So the new buzz is the Maximum Hydration Method, which claims to define curls in hair with no visible curl pattern and in hair with low porosity (hair that doesn't easily absorb water/moisture and products sit on top of strands). In summary, for 7 days, you consistently infuse moisture into your hair morning and night. For a lot of naturals dreading wash day, this seems like a lot of work. It may or may not be so depending on your hair and your current regimen. So the question on most Nigerian naturals' minds is will it work?
3 popular methods for defining curls:
- Curly Girl Method
- Tightly Curly Method, and now
- Maximum Hydration Method
This method of curl definition was developed by Lorraine Massey and shared in her book Curly Girl: The Handbook. The basic principle is to eliminate silicones, petroleum products, sulfates and heat. So to eliminate sulfates, shampoos are not used at all. The hair is cleansed using a silicone free conditioner only, such as VO5 Conditioners, Suave Naturals, Jessicurl Too Shea, or Kenra, Tresemme Naturals, etc.
Leave-in conditioners or gels should never contain sulfates, silicones, alcohols, petrolatum, mineral oil and its derivatives. Suggestions include Kinky Curly Knot Today and Giovanni Direct Leave In, etc. Gels include Ecostyler gels, Fantasia IC Hair Polisher, Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper and Kinky Curly Curling Custard.
- This method works because it eliminates products which coat the hair and prevents it from absorbing moisture. With the prevalence of junk petroleum and sulfate ridden products in the Nigerian market, this method helped start me on a healthy hair diet.
- You can still follow your usual regimen, the only thing that really changes is skipping the shampoo step (and avoiding key ingredients).
- No heat means you avoid heat damage.
- The downside to this method was over-conditioning so my hair became mushy and too soft. There was also buildup due to the emollients in the conditioner and the presence of hard water. So I modified it by clarifying with shampoo once a month.
- No heat meant I didn't have the option to straighten my hair, and 'freedom' is the reason I went natural.
Does it work on Nigerian hair?
Yes it does. I noticed my curls weren't as tight as I thought they were and they were popping. I noticed the same in textures different from mine. However finding the CG friendly products was another matter. If your hair is very tightly coiled, it may not improve curl definition but will definitely keep it feeling softer and less stripped.