The wash and go

the wash and go hairstyle is a fave in the natural hair community and personally, it has been a saving grace for times that my style fails or i am pressed for time. Contrary to its name, you may not achieve this style by washing and going, it takes a little work sometimes (🎤 work, work , work, work, work, work 🎼 , hehe).

The technique for this style is to define your natural curl pattern which usually shows on wet hair and freeze it in that state by applying a gel or a curling product so it dries that way ( usually with a lot of shrinkage).

My hair curl pattern is quite different from the typical African curls due to my roots, however, even the kinkiest textures have been able to achieve beautiful tight curls, so don’t give up yet.

The first step to a wash and go is very healthy and moisturized hair. You have to make sure that you deep condition and seal the moisture consistently over time to bring it to its most moisturized state. I was natural until i was 17 and had long natural hair but not knowing what to do with it and constantly combing it, never allowed me see my curl pattern. My only style was to bun or braid it and the monotony drove me straight to the creamy crack (relaxer). Curls can be defined on wet hair but if your hair is dry, rough and neglected for for a long time, deep conditioning it once and wetting it may not give you the results you need. Keep up the moisture ladies (and gents).

Secondly, combing out your hair after washing scatters the curl pattern you have, for this style, ditch the combs. I find that detangling with a comb and conditioner before washing is fine, but after washing and deep conditioning, stick to your fingers to do the smoothing and detangling any knots. Some naturals have totally ditched combs and use their fingers only and their kinks love them for it.

scenario: So, you have been keeping up with moisturizing your hair, you have just deep conditioned and rinsed your hair without combing, what do you see? Are there any curls in sight? If yes, then a wash and go will work for you.

@absolutelyfrotastic ‘s curl pattern after washing and conditioning

@igbocurls shared the pic of her mums curl pattern:

The next step would be to gently divide the hair in sections. Find a slippery and moisturising leave in and smooth each section thoroughly, apply it in a down ward motion and rake your fingers through the section.

Follow that with a styling product of choice. Something like a gel would be best due to the strong hold it gives when your hair dries.

I love these products ( yep ive used them all!!!)

After all sections are thoroughly coated and raked through with the gel, you can gently pat some oil on the hair or leave it be and allow it to air dry (no towels please!) if you have a hair dryer with a difuser or a hooded dryer, you can speed up your drying process, but “nothing spoil” if you dont, the good old sun and some air will do the trick. It is important to not touch the hair after defining the curls until it is completely dry.

A friend’s daughter was braiding her hair and i decided to try and see if her hair will curl, i spritzed some water, added a conditioner and then the gel….

Voila curls!!!!!they were not so defined probably because her hair was dry and not very moisturized but it is obvious that  fully African and kinky hair can have a curl pattern.

In my personal experience, the style is more wearable if you have nicely shaped hair! I did a Deva cut and i love the shape my hair takes when a wash and go dries!

Love the shape.

Now compare with a wash and go on my (not so moisturized hair)
Other kinky African hair naturalistas have  also inspired us

@nappilynigeriangirl  rocks an awesome wash and go.

@tafaramav has tight curls!

Can you wash and go? Why don’t you give it a try?

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