By Cassidy of Natural Selection


Because natural hair has a tendency to grow up and out rather than down, this is a question I get pretty often. But today is your lucky day because I have an answer!  There is just one simple step that will help you get hang.  Check it out:

Here’s a picture of me without the Hang Technique:


Annnnd a picture of me with the Hang Technique:


In both of these photos, my hair is equal amounts wet with a very similar cream-gel styling product, but as you can see my curls hang more when I use the technique.

There are three magic ingredients for this Hang Recipe.  Here’s the rundown:

How to Get Hang


  • A decent amount of length:  You need a few inches of hair that can’t hang.  Yea, it’s cute and all, but your TWA can’t defy gravity.
  • Your shower: And you need to be in it with clean hair and conditioner still in dem curls.
  • Styling product: Your favorite one!  Whether it’s a cream or a gel, pick your fave and get it in the shower WITH you.


  • Cleanse your hair as usual
  • Apply conditioner
  • If you are leaving your conditioner in (to use under a gel for example), proceed to step 4. If you are using a rinse out conditioner, pay extra attention here: when you’re rinsing tip your head forward to under the shower.  People often will have their backs to the shower and tilt their head backwards to rinse, but by tipping your head forward you’re rinsing the direction you want your hair to hang.  Here, allow me to illustrate.

Rinse your hair like this!

Rinse your hair like this!


NOT like this

  • Apply your styling product to soaking wet hair.  No plopping here!  And use A LOT.  More than you think you need.
  • Turn towards the shower and let the water run through your hair.  Just a bit!  Not enough to rinse the product out, but think of the water as more of a product application tool, allowing it to set your curls and elongate your strands.
  • Now shake the crap outta your hair and VOILA!  HANG!


The next step might take a bit of practice.  Sometimes I also cup my hands and fill them with water to scrunch water into my curls, either way the key is to use water to your advantage.

Good luck and lemme know how this works for you! Shout out to Dickey of HairRules for introducing me to this technique. It has become my go-to and Lola loves it!

If you’ve got other tips to get hang, leave ‘em in the comments!

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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82 Comments on "How to Get Your Wash and Go Curls to Hang"

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so getting curls like those is only possible with product? and any recommendations?


Henna loosens hair texture.


I tried it . It works


I just had to say that I LOVE the cut and color 😀


Yes, the color really “makes” her style. Love it!


I’ve been using henna for the past few weeks, and have gotten serious hang!
The pic where I have a fro is after washing my hair, with no product on it. I hadn’t started doing henna treatments then. The pic where I have hanging curls is after three Jenna treatments, and using Taliah Waajid’s Curly Curl Cream!
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Wow.It gos to show it is all about techniques and using the right products to enhance one’s own curl pattern.

I believe everyone has a curl pattern its just a matter of size.


Be careful w/ henna. As great as it is, one of the side effects of long term use can be the loss of elasticity in the hair resulting in not so curly hair according to And as a side bar sister girl’s hair is pretty, color and style!


I was hoping it wouldn’t require using globs of product. I hate the feeling of having tons of product in my hair.


What are we doing to ourselves? Let’s celebrate differences. I look at the photos of women on this site and none of them are the same. Look at the beauty pageants-Ms. America, USA, Universe-no variety all cookie cutter.

Now everyone wants wash and go, curls.. so now everyone will want there curls to hang.


I think teaching naturals who have curly hair or who choose to wear their hair curly how to get their curls to hang down is great. In part, for one practical reason: sometimes curls that are too shrunken mat and tangle worse than curls that have been elongated a little somehow. Then combing or de-tangling is a painful nightmare. Also some of us don’t enjoy working hard for length only to see the length shrink to 70% and in some cases 80% of our natural length.


I must admit, wash and goes seem like forbidden fruit to me, lol. I have type 4a/b/c/d/e “bsl”hair that’s super dense and shrinks like 95%.

I haven’t washed my hair “sectionless” in about 2 years. I’m so afraid of the detangling if I get it wrong…maybe this summer. 🙂 (by the way I’m simply poking some light hearted fun at myself)


shrinks 95% >>> I FEEL YOU!!! hahah look like i big chopped yesterday even though it’s been a cleeeean 3 years lolololol


I know right! I thoght there was something wrong with my hair, its been 2 yrs since the BC and I still have a tiny afro when my hair is dry! (when stretched, my hair is just below my shoulder)


Natural hair is just that “naturally yours”……So everybody’s hair will hang and look different when doing wash and go’s; truly something to celebrate! Such a blessing to learn new techniques and styles for our hair. A blessing – perception is everything.


This forum is designed to share ideas and tips for maintaining natural hair. A common issue among natural hair is shrinkage and there are some who want elongated curls for their desired look. To make the assessment that everyone is trying have hanging curls and not celebrate individuality is simply out of left field.


I really don’t think its that serious…this I’d just another styling option, just cause we’re natural doesn’t mean we can’t have tips and tricks to accentuate it or change it up.

I don’t see how this is even remotely an example of what you’re saying.


what on earth are you talking about?


Having natural hair is a part of what makes us unique and a part of our similarity. So what if we all do wash and go styles from time to time, so what if we want them to hang, if it makes you feel great and isnt harmful, we should share techniques and strategies to take care of our hair. Thanks for sharing this and I’m gonna try it too!


What is plopping? Help a sister out.


Plopping—>after washing hair, instead of drying with a towel, you grab an old T shirt and place it over your wet hair sorta like a turban. Leave on for awhile [depends on the person] remove T shirt! Don’t touch hair!


This great! I’m a big wash and go fan but had resigned myself to the fact my hair does not hang (just rises to the sun!)
I’m definitely gonna try rinsing with my head forward… never ever thought of that.


My hair takes forever to dry and I normally plop with an old shirt. How do you get your hair to dry quickly with this method?

T. Miquel

A diffuser attachment to your blow dryer should help! If I need for my hair to dry quickly without shrinking, I’ll gently pull my curls out a bit with the diffuser aimed at that section. Use medium heat and it should come out perfectly! Hope this helps!


I’m trying this asap! Great info!