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perfect wash and go

Although the wash and go is touted as an easy, breezy low maintenance and drama free style, getting it to work for your hair type can be closer to an exact science. But once you get that formula down, magic happens and the style becomes everything it was intended to be -- quick, easy, painless, effortless, long-lasting, and FABULOUS!

So what are my secrets?

1. Set yourself up for a good hair day.

Wash day is the perfect opportunity to set yourself up for a good hair day and week. Get in tune with what your hair needs to be the healthiest version of itself. For me, this means a pre-poo and cowash like Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Cleansing CoWash or gentle shampoo like tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo that is hydrating, smoothing, and helps keep frizz at bay. And always follow up with a deep conditioning. It should be a part of your regimen like clockwork. My picks? Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair MaskEden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Hair Masque, Silk Elements KERA-Minerals Smoothing Deep Conditioner, and Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment.

2. Make sure your products mix beforehand!

I can't stress this one enough. Nothing sends a wash and go down the drain quicker than white gummy buildup balls and flakes. Although you can most certainly layer products on the back of your hand or in your palms for mixability, I'm all about patch tests. If you can, cleanse a small nondescript section of hair and layer in your products. Pay attention to how they interact with eachother, and at what quantities. That last part is super important! I struggled with EcoStyler for this very reason. For example, a few weeks ago I did a wash and go using Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In,  Pudding Souffle,  and Eco Styler. It was perfect. The next week, I tried to replicate the combo (while rushing and pressed for time), without regard to how much product I was using. The end result? Flaky ball city. The problem wasn't the combination, it was the quantity. I was slapping in too much souffle. But being able to identify that early on helped me not make that mistake again.

3. Start in the shower.

Winning wash and go's are dripping with water from the outset. Hair needs to be soaked in water not only to help maintain hydration, but to encourage clumping and keep frizz at bay. While in the shower (and occasionally rewetting sections of hair), layer in your leave-in, moisturizer/cream/lotion , and oil. My picks: I use Infusium 23 Pro-Vitamin B5 Leave-In Treatment as my "rinse", Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In, Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk or Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Pudding Souffle for moisture, and seal with coconut oil. As you're layering in product, hair should be visibly wet and somewhat drippy. Once out of the shower, you can apply your styling product.

4. Apply product in the right order.

Although there are tons of moisturizing and sealing methods and orders, there is one that works particularly well for the wash and go -- liquid/leave-in, cream/lotion/moisturizer, oil, and then and styler. The liquid and/or leave on provides water based hydration, while the cream provides moisture, and the oil locks it in while providing a buffer between your hair and the styling product.

5. Rake, smooth, and get close to the root.

Some ladies rake, others smooth. I like to do both. Raking ensures that styling product is getting through to each strand of hair. Smoothing helps to well, smooth and encourage clumping. The other keys to application are using enough product and getting close to the root. If your styling product doesn't get to the root of your hair, the end result will be poofy roots and defined ends -- yikes! As an aside, I'm heavy-handed with product, and that works for my texture and density of hair. Yes, I will have a super defined day 1 wash and go, but days 2, 3, 4, and beyond will be EPIC. Big day 1 hair is cool, but in my experience, those wash and go's go bad by day 2.

6. Don't touch!

Once you've finished applying product, don't touch it -- unless you want frizz. Even if you can't air dry and have to diffuse, make sure you use the diffuser to manipulate your hair and not your hands.

7. Maintain moisture and protect your hair at night.

I refresh my hair at night, to keep my progressively stretching day 2, 3, and beyond hair from reverting and shrinking back up. I tend to band the front/center section of my head, and scarf pineapple after that. With this method, the wash and go stretches gently all around, instead of just at the back of the head.

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