Skip to Content

How I Modified the Max Hydration Method for My Hair Type

Here’s how I modified the Max Hydration Method for my hair type and available time frame to go through the regimen every day.

This is a follow-up to my earlier article on a breakdown of the Max Hydration Method.

I initially heard about the max hydration method sometime last year but didn’t want to try it because it looked like too many steps for some curls.

At the time, this looked like the only advantage I would receive for all the work.

However, I decided to give it a go in November and my hair is now very grateful for the decision.

How I Modified the Max Hydration Method for My Hair Type

Despite all the good things though, my hair and scalp didn’t really agree with everything in the method. Below are a few things my hair rebelled against:-

  • After 2 weeks of the regimen, my scalp began to itch with such intensity; I took a tail comb to it. Very bad idea but the itching was that bad. This was my scalp telling me the baking soda was throwing off its pH balance.
  • There was a fair bit of unnecessary tangling between the clay and gel step. This was my hair telling me it didn’t like the clay I was using.

Eventually, I worked out a modified max hydration method that worked best for my hair and scalp and I have been using that since January with great results.

For those interested in hair types, I have a mix of 3C (mostly in the front), 4A (crown area) and 4B (in the back) hair. 

Modified Max Hydration Method

Modified Max Hydration Method Step 1

I eliminated baking soda completely from the regimen. It was causing aggravated itching and was quite unpleasant. 

I replaced the baking soda with Desert Essence Castile Soap and Trader Joe’s Tea Tree & Eucalyptus Conditioner.

3 tablespoons of Castile soap and 5 tablespoons of tea tree and eucalyptus conditioner mixed with 4 – 8 oz of warm rose-water.

A good shake of the applicator bottle and then I apply to my hair in sections, smoothening it through. I cover with a shower cap and wait 10 mins then rinse out.

Modified Max Hydration Method Step 2

I co-wash and detangle with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree & Eucalyptus Conditioner diluted with rose water.

This mixture is amazing and leaves my hair soft and manageable.

After applying, I sit under my tabletop steamer for 15 mins.

Sometimes, I use Jessicurl Too Shea Moisturising Conditioner or Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment.

Modified Max Hydration Method Step 3

After rinsing out the conditioner, I apply my clay mixture. I use two types of clay – Moroccanoil Clay and Now Foods Solutions Bentonite Clay.

I mix 2 tablespoons of Moroccanoil clay with every ½ cup of Now Foods Solutions Bentonite Clay.

When I tried to use the clays separately, the Moroccanoil clay worked too much and dried out my hair while the Now Foods Solutions bentonite clay made my hair tangle but together, the effects were outstanding.

Another brand of bentonite clay I love is Aztec Indian Healing Secret but unfortunately, it seems to always be sold out. 

Modified Max Hydration Method Step 4

Kinky Curly Knot Today is a winner here. I dilute it with rose-water and spray it on my hair until all my strands are saturated.

Modified Max Hydration Method Step 5

I used Kinky Curly Curling Custard for this step for a while but it started to get real expensive since I was doing the regimen 3 times a week.

I decided to concoct my own hair gel for the sake of my wallet, and it works great.

I give my head a good shake in the shower to get rid of excess water, seal with one of my favorite oils and I’m good to go. Here’s a video of my Max Hydration Curl Shake

I shorten the time spent on the max hydration method by doing Step 1 & 2 in the evening and leaving it in overnight then completing the rest in the morning.

I never spend more than 10 – 15 mins on each step with the clay step lasting the longest as I keep this on for about 30 – 45  mins.

Related Content

Sometimes, I go up to step 3 in the evening and leave the clay in overnight. This leads to super-defined curls but I hate sleeping with clay on my head.

I felt it may also cause dryness in the long term. There is such a thing as overdoing it.

Shortened Max Hydration Method

When I’m really busy and just don’t have time for the full regimen, I do one of the modified regimens I’ve seen on YouTube:

  1. Rinse my hair then apply the clay wash mix. I leave this on for 45 mins – 1 hour.
  2. After rinsing out the clay, I apply diluted deep conditioner (Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Deep Conditioner or one of the others above) and sit under my hair steamer for 30 mins.
  3. Afterward, I apply my leave-in conditioner (diluted works best) and seal the curls with a mix of my favorite oils.

The above takes about 2 hours and I never do it more than once a week but it works for when I’m in a hurry.

As I’ve said previously, I love the results of this method on my hair and will continue to practice it.

What are your results with the max hydration method? Did you modify anything? Do you have problems with any of the steps?

You can view a comprehensive video collage of my results HERE. You can see more max hydration method before and after pictures HERE.

Abi is a curly hair expert who delved into the world of natural oils after severe hair loss issues. Through her research, study, and testing, she was able to regrow her bald spots & a healthy head of hair. She is the founder of Healthy Natural Hair Products & Ade Ori Hair Care, and the author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She continues to study hair science, Ayurveda, and natural and healthy solutions for hair and skin. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.


Thursday 2nd of May 2019

Hi, so I just saw your recommendation for Trader Joe’s tea tree tingle conditioner in your MHM regime. Wanted to find out if it was safe to use on 4c Protein Sensitive hair since it contains soy protein


Thursday 2nd of May 2019

Hi, soybean protein is mild and since you're diluting the product, it shouldn't be an issue. Plant proteins - soy protein, oat, corn etc are ideal for protein sensitive hair but if you think your hair really can't tolerate it, then see alternative recommendations at 5 Best Conditioners for Step 2 of the Max Hydration Method