I am a wash and go natural and have been one since day one of going natural. Some love it, others hate it, and still others find it to be the bane of a natural’s existence. Wash and go seems like a simple style because it appears that you just wash your hair and go, but the title can be a tad misleading. Maybe I am good at it, because I’ve been wearing it for years or maybe I am easier to please, but I feel many have problems with this style because of expectations. Now, I have tried to rock a twist or braid-out too many times to count and each time it comes out a frizzy mess, but give me a wash and go and I can keep frizz at bay like a champ. What’s even better is the shorter my hair the better the wash and go.
I have recently had my hair chopped off in the back to give me some volume and it reminds me of the ease of the wash and go when my hair was much shorter like a TWA. I loved my TWA because it was cute and quicker to wash, condition, and style.
There are three main factors you have to take into account for a wash and go to be simple and beautiful:
- Accept your curl/coil/kink type
- Know there is no real wrong or right way to do the wash and go
- Accept some shrinkage
What is a wash and go?
A wash and go is when you wash your hair, apply moisturizer and/or styling products, and allow the hair to dry naturally or shrink without stretching. Simple, to the point, and once you accept the three factors mentioned above, you can achieve it.
What does a wash and go look like?
My coils will not look like your coils and my hair may be thinner, curlier, drier, or longer than yours. I have seen too many variations to count, and while there is no universal method that will work for everyone, finding one that works for you takes trial and error with technique, products, and product application. What I love about the wash and go on shorter strands is I can do my whole head at once. I don’t need to part my hair into four sections and work on each one separately like I do now.
How I wash and go on short hair (wash day)
Wash and go can be created on freshly washed hair or hair that needs to be refreshed. I have gotten the best wash and gos with minimal frizz when I enlist a few tips from the Curly Girl Method (CGM).
- Pre-Poo (optional) - Sometimes I do it and sometimes I don’t.
- Cleanse - Jump in the shower and wash hair with cleansing conditioner or shampoo. I allow the water to completely wet my hair to help remove tangles using my fingers. I like removing tangles prior to adding shampoo but I will also check after as well.
- Deep condition - Take care of shower business before rinsing hair well and apply a deep conditioner. You can either stay in the shower for a few minutes as the bottle suggests or if you need a deeper treatment, cover hair with a plastic cap or leave the shower to allow hair to sit under a heat cap for 30 to 45 minutes. I opt for leaving the shower and coming back later to finish. I can be extra, but this is my life.
- Moisturize - Rinse out the deep conditioner and apply leave-in conditioner or a regular botanical conditioner. I love SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil. Apply your leave-in to all strands before wetting your hair with a few drops of the shower over the canopy (top layer) of your hair.
- Dry - Get out of the shower and wrap your hair in a cotton tee or towel, my favorite is the Hair RePear. Plop your hair to absorb the excess water. Leave the towel on your hair for about 20 minutes.
- Style - Take down the towel and add styling product, which for me is my Holy Grail gel, Kinky-Curly Curly Custard. Either rake it in or smooth it in. I rake and then I am done.
Quick refresh routine
- Wet - Start off with soaking wet hair and not just damp hair.
- Moisturize - Slather in leave-in conditioner or regular conditioner and follow the steps above.
- Seal - Often I will add a few pumps of my favorite elixir, SheaMoisture Reconstructive Finishing Elixir, to the regular conditioner to help with sealing my hair on wash day or on a refresh day. I also find it helps to keep the curls from frizzing when I use it too but a good botanical conditioner will do the job if it is a moisturizing one.
These steps may seem long but when I rarely have frizz, I know it’s because I have a solid wash day and refresher routine that locks in the moisture and keeps frizz at bay.