Wash and go: a style I have been curious to achieve since i started transitioning. Yet, it kept alluding me! I have made many attempts using different tips from different natural hair enthusiasts. I still couldn’t achieve it! I decided to give up, I started to believe that perhaps a wash and go was not for me. That i should cut my loses and be done with the whole thing. This was until I was at uni and I saw this girl with amazing hair. I rushed over and told her that I thought her hair looked great and asked, what did she do? She told me it was a wash and go! I was actually amazed, this girl also had type four hair but had managed to achieve what I couldn’t. I asked her to share her secret to success which she did. She told me it’s quite easy to do actually. I had a new-found hope for my hair, I thought to myself I can do this! I can achieve a wash and go!
My number one tip for those of you who want to achieve a successful wash and go is…
Have realistic expectations for how it will turn out!
Now, I don’t mean don’t expect for your hair to look good or for it to last long or for it to be big and voluminous or anything like that. What I mean is don’t expect to suddenly have 3c curls when your hair is 4b. Ain’t happening! (All those who are unsure about hair types check out my previous post). I think that was my major problem with my previous attempts at a wash and go. I was expecting my hair to do things which was impossible for it to do. Does that mean that my hair was a failure? NO! But I believed it was because I didn’t receive results like all those others with type 3 hair. I was clearly just failing myself. If you really want to have a successful wash and go, stop setting impossible standards for yourself and start to see the beauty in what your hair can do.
So what steps did I take?
My hair had been in a protective style for about a month, so I felt it needed a little bit extra protection when I cleaned it. I used coconut oil in each section as I took my braids down and finger detangled it.
To cleanse I used Cantu cleansing cream shampoo. It is Sulphate-free and can be used on colour treated hair. I split my hair into four sections and washed each individually. Focusing specifically on the scalp to try to get rid of product build up. Clean hair is important for both length retention and successful styling.
Once my hair was clean, I used Shea Moisture coconut and hibiscus curl and shine conditioner and Shea moisture Jamaican black castor oil strengthen, grow and restore treatment masque. I slathered these on, paying particular attention to my ends as they are the oldest part of my hair. I applied these to the four sections, twisted each section and put on a shower cap.
My favourite part of wash day; using my steamer! Each conditioner gives advice for how long you should leave it on. I sat under the steamer for about 15-20 mins. Steaming your hair is so important because the steam lifts the hair cuticle allowing moisture to penetrate further. This is essential for kinky, coily and curly hair types because otherwise the hair can struggle to retain moisture. Making sure that we have enough moisture to begin with is really important for the health of your hair and the success of your style.
To really lock in moisture and prevent frizz I rinsed my hair completely with cold water. I made sure I had completely rinsed out the conditioner.
As soon as I finished rinsing, I put Cantu leave in conditioner on my hair. I only used a towel to cover my shoulders I didn’t dry my hair at all. For a wash and go to be successful your hair needs to soaking wet, so that your curls will be at their most vibrant. After the leave in conditioner, I added my almond oil and then came the curling cream
To complete this style your hair needs to be done in small sections. I pinned the rest of my hair up and started working on the back. I used a lot of my Cantu coconut curling cream, making sure to finger detangle as I went along. I then added a rubber band at the root of my hair to stop the roof from being too puffy, another one in the middle of my hair and one nearer to the ends. Not too close to the ends though because you don’t want to lose the curl pattern. I used the bands because my hair is the queen of shrinkage and I wanted to stretch my hair for this style. I did this for each section of my hair until there were about 28 sections. While you’re doing this make sure you have your spray bottle to hand, if you feel your hair drying, make sure you spray your ends to get it dripping wet again. Once this was done I left it. Make sure you have no plans to leave your house that day because you will need to let it air dry. Some people do use their blow dryer to speed up this process but this led to a big mess on my hair the last time I attempted it. No, this time I decided to let nature do its thing.
- Take down
The next morning I gave myself plenty of time to take down my hair, I took off each band individually, mindful of the ends as i did not want to cause any damage to my hair. I had some more curling cream at hand in case any of the ends were feeling particularly dry. After I had taken them all off, I gave my hair a little fluff, clipped up the side and i was ready to go.
You wouldn’t believe how happy I was to have accomplished this style. It’s something I wanted to achieve since going natural. I believe the biggest reason I accomplished this was because I changed my mind-set. No longer did I believe, it as a style for those looser curls. In fact anyone can achieve it, which the right tools, products, patience and mindset. So have a go at a wash and go, especially you type four naturals. Let me know how it goes, tweet me some of your results.
Remember Love your hair, Love yourself.x