How to Do a Wash and Go


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

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, 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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55 thoughts on “How to Do a Wash and Go

  1. 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. :)

  2. 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 imagine it could/would look this good. I’m almost a convert — I just have to wait and see how it stands up to the humidity tomorrow.

  3. 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

  4. 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 a mix of Labella Lots of Curls gel and Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair butter through my hair in sections. Then, allow to air dry. The first pic and the link below is of my hair using those products.

    But, I was recently gifted a creamy leave-in conditioner and a hair butter that I used this weekend and obtained very similar results (second pic). So, I think a lot of it is technique and a product with a little hold.



  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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?

  9. 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 than wash day, section into four (my hair is short still) and then I apply the oil (I want to try Shea Moistures curl enhancing smoothie this next time) to the section I’m working on, and apply the gel to smaller sections of that section. I keep a spray bottle nearby to keep my hair dripping wet and then when I finish all the sections I spray all over my head till it is once again soaked and shake shake shake! And it looks great. :) I can usually last about a week which is awesome because it lasts from wash day to wash day. I like flaxseed gel because regular gel makes my hair hard and crunchy and I hate it.

  10. Pingback: Characteristics of My Natural Hair | Naturalbella

  11. 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.

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