Wash and go’s have been quite controversial for some time in the natural hair community.
A few years ago many naturals thought that wash and go’s would only work for those who had type 3 hair.
A lot of natural hair bloggers took to youtube to prove that this was not true at all.
I watched hours and hours of youtube videos at the time because I was amazed that natural hair could take on such a curly texture.
At the time I had only known natural hair to be dry and thick so this was a completely new thing to me.
After much research, I decided to do the big chop and try a wash and go for myself. I wanted to be able to prove that what I was seeing was actually true.
Back then natural hair was not the popular option so I was taking a big risk if I was to end up with something unruly on my head.
I did many things wrong but I finally found a few things that did, in fact, work for me that I want to share with you today.
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What is a wash and go?
A wash and go is basically as it says, you wash your hair and then you should be able to just go about your business but it’s not really quite as simple as that. There are a few steps that you need to take in between in order to achieve a great wash and go.
Without these steps, the moisture from having washed your hair would rapidly evaporate and you would be left with dry and possibly frizzy hair at the same time.
Not a good look.
My top 10 tips for the perfect wash and go
1. Start on fresh hair
Wash and go’s work best on freshly washed hair.
You can certainly experiment on older hair but honestly, your wash and go may not be as successful because you probably have lots of product in your hair.
For the best results make sure your hair is freshly washed to start with.
If your hair is short doing a wash and go will be much quicker as you are working with less hair.
In fact, after I did the big chop I only ever did wash and go’s to begin with. I found this to be the quickest hairstyle for me. So I would simply do a fresh one every morning.
2. Co-washes are better
Personally I’m all for doing a co-wash when it comes to a wash and go simply because using shampoo can be a little drying and you want to keep your hair as moisturised as possible to achieve the best possible wash and go.
Co-washing your hair will also be faster than having to shampoo it first.
It’s great to do it this way if you don’t have much time in the mornings.
3. Make sure your hair is soaking wet
Always start your wash and go on soaking wet hair.
If you towel dry your hair after washing it you will be left with very frizzy hair.
The theory behind leaving your hair soaking wet is so that your hair remains as clumped as possible leaving you with beautiful curls.
4. Use gel
I know some people don’t really like gel and that’s fine. A great option for you might be to make your own gel using flaxseeds.
This way you can control the level of stiffness that you are happy with from the gel.
The runnier you make it the softer the gel will be.
If you don’t have time to be making your own flaxseed gel then an off the shelf gel can work just as well.
I have found this gel to work the best for me out of all the different gels that I have tried.
You can also learn how to make your own flaxseed gel here.
5. Experiment with the right leave-in
You may have to play around with a leave-in conditioner for your wash and go because when you begin to layer products sometimes they can conflict with each other causing white flakes in your hair.
When that happens you will be left with no other option except to rewash your hair all over again.
You should always use your leave-in conditioner before you apply your gel.
6. Let it air dry or use a hooded dryer
I find it best to leave your wash and go to air dry as I have found this to be the best way for my hair to retain moisture.
Some people prefer to use hooded dryers and if that’s your thing go for it but keep it on a really low heat setting so you don’t dry out your hair.
Typically you can use a hooded dryer like this one.
7. Don’t play with it
Please pay attention here.
Do not be tempted to play around with your wash and go once you have applied your gel.
Playing with your hair will cause it to be frizzy and not clump as well.
It can be really tempting to keep moving bits of your hair to get it to lay exactly as you want but you have to try your best to resist or keep it to the bare minimum.
I think this was one of the hardest things for me to do at the time because I wanted my wash and go to be perfect.
8. Pineapple at night
Use the pineapple method to maintain your wash and go at night time.
It’s not feasible for everyone to redo a wash and go from scratch each morning so the best way to get around this is to maintain what you already have.
The pineapple method is perfect for this because it allows you to sleep without disrupting your curls.
If you are not sure about a nighttime routine you can take a look at one here.
9. Refresh in the morning
Try not to be too alarmed when you wake up in the morning and find that your wash and go looks flat and stiff.
You can still revive it!
Simply take your water spray bottle and lightly spritz your hair with water.
I like to add a little aloe vera juice to this as aloe vera is very refreshing for natural hair and will leave it looking revitalised.
You can get some aloe vera juice from here and add little to your spray bottle.
Spritzing your hair with water also reactivates the gel that is already in your hair so you won’t need to add any more.
10. Shake it out
After spritzing your hair give it a good shake out by moving your head left to right until your hair begins to flop.
Trust the process and don’t be tempted to use your hands to move the hairs too much.
Just give it a good shake and allow the hair to naturally drop.
You can use minimal touching to style your hair.
How long should a wash and go last?
In my experience, wash and go’s can last up between 3- 4 days if handled in the right way.
I have never achieved a 4-day wash and go myself because I think my hair needs that fresh look every few days but if you are more experienced than I was back then I think 4 days is not unreasonable to achieve.
Final thoughts on achieving a great wash and go
It is entirely possible for all hair types to achieve a great wash and go hairstyle.
Those of us with type 4 hair can have just as much success as the next person.
If you have tried a wash a go in the past and it didn’t work try again using the steps above.