now. Join blogs and get experienced veterans opinions. It helps a lot. You will not go wrong and your hair will thank you for it in the long run! 

sarah-mhm-after-dry

And anything else that you would like to add …( including social media links, blog, youtube etc)

Remember that this is a journey and it’s about knowledge, and self acceptance. This method really works no matter what hair texture you have and I am living proof. I did it, and am still doing it, and so can you! Great references to this method that you should definitely invest in the Books Curly Girl the Handbook expanded second edition by Lorraine Massey, Hair Care Rehab by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, and The Science of Black Hair also written by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy.

You can look me up and email me at sarahs.jwitness at gmail dot com, or sarahs.jwitness at yahoo dot com, and also sarahs.jwitness on twitter Happy Hydrating!

Thank you so much for sharing your story Sarah, I’m sure your journey and words of wisdom will help and encourage others.

Much love and blessings,

XOXO,

Dee

Max Hydration Feature, Max Hydration Testimony, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Journey, Natural Hair Tips, The Maximum Hydration Method

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Hi luvs,

Today I wanted to share some tips on clarifying the hair using Baking Soda. I know that clarifying with Baking Soda can be a controversial topic within the Natural hair Community. While some are against the use of Baking Soda as a clarifier some naturals swear by it.

In the beginning of my natural hair journey, I did hear a lot of negative things concerning the use of Baking Soda and quite frankly I was scared to use it on my hair.

baking soda clarifying tips

But years later after finding out that my hair was low porosity, I did a lot of research on the best way to care for this type of hair and in all my research Baking Soda kept being brought up. So I got more curious and intrigued on the possibility of using Baking Soda on my hair but I was still skeptical.

A couple of months later I stumbled upon the MHM Regimen and after reading through the principles of the regimen and watching DanaBNatural’s low porosity journey with the curly girl method it all made sense to me. I was now ready and convinced to use Baking Soda as part of my hair care regimen.

Personally I do not regret this decision and so far I have only had a great experience with my hair. IMO Baking Soda can be a great clarifier for those with low porosity hair. I have found that although ACV works fine for my hair after sometime my hair just doesn’t respond anymore. What I mean is my hair stops absorbing conditioner and moisture and starts to get frizzy and the only thing that restores the condition of my hair is to clarify with Baking Soda. You can read more about my experiences in this post, “The importance of clarifying

But as with everything too much of a good thing can be bad. Baking Soda can strip and dry out the hair and because of this I would like to share some tips that can help you prevent this from happening.

  • The official recipe for clarifying the hair with the MHM regimen suggests using 1 – 2 tablespoons of the Baking Soda mixture. If this is too strong for your hair, do decrease the amount to 1 teaspoon.
  • Use a thick conditioner and warm water to buffer the Baking Soda and make sure that it dissolves well into the mixture.
  • Some people experience itchiness and irritation when using the mixture, if this is the case with you, you can add some essential oils such as Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Lavender Oil or Rosemary Oil.
  • Do not leave the mixture in your hair for more than 15mins.
  • Make sure after you rinse out your mixture, you follow up with either a steaming/deep conditioning/GHE session with full strength conditioner.

I have also shared these tips in more details in the video below, so be sure to check it out :)

Also, I highly suggesting reading this post “MHM Myths Debunked: Cutting Apart the Baking Soda Fixation” from the official maxhydrationmethod website.

Much Love & Stay Blessed,

XOXO,

Dee

 

MHM FAQ, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Tips, The Maximum Hydration Method

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Hi luvs,

I often get questions from naturals who aren’t Low Porosity asking if they too can do the MHM Regimen. And yes, of course anyone who is struggling with dryness will benefit from this regimen no matter the porosity or hair type.

I have already touched upon this in previous posts and there are some lovely ladies who are actually high porosity who have shared their tips while doing the MHM be sure to check out those posts below:
So, today I wanted to share a little more about Protein and Porosity. Most Low porosity naturals are protein sensitive and don’t need to use a lot of protein treatments in their hair. But what about those who are either normal to high porosity? How does protein affect our porosity and why do we need to limit its use in the MHM regimen?

lovekera516-maxhydrationmethod
                                                                                      instagram @lovekera516

MHM FAQ -
Is protein a no-no for normal or high porosity hair in this regimen?  Are you saying that the cuticles cannot lift properly when the gaps have been filled with protein?  Just trying to understand how this works, since a lot of references seems to be towards low porosity hair, making it hard to decipher if some of the points stipulated are related to all porosities or just low.

With protein, it basically coats the strand. It doesn’t literally make the cuticles not lift. The problem is it seals over the cuticles (open or not the gaps are being blocked), much like a silicone only not as bad as a silicone.

When the cuticles are blocked, even when your cuticles are open, that protein is forming a barrier. It isn’t allowing the maximum amount of moisture to get in. In this sense, it is reducing the porosity of your hair.

This is why high porous naturals with damage, relaxers, benefit more from proteins and silicones. Their cuticles are not literally open all the time, they could naturally even have low porosity hair, but the damage has eaten holes in their cuticle layer. Making their hair high porous by definition, and also weaker since the cortex is exposed and prone to breaking. So filling in those holes helps them to lower that porosity and strengthen their hair. Their priority is preventing their hair from breaking off due to it’s weakened state. The problem is that this is filling in the gaps. Once those gaps are filled, they don’t automatically open back up for when you moisturize your hair. So they trade efficient moisture for strengthened strands.

At some point, these proteins build up. It’s like with henna, the color lasts awhile in the hair. Protein bonds to the hair and resists being removed. Panthenol and coconut oil do this as well, only more from the inside of the hair.  So that build up soon becomes protein overload; now your cuticles have become so blocked that your hair is unable to absorb sufficient amounts of moisture. You gets symptoms of dry and brittle hair. Moisture overload by the way is the same thing, build up but of conditioning agents. That’s why cowashing isn’t enough. If I only ever co-washed and deep conditioned, I would eventually suffer some form of build up.

Regular product build up of waxes and oils, build up of conditioning agents, build up of plastics, or build up of proteins. Because of this, a protein moisture balance is recommended. Balancing protein and conditioning agent build up. Still no dramatic improvements in the hair, because that issue of build up is not completely gone.

If your hair is higher porous, you may not have problems with proteins. Still, proteins should be limited for all hair. So I for example wouldn’t be using proteins everytime I do the regimen. I would use it at certain intervals. Regardless of porosity, anyone can get protein overload and its pretty easy to get, much easier than moisture overload, and once you get it, it takes time to recover.

So even if your hair is high porous, if it’s in the type 4 category limit the use of proteins.

They give initial good results, and then when they start to build up, they cause more harm than good.

The only thing porosity should tell you is how high your limit for proteins is, but every head of hair has that limit since every head of hair needs moisture.

Low porosity has a very low limit for proteins. One use of hydrolyzed wheat protein could instantly block their cuticles and prevent moisture. Others may take a few uses until they reach that point, depending on the strength of the protein as well.

Don’t try and get a gel or conditioner with hydrolyzed wheat protein as the main ingredient, and space out that protein when you use it. This is a method where moisture needs to be boosted. If protein were an issue for type 4 hair, many of us would already have gotten root to tip definition with all the products that have protein in them.

As with everything the most important thing is finding the right balance for your hair. If you haven’t already, also checkout a previous post on Moisture Overload, which is another FAQ :)

Have a great day :)

Much Love & Stay Blessed,

XOXO,

Dee

MHM FAQ, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Tips, The Maximum Hydration Method

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Hi luvs,

Today I’d like to share some tips on how to incorporate oils when using the MHM Regimen. I understand that most naturals love using oils as part of their hair care regimen, especially now when it’s cold and the hair is most susceptible to the winter elements.

However, in principle oils are rarely needed in the MHM regimen, especially as a sealant. Because a botanical gel acts as the sealant in this regimen instead of oils or heavy butters/creams.

However, if you would still like to use oils it is recommended to use a little oil after your leave in and before your gel, to give you a softer hold. You can also add a little oil to your gel. The only thing that needs to be taken into account is to use oils sparingly because ACV and Baking Soda are not good at clarifying oils.

natural-hair-oil-mhm

MHM FAQ –

Can I do a pre-poo when doing the MHM Regimen?  Can I add oils into either the deep conditioning and/or leave in conditioning/or gel step? 

By Pinkecube

A pre-poo wouldn’t be necessary to do before the standard clarifying steps, especially because there are already two clarifying steps in the method (one being Step 1: ACV or Baking Soda) and the other being Step 3 : Clay) and these are gentle, multifunctional methods of clarifying, with deep conditioning in between. If you’re using shampoo instead of the clarifying steps, maybe you may find pre-pooing with an oil beforehand to be necessary.

A tiny amount of oil can be used during DC. But be wary of oils during DC, or maybe just limit the amount of times you use oil. Try not to put too much oil, because remember oils are not moisturizers, they are lubricants, humectants, and sealants. That step is really important for absorbing moisture into the cuticle. Especially if you aren’t going to be using the Baking Soda step beforehand (which would make sure the cuticle is lifted). In my experience, GHE is effective using conditioner or water. Oils just cause build up if not kept to a minimum. So you can use it, but try not to make it the main thing in your hair, just use a little.

You can do LCO. Or in this case it would be like LCOG. Liquid (Your hair would already be wet), Conditioner, Oil, then Gel. This would soften the crunch/gel cast a bit too. 

It’s also okay to scrunch in oil on damp or dry hair. Whether it causes frizz, you’ll have to experiment with both and see which your hair responds to better. I also did the oil scrunching at first, too. After mastering the right amount of leave in and how to water it down, I didn’t feel the need to anymore.

Honestly you aren’t going to really need oils in this regimen except for maybe if you want to layer it for a softer hold. And even then the softness can be recovered by simply adjusting the amount of leave in.

If you are going to use oils, I would recommend sticking to very light oils, especially if you’re low porosity. Other types of oils to consider are Essential Oils, I personally love to add some essential oils to my clay mixture. These can also be added to your clarifiers and your DC. Lastly, if you’re wearing styles other than Wash and Go’s for example twist outs or other protective styles you could use a little oil with your MHM recommended water based cream as part of your sealing process.

Have a great day :)

Much Love & Stay Blessed,

XOXO,

Dee

 

MHM FAQ, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Tips, The Maximum Hydration Method

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Hi luvs,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and you’re now rejuvenated enough for the week ahead :) Last week I shared why you may notice curl clumps/definition when your hair is wet but lose it all to frizz once your hair dries. We narrowed it down to the hair not having built enough moisture levels. But, technique also matters… today I’ll be sharing the technique part of the equation especially when using KCCC.

Ever since starting the MHM Regimen I have only used KCCC and DIY Flaxseed Gel, now I must say that KCCC does have a learning curve and it took me quite a while to get the results I wanted with it. In the beginning of my hydration journey, my hair would dry frizzy or with white residue. The frizz part doesn’t happen anymore but the white residue, I still get it once in a while in some parts of my hair when I’m heavy handed. But the white residue now disappears once my hair is completely dry.

kinkycurlyproducts

This leads us to today’s MHM FAQ

I’ve used KCCC but when my hair dries it loses some definition and doesn’t look shiny and is kind of dry, I think it is the Aloe and Agave in it. The back of my head is taken well to it, it even has clumps of max hydration, but the front isn’t budging.

By Pinkecube

I love this question, because what you’re describing sounds just like my head. Of course, now that actually doesn’t happen anymore. I believe this is a combination of moisture retention and technique. Here are some tips.
Yes, the KCCC will dry frizzy at first.


The reason why is the Aloe. The trick is to first make sure you are applying enough so that you feel slip. Then instead of acting like an astringent, it acts like a sealant and forms an evenly distributed cast. Also make sure you apply enough conditioner (water it down) for your hair to feel wet.


The second trick is to make sure that as you get to the “frizzy” section, you are applying it in thinner sections. Tighter curl section and shorter sections need to have product applied in thinner sections, and properly smoothed an raked to prevent over clumping. Do not be afraid to do a lot of smoothing and raking to separate the coils. Otherwise they over clump and stick into larger sections. These sections will clump more frizzy.


You also want to make sure you are evenly distributing the product in all step that you do.  This is especially important in the clay step. It will almost look like you defined your curls during that step, and your whole head will be saturated in the clay.


Lastly, be patient. This method works to increase moisture retention levels over time. So the effect is accumulatory.  Every time you do this regimen, more moisture is retained. The more moisture that is retained, the more weight your hair has, and the more uniform your coils get. So stubborn areas may just be the areas that most need to build up moisture retention. Eventually, they catch up.

These are just some of the techniques that can help you get better results with your wash and go’s. I will be sharing more tips in future posts, but trying other products on the MHM recommendation list is something I actually recommend because you may just find something that works better for your hair.

I wish you a wonderful and productive week ahead,

Much love & stay blessed,

XOXO,

Dee

 

MHM FAQ, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Tips, The Maximum Hydration Method

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