Just Because You Can Pull Off A Wash And Go Doesn’t Mean You Should

Close-up portrait of an African American woman smiling over colored backgroundHair envy, hair crushes; we’ve all had these at some point on our hair journey. The way we react to watching the formation of perfectly defined curls, you would think we were having a romantic interlude.

Those of us who are natural hair enthusiasts like to think that type 3 and 4 kinky curlies have it all. We ooh and aah and ogle the bouncy tresses that CurlyNikki and Naptural85 have.

Basically you’ve gotten to a point where you have this natural hair thing down pat. You have a system and it works for you, plus you are being regularly complemented on your hair dos.

You enjoy the versatility of your own natural texture but somehow you have been seduced by the idea of curl definition and as such you live in wash and go’s. After all it’s a breeze to be able to simply wash your hair, rake in some product and have  fabulous curls in fifteen minutes.

Wash and go’s are great when your hair is shorter or if you are planning to keep it relatively short anyway. Disclaimer: Here of course I am speaking to the kinky curly 4 hair types with very fine strands. But when it comes to length retention, wash and go’s are not the best styling option because of the amount of manipulation involved in achieving them. Simply put, just because you can pull off wash and gos doesn’t mean you should.

For many of us, time is a luxury we do not have, especially in such a fast paced society that demands more of us at every turn. We need readily accessible styles that we can whip up in a few minutes – sort of like a grab-and-go yet still have chic, trendy, fabulous hair.

This is the wash and go’s claim to fame – apart from the edgy attractiveness of course. Wash and goes are a simple go to style for curlies and are chic and relatively easy to style since you simply get out of the shower after a wash or co-wash, blot or shake out excess water, rake in your styling product and go about your business without the hassle of extended styling sessions.


Still, wash and go’s make your hair more susceptible to breakage since the increased frequency of ssk’s are likely to result in loss of inches of your hair. If you have fine hair and frequently do wash and goes it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to deduce that you probably get a fair amount of breakage leaving your hair stuck at a plateau. Breakage will undoubtedly make length retention an uphill battle if that is your goal.

Wash and go’s may also cause matting and tangling which would then require some combing – major manipulation and time consumption- so this would again defeat the purpose of the wash and go or length retention.

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About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

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Vernell BristowEsther Williams JordanAnna Ogonji SmithGenerous DawnShavonne R. Boyd Recent comment authors
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Kari Fousheé

Let me be great…

Natasha Robinson B

Ugh I do this mostly oh well…

Trina Hawthorne

We cant do anything to our hair let them tell it.. don’t wash it… don’t comb it… don’t press it… lol

Lena Scott

I mean seriously though. I fell in love with the wash and go because I had read that water was the best moisture for my hair…now getting it wet too often is bad?! GAWD lol

Siedah C. Holmes

I do what I want.

Sarah Nicole

Boo. I love wash and go but guess I’m gonna have to not do then so often.

Zay Zay

About right… Noticed that already no I do twist out

Shavonne R. Boyd

No wash n gos on this head… Period. I know my hair’s limits.

Generous Dawn

How does one determine hair type?

Anna Ogonji Smith

Wash n go doesn’t work with my hair type or I’m doing something wrong. I end up with a frizzy mess.

Esther Williams Jordan

I can and I do!!

Vernell Bristow

Interesting article. I like wash &go styles but i don’t wet my hair everyday. I can get a wash &go to last 3-4 days with low manipulation.