Before I dive in, apologies for the long hiatus. School was absolutely out of control and to maintain some semblance of sanity, keep up with academics and stay on top of work…I had to focus. This post has actually been hanging out in my drafts for over 5 weeks. Thanks for your patience! Without further ado ….the post:
The wash and go… seemingly easy: 1. Wash. 2. Go. However the name conveniently leaves out appropriate adjectives like sticky, wet, cold, drippy, shrink-eriffic and unpredictable.
Youtube’s Naptural85 posted a long time ago, her experience achieving the perfect wash and go. I didn’t pay much attention to it since she used very different products and I wasn’t willing to spend money to buy what she was using.
Today (read 5 weeks ago), I stumbled upon my own perfect winter wash and go which had way fewer steps. I actually think it’s less about the specific products and more about how well moisturized/happy your hair is, although product choice for this style is important. You will have to find what product helps your hair to clump but I will still share with you what works for mine. This method will probably work best for those that see curl definition when detangling their hair in the shower. To get my curls to clump, I finger detangle instead of using a comb or denman. Another key is clipped ends. If you have ratty ends, when you try to separate your curls when your hair has finished drying, they will frizz.
Pics are a bit limited for this tutorial since many of the steps happen in the shower and my camera is not waterproof but you should be able to get the drift.
What you’ll need:
- Moisturizing conditioner (I use Nature’s Gate Henna Conditioner -$8)
- Cheap thin conditioner (I use Suave’s Revitalizing Anti-Dandruff Conditioner -$2)
- Oil of your choice (I prefer Nutiva’s Coconut Oil -$10)
- Old T-shirt
1. Co-wash your hair with cheap conditioner. A sulfate-free shampoo also works well. The key is you do not want to dry out your hair while cleansing it.
2. Section hair into four and twist. Take one section, apply conditioner, and detangle your hair using your fingers. If you find your hair is more defined using a denman/comb then by all means do that. The key is that post detangling, your hair should clump.
3. Don’t wash out the conditioner. After detangling the section, two strand twist, pin up and move on to the next. Deep condition by leaving the conditioner in. I usually will leave it in while I do the rest of my shower rituals.
4. At the end of shower rituals, untwist a section while running it under the water (cooler water is preferable so you can close the cuticle). Let the water run through, don’t disturb clumped curls. Conditioner completely rinsed out and still under the water, braid this hair tightly (not too tight) starting as close to the scalp as possible. Make sure when braiding to carefully divide the hair into 3 sections so you don’t have to borrow when you get towards the end of the braid. Braiding the hair is to simply stretch your curls. Make sure to braid to the very end and smooth the end by twirling between your fingers (helps to avoid fuzzy ends). If you notice the ends of your braids are fuzzy after braiding, apply a dime size or less amount of conditioner to the ends and twirl between your fingers. Repeat for the other 3 sections.
5. Before exiting the shower, squeeze out excess water.
6. Your hair will still drip so wrap your head with an old cotton t-shirt to absorb water. Go to bed!
7. In the morning, you will need about 25 min to unbraid and moisturize your hair. Your hair may be slightly damp, no biggie, but should be mostly/completely dry to minimize frizz. (Ideal is completely dry.) Grab your oil of choice and rub down the shaft of the braid. Unbraid your hair carefully, keeping the 3 sections in tact.
8. Apply more oil once unbraided, concentrating on the ends (oldest part of your hair!). Now carefully separate the sections, making sure not to frizz your hair. (Careful? What does that even mean?! Well, when in doubt, just stop. I.e. should I separate a few more curls, it may get frizzy… just STOP lol.) Move on to another section. If at the end you’re not pleased, shake your head to help separate. Still not pleased? Try separating further, making sure you have oil on your hands to help reduce frizz.
9. Repeat across the rest of your head. Separate carefully in the back in order to cover the parts originally created by the 4 braids. The result is dry fluffy, moisturized hair. No drips!
I’ve done this style a couple times, and as you can see it comes out a bit different each time. I have noticed that allowing the hair to COMPLETELY dry allows the curls to be more stretched, defined, shinier and moisturized. Why? Well, I think that when applying the oil on slightly damp hair, the oil isn’t able to penetrate the hair shaft as well. Sometimes, depending on your hair, drying can take longer than overnight and could take much of the next day. When I need more drying time, I don a hat to hide the braids.
Finally, here’s a side by side of one of my twist outs (left) and the overnight wash and go method (right).
Questions, comments, love- leave it on the facebook page!