Items needed: Comb (to make a straight part down the middle), hair product (gel, leave-in etc.), and hair ornaments or clamps are optional.


Step 1: I take my products in the shower with me (conditioner and styling product). View my regimen page to see what products I use currently (but I find creamy products works the best for me).

Step 2: After rinsing the conditioner out with cool water, apply your styling product(s) in sections to soaking wet hair. (Don’t worry, once you apply your products, it soaks up much of the water, at least for me it does.)

Step 3: Gently shake your head (like you’re saying ‘no’) about 4 times. Cover you face with a towel while you are doing this or you’ll get hit in the face with your hair! This helps to separate the coils and to remove excess water, but I usually skip this part.

Step 4: Let air-dry. When I need my hair to dry faster, I’ll scrunch with a super absorbent towel. The important part is not to touch or mess with your hair until it’s dry. Once you start touching it will get matted and frizzy. You may need to walk around with a hand towel around your neck to catch the drippies if you don’t scrunch or towel dry.


With this style you’ll probably have to re-wet every morning. Once you sleep with this style, it will become matted. Don’t fret. With a quick touch up of your product with damp hair and you’re done. It shouldn’t take longer than 5 mins. to do. Sometimes I am able to get by for an extra day or two my lightly spritzing or even doing nothing.

Another Version

Everyone has different hair types. If you try this and it doesn’t work, please don’t get discouraged. Not everyone has “visible” curls or coils and that’s okay! Here is a suggestion if you like this style, but can’t produce the desired result from the steps above:

Step 1. Twist your hair in small twists. Leave them in for a couple of days or at least until the twists are 100% dry. If you attempt to unravel your hair before it’s completely dry, you will end up with frizzy hair (which is also not a bad free-form look either).

Step 2. Carefully undo the twists.

Step 3. Run cool water over your hair once. You want to completely soak it. Or you may want to experiment and spritz your hair instead getting it completely wet.

Step 4. Take your towel and wrap it around your hair then carefully squeeze the excess water out. Don’t mess with your hair after this point.

Step 5. Let your hair air-dry or sit under a dryer. Once your hair is completely dry, you should have an afro with tiny coils.

Ladies, do you do wash and go’s? What is your routine?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

Leave a Reply

57 Comments on "How to Do a Wash and Go"

Notify of

[…] BGLH: […]


I am Nigerian and I go to college, I am not alowed to leave my hair unplaited!

Angela Cooper

i’m being straight serious. What is a wash and go? i have no idea what that means. I usually air dry my hair cause heat and my hair don’t mix like oil and water. but still I don’t get it.


[…] ends either tucked away or off my shoulders. If my hair is down, it is usually styled in a ‘wash n go‘ whereby the ends of my hair are curled […]


Do you need to use product on the 2nd version of wash n go?

I ADORE wash and gos! They’re my hairstyle of choice. I’m a new mom (well not that new, he’s one now) and I love my natural hair but I’m soooo soooo lazy with styling. But wash and gos are awesome for me. I have 4a and 4b hair I think, think is the alternative word for I have no idea whatsoever, and I just use water, flaxseed gel, and oil. I want to start doing them more often. So far I have only done it three times. And I just soak my hair, after cowashing or on a day other… Read more »
in home care for seniors

Awesome! Super worthwhile post. I’m saving the site without delay. Kudos!


Although this has nothing to do with the post, I’m desperate to find out my hair type. Does anyone know where I can do this?


awesome curl definition!!! i love your curl pattern! this is a pic of me having 10th day hair with my wash and go. All I do is shake and go to preserve my hair. I am going until day 14. Usually I go to day 8, but my hair is not dry, it is still very soft and moisturized. All I use is conditioner and gel!
[imgcomment image[/img]


Great post showing 2 different methods. I actually use the second method which I stumbled on as my usual wash and go at the time was a fail. I twist my hair using my Shea butter mix, leave them in for a day at least then untwist, soak in the shower and shake. I blot dry with a tshirt then seal using my Shea butter mix and then good to go! I can usually get 4 or 5 days in before I cowash again. I experiment with different size twists which give a completely different look.

Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

I did a wash and go yesterday for my daughter’s graduation (mainly because I was running late lol). I also think for think it would have come out better if I had time to diffuse it.
However, this is definitely not something I do frequently as it increases my risk of SSKs!
[imgcomment image[/img]
[imgcomment image[/img]


the model in the picture for this post is simply stunning


i”m gonna try this. btw check out my video post on dry detangling on my site:

I just recently started doing WnGs more often. I did them for most of the 12 years I have been natural. But, I haven’t done them much in the last two years. I usually would do a TnC or a twist-out and then put my hair in a protective style for 5-6 days out of the week. But, I recently got a haircut because 1) I needed one and 2) I wanted to start washing and going more often. So, I just did a post on my WnG last week! I use a leave-in (Sally’s GVP Infusium 23), then rake… Read more »

Wash N Go’s are a big no for me, definitely not for a every day event. I can’t deal with the knots and trying to detangle all of the hair. But I find that I like fellow youtuber “Africanexport” way of doing wash n go’s that work out quite nice. Here is the video link that shows this which may help you ladies. Titled:WASH AND GO TECHNIQUE FOR MY KINKY HAIR


14 day hair! That’s unheard of for me. You go!

This inspired me to try my first wash and go (not counting when I had a TWA). And I love it! I soaked my hair, conditioned, rinsed the conditioner, squeezed out some of the water, moisturized with coconut oil and Cantu shea butter leave in, then applied some gel, and shook my hair. (I think I used some serum somwhere in there too.) Took like ten minutes total, and my hair looks amazing. My family’s been telling me for ages that I should wear my hair like this (I always wear twists) and I’ve been saying no because I didn’t… Read more »

My dry hair doesn’t like wash n gos so i limit them to 1x a month MAX or every other months!I prefer braid outs.

When i do i :

*Apply Herbal Essence Hydration&a tiny amount of EVOO all over my hair *Part my hair in 4 a re-appy in sections + finger comb my hair.
*I then air dry.

My hair looks likle the pic in some places. 🙂

Seems like no one is able to address the tangling problem. Sisters if you are like me and your hair tangles like nobody’s business when you do a WnG and if after after trying the WnG, you are combing through the hair and telling yourself every 3-4minutes “I should have known better” then just leave the WnG for people who are blessed with that “type” of hair. Be resolved in knowing that WnG is JUST one, uno, une, style that you can’t do. But guess what, you have 299 other styles that will look great on your “type” and have… Read more »
Annie L.
Funny, you mentioned this, I almost never tangle and I don’t believe tangles and knots are relegated to a ‘type’. I know plenty of people of all ethnicities and colors with all sorts of hair patterns, strand thickness, hair density, length and color and porosity and hair routines and lots of natural slip and shine. And many of them always complain about the same thing – tangles and knots. Some say it happens even when the wind blows or while they’re sleeping or washing their hair, some say tangling isn’t that big an issue and a few, like me, say… Read more »
Which is why I put “TYPE” in quotations. I did not mean type as in 3b, 2c or 4f..just meant that the structure of their hair, the DNA makeup if you will allow me to use that term, allows them to do wash and goes WITHOUT the tangles. Now we are talking specifically about WnG, not puffs, not sleeping with hair open, but literally washing the hair and leave it, with or without product. I have kinky coily hair and they love each other, wrap around each other like long lost friends. When they do this, the knots are unmovable,… Read more »

Wash and go is definately not for me. I have tried too many times and I end up with tangled single knot strand mess.


I only wash and go when I go swimming.

I use ACV and water to rinse my hair, condition it in the steam room, detangle and plait and then rinse out the conditioner. Leave an absorbent hair towel on whilst I dress then apply leave in conditioner and twist in sections.
Just before I’m ready leave I use a goody band as in an Afro puff, I undo the twists and shake my hair a bit and I’m ready to go.


I don’t think there is one way to do a wash and go. I do very successful (to me) wash and go styles with no combs or wet hair required. I can do it on damp hair or wet hair, success depends on what products I use.


Wash and goes are a wash and no for my hair, wash and goes result in tangles and knots galore.


I meant to say, the bedtime method stretches the coils and gives them movement, so they often look much better than the initial day.


Type 4 wash and goes (including two Nigerians, Edith!);
and a list of others that do:
long short, Nigerian and otherwise.

My method changes all the time, but my great saviour, is learning how to pineapple properly at night. My hair is thick, so manipulating it to fill gaps is quite easy. I do something very similar to the fabulous Naturalselection’s bedtime method, and get several days out of a WnG:

I shampoo or co-wash and plop my hair (with a tshirt or my turbo twist hair wrap) and add my leave-in. Then section my hair into 4 sections and apply styling product and/or gel. Let air dry. Usually (for the first day at least) I will pull my hair back into a low puff with either an ouchless hair band or with a banana clip until my hair is about 90% dry and then release it or continue to wear it in a puff. It appears that I get better definition and longer lasting curls this way. Also, I like… Read more »
For those of you who have a curl/coil pattern when wet that diffuses/disappears when dry (what I believe is the current definition of 4b; no longer sure, lol) check out cynthiarf’s channel on YouTube. Her techniques (I modified some of them for my hair; hers is twice as thick as mine) allowed me to wear WNGs past the length (4″) where I used to have to stop wearing them in the past. In her “winter WNGs” video she describes her hair texture and most of it is coffee stirrer/penspring coils with a lot of shrinkage, which is exactly what I’ve… Read more »

i remember her. she was a fan of washing with baking soda i think. i thick she cowashed almost every day too.

i tried it and didn’t like it, unfortunately. tangles, knots, etc. for days.


i wonder what happened to her.


me too. I actually loved her hair and videos. she disappeared out of nowhere.


I have NEVER done a wash and go because well I don’t know how to style one! How does one achieve that carefree-yet-put-together look like the girl above? How does one prevent tangles because for some they can happen in a day?!

Annie L.

1. I drench my hair with water
2. Apply pomade (or oil) throughout drenched hair
3. Massage scalp and hair for wild effect, freestyle and go

Sometimes I do it on 2-day old twists but I always take them out before getting in the shower, not after.

P.S. Lately I’ve been so hair lazy, I had to coach myself into finishing my flat twists the other day – big ones! I was just like, ‘I can’t…do…another…style’. Maybe it’s the heat :/


not gonna happen


I’ve never done a wash n go! My hair becomes a hot mess when I wear it out. So, I’m afraid of the detangling process.

Maybe I’ll be bold one day, though!


Am a nigerian, how would this work for me ? I need all the help i can get with washing me hair, am seven months natural but with two texture, some of the relaxed part is still there. HELP


Edith, Congratulations, but I don’t understand what being Nigerian has to do with anything… There is a lot of help for people who are transitioning online. Just look up the “natural hair” and transition.

Hi everyone.I’m Nigerian too and trust me it has a lot to do with natural hair.if u wear ur hair natural,then everyone thinks u either go to those churches where they preach that its a sin to straighten ur hair(vanity and all that) or u are broke and don’t have money to fix ur hair.I understand what Edith is goin thru cos there’s virtually no knowledge about natural hair care unless u take matters into ur own hands.Thank God for fora like this and my sons birth cos its what’s given me the courage to chop off all my relaxed… Read more »

you should lookup “laila” she is one of the style icons and she’s ghanaian, from the uk. she transitioned a long time. she also has a youtube channel called fusion of cultures.

rustic beauty has a youtube channel. she is nigerian american. hair, in some of the videos is around waist length i think.

but i don’t think being nigerian has anything to do with it.


It is probably just a way to introduce herself on an American blog or excuse her English, doesn’t have anything to do with her hair

I’m like 4a/4b. I did a great wash and go where I used the dryer tension method just holding my hair at the ends and drying from root midway down and letting the ends air dry and I was super happy with it. I have crazy shrinkage and it’s the only wash and go I’ve ever felt OK to leave the house with. I am not planning on doing it again anytime soon since I am afraid of all the scary things people say about heat, but if I ever decide to wash and go again that’s the way it’s… Read more »

Drying in twists or braids is the best I think, if you have shrinkage. You can release them the next day and comb out the roots abit leaving little ringlets at the top. I don’t think the method above would work for me, my hair takes too long to dry. You don’t have to worry about heat damage if you use the tension blow-dry method. Direct heat is what is damaging.


i. just. can’t.

anne grey

lol! Me too!!! Just thinking about my past attempt at a wash and go makes me shudder!






What about tangle? When I did wash and goes, and want to keep it for the next day, I notice my hair gets tangled. Any tips?

Hi Cynthia, Have you tried to pineapple at night? If you have short hair, you can put it in multiple mini-pineapples to aid in preventing tangles. I actually do my wash n goes at night and then pineapple. In the morning, I take my hair down and smooth/fluff with a little coconut oil. I do this because I do not want to walk around outside with wet hair. Oh and in the morning, if some of the ends don’t curl up the way you’d like (or look kinda bent), you can spray a little water mixed with leave-in condish on… Read more »

1. If there is anybody out there with 4c hair that stands up to wash and goes, buzz me. I have had failures So I am wondering if its me or the method.
2. How to prevent the hair from becoming tangled? Or is it just me?

ok. my wash n go technique is an ACTUAL wash n go technique. No shade to eco styler and all that, but this “style” is one that I wet my hair every day. Here it goes: 1. ACV rinse, or shampoo, with hair in sections. (I use Terressentials, have been for months now exclusively, I love it) I usually gently section my hair under the shower. 2. FINGER DETANGLE with conditioner. using the fingers to clump strands together. (I make my own condition with an avocado base) 3. Rinse thoroughly, allow to dry with minimal touching and pulling. And a… Read more »

When Its completely dry, it looks kind of like the girl in the feature picture


oh yea- I don’t stress over tangles. In the morning when I shower my hair to fluff it after its flattened by sleep, I do a light picking with my fingers, to kind of re-organize frizzy areas, if I find a tangle, I calmly pick it out, sometimes it has to get plucked (the sad truth, but really not a big deal). Tangles are expected, but if I don’t touch my hair too much through out the week, water will cure most naps.


This is old, but thanks for the tips! I have 4abcdz hair and I am looking to do a wng.


Wash and goes are a no-no for me—I think it would take too much time in the morning, and I don’t like leaving the house with wet hair…..I rock a twist out 99% of the time.


I drench my hair with water, co-wash, wring hair out, apply leave-in to damp hair then apply gel throughout. I let air dry then fluff a bit to ‘crack the gel’. Lol! I know that sounds terrible and very drying, but the hair is actually very soft afterwards and has movement. I guess the gel traps the leave-in. My hair lasts for days with this process and never feels dry.


I do the same thing 🙂 but what leave in and gel are you using for your wash and go??


I do the same thing. I use Oyin’s hair dew and Kinky Curly custard. Lately, I’ve left off the KCCC and the Oyin alone does fine.