Step 3: Clay rinse

The clay rinse is only Step 3 in the Maximum Hydration Method. If you get here then congratulations and hang in there because you are almost done. What is great about Step 3 is that this is when you can immediately feel the definition of curls in your hair. The first time I did this I screamed as I didn’t realise what my texture actually felt like. The clay sort of molds it in place allowing you to touch it in a way that you cannot when it is just wet.

This is my favourite Step because I have always loved clay rinses for the way they make my curls pop and make the hair so much easier to detangle. What I really liked about the MHM Clay rinse was that this recipe is so much better than what I have been using so far. Once you mix it, it can last you 3 days, longer if you have shorter hair. So although it appears as though it is expensive, it is actually a value for money recipe. Cost saving is always appreciated.

I have copied and pasted here directly from the Maximum Hydration Method website, which I strongly urge you to visit if you are to hear about this regimen from the originators and understand and apply it correctly. You will also find lots of information from others who have tried it, read about their experiences and see their testimonial pictures. Where there is a specific comment from me, I have prefaced it with #ZH.

The ingredients used in my clay rinse with the pre-mixed bottle in the centre

The ingredients used in my clay rinse with the pre-mixed bottle in the centre

Step 3: Clay rinse

With all options, leave the rinse on the hair for at least 15 minutes before rinsing, and remember to evenly distribute in sections, from the tips to the roots, and get it on your scalp as well. You want to make sure your hair is visibly coated and weighed down with the clay. It needs to look something like this.

If it doesn’t, you are not doing this step correctly, the clay is not evenly distributed, and your hair may actually feel dry.

#ZH: It is important to note that the honey and oil are critical to ensure this mixture is not drying to your hair or skin.

When applying clay mixture, try to separate your coils, don’t try to smooth your hair into one big slick slab. Apply the mask in thin layers of hair starting at the nape from your scalp/roots to the ends of your hair. You do not need to be scooping the clay, squeeze it directly onto your hair and work it in.

#ZH: I advise working section by section to ensure that it is evenly distributed. I actually found it easier to pour into my hand in small sections and then apply to my hair as I wanted more clay on my hair than on the shower floor.

Let sit in hair for at least 15 minutes, there’s nothing wrong with leaving it on much longer, either. Rinse out the clay. This is the part of the method where you will be checking for signs of max hydration. Your hair is now going to be completely clean of any left over product residue, and you will be able to check your progress on your product free hair. Coils will be felt at the scalp first while washing your hair. /you will then start to clump and curling at the very tips of the hair, and slowly progress up to the root, which is when you can claim max hydration. Other visible signs include shakeable hair even when hair is completely dry after having completed all the steps. This is the added weight of moisture retention. If you’re doing this regimen and transitioning, just check your new growth for signs.

Option 1: Clay rinse

This rinse can be done using any pure clay powder, like Bentonite Clay, Rhassoul clay, red clay, zeolite clay, european clay, French Green Sea clay and more. Using a funnel or folded paper when needed, you can pour each ingredient one at a time into a large empty 32 shampoo/conditioner/soap bottle, shake afterward to mix the ingredients. after you use it, then store for the next day. If the clay dries up, just and more water as needed and shake.

#ZH: I used Bentontite clay from Umoyo. I also used a 1 litre empty bottle of water (about 32 ounces).

Mix ingredients:

  • 1 cup pure clay powder
  • 2-3 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

If the consistency is too thick, just add more water until you get a thick but still liquidy consistency. It shouldn’t be so thick that its cakey and solid.

Option 2: Ready made clay rinse

–like terresentials.

#ZH: This is not currently available in Lusaka and I am yet to come across it on my visits to South Africa.


Mafura butter, Ubuchi honey, Bentonite clay and Water

I used the recipe above except that I replaced olive oil with mafura butter. While my hair is still dripping wet I move onto Step 4 – leave-in conditioner.

Click to read the introductory post on the Maximum Hydration Method challenge here. The Step 0 – Cherry Lola Caramel Treatment here. Step 1 – Clarify with baking soda here. Step 2 – Co-wash and finger detangle here.


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