Naturalista Spotlight: Nicole & the Max Hydration Method
By Tiffany Walton
If you’ve visited hair boards or checked out YouTube, in the last few months, you have probably read about or seen videos on the Max Hydration Method (MHM), rooted in the Curly Girl Method, developed by Lorraine Massey. The method has now grown its own legs and is sprouting into a new movement and go-to regimen for kinky-curly naturals.
I first learned about the nuanced details from MHM pioneer "PinkCube’s" site, http://maxhydrationmethod.com/
PinkCube has been credited with being the person who was able to synthesize the many approaches to MHM and break things down all in one place.
Vlogger "MsDeeKay" has also been instrumental in this movement and has a detailed YouTube Channel about the method. Here, she gives the foundations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9IHPdStHqA
The basic idea of MHM is that it helps hair gain its optimal level of moisture, which results in length retention, and curl definition. Many people report experiencing curls they never knew they had. A core product used for MHM is clay, either Rhassoul or bentonite.
Here, we chat with Nicole, who practices the MHM and uses NATURALICIOUS as her base, to achieve an effortless wash-and-go.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Nicole. I was born and raised in the DMV (D.C, Maryland, Virginia areas).
What exactly is the Maximum Hydration Method?
The Maximum Hydration Method (MHM) is a 5-step regimen that increases moisture levels in your hair from the inside out resulting in maximum hydration. In general, your hair has reached maximum hydration when it curls from root to tip.
How much time does this method take?
It really all depends on a person's hair (length, how long it takes to detangle, etc.) but on average I would say that this method takes a minimum of about two hours. A lot of that is wait time however.
Have you made any changes to the routine or adhere strictly to "the rules?"
Yes. About 4 months ago I started doing the modified method created by [Blogger] Dubaidee4c. Now I'm pretty much doing my own thing, still incorporating some of the basics.
How many hours do you spend on your hair?
I have done a second big chop since starting the method. I do my hair now every 2-3 days, and I spend about 15 minutes on my hair. Before chopping, I was spending about 2 hours every 3 days on my hair (way too much for my busy lifestyle which is why I switched methods and big chopped).
How did you first learn about this method?
I was reading an article on a blog and someone mentioned it in the comments section so I looked more into it. It sounded interesting and I'm always up for a challenge so I jumped right in. I really wanted a consistent regimen, which I didn't have at the time, and I wanted to master the wash-and-go.
What hair products do you personally use?
I use NATURALICIOUS 5-in-1 Moroccan Clay Treatment, Tresemme Naturals Radiant Volume Conditioner, Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In, and Eco Styler Gel. For deep conditioning, which I haven't done in months since the weather has warmed up, I use Naturelle Grow Herbal Blends infused deep conditioner. When my hair needs a shot of protein, I use Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner.
How do you incorporate NATURALICIOUS into your MHM regimen?
The MHM regimen (original and modified) requires that you use clay to cleanse your hair. I use the 5-in-1 Clay Treatment for this step of the regimen. In the modified MHM regimen, you don't use conditioner. I do occasionally, but pretty much, the 5-in-1 Clay Treatment is my conditioner as well.
Why did you decide to use NATURALICIOUS as part of your MHM routine as opposed to another brand/product?
Two reasons. Initially I was mixing up my own clay concoction according to the method's instructions. I honestly just didn't want to be bothered with all the mixing; I wanted something I could just use [and be on my way]. Secondly, I tried another brand of pre-mixed clay, however the main ingredient was bentonite clay which my hair doesn't prefer. When I found out about NATURALICIOUS, I was excited to read that it was made with rhassoul clay, which my hair loves, so I bought some and tried it and really liked the results.
What do you like about NATURALICIOUS?
I like that it's ready-to-go. All I have to do is grab my bottle and jump in the shower. No more mixing beforehand. Plus, it makes my hair feel good. I love it!
What would you do to improve the product?
My only improvement would be to put it in a clear bottle. I like to see how much product I'm using and how much is left.
How did you first learn of NATURALICIOUS?
A friend of mine heard about NATURALICIOUS and told me about it.
Have you been criticized for doing this method?
To be honest, I haven't told many people about it. I'm sure I'll hear, "I don't have time for all that" or "That won't work for me." So to avoid that, I just don't say anything. If I feel a person is open to trying something different, or I think that their hair would greatly benefit, I share.
Tell us about your lifestyle? Do you have a busy one?
My lifestyle is very busy to say the least. I have six children ranging in age from 14 to 1. I stay at home full time and home school my kids so that takes up a good chunk of my time. My 1 year old has Down Syndrome and I'm doing my best to help him reach his full potential. This includes lots of therapy and working with him ourselves, which I love to do. My family and I recently started on a healthy eating journey focusing on nothing but whole foods, so cooking also preoccupies quite a bit of my time. I've also started working out 6 days a week.
So yeah, I would say that I'm busy. LOL. Cutting my hair again, hence cutting down on the amount of time I spend on my hair, has been one of the best things I could've done.
What are your hair goals?
For now, I have absolutely no plans to grow my hair out. My short hair is working for me. I just want healthy hair, that is all :)
Do you have any NATURALICIOUS products on your wish list?
More 5-in-1 Clay treatment; I could use a good stash of this stuff :)
NATURALICIOUS' motto is "the freedom to be beautiful?" What does that mean to you? What does freedom look like in your life?
For me, especially as it pertains to hair, freedom means not being tied down by your hair. I read on blogs and see on YouTube, people spending hours and hours on end doing their hair. That's fine for some, but I just don't have that kind of time, nor do I want my life to revolve around my hair. Hair should be fun, not a taskmaster. In my case, not only do I have my hair to do, but my 4 daughters as well. The hair department needs to be simple for me, and that's freedom.
Have you tried the NATURALICIOUS one-hour wash day challenge?
No, but that's because I only spend 15 minutes on my hair [now that I’ve cut it] :)
For anyone doing the MHM, I would recommend that they give the product [NATURALICIOUS 5-in-1 Moroccan Clay Treatment] a try, especially if you're like me and want to save time by not having to mix up your clay. And, thank you for the interview, it's an honor.
Shout out to YouTuber Aaron Harris from whom I gained some great insights.
Have you tried the MHM? What are your thoughts? Let us know what you think of the method in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!