When I first decided to transition to natural hair eight years ago I was all about the wash and go hairstyle. All I wanted was for my curls to flourish and to have a head full of flowing, bouncing curls. Not surprisingly, this is the same sentiment many other women have that choose to transition to natural hair. However, before you get your hopes up and dive in head first, there are a few things you must know in order to achieve a flawless wash and go. My wash and go was previously a mess and now I’ve finally succeeded in getting this style to work for me. If your wash and go is a mess now, try making these changes to your regimen. 

You've been fooled by the name

The term wash and go can be quite the oxymoron depending on your curl type and texture. The first mistake I made when trying to successfully implement a wash and go was thinking I could literally shampoo my hair, toss in some conditioner, curl enhancing product, and roll out of the house for the rest of the day. No. While this method does work for some women really well, my thick and tight Type 4b coils requires product to be applied strategically. In the beginning I decided to take huge scoops of curl cream and apply it to four sections of my hair.

The solution

While the name "wash and go" sounds like you can wash your hair and walk out the door with little to no effort, this is not likely to work for most people. Be patient and figure out what styling techniques give you your best wash and go, and then take the time to carefully follow through each time you style your hair. For me, after several failed attempts I quickly realized my best results occurred once the products were applied to very small sections. The key for me was to apply curl enhancing products in small sections to thoroughly work it down the entire hair shaft, which is also known as shingling. In addition, my best results occur on soaking wet hair so I usually apply products in the shower. This process is not a quick task and can take up to 30 minutes.

It may take longer, but you will be happier with the results and they will last longer between washes.

Products enhance the curls you already have; products will not magically create curls that do not exist.

You think a product will "create curls" for you

The second mistake I made when trying to attempt a wash and go was thinking a singular product would help to create curls for my hair. What I did not realize was that I first needed to create a healthy hair regimen to build a strong foundation. Products enhance the curls you already have, not magically create curls that do not exist.

The solution

In order to help your curls form naturally here are a few things you can do:

  • Cut all damaged ends. Do no sacrifice health for length.
  • Improve elasticity by understanding protein/moisture balance
  • Use products that are properly pH balanced
  • Limit the use of heat or do not use at all
  • Develop a consistent deep conditioning routine for increased moisture

Overall, I’ve seen the biggest change in my hair since starting my No Heat 2016 Challenge. There was no way I could have a successful wash and go while still holding on to heat damaged ends. My hair is the healthiest and curliest it has ever been, and so far I have forgone direct heat use for five months.

You're using the perfect regimen - for someone else's hair

The third mistake I made at attempting a wash and go was trying to mimic every hair tutorial I saw versus figuring out a strategy that worked for my unique texture. I literally ran to the store and bought every product I could find or every product I saw another blogger use. While utilizing bloggers and influencers is great, you must look beyond the gorgeous results.

The solution

Take some time to see if your hair type mimics their curls and pay attention to their technique. Unfortunately, the best way to figure this out is trial and error. Lighter creams do not work for my curls and mousses do not provide enough moisture. The winning combination I’ve found is lightweight serums like the Curls Gel-Les’C and gels. Serums can ease through my fine texture and coat each strand quickly. Heavy gels on the other hand are perfect for when I want a more defined, long-lasting hold. Below are a few of my favorite wash and go products that work well for a variety of hair types and textures.

My favorite wash & go products

Have you achieved an amazing wash and go? What struggles do you have with this style?