I love a good wash ‘n go, even in the winter. I know… I know… I’m the same girl telling all you ladies to protect your hair this winter. I promise I meant it. Protective styling is super important when you hair needs a break from manipulation, weather, etc. But what if you don’t want to protective style? Is your hair doomed? The answer, in short, is no. I have seen a lot of women (naturals specifically) only protective style in the winter because that is what works for them. However, this is not the answer for everyone. And while I love a good protective style, it is certainly not the only answer for me for a few reasons.
The first reason is that I don’t have to deal with the time. Jesus be a clock because if you have ever had a long term protective style, you know it can take hours to put in and, in turn, take hours to take out! This is what I refer to as a time exchange. Your life will be significantly easier (in terms of your hair) for the duration of your style. You’ll be able to wake up and go. No muss, no fuss! However, this convenience only makes up the time that was stolen from you like a thief in the night! I’ll admit though, the time is almost always worth it!
The second reason is that I find that I can still retain moisture. One reason a natural might continuously wear protective styles is if they need help retaining moisture, which protective styles do a great job of. Believe it or not, my kinky curly coils keep moisture quite well, even in the harsh cold. Because of this, I can wash ‘n go, ends exposed and all, without having to worry about excessive dryness.
The third reason is that I am able to keep up with my regimen. This is also what helps my hair from getting too dry. I am able to cowash, wash and deep condition as I normally would. This isn’t to say that you can’t do this in a protective style, you can. But for me, it’s easier with just my hair and I hold myself a little more accountable. I can easily forget or choose not to deep condition for weeks or at all with box braids, fact. It’s terrible, I know. Don’t be like me.
The forth reason is that I still have small amount of manipulation. One thing that can help you retain length is to not over manipulate your hair. This can be done by over styling, frequent use of combs or brushes, and just messing with your hair overall. When I do a wash ‘n go, I do not manipulate it after my hair is set. I put it in a pineapple and wrap it at night and I shake and fluff in the morning. Easy peasy!
Last and certainly not least is the simple fact that I miss my big, fluffy, wild, kinky curls! I love a good protective style but at the end of the day, I love my hair a little more. I usually can take it for a couple of weeks but I notice that with styles that are longer, I start to get that itch to see my own God given crown.
There’s no right or wrong way to care for your tresses, beautiful people! The most important thing is that you do what works for you. Listen to your hair! If it likes to be in protective styles, do it. If it likes a wash ‘n go or twistout, do that. Whatever it is, just do you.