Yearly Archives: 2014

My hair journey in pictures…a walk down memory lane

Hi luvs, Happy New Year’s Eve!!! I hope you have a safe, beautiful day celebrating :)

Earlier this year around April I began my journey to Max Hydration and it has been an exciting one.

I have learned so much about my hair this year than I have for the past 6 years that I have been natural. It has been quite an experience and I have enjoyed sharing my journey and what I’ve learned with all of you. To end the year I thought it would be fitting to share pictures of my natural hair in different stages throughout the years….enjoy :)

P.S: Very Picture Heavy :)

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1. 2004, my hair in a curly weave. 2. In 2006, I attempted to wear my hair out, it was unhealthy 3. 2007, I wore a wig to hide my unhealthy hair 4. When I cut my hair in a bob, the top part was relaxed ends.

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1. After the shaved bob I decided to put my hair in a weave 2.  2008 when I stopped relaxing, my hair in micro braids

3. After the mirco braids I put my hair in a weave  4.  Dec 2008, Wearing my natural hair out  ( Blow dried and straightened)

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1& 2 my natural hair in 2010 3. 2011, My natural hair straightened 4. Feb 2013

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1. March 2013, Hair in a puff 2.  March 2013 Updo 3. March 2013, Flat Twist Out  4. April 2013, Updo 

cream blazer white tank accessories

May 2013 old bantu knot out

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May 2013 Updo

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May 2013 Big Chop

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Sept, october, novermber  2013 finger coils was my go to style

winter whites lace dress animal print asos new look twa msdeekay

Dec 2013

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Feb 2014 before starting the MHM regimen

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April 2014 only a week or two into the MHM regimen

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July 2014 on the MHM regimen

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July 2014 on the MHM regimen

claystepJuly 2014 Clay Step of the MHM regimen

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August 2014 on the MHM regimen

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August 2014 on the MHM regimen

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October 2014 Clay Step of the MHM regimen

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Oct 2014 on the MHM regimen

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Oct 2014 on the MHM regimen

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Nov 2014 on the MHM regimen

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Nov 2014 on the MHM regimen

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Dec 2014 on the MHM regimen

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Dec 2014 on the MHM regimen

Thank you all so much for your continued love and support throughout this year. I have really enjoyed growing with you all. I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful 2015 filled with Love, Happiness, Blessings and Success.

God above all else,

Much love & stay blessed,

XOXO,

Dee



MHM FAQ – Is it ok to use Glycerin or products with Glycerin?

Hi luvs,

I hope you’re having a wonderful day :) Can you believe 2014 is almost over??!!?? I sure can’t!!! But I sure am excited for what’s in store for 2015 :)

Today, I’d like to shed light on another question I get quite often, this one is about the use of products which contain Glycerin as an ingredient with the Max Hydration Method Regimen. Specifically if it’s still OK to use products with Glycerin in humid environments. Since Glycerin is known to be a humectant which can attracts/draw in moisture when used in the hair or skin within optimum environments/conditions.

glycerine

Image : Mountain Rose Herbs

By Pinkecube

The thing about glycerin and humectants is they are fine in products that aren’t being left in your hair. Like if the gel or conditioner you use as a leave in had glycerin or a strong humectant in the top 5 ingredients, it would be a no go for low porosity hair, and any hair really during the winter and dry climates.

If you do leave humectants in your hair you must live in a humid climate, or follow the weather really well to make sure the dew points are okay. Your hair can also be effected by thermostat temperatures and levels of humidity in different buildings, you spend extended time in. It gets so complicated I just say forget glycerin in general– but it isn’t too bad in products you wash out.

Glycerin also has astringent properties so it would lift oil build up in the the hair too. Notice the bentonite mixture I recommend uses honey, so its okay so long as it isn’t being left in. Pure glycerin oil I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole though. No matter the season. It is still an astringent and would not moisturize or seal my low porus hair, and give more of a squeaky straw like feeling as I’m applying it.

Astringent, any of a group of substances that cause the contraction or shrinkage of tissues and that dry up secretions. Astringents are usually classified into three groups according to their mode of action: (1) those that decrease the blood supply by narrowing the small blood vessels (e.g.,epinephrine and cocaine), (2) those that abstract water from the tissue (e.g., glycerol and alcohol)”

Basically astringents lift and dissolve oils from the hair. Some astringents also pull moisture (it can do this from the hair too, not just the skin).

Notice glycerol (glycerin) is on there. Glycerin’s an astringent oil because it is an oil based on short chain alcohols, like coconut oil can be astringent since its based on short chain fatty alcohols.

So there you have it :) You could use products with Glycerin if it’s in your rinse out conditioner and you would probably have good results especially if your hair is not low porosity. But for low porosity naturals, I would suggest to proceed with caution especially if you live in dry cold environments.

Wishing you a wonderful day,

Much love & blessings,

XOXO,

Dee



MHM FAQ – Moisture Overload

Hi luvs,

Happy Monday :) I hope you had a wonderful Christmas weekend :)

When we talk about the Max Hydration method we often talk about building up moisture and protein sensitivity but what about Moisture Overload? Can too much steaming, deep conditioning and hydration lead to Moisture Overload?

moisture-overload

By Pinkecube


Using the Max Hydration Method can never cause moisture overload. The main reason is both moisture and protein overload are caused by product build up. With protein overload it is easy to get, there just needs to be enough protein build up to block the cuticles. If you have low porous hair, you are especially prone to this happening. Moisture overload takes a while because it needs time to build up and gunk up the hair. But it isn’t the water perse that is overloading, it’s the fatty acids.

Water can never build up on the hair, and our hair does not absorb water endlessly like a sponge. Even if your hair was porous enough (due to damage) to soak an excessive amount of water and cause swelling, it would also lose water just as excessively. Conditioners however contain more than just water. Water is the base, but it also contains emulsifiers that allow oils in the conditioner to be readily absorbed by the hair, and fatty acids, which the hair already absorbs. Our hair can be overloaded by conditioners, especially ones that contain ingredients like panthenol (absorbs into hair shaft and builds up pretty easily), and other fatty acids and emollients that are especially able to absorb into the hair shaft.

These when not properly cleansed can cause the gummy feeling, because that feeling of gummyness and waxyness is a sign of build up. The build up is moisture overload. It also then weighs the hair down and excessively conditions it. If you hear about anyone suffering moisture overload, a lot of the time you’ll hear them say they put some sort of thick deep conditioning treatment on their hair and shower-capped it for an excessive amount of time, even days, of course with out clarifying. (MHM has clarification before and after deep conditioning, plus the more moisture retention you get, the less product you have to use (as it is more likely to just build up). You even water down your conditioners, which I recommend especially with thick conditioners)

A good way to attest to this, is water alone capped would take an extremely long time to lead to build up. And even in that scenario, the build up would actually be caked on dead skin from your scalp, and sebum, which is a fatty acid. I have done green house effect with out any product for up to two weeks straight, and have done GHE with a little African growth oil and mostly sheabutter alone for 3 months straight. While I did have signs of build up with the latter, neither caused me to have signs of moisture overload. Although I did use oil with the latter, it was a heavier oil (not fatty acid) that worked more like a sealant outside of the hair shaft. Once I allowed my hair to air dry it wasn’t any different from before. People should not be quick to announce moisture overload because their hair feels a little softer than normal when wet.

A good visual analogy is to think of when you wear a bandaid on your finger all week long, with out taking it off. Because oxygen was hindered from reaching your finger, sweat is trapped along with dead skin and natural skin fatty acids that was allowed to build up on the finger. The dead skin and natural skin fatty acids/oils begins to build up, not the sweat. The dead skin and natural skin oil attracts bacteria and starts to smell funny, actual sweat does not have a smell. The only direct impact moisture has, is it causes the dead skin to cake due to the wetness, and give the finger a gray appearance, that feels almost rubbery and excessively soft and elastic.

However, if you took off the bandaid once each day during the week, washed your hands with soap and changed to a new bandaid, that effect won’t happen. Dead skin and excess oil is being washed off, therefore the only thing that can build up is being removed consistently. Deep conditioning with this method is always followed by some form of clarifying before and shortly after. It is even less of a problem when you are not using heavy amounts of thick conditioner. This is why I emphasize watering it down a bit, because thicker amounts build up faster.

And here are the signs to watch out for:

Moisture Overload:

  • Hair feels weak, gummy and limp when wet.
  • Hair stretches and stretches before breaking.

Protein Overload:

  • Hair feels rough, hard and tangly when wet.
  • Hair does not stretch much before breaking.

Balanced Hair:

  • Feels strong when wet.
  • Stretches slightly and returns to its original length with no breakage.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week ahead :)

Much love & Blessings,

XOXO,

Dee



MHM FAQ – The importance of clarifying

Hi luvs,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas day and are continuing to have a great holiday weekend :)

Today I wanted to talk about the importance of step 1 Clarifying in the Max Hydration Method regimen. One question I keep getting time and time again, is why is it necessary to clarify with ACV or Baking Soda if we’re going to cleanse our hair with clay in step # 3.

I think those asking this question have a number of concerns, one being the effects of clarifying the hair using ACV or Baking Soda regularly. Another concern is they are trying to eliminate one of the steps either the clarifying step or clay step in order to shorten the regimen.

For those who’ve been doing the curly girl method prior to starting the Max Hydration Method or that are familiar with it, know, that regimen focuses heavily on co-washing only. But if your hair is sensitive to build up, it is essential to clarify your hair regularly in order to allow the hair to effectively absorb conditioner and moisture.

For the past couple of months since I had been busy and also felt that because I had reached really close to max hydration I can relax a little :) I decided to experiment with how long I can go without doing the full MHM regimen within a week. My weekly regimen went something like:

Day 1 Full MHM regimen egs on a weekend Saturday or Sunday.
Day 2 Re-wet the hair.
Day 3 Co-wash and restyle the hair.
Day 4 Re-wet the hair and overnight Deep Condition.
Day 5 In the morning Co-wash, Clay and style.
Day 6 Re-wet the hair.
Day 7 Full MHM regimen again.

To my surprise, throughout the week when I didn’t clarify my hair, as the days went by my hair started getting drier, frizzier and I started experiencing tangling, matting at the roots. Even when I re-styled it by co-washing and doing the deep conditioning and clay step. It felt like my hair was just not taking to the water and conditioner.

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In the midst of moving, my hair was super dry and frizzy :) I have my bad hair days too :)

When I finally did the full MHM regimen over the weekend right after the clarifying step my hair would seem to absorb the conditioner and water much more easily and I would have great results again i.e soft, frizz free curls.

When I went back to incorporate clarifying at least twice to thrice a week, my hair was in better shape and wasn’t tangling, matting and knotting. It was much easier to handle and style my hair.

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After going back and incorporating clarifying twice to thrice a week

For me this proved that my hair builds up pretty easily and I need to clarify my hair much more often than once a week. It also means that co-washing, deep conditioning and the clay step were not enough, at least not for my hair.

MHM FAQ from the BHM Max Hydration Method Forum:

Why do we need to clarify every 2-3 days if this regimen encourages products without any bad ingredients (silicones, mineral oil, TEA, etc..)? Shouldn’t these ingredients rinse out easily and not build up?

Pinkecube

Actually you should clarify every time you redo your hair. This method of clarifying is very gentle, and simultaneously helps the hair. It would never be enough to remove silicones. The reason you are able to use the gentle clarifer is because you are using products that can get off. Clarifying is important because co-washing is just not enough to get all the product residue off your hair.

You don’t want anything getting in the way of more moisture getting in your strands, you want the max amount of hydration to get into your hair without any build up in your hair. Baking Soda rinse and ACV rinse lift dirt off and also have conditioning effects on the hair. Baking Soda lifts the cuticle and allows moisture to penetrate the hair the most when you DC or steam. And ACV lifts off dirt and smooths the cuticle, which is why DC after each rinse, and the occasional alternation of Baking Soda rinse or treatment is recommended.

I used to cowash only and I used all the right products. But I only noticed a tremendous difference and signs of max hydration after adding the clarifying step. Just look at aketafitgirls videos. As soon as she added both clarifying steps to her regimen, her hair started changing.


Danabnatural
before adding the clarifying step to her regimen.

beforeclarifyingstep-danabnaturals

Danabnatural after adding the clarifying step to her regimen. She does Baking Soda and bentonite clay rinses in her regimen.

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Aketafitgirl before adding the clarifying step to her regimen.

beforeclarifyingstep-aketafitgirl

Aketafitagirl after adding the clarifying step to her regimen. She does an ACV rinse, Steam, and terresentials. She uses Baking Soda every 6 washes. Although uses straight Baking Soda and water, which is not recommended in the MHM regimen. That is why she doesn’t do the Baking Soda rinse often and only leaves it in her hair for 10 mins max.

aketafitgirl-afterclarifyingstep

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Pinkecube

No, none of their curl patterns change. Not only is it scientifically impossible for either treatment to change your hair texture, the reason that their hair looks more defined is because the added weight of water retained in their hair cortex from getting max hydration is allowing their curls to stretch to a more uniform shape that does not loop upon itself.

If you went back to old methods, allowed your hair to build up, or maybe used a lot of glycerin, after a while the process would reverse itself as moisture retention levels lower, leaving you brittle dry frizzy easily knotting hair again. The lack of random looping means their hair strand are easier to clump together like puzzle pieces. I also notice my hair wants to clump more readily, and in bigger sections. But my curl pattern does not change, because my curl pattern is not frizz and tangle causing back loops caused by weightlessness of the hair strand.

When you get max hydration, the maximum amount of water your hair can hold in its cortex, weighs the hair down to the point where it will clump even with zero product, eventually from root to tip. The added weight also gives movable, shakeable bouncy hair even when its dry, which I am starting to notice, even on second day hair, where as before my hair wouldn’t budge even in the windiest wind. It had no weight to it, because my hair wasn’t retaining any water in the cortex.

Although clarifying is important, it is possible to overclarify the hair which may lead to the exact opposite (dry, fizzy hair and breakage). Finding the right balance for your hair is the key. If you find any of the clarifies are too harsh on your hair do make the necessary adjustments and this of course will be a topic of discussion in another post.

Have a wonderful Holiday weekend and I’ll see you next week,

Much love & Bessings,

XOXO,

Dee