How to Achieve a Perfect Wash ‘N Go

One thing people with naturally curly hair know is that a wash and go is a transformative experience. In a matter of minutes, dry, lifeless curls can be morphed into defined, elongated and moisturized locks that last for up to seven days. Achievable at home as well as in the salon, a wash and go (or wash ‘n go) is a method of cleaning and styling hair without the use of heat, protective styling or any other manipulation techniques. While the name makes it sound easy, there are certain steps that should be followed to ensure that curls look and behave their best long after you’ve left the stylists chair or bathroom.

Table of Contents

    1. Wet or wash hair

    Begin by washing hair, from the scalp to the root, with a high-quality shampoo. For people with curly hair, products that are specifically designed to clarify and hydrate curls yield the best results. Follow up with a conditioner that will penetrate curls, restore proteins and strengthen the shaft from the inside out.

    2. Apply product

    On damp hair, begin applying your favorite products. This can include any combination of curl creams, wave sprays, curl mousses, natural oils, leave-in conditioners, serums or gels. Opt for a layering technique such as L.O.C.G. (leave-in, oil, cream, gel) to make sure that curls are evenly coated and protected from the root to the tip. Note: Curl creams are especially effective during the washing and drying stage. While they aren’t a substitute for a proper conditioning treatment, curl creams can protect hair from high temperatures, humidity, UV rays and more.

    3. Dry hair

    After you’ve applied your favorite products, use a diffuser or hooded dryer to dry hair thoroughly. Then, set your hot tool to the heat setting that feels most comfortable for you. If you prefer no-heat styling, use a 100% cotton towel or t-shirt to ring out hair and let it air dry while you do something else, like read that book you keep promising you’ll get to.

    The key to keeping your wash and go looking its best is to care for your curls even while you’re sleeping. To extend the life of your wash and go, invest in a silk scarf or pillowcase. If you prefer a scarf, twist hair atop the head using the “pineapple method” to ensure that they are full and bouncy when you take them down in the morning. If the ease of a pillowcase sounds more appealing to you, make sure that you are using a case that is 100% silk or satin. Because cotton is absorbent, it can suck the moisture out of hair, leaving it vulnerable to breakage and dryness. For maximum security, pair your scarf and your pillowcase together.