What is a successful wash ‘n go? Well, to me it has a few thing. First, it has definition. Now not every natural girl has curls and this does not mean that a wash ‘n go is a no-go for these girls. It can be just as gorgeous as a wash ‘n fro! I know that my hair does curl so I am looking for curl definition. The next thing is volume and shine. I want my hair to look healthy and I want it to be big. And lastly, but most important when I’m styling my hair, I want it to last. No point in taking all this time if it only last a day of two. Ain’t nobody go time for that! Now that I’ve told you what a successful wash n’ go is to me, here’s how I get mine! Be patient, it could take some practice to get the hang of it.
Products come and go. Some work for me, and some just don’t. For this reason I will not specify brands but more so just list the type on products you when need. Use what work best for your hair.
- Leave in – Provides moisture and slip.
- Cream – Provides added moisture for thick hair. Thin hair and looser hair types might not require a second layer of moisture.
- Styler – Provides hold and keeps curls define.
- Oil – Locks in moisture, adds shine and softens gel cast if one is left behind by a styler.
- Extra water – Hair needs to be wet to do this style. If you are not doing this in the shower. You need a spray bottle just in case your hair starts to dry out.
Clearly you cannot have a wash ‘n go without a wash of some sort. Whether it be with traditional shampoo or a co-wash (conditioner wash for those of you who are not familiar). You want to start out on clean hair! Word of the wise, I “wash” once a week but I do not use shampoo every wash day. Instead, I co-wash most of the time as shampoo can dry out your hair if you have kinky curly hair like mine. I also wash in sections for the whole process. But, as always, do what is best for your hair. NOTE: Be sure to remove and shed hair on this step to prevent tangles
This can vary depending on your deep conditioning schedule and whether or not you are shampooing. I rarely ever use regular conditioner for its intended purpose. I use it mostly use it in lieu of shampoo as mentioned above. Whether you are using this conditioner after a shampoo or instead of a shampoo, this is the step that you detangle. It is easier to detangle wet hair with a conditioner that offers slip. Detangling is a must for every hair type. I only detangle during the process of conditioning or co-washing my hair. I do not do it after because it can interfere with the clumping of your curls and can cause more frizz. If you are using a shampoo to clean your hair, it is imperative that you do not skip conditioner. UNLESS you are doing the next step.
The Deep Conditioning
This is one on the most important things that you can do for your hair. I deep condition every wash day, regardless of co-wash or shampoo. This ends up being once a week with heat, when the stars in my world are perfectly aligned (sometimes wash days need to be rescheduled, no biggie). If you aren’t deep conditioning your hair often, you are doing a disservice to your hair. Try it and see the difference!
The Rise Out
Alright, I know I have talked about importance of a lot of things. At this point, you’re probably thinking: “Damn Daniel, everything is important!”… It is true. Hair is like a finicky aunt. You know, the one that likes you and behaves depending on how she felt you treat treated her recently. If you show her a lot of love, she brings you gifts when she visits and if you don’t… well, you get a bunch of “Mhmmmmms” and side eyes. Learn your lesson. Be kind to your hair and your to aunt…
Clearly I was side tracked, back to business. When you are rising out your condition, touch your hair as little as possible. This means little friction which translates into little frizz. This is why detangling earlier is so important. This also means no ringing out the excess water in your hair. This could be different depending on your hair type. Looser curly types might be able to ring out their hair. Again, I have kinky curly coily hair so more water equals less frizz.
Since I work in sections throughout the whole process, I also layer my products in section by section. I complete each section fully before moving on to the next. I start with my leave in conditioner, then a creamy moisturizer, then a styler. I do so with the praying hands method and the raking method. The praying hands method it when you put the hair between your hands as if you’re praying and slide it down the length of your hair and raking is when you use your fingers like a rake. Both methods are for the purpose of distributing product. I use oil after my hair dries so hold off on that until later.
After you’re are done putting in your product take the time to laid down your edges if needed. Once they are tied up or not, it’s time to shake. I do this in the shower after the water is turned off to prevent product fling everywhere. It’s pretty simple, just shake your head like a mad women! This helps define and separate your curls.
Now can air dry and this means you just wait. It’s just something you gotta do. This could take forever! ….or at least hours… in my case 24 hours. I use a t-shirt around my shoulders to catch the drip. It’s best not to touch it to (yes, you guessed it!) prevent frizz! Diffusing with a blow dryer is another option. This is good if you are in a rush or it’s the dead of winter and wet hair outside is not an option. You could also do a mixer of both but be aware of the heat!
Here’s whether you bring in the oil. Now that your hair is dry, you can touch it! YAY! I know it hard to not touch those beautiful locks. Now that you can, coat your hands in your favorite oil and scrunch it into your hair. This should bring softness and shine to hair. Stylers can often leave hair crunchy because of the hold, this should help.
The Stretch and Fluff
Shrinkage can be a pain. The best way to deal is to learn to love it and to learn to stretch it out. There are a few ways to stretch I can make a more detail post at a later time. The two I do the most often are: pineapple my hair at night. This is when you put a loose ponytail at the top of your hair as close to your hairline as possible. This is how I preserve my hair every night.
I also use the concentration nozzle on my blow-dryer to stretch my roots. I tug about mid shaft in medium bunches of hair, and hold it while I focus the blow-dryer on my roots. I only do this one time, right after my hair is dry. Pineappling helps keep it stretched the rest of the week.
After you stretch fluff that hair, girl! Use a hair pick or you fingers. How much you fluff is based on your own preference. The more you fluff, the bigger your hair will be. Your hair will get bigger over the days regardless.
I hope this helped some lovely ladies out there. Now, go forth and be fabulous!