Via MotownGirl.com

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

Instruc­tions

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.

DAILY MAINTENANCE

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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Anonymous

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.

trackback

[…] 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 […]

KinkyPie

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

Rayne
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!

cici

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?

curlsarefromheaven

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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Shaz

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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nelle

the mod­el in the pic­ture for this post is sim­ply stun­ning

bee

i“m gonna try this. btw check out my video post on dry detan­gling on my site:
http://www.acurlcandream.blogspot.com/2012/06/videos-dry-detangling.html

hairscapades
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 »
Zyaran

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

BrownEyedGirl

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

T.
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 »
J

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. :)

caribbeancurl
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 »
caribbeancurl
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 »
KaraJ

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

Natalie

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.

Jane

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.

ttemfash

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

Lita

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

Lita

Type 4 wash and goes (includ­ing two Nige­ri­ans, Edith!);
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Alik9VPwUHg&feature=plcp
http://coilyas123.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/how-to-wash-go-shingle-on-kinky-coily.html
and a list of oth­ers that do:
http://coilyas123.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/natural-hair-bloggersvloggers-with.html
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: http://naturalselectionblog.com/my-afrotation/bedtime-routine-vid/

Bridget
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 »
LBell
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 »
merry

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.

ugh.

i won­der what hap­pened to her.

elle

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

S

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 :/

lailaj

don’t
not gonna hap­pen

Bernadette

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!

edith

Hi
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

merry

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.

Nicole

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

Camille

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.

beautifulAjike
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 »
Camille
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 »
Sue

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.

merry

i. just. can’t.

anne grey

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

Ada

+1

anastasia

+2

Cynthia

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?

Zenith
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 »
caribbeancurl

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?

Destiny
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 »
Destiny

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.

sade

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

Destiny

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

Landry

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.

Zenith

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.

RasheL

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

Monica

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.

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