How To Achieve The Perfect Wash & Go

What is a wash and go?

Regardless of your hair texture, anyone can do a wash-and-go style. All you do is the right styling products and a good routine.

A wash-and-go is a method of styling your hair without the use of heat, protective styling, or other manipulation techniques. You mostly have to wash your hair, apply your styling products, and let your hair reveal its natural curl/coil pattern. After you've done a wash and go, the usual effect is well-defined curls that look healthy and moisturized.

What to know before you do a wash and go

The first thing you need to know before you try out a wash and go is your hair type. This information would determine the kind of shampoo, conditioner, and other products you'd use for this process. A wrong product could end up stripping nutrients from your hair and leave you with undefined curls.

Here's a summary of the hair types available.

  • Type 1: Bone-straight, shiny, resistant to curls
  • Type 2: Wavy, increased volume, flat at the roots
  • Type 3: Curly Spirals
  • Type 4: Very curly, coily, kinky

What you need for a wash-n-go

  1. Shampoo
  2. Conditioner
  3. Curl booster
  4. Hair clips
  5. Hairbrush
  6. Hairdryer
  7. Diffuser
  8. Optional detanglers
  9. Leave-in conditioner, styling gel, and mousse.

How to achieve a perfect wash and go on natural hair

Jenn shows a very detailed and step-by-step process of how she achieves a wash and go style on her 4C hair.

Step 1: Shampoo your hair

The first thing you want to do is wash your hair. This is to ensure that your hair is clean so your coils can be well defined for this style. Before you shampoo, ensure you know your hair type. The curlier your texture, the harder it is for shampoo to travel down your hair so your focus should be on your roots., which allows you to cleanse your hair without stripping it of its natural oils. Knowing your hair type also helps you choose the right shampoo for your hair.

Step 2: Condition your hair

The essence of conditioning is to replace the hydration your hair lost during the shampooing process. It also makes detangling easier because it adds slip to the hair and makes your hair cuticles softer. Just like shampooing, you need to know your hair type before picking out a conditioner.

Step 3: Detangle your hair

The next step is to detangle your hair. Some hair types detangle from the effect of the conditioner right in the shower, some detangle easily when partially dry, while others require additional products like leave-in conditioners, oils, and detangling sprays. Whichever method suits your hair, ensure you start detangling from the ends to your roots to avoid any hair breakage or loss.

Apart from products, you can just finger detangle too. While detangling, remember to keep your hair clips handy, so as to part your hair away from your face while you detangle in sections.

Step 4: Wash your hair thoroughly

After you have thoroughly shampooed, conditioned, and detangled your hair. The next thing to do is to wash off the products from your hair.

5. Apply the styling products to your hair

Now it is time to style your hair. Your hair should be soaking wet for the styling process so that your strands will remain as clumped as possible leaving you with beautiful curls. These beautiful curls of yours are what would make this style pop. After detangling your hair while wet, apply your styling products to your hair. You could use a method called layering, this involves applying your go-to styling products on top of each other. By styling products, think of leave-in conditioners, styling cream, gel, or mousse. Depending on how easy it is for your curls to get defined, you could use two or more different styling products.

6. Allow it to dry and wear as desired

After styling, you can finish your look with a hair spray or gloss. If you can't stand the feeling of wearing wet hair, you could use a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment to prevent your hair from getting frizzy. If you prefer to air dry, you can go about your day and let nature do its thing.