Monday, July 27, 2015

Wash and Go Success

Perfecting A Technique

I've been battling with the wash and go ever since becoming natural. I've never really been a fan of shrinkage so when my hair was in its earlier stages, I couldn't take the reduction in length. Now that I'm being more cognizant of my hair and the styles I choose, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the style.

YouTube Discovery

My want for trying wash and go's again was strengthened only after finding this very helpful wash and go video. I used to watch a lot of her videos, but since recommitting to healthy hair I've tried not to pay too much attention to naturalistas who don't have hair like mine. However, when it comes to searching for a technique I'm open to getting that kind of information from any naturalista!

I searched for wash and go's on YouTube and of course 1,000,001 videos popped up. This video was second in the lineup. I felt like I could trust her advice, so when I saw the technique I knew it would work better than what I'd been doing.


How my natural hair looks when hopping out of bed in the morningI took pictures of my hair before I did anything to it. When considering any style, night maintenance is important. I've talked about the difficulty I have with holding styles overnight and this hair is the reason why! Whether I use the pineapple method or just throw my hair in a bonnet as is, it always comes out looking the same way.

My hair is extremely soft, so when I lay on it, it gets smashed. This is the reason why I've chosen to twist my hair nightly. Retwisting helps me maintain the twist and go look. If I don't, the style wouldn't last more than a day or two.

Because of this tangled mess, I've decided to start pre-pooing so I could use that time to detangle my hair.

Pre-pooing & Detangling

I researched two methods of pre-pooing. One method uses oil, the other method uses conditioner. I've tried both and the best method for me is the conditioner pre-poo.

When I tried the oil method my hair was straight so there was no need to detangle. However, I could tell that I wouldn't be able to detangle as well with the oil. Pre-pooing with oil also made it harder for the co-wash to lather. Since oil repels water, I felt like it was counterintuitive to use oil before washing and cleaning my hair.

When pre-pooing with the conditioner, it was just like conditioning, except I was doing this part first! I wet my hair, applied conditioner and gently detangled.

Prepooing with conditioner and sectioning off my detangled natural hair

The Technique

After pre-pooing and detangling my hair, I separated my hair into four sections and co-washed by section. The essential factor in this new technique is to apply products to soaking wet hair. I decided to also try the L.O.C. method. I've always heard naturalistas speak highly of it, but I've never tried it.
The L.O.C. method is "the layering (of) products in a specific order to maximize moisture retention" (source). L stands for leave-in or liquid. O stands for oil. C stands for cream.
My L.O.C. method looked like this: L - Mixed Chicks Leave-In, O - Argan Oil, and C - Creme of Nature Argan Buttermilk. I must admit I was a bit confused about why you'd add the oil before the moisturizer but that's another post for another time! The finishing touch was the gel (Dark & Lovely Twist Gel N' Butter), which I added last to lock curl definition for the authentic wash & go look.

Wash & Go Results

I didn't wrap my hair in a t-shirt to dry it like I usually would but I did have to pat a few of the ends that had excessive dripping.

Results of the wash and go on my natural hair

Cutting out the drying/hair rubbing (from drying) is supposed to cut down on the frizz, but, again, we all know that my hair is super soft so frizz comes with the territory. Maybe if I would go through and apply products to my soaking wet hair sections at a time that would help, but I feel like the two hours it takes to do my hair now is quite enough.

Will I use this technique again?

YES! Many things were accomplished from trying this new technique:
  • I liked the results from this method much more than the results from my old wash and go method.
  • I feel like I retained more length this way.
  • There wasn't as much frizz.
  • Pre-pooing and detangling helped reduce some of the shedding and the frustration of having to do mid-wash.
  • Washing my hair in sections helped with that too.
  • I learned the best ratio of products to use to get the look I want.
The amount of time is about the same if not a little longer. Caring for my hair in sections kind of draws things out, but I would choose to do that way rather than to get frustrated with my hair. How you take care of your hair is extremely important. Frustration must never be in the mix!

What are key elements of your wash and go technique?

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