I’ve been natural for almost 7 years *gasp*! I can’t believe it’s been this long honestly. It seems like just yesterday I was a broke college student that attended a PWI and decided to go natural because of the lack of black salons in my college city. I didn’t do it because of the “trend.” In fact, I went natural before it was a THING. All my friends and family were looking at me like I was crazy. I barely did any research before I made my decision. I just knew that I was tired of waiting like three months in between relaxer touch-ups. I needed my creamy crack every 6 weeks honey, but that wasn’t an option so I said hey, maybe I’ll just stop getting relaxers. Problem solved! Was the problem really solved? Yes and no. Yes, I didn’t have to worry about touch-ups, but no because my broke tail was spending more money on finding my “staple products.”
My TWA was poppin and I loved wash and go’s, but this was before I really new what texture my natural hair was. For me at least I couldn’t really get a grasp on my curl pattern until after my hair had grown out of the awkward stage between TWA and hair long enough to actually style. Back when I had the TWA (teeny weeny afro), all I did was wet my hair every morning and use some leave-in. That was the easiest part of my journey. But as my hair continued to grow, I elevated my game to Ecostyler gel to try to define my “curls.” I had absolutely NO clue what I was doing, but it was so low maintenance.
Fast forward to about two years into being natural and I wanted to try a wash n go again. I remembered how bomb and easy it was for me, so I thought the process would be the same. Boy was I wrong. My hair experienced EXTREME shrinkage and my hair had become super dense and THICK! Like a typical naturalista, I don’t like to hair type, but FYI I am probably 4a (from the front of my head to the middle) and 4b (from the middle to back of my hair). My “kitchen” is also 4a. Weird I know lol. My hair literally goes from pretty loose curls to tightly coiled hair. I’m perfectly fine with it, but it makes a wash n go nearly impossible to achieve. When wet it looks good, but once it dries, it looks like a matted up mess. How come I couldn’t get this wash n go right? I was frustrated because I wanted something quick and easy, especially for the summer months, but my hair WAS NOT rocking. I’ve tried different methods, gels, etc. and nothing has worked UNTIL now! 6 and a half years after my bomb wash n go’s and I’ve found what works for my texture. FINALLY!
With my texture I have to cheat the system. I can’t just apply products to my wet hair and then diffuse it like the 3c chicks (no shade at all!). I had to find the scenic route and that is using practically dry hair. Yes, dry hair. Hear me out… So I found a few videos on YouTube, but I formulated the idea in my head before I even saw the videos. I noticed how my hair looked when gel hit it in a stretched and “dry” state, so I figured I would try it.
- Thoroughly wash and (deep) condition your hair.
- Use a heat cap or steam device like the Q-Redew with deep conditioner in your hair.
- Rinse deep conditioner.
- Apply leave-in .
- Stretch your wet/damp hair with any method. I use banding.
- The next day apply oil to your scalp and take out bands.
- VERY lightly dampen your hair with water (spray bottle)
- Section by section generously apply Ecostyler Black Castor and Flaxseed Gel (only gel that works for my wash n go) root to tip. Shingle, comb through with fingers, etc.
- When you’re done, apply oil to your hair, especially the ends. You don’t want your hair to dry hard.
- Use blow dryer or diffuser to “dry” hair about 75% and then let the rest air dry.
- (optional) if you don’t want to apply heat, let your hair air dry but put your hair in ponytails or mini buns to keep the hair stretched.
- Even bigger cheat code is you can do this on already stretched hair. So if you’re tired of your twist or braid out, just add some gel and your curls will POP!
This method has not only given me the best defined wash n’ go, but also the most stretched. My hair normally shrinks about 50% it’s length when I do wash n go’s on wet hair, but with this method my hair shrinks probably about 25% to 30%. Not bad right? Your hair will continue to get bigger as the days go on and since the gel has great hold you won’t really need to re-apply.
Watch this video for a visual.
Here are my results!