Struggling to achieve the perfect wash and go for natural hair? Look no further with this simple guide to help you execute your most defined wash and go ever!
What Is A Wash And Go?
A wash and go is the go to natural hair style for many with textured hair, that consists of setting the curls in its natural state without the use of any styling tools, manipulating methods i.e. twists, braids or rollers and sometimes without the use of heat as well. The wash and go method is particular to the individuals liking and results can vary depending on hair type. Many “naturalista’s” will customize their wash and go by use of particular products for the look that they are trying to achieve.
Some may like a more voluminous wash and go, while others may prefer a more tamed and sleekier look. The possibilities are endless once you have selected a series of products that work to give you the look and feel that you desire. But keep in mind that however you prefer to style your wash and go, there are some things to consider such as the health of your hair in order to showcase your natural curl pattern in its best light.
Can All Curly Hair Types Achieve A Wash And Go?
Yes. All curly hair types can achieve a beautiful wash and go, with the exception that results may not look the same from one hair type to the next. A wash and go is simply the method of “setting your curls”, so whatever your hair type or texture is, is what will be highlighted in this particular hairstyle.
Once you learn what products work for your hair type, the wash and go can be that hairstyle in your back pocket that is quick and easy to execute when you want a simple hairstyle without all the fuss. However, choosing the wrong hair products and applying hair products incorrectly can have the total opposite effect on your results. It is very important to go through the “trial and error” phase of what products give you the best results and what methods work best for you when it comes to application.
How Long Does A Wash And Go Last?
The length of time that a wash and go can last will be a reflection on the products you use, your ability to maintain moisture throughout your hair in the days to come and your preference on the look of your hair as the days go by. Typically, a wash and go can last anywhere from 3-5 days (maybe a little more if your maintenance routine is on point) and the more days that go by, the more voluminous the hair will usually become. Being mindful of how you cleanse and apply products to set your curls, can go hand in hand with the longevity in your wash and go if done correctly.
Can A Wash And Go Double As A Protective Style?
Believe it or not, a wash and go can also double as a protective style! How so, you ask? Because there is very minimal manipulation to put the style in place, it can be worn for up to a week without having to restyle your hair and if you use products that create a gel cast on the hair, you can lock the curls into place with a “protective barrier” in a sense depending on the hold of the product.
However, keep in mind that too much of anything can have repercussions and wash and go’s are no exception. Due to the fact that the hair is curly, the curls can intertwine with other strands over the days to come and result in an increase in tangles and fairy knots. Be sure to get trims routinely to avoid split and rough ends from being the reason for a lack of length retention while wearing this hairstyle.
What If My Curls Aren’t Clumping Or As Defined As They Should be?
If you find that your curls are having a hard time clumping or becoming defined, you may want to evaluate the health of your hair and the practices you have been using. Check out some of the culprits below:
- If you are constantly using direct heat on your hair from a flat iron or the comb attachment while using your blow dryer on high heat, you might have a case of heat damage.
- You have color treated hair that has resulted in chemical damage due to overprocessing.
- You are not thoroughly cleansing your hair and are experiencing product build up.
- You are not using enough water on your hair prior to using styling products
Once you have successfully isolated the problem, you can take measures to correct it and then you can expect to achieve better results with your wash and go’s!
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This post is all about how to achieve the perfect wash and go for natural hair.
Here is how you can achieve the perfect wash and go for natural hair below:
Step 1: Clarify Your Hair
One of the most important steps when it comes to achieving a well defined wash and go, is clarifying your hair with a moisturizing cleanser. It is crucial to remove any traces of product buildup so that your curls aren’t weighed down and water can actually be absorbed into your strands. If the strands are coated with products from a previous hairstyle, you limit the amount of moisture that will be able to penetrate and this will result in dryness and lack of curl definition.
You should be working on a clean canvas of hair so that you can actually get the most out of your curl definition, as well as the most out of your products. It will be hard to pinpoint a product that is not working for you, if your hair is not properly cleansed to see how products actually absorb into your hair. Try using the Giovanni Eco Chic 50:50 Hydrating Clarifying Shampoo, or Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Shampoo for a moisturizing shampoo that gently clarifies.
Step 2: Condition Your Hair
This step is optional ONLY IF you plan to deep condition your hair immediately after cleansing. Conditioning your hair helps to bring the cuticles back down after lifting them during the cleansing process. This will result in smoother product application, a shinier look and less frizz. It is recommended to use the conditioner that pairs with the shampoo you are using to keep the PH of your hair balanced for optimal hair health.
Step 3: Deep Condition Your Hair
Deep conditioning is essential when it comes to maintaining hair that is moisturized. After using a clarifying shampoo, your hair may feel a little more on the drier side, so it’s recommended to replenish those moisture levels with a good deep conditioning treatment or mask. Always be sure to incorporate the use of indirect heat or steam when deep conditioning, to open the cuticles on the hair strands to allow for optimum penetration of the product. Try using the Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioner or The Mane Choice 4 Leaf Clover Deep Conditioning Mask to pack in the moisture.
Step 4: Keep Hair Drenched With Water
This step may seem like a no brainer, but it’s a common step that constantly gets overlooked. In order for your curls to have the best chance at definition and clumping, your hair should be soaking wet when it comes to product application. Not only is this ensuring that your hair is hydrated, but it also makes for better product application as well. You’ll noticed that most products that are meant to be used for a wash and go, will often suggest applying the product to soaking wet hair. So either apply your products in the shower for best results or have your spray bottle handy throughout your styling process!
Step 5: Layer Your Products
It is important to understand that product application is essential when it comes to the execution and longevity of any hairstyle, but especially for the wash and go! The order in which you apply your products will make a huge difference in locking in the moisture on your strands.
When layering your products for a wash and go, keep it simple and apply just a Leave-in & Curl Cream OR just a Leave-in & Botanical Gel. Depending on the look you are going for, note that the curl cream will give you a softer and fluffier wash and go, while a gel may give you an elongated more defined look that also lasts longer.
Sample Picks For Your Wash and Go Combination:
Step 6: Sit Under A Hooded Dryer
The best way to lock your definition in place, is to sit under a hooded dryer. While air drying is totally okay for some, when it comes to people with low porosity hair, drying your hair without heat can take DAYS. Try sitting under a hooded dryer to thoroughly ensure that the hair sets in place and dries completely, for a more long lasting wash and go. Remember that using a hooded hair dryer is completely safe because it is using indirect heat to dry the hair, so no damage will result from this method. A great hooded hair dryer that doesn’t break the bank, is the Conair Pro Style Bonnet Hair Dryer.
How To Maintain A Wash And Go Overnight?
The best way to maintain a wash and go is to use a large scrunchy and pineapple the hair. For shorter hair your might want to do multiple pineapples and for longer hair, just one at the very top of your head. Cover hair with a bonnet and shake out style in the morning.
Comment below your favorite wash and go combination!