Whoever said wash-n-go’s do not work on deep 4-type hair (kinky, nappy, coarse) does not know type 4 hair? I am proof, that wash-n-gos do work. I have multi-type 4 hair. I never comb or brush my coily hair due to its thickness and texture. I have been able to have my coils defined and poppin’ for wash-n-go hair. My secrets, I will reveal to you, in due time. These secrets are the hardest due to many of us wanting instant results and trouble keeping a routine. Trust me, the wait is worth the benefits. In fact, I have gotten to the point where I can just put water in my hair, a leave-in, and walk out the house with poppin’ coils. I like to do the LOC/LCO method for longer lasting styles, on account of my work schedule.
What is a Wash-N-Go?
A wash-n-go is nothing more than a shortened term for washing your hair and going about your normal daily activities without having to take time to actually do your hair routine everyday. A wash-n-go is meant to be as easy as refreshing your coils or curls in the morning and going about your business. Personally, I have had many trial and fails with wash-n-gos. I’ve come to realize that they require a whole laid out routine for lasting results and daily maintenance at night. Another thing that I found is that overnight, the hair changes and turns out different than the day before. This is especially true for the further end of type 4 hair. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible, to do a wash n go, but beware that it will only last for literally a few days, if done right!
The Method: Deep Conditioning & LOC/LCO
First let’s start by talking about deep conditioning. Since this is the most important step in length retention and to any style, it’s only right that we start here. For strand retention, especially with curly, coily, and kinky hair, I condition my hair before my wash-n-go, whether it is a regular quick condition, Aussie’s 3 minute miracle, or a hair masque. This ensures that my strands will be protected with the intense hand to hair contact.
The already known, underrated LOC method: Liquid, Oil, Cream has been a great help with locking in moisture to my strands. I first saw this method from Naptural85 on YouTube. With my hair being like hers, I figured incorporating it into the wash-n-go is perfect for locking in the moisture for longer lasting style. For frizz free hair use the LOC method: oil before cream (where unknown source said is for frizz extreme). For fantastic coils, use the LCO method: Liquid, Cream, Oil: cream before oil (where unknown source said is for fantastic coils). The liquid could be something as simple as water, which is what I use. The oil is any oil that will add nutrients to your hair. So I use include Josie Maran Argan oil, Jamaican Black Castor oil, organic coconut or olive oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined, or a hair serum.
- Work In Sections. Always divide your hair in sections. You’re welcome to divide into as many as you would like, but I find 4 to 6 sections to be sufficient. Once you begin working on a section, be sure to layer and shingle the liquid and cream through the strands, starting from roots to ends. Saturating the roots first is beneficial to the lay down of your hair considering that the new growth is untrained hair.
- Liquid. Hydration is key in this step. Be sure that your strands are fully saturated for maximum hydration, this makes for the best styling. Properly hydrated coils give it the natural flexibility and look that a wash-n-go or any style needs. Water is a natural hydrator and if you are performing this on wet hair this step is already done. Applying a water-based leave-in conditioner is optional (I do this step anyway). If on dry hair, a mixture of water and a leave-in conditioner is the best option to condition and hydrate the hair.
- Apply Oil. Since your liquid of water is already the first step, now it is time to apply your oil. Any natural oil or mixture of oils will do. When applying the oils be mindful of the benefits that it will give your hair. For example, do not use vegetable or canola oil because it adds no benefits to your hair; however, you can use olive oil to your hair because of its nutritional benefits for the hair. Argan, jojoba, black castor, and coconut oil all have significant nutritional benefits for your tresses. Even mixed oils such as Dove, L’Oreal, or OGX brand oils are good for your hair because they are designed to combat certain hair issues.
- Apply Cream. Since the oil and the liquid provide hydration and a sealant to lock in moisture, it is time to apply the cream. The cream is usually a definer. There are many creams out there that will help define coils and even elongate them. Be wise about the creams that you use as these could make or break your style.
- Shake And Let Dry. Whether you opt to air dry or diffuse your hair, be sure to stay clear of touching while it is wet as this may cause frizzing and disruption of the coils and curls.
Do not be afraid to use a sealing oil (i.e. Jamaican Black Castor Oil) after the cream step to ensure the preservation of moisture. If you are doing the LCO method, then apply the oil after the cream. Please yield caution to the products that you use for oil and cream. Try out the oils and creams beforehand to be sure they work. The last thing that you want is to go out on the town with a fresh wash-n-go, using an untested product. Instead of coily, curling, or elongated hair when dried, you end up looking like you just stuck your finger in an electrical socket. I’ve been there! Please be knowledgeable of the amounts of product that you use as well.
“And maybe someday we will find that it wasn’t really wasted time” -The Eagles
As sand in an hourglass is steady, so is the journey of hair. When I started my journey and began with wash-n-gos, my coils did not look the way that it does now. They were coarser, kinkier, and more matted. Over the years, my hair has coiled into the form that it is supposed to be. Over the years I noticed that my coils began to “pop” with only water. Now, my coils are super defined (with a few extra textures of wave, and crinkles). I can literally wash my hair and leave the house, with no product! I don’t though, I always add a leave-in and oil to my hair before walking out the house. Always have that moisture and protective methods in place. Time is hard to experience, especially in a world that never stands still. Once you let time run its course, you “will find that it wasn’t really wasted.”
“There is no substitute for attentive repetition.” -Daniel Coyle
Just as a tiny drop can cause a ripple in the water, attentive repetition can cause your hair to flourish. Attentive repetition is substantial to achieving the perfect wash-n-go. Paying close attention to how your hair reacts to certain products and methods is just as important as paying close attention to what it needs. For the longest, my hair kept reverting back to its coarser, kinkier texture and was abnormally dry. I couldn’t figure out why, until one day I realized that my hair had protein overload, product over-consumption, and was thirsty. Yes! Water deprived. Apparently I was not giving it as much water as it wanted. Even though I wore wash-n-gos in the summer time, my hair was excessively dry due to the humidity. It’s like your body in humid weather, you can be hydrated and still be excessively thirsty.
You’re probably asking what does all of this have to do with repetition? Well I’ll tell you. Being attentive to the needs and reactions of your hair will allow you to incorporate or take out items in your repetitive daily routine. Doing this will nurture and heal your hair, allowing for it to naturally coil the way that it is supposed to by nature. Without attentive repetition, I would still be in a fight with my hair everyday.
Wash-n-gos are possible and can be done perfectly for Type 4 hair. Just remember that it may only last a few days (I know mine does). This is fine because it gives you opportunities to nourish your hair to the fullest. If you have had good or bad wash-n-go’s and would like to share about your experiences, let me know in the comment section below. If you want to try a new method for your wash-n-gos, be sure to try these 3 secrets and see how it works for you.