Wash and Go’s Don’t Work on Nappy Hair!
Wash and Go’s Don’t Work on My 4C Natural Hair!
Does anybody remember this?
Back in 2013, when ‘Started From The Bottom’ was the anthem, vlogger Glamfun made this video, showing how Wash N’ Gos don’t work on her natural hair. You may want to watch it first (below), it’s very funny and jokes aside, I agreed with her totally. AGREED.
My hair is very tightly coiled, curl pattern like a skinny spring in a pen. You know how sometimes, people are confused about their curl patterns, well if you’re into hair typing, I’m sure you’d agree that my hair is most definitely a 4C, and this is simply for want of more letters. Is your hair coilier than this?
Definition? What is that?
It is much more important to know your hair’s porosity and strand texture than your curl pattern, but I do not have any problems with classification by the latter. Why? Accepting my curl pattern has really helped me set reasonable expectations for my hair when I style it. I watch tutorials by ladies of all natural hair types, but I pay closer attention to people with my texture. It’s just realistic.
Back to the Wash N’ Go.
Then, I didn’t quite understand what a Wash N’ Go was. I thought it was just about putting gel on wet hair, maybe freshly washed hair, and literally going your way. It sounded unthinkable for me to do this with my 4C coils because, no visible curls to define, and also, whenever I let my hair loose in its shrunken state, I KNEW it would be war, with tangles. So I thought, all well and good for the curly girls, it’s not for me on the coily end of the natural hair spectrum.
Jess’ (Mahogany Curls) Wash and Go
A few things made me reconsider:
- Seeing visible curl definition that lasts, on other people’s 4C curls that were “trained” to do so with the Maximum Hydration Method
- The beautiful Jess (Mahogany Curls). She does Wash N’ Gos often and I follow her page on Facebook. She has very curly 3C hair, though.
- My finger combing experience that I wrote about here. I finger combed wet hair after shingling, or raking my leave-in conditioner through my hair in sections and I noticed a few coils clumping to give the appearance of definition.
- More knowledge. Since I saw Glamfun’s video, I’ve probably seen like 20 Wash N’ Go videos and one thing that became clear to me is that the name “Wash N’ Go” is VERY misleading- when it comes to this style as it is called in the greater Natural hair community. My friend T, after washing her TWA moisturises and seals and goes her way without combing. She calls this her Wash N’ Go with good reason. But that’s not the Wash N’ Go we are talking about here. THE Wash N’ Go being considered here is nothing like Washing and going. Depending on how full or long your hair is, or your technique, it could take you as much as two hours to achieve. How’s that for a WASH N’ GO ( ._.)
- @Flamelle’s Wash N Go. Her hair is in the type 4 category, but looser than mine. She usually wears her hair in a Wash n’ go and she she says it works well for her tighter curls at the back. See it here.
What Is This Wash N’ Go?
Different people have their techniques, so see Youtube for this, but generally speaking:
Apply gel to freshly cleansed hair (shampooed and conditioned or just after a co-wash), and shingle. By shingle I mean, rake the product through your hair repeatedly with your fingers, and then separate into defined curls. Some people let the hair air dry, or use a blow dryer with a diffuser, to elongate the curls and speed up the drying process.
SO I TRIED IT… and failed
On Sunday morning, I tried to Wash N’Go freshly washed hair. I did not section my hair first and there’s probably other things I did wrong, but it wasn’t working out, there was NO definition and I was pissed because I woke up early just for it.
So I co-washed it all out of my hair, and wore a shrunken puff to church.
When I make a mistake, or something doesn’t turn out right, it takes me a LONG time to move on from it. This can be good or bad. Good- I obsess over it and keep going and going at it until I conquer. Bad- I beat myself up over it and still nothing changes. By Monday, of course the failed experiment was still on my mind. I had seen many videos so I knew that fine, I may not be able to use every technique but there’s something out there that should work.
I Tried Again…
I was working on something but my mind kept going back to it.
First Attempt on Monday
After trying and trying, there was a little light at the end of the tunnel.
I went to the mirror and wet a small section of my dry hair, applied a dab of leave-in to it, and then added gel. I raked through with my fingers and I also put the hair between my palms and smoothed it down. I noticed that I had some definition, but it vanished quickly.
So I stopped cringing at the gel, and added more and more of it until I noticed that the curls were more defined and that the definition lasted, till I washed it out at night.
See this? The gel held my strands together. When curls clump (that is, stick together) there is definition
Even when pulled, see them sticking together. (LOL Please ignore my oily struggle face. PHCN has been so unkind.)
I didn’t bother trying to do my entire head because I didn’t have the time, and I wasn’t interested in walking around with all this gel. I take this experiment on one tiny section as proof that Wash N’ Gos can work on my 4C hair. With small sections, A LOT of gel, patience and time, it can be done. Plus with the gel holding the curls into tiny defined parts, I don’t see that many tangles forming as a result. My hair remained like this for hourssss until I washed the gel out at night. When I wet the curls and felt how icky rhey were, I was reminded about how I really don’t care for the gummy texture of gel.
Now that I’ve satisfied my curiosity, I think I’m going to shelve my Wash N’ Go dreams for a while. Why, you ask? Well there’s my discomfort with gel, but more than this- Shrinkage.
I love my shrinkage, and I embrace it. Is it possible to have any natural curls without shrinkage? NO. However, my hair is at the awkward length stage, and you can see where my “defined” curls reach. When my hair is longer, and my curls shrinking would mean them hanging below my clavicle (where my hair rests now when stretched), I think I’d be more interested in wearing a Wash N’ Go then.
So, My Point Is:
If you were wondering, YES. Wash N’ Gos can work on nappy hair. It’s a long thing but it can be done. Not sure if it’s worth the stress lol I really don’t care for curls this much or gel at all, but it’s definitely achievable. If you’d like me to do a post with videos of good tutorials showing different people’s techniques, let me know in the comments.
Again, manage your expectations. Look at my results, look at your natural curl pattern. With tight tight coils like mine, this is what you get. You won’t get a Mahogany Curls Wash N’ Go out of these kinks, no.
Oh and yes, the gel I used was EcoStyler with Olive Oil, the green tub.
That’s it guys. Have you tried anything new lately? Do you Wash N’ Go with your 4Z kinks? How do you do it? Share! :)