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…

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

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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!
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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!
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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 it… 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


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


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 »
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 them… 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 few good shakes.… Read more »

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.


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


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.