Tag Archives: deep conditioning

The MAX Hydration Method … Modified! (A DETAILED OVERVIEW)

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!
After my successful experiment with a baking soda scalp treatment back in August, I finally decided to take the plunge and try the Max Hydration Method (MHM). This strategic hair moisturization method was created by (no longer active) YouTuber Pinke Cube. The MHM was originally designed for type 4c low porosity hair, but it has been used by those with type 3 and even type 2 hair hair. The theory is that once maximum hydration is obtained, your dry, frizzy, and undefined curls and coils will be fully hydrated, well-defined, free of tangles and single strand knots, less prone to breakage, and therefore more easily able to retain length.
Dry, tangled hair has plagued me since the beginning of my second year as a natural. Needless to say I was intrigued! I did extensive research and quickly realized there was more involved than I had thought. The MHM involves an intense 4-step process over the course of 7 days. See the traditional MHM below.

TRADITIONAL Max Hydration METHOD

    1. CHERRY LOLA TREATMENT: If this is your first time attempting the MHM, you are supposed to start with a Cherry Lola Treatment (CLT). This protein treatment was created by UK natural hair blogger Cherry Lola in 2009 to help strengthen hair follicles and prevent damage. Because I saw recipe after recipe with ingredients like bananas, molasses, and the like, I knew immediately that I would skip this step. However, after a super deep research dive, I found out that the original CLT only has 3 ingredients (see the original recipe below). The other ingredients likely are an amalgamation of the CLT and a DIY Carmel Treatment. The original Carmel Deep Reconstructing Treatment is by E’TAE. To apply the CLT, mix together all of the ingredients and apply it to your entire head of hair. Leave on for 20-30 minutes, and then rinse out completely. This protein treatment should be done bi-weekly (every two weeks), monthly, or how frequently your hair requires (i.e., once a quarter).Several people who use the CLT, especially those with high porosity hair, reduce the baking soda and liquid amino acids to 2 TBSP each.
      NOTE #1: (OPTIONAL) OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT—Some MHM users do an optional overnight deep conditioning session (after the CLT) to further encourage increased hydration.
      NOTE #2: The NEXT STEPS are intended to be done EVERY DAY for 7 consecutive days!
    2. CLARIFY: After an initial CLT, you must then clarify your hair. This is usually done the next day (after the CLT). You can either do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse (with a 50:50 ratio of ACV to distilled water) or a baking soda treatment (with 2 TBSP of baking soda, 2 oz. of conditioner, and 4 oz. of distilled water). Allow the ACV rinse OR baking soda treatment to sit on your hair for 20-30 minutes. Recommended conditioners include: [i.] Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner/Detangler, [ii.]  Kinky Curly Tiny Twirls Detangling Conditioner, [iii.] Curls Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Deep Conditioner, [iv.] Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls Leave-in Hair Conditioner, [v.] Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment, [vi.] Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner, [vii.] Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, [viii.] Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment in Citrus Lavender, Island Fantasy, or Unscented, [ix.] Botanical Skin Works Leave-in Conditioner, [x.] Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor, [xi.] Giovanni Direct Leave-in Weightless Moisture Conditioner, and [xii.] Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus.
      NOTE: If you have high porosity hair, opt for the ACV rinse. If you have low porosity hair, do the baking soda treatment instead, using one of the recommended conditioners!
    3. CO-WASH & DETANGLE: Use one of the “approved” conditioners (above) to co-wash your hair. Also, gently detangle your hair during this step.
      NOTE: 
      (OPTIONAL) OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT—
      Some MHM users do an overnight deep conditioning session (in lieu of co-washing) to further encourage increased hydration. However, under the original MHM regimen, this is an optional step. 
    4. CLAY RINSE: After co-washing (or deep conditioning) and detangling, apply a clay mix thoroughly to your hair and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Recommended clays include: [i.] Bentonite clay, [ii.]  Rhassoul (aka Ghassoul) clay [iii.] European clay, and [iv.] French green clay. However, if you don’t want to create your own clay rinse, you can buy a pre-made clay hair wash by Terressentials. To make the clay rinse, combine 1 cup of clay with 1½ cups of ACV (or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of olive oil.
      NOTE: The clay rinse recipe (above) provides rough measurements as the exact amount will depend upon the length and density of your hair.
    5. MOISTURIZE & STYLE: Apply your leave-ins to soaking wet hair in sections from root to tip. Mist your hair with water if it starts to dry out. Recommended gels/stylers include: [i.] Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel, [ii.] Herbal Choice Mari Hair Styling GEL for Him & Her,  [iii.] Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel, [iv.] Epiphany Naturals Curly Creme with Argan Oil, [v.] Kinky curly Curling Custard Natural Styling Gel, [vi.] .Koils by Nature Herbal Curl Defining Gel, and [vii.] Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter. Style your hair according to personal tastes (i.e., in a wash ‘n go, twist-out, or stretched style).
      NOTE #1: With the MHM, products must be layered onto the hair via the Liquid Cream Oil (LCO) or Liquid Cream Oil Cream (LCOC) methods. A botanical gel or curl definer can then be applied on top as the final layer. Because oils are occlusive, it is believed that the LOC method should NEVER be used as it could prevent water-based moisturizing products from penetrating and hydrating your strands. 
      NOTE #2: 
      Repeat steps #2-#5 DAILY for 7 consecutive days (or at least every 2-3 days), depending upon your hair’s needs. Once your hair reaches “max hydration,” you can scale back on how frequently you utilize the MHM. For more detailed information about the traditional MHM, read this post from the creator Pinke Cube, herself, in the Black Hair Medium forum.

 

MY MODIFIED Max Hydration METHOD

  1. CHERRY LOLA TREATMENT: Now that I know the CLT only contains plain yogurt, baking soda, and liquid amino acids, I may try my hand at the treatment sometime in the near future. However, for the month that I chose to do a modified version of the MHM, I elected to skip this step entirely. I did this to save time and because I had already successfully given myself several intense baking soda scalp treatments.
    NOTE: To save time, I performed all of the next steps TWICE a week instead of for 7 consecutive days!
  2. CLARIFY: Because I have have low porosity hair, I did the baking soda treatment (instead of an ACV rinse) by combining 2 TBSP of baking soda in a large spray bottle with 2 oz. of conditioner and 4 oz. of distilled water. Because I didn’t have any of the “approved” conditioners on hand in my stash, and I already had more product than I care to admit in my beauty cabinet, I didn’t want to purchase any new product. As a result, I just used what I hand on hand: VO5’s Tea Therapy Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner. The combination of the Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner with the baking soda was life-altering! LIFE-ALTERING, I SAY!!! All I did was divide my hair into quadrants and apply the concoction to each section (from root to tip). I smoothed it all over my strands, secured each quadrant into a large Bantu knot (to keep it from tangling and to help me work in manageable sections), and left the mix in my hair for 30 minutes. After half an hour, I hopped in the shower, and rinsed the mixture from each quadrant. My hair was instantaneously tangle-free, smooth, and more defined. I finger detangled my hair while in the shower, but there was truly no need. My fingers literally glided through my hair from root to ends! I was super excited because this was only the FIRST step! Honestly, even though this was only the beginning, I was already sold!
    NOTE: If you have high porosity hair, an ACV rinse is recommended. If you have low porosity hair, do the baking soda treatment instead (like I did), using one of the recommended conditioners (listed above under step #2 for the traditional max hydration method).
  3. CO-WASH: Because my hair felt so silky, I opted to skip this step every time I used the MHM. I went straight to the deep conditioning step (after clarifying my hair with the baking soda treatment).
  4. OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT: Although an optional overnight deep conditioning session is recommended to expedite the hydration process, unless I am utilizing the Baggy Method or the GHE to correct a specific hair issue, I don’t believe in overnight hair treatments (i.e., where product is left in your hair for hours on end). Also, scientifically speaking, after a maximum of 30 minutes, your hair has adsorbed all that it can, so there is no need to deep condition past the 30-minute marker. I rotated a moisturizing deep conditioner with a hair mask that contained light protein to maintain the integrity of my hair. So, on MY FIRST HAIR WASH of each week, I would use my ion Summer Deep Conditioning Treatment, and on MY SECOND HAIR WASH of each week, I would use my ion Keratin Smoothing Masque. I felt that this balanced my hair appropriately. Each time, I applied the deep conditioner to my hair in quadrants and secured each quadrant into a large Bantu knot. Then, I donned a processing cap and sat under my stand bonnet dryer for 30 minutes before rinsing each section. At this point, my hair felt twice as hydrated as it did in the clarifying step, and I can hardly believe it.
    NOTE #1: Both my ion Summer Deep Conditioning Treatment and my ion Keratin Smoothing Masque contain “dimethicone.” Under the MHM, silicones generally are not permitted due to the tendency to have to use harsh cleansers to remove them fully from one’s hair. However, because I have fine hair, I’ve experienced no difficulty with removing any buildup from my hair. By step #5, I’m pretty confident my hair is completely free of all product and residue.
    NOTE #2: Here is the full list of “banned” ingredients: (i.) hydrolyzed wheat protein/peptides—considered “bad for low porosity hair and most kinkier Type 4 hair,”(ii.) panthenol/pro-Vitamin B5—because it “acts like protein” and can cause build-up, (iii.) triethanolamine (TEA) and other ethanolamines such as MEA, DEA, etc.—because these are drying alcohols derived from ethanol, which can cause long-term damage to the integrity of one’s hair with prolonged use, (iv.) mineral oil and petroleum jelly—because the residue they tend to create is difficult to remove without the use of harsh shampoos, (v.) silicones/polyquaternium—often require sulfate shampoos to remove product buildup and residue, (vi.) salts and sulfates—leave hair parched and dehydrated, and (vii.) lye, i.e., sodium (NaOH) or potassium (KOH) hydroxide—permanently damages hair after prolonged use.
  5. CLAY RINSE: I like to use bentonite clay because it is inexpensive and easily accessible. The original rough measurements for the clay rinse call for 1 cup of clay with 1½ cups of ACV (or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of olive oil. Because I have fine hair, I used ½ cup of bentonite clay with 1 cup of very warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil. This makes enough for two generous applications (for me). However, if you have very thick (or long) hair, I would suggest starting out with the larger measurements from the original clay rinse recipe. I apply the clay to my hair in quadrants and once again secure each quadrant into a Bantu knot when I am done. I leave the clay in my hair for 30 minutes and thoroughly rinse each quadrant, making sure not to miss my front hairline and the nape of my neck. By this time (after just ONE application), my curls are popping! Even the stubborn 4B coils above my ears and near my temples! My hair felt soft, looked SUPER defined, was COMPLETELY tangle-free, and even slightly elongated.
    NOTE: NEVER use metal bowls or spoons when using clay as it absorbs the metal and makes the mix less effective.
  6. MOISTURIZE & STYLE: After rinsing the clay thoroughly, while my hair is still wet, I applied my leave-ins of choice via the LCO method. I use the following: (i.) a mist of additional water, if necessary, or a DIY leave-in like my multi-use beauty spritz or super moisturizing lavender spritz. Then, I add (ii.) a creamy product like Care Free Curl Activator or Naturally Silk Elements Whipped Curl Cream. Last, I use (iii.) a natural oil like extra virgin olive oil or castor oil, or a serum like Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6: I utilized the MHM twice a week (about every 3 days) due to my busy schedule, lifestyle, and complete lack of patience in utilizing this effective but time-consuming method every day. Despite not using it every day, I used it twice a week for an entire month, and I received amazing results. if you have extremely low porosity hair like mine or hair that seriously struggles to remain hydrated or retain length in spite of your most Herculean hair care efforts, I would definitely recommend giving this hair regimen a try.

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES & TIPS

  • If you choose to try the TRADITIONAL MHM, I recommend doing this on the weekend (or your day off) so that you can get a true sense of how long it takes you (from start to finish) to do all of the steps. It takes me 3-3½ hours to do the MODIFIED version of the MHM. So, try not to start it unless you have the time to dedicate to the requisites of the regime.
  • The CLT IS NOT done every time you do the regimen. However, it can be done at any point, after starting the regimen (i.e., monthly or quarterly), depending on your hair’s needs.
  • If you have high porosity hair, consider reducing the amount of some of the ingredients or diminishing the timing of each step (i.e., instead of 30 minutes, try 15).
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Red by Kiss Professional Salon 1875 Watt Bonnet Hood Hair Dryer

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

 

The Red by Kiss Professional Salon Bonnet Hood Hair Dryer has 1875 watts and dual motors that should last the test of time through hair drying, roller setting, hot treatments, color processing, deep conditioning, protein treatments, and much more. The adjustable height makes it perfect to customize to your own needs. I love that this Professional Salon Bonnet Hood Hair Dryer has 4 speeds: cold, low, medium and high. It was a challenge for me to find a bonnet dryer with more than just off/on and high and low! The best part is that this bonnet hair dryer folds down and nests neatly within itself. This is great for people like me who live in a small space or simply don’t have much storage.

So far I’ve used this bonnet hair dryer once a week for deep conditioning, henna hair packs, and/or protein treatments, depending on my hair’s needs. I’ve been wanting to try out a roller set, but I just haven’t had the time (or patience). But, given the ceramic tourmaline technology, your hair will be left smooth, silky, and frizz-free, regardless of your style. And, if you do decide to do a roller set, this bonnet hair dryer  has 15% more coverage to accommodate most rollers (even the jumbo size). Because the height of the hair dryer adjusts up an additional 4 ½”, you can also choose whatever surface or chair will best suit you.

 

Unfortunately, about a month after use, the hair dryer started to make a weird sound and smell. I unplugged it, let it cool, and replugged it (this time using a surge protector). It functioned seamlessly after that … up until today that is … when it made a loud sputtering noise for 60 seconds, started to smell like burnt wire, and then just completely died for no reason. I’ve only had this dryer for 9 months and have only used it once a week, sometimes only once every 2-3 weeks (when I got busy). My last bonnet dryer was a previous incarnation of the latest Gold ‘n Hot and lasted for a decade! In fact, I only ended up having to replace it after accidentally dropping it and cracking part of the neck of the unit that connected the hooded dryer to the base. If it hadn’t been for that, I am convinced it would have kept on running for at least another year or two. Sigh …

So, although the Red by Kiss Professional Salon Bonnet Hood Hair Dryer is a great price (under $50), given its short life span, it can hardly be recommended. 😥

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Quick Tip #17: Use Coconut Oil CAUTIOUSLY!

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

 

Fresh Coconuts (Set of 3)

Ok, scientifically coconut oil IS NOT a protein but, in a sense, I feel like it behaves like one because it contains lauric acid (a medium chain fatty acid that binds easily to protein in hair). Because of this, coconut oil has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft (due to its low molecular weight), reducing protein loss and strengthening the hair’s structure. It also creates a “hardening effect” due to its ability to change viscosity so quickly (i.e., from a liquid to a solid state) at low temperatures. As a result, harsh winter winds, for example, can create stiff hair very quickly. In addition, repeated use of coconut oil can cause protein build-up, drastically reducing hair’s elasticity and causing follicles to become dull, dry, brittle, easily tangled, and more prone to breakage.

Have you been overusing coconut oil? If so, consider utilizing a deep conditioner or moisturizing hair mask to restore the protein:moisture balance of your hair. Need a complete restart? Try a reconstructor instead.

 

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Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol: Super Detangling Formula for Extremely Dry or Damaged Hair

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

I have been using Hollywood Beauty’s Olive Cholesterol since February of last year (2013). I loved it so much that I did a product review on it in July (2013). However, my stash began to run out, and I needed to buy some replacements. I received an Amazon gift card, so I decided to see if they carried my beloved deep conditioner. They did! But, to my everlasting surprise, they had a list price of $12.49 for ONE 20 oz. jar with a so-called sale price of $6.80 (+ $3.10 shipping)! Are they kidding? I can get this from my local Dollar General for $3.20, and that’s INCLUDING tax! 

Sadly, I had to pass on that wallet-buster of a deal. But, I still needed a deep conditioner. Straying from my staple Hollywood Beauty (HB) Cholesterol seemed wrong, but I didn’t really need to purchase anything else from Amazon, so I reluctantly searched for a deep conditioner that could tide me over until I could make it to my Dollar General. In my search to settle, I stumbled upon an old favorite brand: Lustrasilk. This was the same company that made my cherished Shea Butter Cholesterol. Only this cholesterol from Amazon came in a 5 lb., salon-sized container. Although, it is also available in a 20 oz. jar.

VS.

I nervously took the plunge and anxiously awaited for my package to arrive. I had one more portion of my HB Cholesterol left. So, I used it. Once my package arrived, the time quickly came for me to deep condition my hair again. I did my normal routine. I shampooed and conditioned my hair. Then, I applied my new Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol. I gotta say, I didn’t expect much. After all, this cholesterol had pretty big Hollywood Beauty shoes to fill …

THE CLAIMS:
Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol is carefully formulated with deep conditioning agents that treat dry, chemically-treated, or extremely damaged hair. Aloe Vera extract has been added for increased moisturizing properties and to provide extra protection from hot curling irons and blow dryers. Leaves hair shiny and easy to manage.

THE INSTRUCTIONS:
Shampoo and towel dry. Apply cream to hair and scalp. Leave on for 3-5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water. For extra conditioning of overly dry or damaged hair, repeat the process. Style as usual.

THE RESULTS:
The Lustrasilk Cholesterol has a light, mild fragrance that is very pleasant. I always deep condition under a hooded dryer for 20-30 minutes with a processing cap. The first time I used this cholesterol, I used it straight from the container after shampooing and conditioning my hair. It isn’t as thick as my HB Cholesterol, yet it still managed to really moisturize my coils. It softened my tresses and left it extremely detangled. I got the same root-to-tip tangle-free results as my HB Cholesterol, all without pre-detangling my hair. (Gasp!)

It also really made all three textures of my coils (3C, 4A, and 4B) POP, just like my HB Cholesterol. However, when I used the HB Cholesterol, as soon as I rinsed the cholesterol out of my hair, the definition melted away. Not so with the Lustrasilk! Even after rinsing out the product, I had AHHHMAZING curl definition. So much so that I didn’t want to ruin it by adding any product to my hair. But, I know all too well the dangers of not moisturizing and sealing one’s hair properly, so I resisted the temptation. (Sigh.) Nevertheless, this cholesterol worked so well that if I cannot purchase my HB Cholesterol from Dollar General, for some reason, I would definitely buy Lustrasilk Aloe Vera instead.

I spent $19.47 at amazon.com for 5 lbs. of product (the equivalent of four 20 oz. jars) and qualified for Free Super Saver Shipping. While this salon-sized container cost me $6.67 more than four 20 oz. jars of the Hollywood Beauty Cholesterol, it is still pretty inexpensive for the quantity received. I deep condition my hair once a week, so this 5 lb. jar will last me about 10 months (or 38-40 uses)! Not too shabby for twenty bucks! 

While this cholesterol does contain mineral oil, which I don’t particularly care for, it is the ninth ingredient. Although it doesn’t have the same goodies I love from my Hollywood Beauty Cholesterol (i.e., castor oil, olive oil, glycerin, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, egg protein, as well as aloe vera, rosemary, sage, white nettle, and chamomile extracts), it works just as well. It also has the benefit of not smelling like grape candy on steroids.    🙂

Here’s hoping Lustrasilk doesn’t discontinue this beauty like they did their shea butter cholesterol

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Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol PLUS … A GOOD BUY

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

I’ve been using Lustrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol PLUS for a while now. I have used this on both relaxed and natural hair with the same results. The first time I used this Shea Butter Cholesterol, I applied it to my lightly towel-blotted hair after I shampooed and then sat under a bonnet dryer for 20 minutes with a plastic processing cap. The results were mediocre at best. The product was SUPER watery, and even after I rinsed it out, I couldn’t see any marked difference in my hair.

The second time, I applied the Cholesterol to my dry hair and sat under my bonnet dryer again for 20 minutes. I noticed a BIG difference (compared to my first-time use on wet hair). So, I would recommend using this as a deep conditioner on DRY or VERY LIGHTLY damp (not soaking or wet) hair.

The Cholesterol does separate and produce a lot of liquid in-between uses, but I just simply stir the liquid back in prior to use, so that’s not a big deal for me. What I especially love is the value. I purchased this for less than $3 from my local beauty supply store. This is a HUGE tub for the price! If you’re someone who likes to doctor up your conditioning or pre-poo treatments with oils or other goodies, this is a great buy because you have a lot to work with. Just make sure you scoop out the amount you want to use into a separate container and then add your oils, etc. (Don’t add your goodies directly to the jar!)

Is this the world’s best deep conditioner? Probably not. However, I don’t have any major complaints. I just wish this Cholesterol was thicker since I have fine hair. But, given the price, and the fact that this doesn’t contain any mineral oil, lanolin, or petroleum, I will definitely repurchase and use it as a base to add natural oils when I deep condition.

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