Wash and go's are arguably one of the easiest looking styles that have actually been made to be more complicated than they really are. For those who aren’t natural the wash and go is a wet set style made popular by naturalistas. Naturals use styling products, typically gel, to set their curls in their natural state.
So why are so many naturals having trouble achieving the perfect wash and go? Well, from chatting with hundreds of women I’ve discovered seven main reasons why some wash and go styles are more like a wash and no.
1. Your hair isn’t clean.
The Internet has lead many astray when it comes to the topic of shampoo. I’ve heard about women using water only, washing their hair once a month and those who exclusively co-wash. If popping curls are what you want it is imperative that shampoo is used to cleanse your hair. Not only is shampoo important, but clarifying shampoo is an absolute necessity for every curl friend’s hair regimen. The shampoo process sets the stage for your end results and if you have eliminated it from your regimen your wash and go is not going to have curls that POP!
2. You’re using way too much and too many products.
After your conditioner, some of you are layering on 95 million products and you’re pilling them on to every single individual curl. The more product you use, the longer it takes for your hair to dry and the more money you spend trying to keep these products in your arsenal to make your wash and go happen.
At the very most you only need 1-2 products beyond the cleansing and conditioning process to create a wash and go as opposed to a wash and no.
3. You need to re-evaluate your products.
Every single product in your collection needs to be re-evaluated, down to your cleanser and conditioner. Most people are not aware that the cleansing and conditioning process lays the foundation for your styling. This means that you should be choosing products that are rich in botanicals that give you well-defined and hydrated curls.
4. Your application and technique need work.
How you apply the product and how you go about distributing the product throughout your hair are critical to the outcome of your wash and go. The two most common problems that come up are that most people are not applying styling product while in the shower on soaking wet hair and those who are not distributing the product from root to tip.
Applying products to soaking wet hair actually allows you to use less product (that’s if you’re using highly concentrated products). The water helps in distributing the product throughout your hair. As for getting the product distributed root to tip, I always suggest that people think of it like flat ironing to get the hair straight. Part small sections to make sure you’re getting great coverage and that you’re hitting up those roots.
With patience and practice you’ll have it down in no time.
5. You need a haircut.
Having your hair cut or your ends trimmed is super important to the overall look and health of your hair. It’s doubly important in the effort to avoid having your hair result in a wash and no. With your texture being highlighted with every single kink, coil and curl on display, if they are not in the best shape the wash and go will put all your business in the streets.
6. You disturb the curls.
Once you’ve set your style don’t touch it! The hair needs to dry completely before you put your hands all up and through it. I know that hands in the hair syndrome is high among naturalistas, but don’t allow the temptation to touch lure your hands near your follicles. Keeping your hands out of your hair decreases the amount of frizz and ensures that you won’t end up on the NOPE side of the wash and go.
7. You need to adjust your expectations.
It seems like a majority of naturals had this idea of what their curls look like as opposed to what theyactually look like. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought my hair was going to look like Tracee Ellis Ross’. I’m not sure how high my delusions of grandeur were but it took me a little while to collect myself and accept what was growing out of my scalp. I have even found myself saying “If only my curls in the front were like those beautiful luscious ones in the back.”