It’s summertime and that means that it’s the season of the wash and go.
type 4 hair wash and go
courtesy of istock images

Many Type 4 naturalistas have believed that for them the wash and go is simply a no go.

That's a misconception.

I have seen even very popular Type 4 YouTubers say that wash and gos do not work on Type 4 hair with the utmost conviction for many years -- until fate shows them otherwise. They visit a salon and a stylist is able to get those Type 4 coils and kinks to pop. The veil lifts and they can see clearly the definition they believed did not and could not exist. You, too, are only a product or technique away from seeing your kinks and coils at their most defined.

Even if you’ve had some success with defining your Type 4 hair, you may feel that you have not yet mastered your wash and go and the truth is, you are not alone. Truth be told, regardless of your curl pattern, it can take a lot of trial and error to get your wash and go “perfect.”

The real key is perseverance. You mustn’t give up. Somewhere out there is your best wash and go yet.

How to get your best wash and go

Step 1. Find your Holy Grail

One half of the wash and go equation is finding the right product or combination of products for your hair type.

Creams rarely work for Type 4 coils, so gels are usually the way to go. Typically, the more weight you can add to the hair, the more definition and less shrinkage your hair will notice. However, your favorite products may not mix well together and may result in flaking or itchy when used in combination.

Step 2. Discover your technique

The next half of the equation is technique and the fact that you need to work on hair that is sopping wet for best results.

Apply product in small sections, raking and smoothing it through the hair until the curls pop. This could take a few seconds or a minute or two. Just keep smoothing and raking. One of my personal favorite things to do is to make 10 to 12 loose jumbo twists in my hair once I’ve finished defining my curls. This does stretches my hair to minimize shrinkage and helps to clump my curls together more. Once my hair is dry, I undo the twists and get looser curls that are full of movement.

Each clump of curl usually separates itself from the rest of the twist with me having to much and my hair doesn’t tangle like it would if the hair was untwisted.

Step 3. Refresh (optional)
My definition usually lasts for several days with no re-twisting or refreshing required. This works well for me but of course it's important for you to find your own personal preferences through trial and error. Like I said before, the key is to keep at it--you haven't failed if you haven't tried. Some naturals re-moisturize every morning, some find that they like the look best when they re-twist at night, and others like that their hair grows more voluminous throughout the week. The choice to refresh is really up to your personal preference and the amount of moisture your hair needs to feel its healthiest. 

Have a fantastic summer!

Do share your wash and go tips for Type 4b and 4c hair in the comment section below.

For further help with your wash and go this summer, check out this article highlighting wash and go tutorials for Type 4b and 4c hair types.

Not sure what your hair type is? Check out this infographic guide or take our quiz

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