The Max Hydration Method: A Complete Guide For Curly Hair

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Do you have kinky, coily, or curly hair?

A common problem you might have is your hair’s dryness. No matter how often you moisturize, your natural hair still feels dry, does it?

young beautiful African American woman with short curly hair

Well, that happens because kinky hair or coily hair can be naturally dry as it can’t absorb or lock in moisture.

In that case, your locks need more than washing and conditioning. You have to add extra effort to keep your hair hydrated.

What is the best way to do that?

The max hydration method!

Let’s talk about the hair care regimen that’s trending on social media for promising to give you gorgeous curls.

What is the Maximum Hydration Method

Maximum hydration method (MHM) is a hair care routine created by Pinke Cube. She has an Afro-textured, dry hair type, and she wanted it to reach maximum hydration.

Her solution is a natural hair hydration method that aims for the maximum level of moisture the hair can absorb and retain.

Since this is a 6-step method, it would take a lot of time and patience to do. But this is surely something worth a try for having defined curls and healthy hair.

What are the benefits of the maximum hydration method?

  • You’ll have hydrated strands that can resist dryness and brittleness.
  • Your hair will have an enhanced ability to retain moisture.
  • Your hair will be more manageable.
  • The curls will be defined and clumped.
  • There will be less frizz and tangles.

Max Hydration Method Steps and Ingredients

We’ve listed down below the steps you need to do and the best maximum hydration method products we can recommend. Read on to see how you can do the MHM in the most effective way.

Step 1: Cherry Lola Treatment

infographic about cherry lola treatment and its ingredients

This is a DIY amino-acid hair treatment that’s ideal for low-porosity hair.

To explain, when a hair has low porosity, it means that the cuticles in each hair strand are closely stacked together. So there’s little to no space in between for the moisture to get in.

That’s why low-porosity hair can’t absorb moisture well.

Now the Cherry Lola Treatment in the max hydration method opens up hair cuticles. This prepares the hair for the moisture that the next steps will bring.

Lots of Cherry Lola Treatment recipe variations are available out there, but let’s look at the most common and simplest.


  • 16 oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp liquid amino acid
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • Other optional ingredients: honey and avocado


  1. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until the consistency is creamy.
  2. Apply the mixture to your dry, detangled hair.
  3. Put on a shower cap and leave it on for 1-2 hours.
  4. Rinse well with warm water.

If you already have porous hair, like if you always dye your curly hair, you can skip this first step and proceed to the next one.

cropped view of a woman with black curly hair applying hair spray solution

Step 2: Clarify

infographic about clarifying hair with apple cider rinse

To make the max hydration method work, you must have fresh and clean hair. Remove dirt and product buildup well by doing this next step, especially if you’re heavy on hair oils.

There are 3 options that you can use for clarifying your hair.

Option 1 — Baking Soda Rinse

  1. Mix 1 ½ tbsp baking soda and ⅓ cup hair conditioner.
  2. Massage the mixture on the hair and scalp, concentrating on the roots.
  3. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse.

Option 2 — Apple Cider Rinse

  1. Mix a 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution on hair, saturating every strand.
  3. Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing.

Option 3 — Clarifying Shampoo

  1. Apply and lather the shampoo on wet hair.
  2. Rinse well.

Make sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo like Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo to thoroughly but gently cleanse your hair.

Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Balance & High Shine, Daily Clarifying &...
  • SHINE & VOLUME: Oat is the first ingredient in this scalp-soothing, farm-fresh inspired shampoo infused with apple cider vinegar to clarify the scalp and add high shine...
  • CLARIFYING BLEND: Infused with apple cider vinegar, this shampoo cleanses and reinforces shine from root to tip. It's free of sulfates, dyes & parabens & safe for all...
  • FARM FRESH INSPIRED: We make hair care products that promote healthy hair & scalp, from shampoo & conditioner to hair masks, leave-in milks, mists & oils.

Step 3: Co-wash

infographic about co-wash or conditioner washing

Co-wash, or conditioner washing, is using a sulfate-free conditioner to wash your hair. This technique is pretty popular with those that have type 4 hair because shampoo can be drying.

How to Co-wash

  1. Apply the conditioner to your hair.
  2. Gently detangle hair with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.
  3. Put on a shower cap and let the conditioner sit on your hair for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Rinse your hair well.

As an optional step, you can warm up your hair using a steamer before rinsing. This will make the conditioner work better.

And for co-washing, we recommend Eden BodyWorks Natural Cleansing CoWash because it can cleanse and soften the hair effectively at the same time.

EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing Cowash | 16 oz | Remove Build Up, Cleanse, Control Frizz &...
  • RESTORE: The Cleansing CoWash conditions the hair between regular shampoos, bringing back moisture that may have been lost during styling
  • REMOVE BUILD UP: Break down and cleanse residue so that the hair + scalp can maintain a healthy environment for growth
  • MOISTURIZE: Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Aloe, Avocado Oil + other great ingredients absorb into the hair and work together to hydrate the + seal that moisture in, keeping...

Step 4: Bentonite Clay Rinse

infographic about bentonite clay wash and its ingredients

This next step will help detoxify your hair and define your curls. It’s just a bit messy, so don’t wear your favorite shirt while doing this.


How to Do a Bentonite Clay Rinse

  1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl until the consistency is thinner than yogurt.
  2. Part your hair into sections and apply the clay rinse in thin layers.
  3. Leave on for 15 minutes.
  4. When rinsing, run the hair through the water until the clay softens before you gently massage your hair.

Step 5: Leave-in Conditioner

infographic about leave-in conditioner

You’re done with the washing, but don’t get out of the shower yet.

Apply the leave-in conditioner right after the clay rinse, while the hair is still dripping wet. It’s better because the wetter the hair is, the better the product will dissolve and not leave residues.

Try a botanical leave-in conditioner like Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil that can intensely smoothen and nourish your hair.

Shea Moisture Leave in Conditioner with Jamaican Black Castor Oil for Hair Growth, Strengthen &...
  • VITAMIN E MOISTURIZER: Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a rich source of Vitamin E, known for its benefits as a hair moisturizer and supporting lush, healthy hair growth for...
  • SMOOTHER HAIR WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Apple cider vinegar is in this leave in conditioner to help make hair smoother, easier to detangle, and reduce any scalp itchiness...
  • DEEP CONDITIONER WITH ORGANIC SHEA BUTTER: Organic Shea Butter deeply conditions dry hair and scalp, seals in moisture, and leaves hair softer without clogging pores.
woman applying natural oil on the tips of her curly hair

Step 6: Styling Product

infographic about styling product

Do this step after you get out of the shower.

  1. Apply the gel or cream evenly to damp hair.
  2. Turn your hair over and give it a big shake to separate your curls.
  3. Don’t run your fingers through your hair to prevent frizziness.
  4. Air-dry your hair instead of using a hair dryer.

The best max hydration method product for this step? Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel for maximum moisture.

Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel, 8 fl oz
  • A silky-soft buttery gel delivers a light styling hold that’s moisturizing
  • Crafted with Macadamia Seed Oil, sealing strands to put an end to breakage
  • Added Almond extracts offer a rich source of magnesium for conditioning benefits to the scalp and ends of hair

Optional Step: Stretching

infographic about twist-out stretching method

After the sixth step, you will notice that your hair has become a lot shinier and softer. That would be an already satisfying result.

But there is an additional step that you can do to help your hair absorb the products further, and that is stretching.

There are several ways to do stretching. One of those is the twist-out method, which involves no heat or tools.

  1. Separate your curls into 4 to 6 sections.
  2. Lightly twist each section and secure the end by twirling it around your finger.
  3. Leave your hair twisted for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Unravel the twists and fluff your hair gently with your fingers.

More Tips on MHM Hair Care

Now that you know all the steps and the top max hydration method products, here are other things that can be helpful if you want to try MHM.

First, if you don’t have all day to do this regimen, you can do the first two steps at night and continue the other steps the next day.

gorgeous smiling African American woman with long curly hair

Moreover, one thing to take note of about the Cherry Lola Treatment is that you don’t need to do it every time you start the MHM.

If you want to do the routine again the next week, you can skip step 1 as your cuticles have already been opened.

Remember that this method is ideal for hair with low porosity, so if you have high-porosity hair but still want to try this method, you can lessen the processing time.

Lastly, if bentonite clay is too harsh on your scalp, you can use rhassoul clay instead. It doesn’t contain any lead, so it’s more gentle but it’s also more expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I know if my hair has low porosity?

One sign of having low porosity is when your hair takes a long time to wet. Another is you notice a lot of residues when you use hair styling products.

If you want to be more certain, you can also do the porosity test.

Get a strand of your hair from your brush or comb and put it into a glass of water.

The results

  • If the strand sinks right away, your hair has a high porosity level.
  • If it sinks slowly, you have normal porosity hair.
  • If it just floats on top, you have low-porosity hair.

How often can I do the max hydration method?

Do the Cherry Lola Treatment (step 1) only once every 2 weeks. As for the hydration treatments (steps 2 to 6), you can do them as often as every week.

Does the max hydration method have a bad effect on the hair?

A lot of you may be curious about maximum hydration method damage or side effects. Well, it’s not the method itself that has bad effects; it’s the ingredients or products in the method when used too much or too often.

Note that some of the ingredients used in the maximum hydration method like baking soda and bentonite clay have alkaline.

Now, alkaline can make the pH level of your scalp go higher, and when that happens, you can be more prone to dandruff.

Also, if you do the Cherry Lola Treatment too often, your hair shaft may expand because of the opened cuticles. This can actually result in more tangles, dryness, and brittleness.

pink and white infographic with colorful illustrations outlining the 7 steps in the maximum hydration method

Keep Your Hair Hydrated with the Max Hydration Method

Remember: Nothing worth having comes easy. So even though this ultimate hydration method takes a lot of time and effort, you’ll definitely get the best results for your healthy hair.

You’ll find that your hair feels soft, smooth, and hydrated to the max!

See more information about hair care in these posts:


  • Rachelle Velasco

    Rachelle, is a sought-after freelance hair and makeup artist, shines particularly in the world of hair color. From subtle ombres and balayages to vibrant hues and intricate root work, she crafts unique styles tailored to individual preferences. Beyond her artistic talents, Rachelle also holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, showcasing her diverse skill set and dedication to learning.

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