Team No Wash And Go Over Here, My Hair Is Not Having It

Color me envious, because wash and go’s are just not the business for me! Yes, envy is one of the seven deadly sins but I am very much guilty of this when it comes to the hair world.

Seeing successful wash and go’s all over Youtube is part of what drove me to want to go natural. To think that my hair can do that, why not give it a try. Of course, this was at the beginning of my hair journey and I was unaware of the the different hair types; three years into the natural game thus far and I now know better.

What I think my hair will do

Who else is guilty of having hair fantasies, thinking their hair will look just like the picture? Having the high expectations are great. I mean I am all for being optimistic.

Seeing the different methods that other people use to get their perfect wash and go, I figure, heck yeah, that’ll work for me! All I need is some eco styler gel (or another good curl definer) and the ability to separate my curls by shaking it off like Taylor Swift.

These ladies make it seem so easy! They figured out the right combination of products to get their curls to pop and reduce shrinkage, so they must know what they are talking about right?

The reality

Although I give my hair such high hopes for a wash and go to work, my hair seems to have other plans. As in “No mam’, I refuse to do what you want me to.” After about 30 minutes of separating and applying gel, you think my hair would want to comply to my terms, but oh no.

Being that I have many hair textures in my head, (4a in the back and 4b/4c everywhere else) you can only imagine the catastrophe that ensues after shrinkage takes over.

Now, I may have lost you with the truth about my kinks and coils, as this is not common to see many ladies with my texture rocking a wash and go, but I figured it was worth a try.

When my hair was shorter, I thought it worked pretty well. As my hair got longer it was a different story. Plus the drying time and tangles that result from this style are pretty ridiculous. My hair said no, and she meant it!

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About Erickah

Hi, my name is Erickah and I am a 22 year old college student with a love of graphic design, marketing, teaching, and hair care. I have been on my hair journey since 2009, and what a ride it has been. My hair has been through many stages of relaxed, transitioning, to where I am currently - Natural. I believe regardless of whether a woman is relaxed, texlaxed, or natural, the goal is healthy hair.

About Erickah

Hi, my name is Erickah and I am a 22 year old college student with a love of graphic design, marketing, teaching, and hair care. I have been on my hair journey since 2009, and what a ride it has been. My hair has been through many stages of relaxed, transitioning, to where I am currently - Natural. I believe regardless of whether a woman is relaxed, texlaxed, or natural, the goal is healthy hair.


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  1. Jamie Reed

    For 4c hair I think you can get the wash-n- go look, but it has to be done on dry stretched hair. You just need a comb, shea moisture curling cream, eco styler gel, and setting foam lotion

  2. Angela Elliott

    It’s nice to hear someone admit this. You always have to do what’s best for YOUR HAIR; not anyone else. And yes, we can have different hair types on the same head.

  3. Latisha Monique Griffin

    I felt this way when i first transitioned from relaxed to natural. 4 years later, wash n go is my go to style. It works best for me on drenched hair in the shower, I simply apply Eco styler gel. The results are amazing

    1. Jordann Alease

      I used to bantu knots when i first went natural and it was cute now styles like that look bad on me and wash n gos look bad but it just hes knotted after a day smh

  4. Auhmilyon Morre

    Tell me about it. I never did a wash and go. I have always been natural, and I always flat iron my hair. This summer I decided to try heat-less styles. I have my good days and my hair is not having it days.

  5. Janell Walker

    I’ve been #teamwashngo for a year now because: 1. It worked very well for me once I learned the amount of curling jelly needed and found Eco styler gel. 2. I can’t cornrow! 3. Twist outs looked dry and coils looked crazy
    But now that I have some length, 6 inches if straightened (even though you can’t tell with the shrinkage), I’m moving on to attempting styles because my old faithful is starting to look crazy and I don’t want to overuse the headbands. Sigh.

    1. Janell Walker

      Thanks Samantha! I use 2 combs on each side and recently used bobbi pins for the taper in the back.

  6. Alisha Bobb

    My hair is armpit length and is a mixture of the 4s (4a on the top and back, 4b in the sides and crown, with some 4c sprinkled in the crown and the right side of my head). Despite having all of these textures, I’ve managed to master the wash and go! To master it, you should consider trying to actually “wash” and “go”. In the shower when I have conditioner in my hair, I put my hair into 5-6 twists (you can get away with 4, but I separate my hair based on texture, plus if you have more sections, your product will miss less spots.) When your twists are done you cut put them in a shower cap (or whatever, just make sure no soap gets on it and the water doesn’t hit it) and get on with the rest of your shower. When your done washing yourself and all that jazz, turn the water to cold (it doesn’t have to be too cold, but it should be cold enough that it’s a tad uncomfortable for your body) and let your twists down (don’t unravel them). Quickly rinse them (and your scalp) off, you don’t wan’t all your conditioner to run off your hair. You should have your products that you are going to use in the bathroom with you. I like to use a shea butter mix I made (it has olive, coconut, castor, and vitamin e oils in it) with some ecostyler gel. Keep in mind, the more shea butter you use, the greasier your hair will be. Stay in the tub, unravel one twist and apply a generous amount of the shea butter and ecostyler gel (or your styler of choice) to it (from root to tip), going one twist at a time. This should take less than 3 minutes (maybe 6 if you’re waistlength). After doing all of your hair gently shake. You can turn the shower on and quickly rinse off your body to get any product off of it, just keep your hair out of the way. You can airdry from there or use a diffuser.

    Applying product on SOPPING WET hair is IMPORTANT. Your hair clumps better and if it starts to dry it might frizz.
    Also, if your curls aren’t clumping (which they should be unless you have low porosity hair (and in that case I don’t know if I’ll be much help)) in the shower with water running down it or with conditioner in it, a wash and go may not work on you. But if they are clumping, then it should work.
    And consider doing some variation of the curly girl method. It will help TONS. Your curls will clump better and your hair won’t be as dry as often and your hair will thank you! Before I started the curly girl method, I wasn’t able to do a wash and go, but now I can!
    Because I use shea butter, I do occasionally (not often, though) shampoo my hair with a sulfate free shampoo. The only time I would use a sulfate shampoo and products with silicone in it is before and after I flat iron or do a blow out on my hair.
    So, consider doing the curly girl method and trying my method for a wash and go! It works for me so it might work for you. You won’t know until you try!

  7. ladee neenah

    Agreed, the end result just isn’t worth the effort for me. It’s finally long enough to roll tuck and pin so I think I’m going to stick with that, and alternate with twists and flat twists which, up until now have been my go-to styles.

  8. Queen LeLe

    I’m team wash and go and I have 4a hair. My hair isn’t short either. Its armpit length when straightened. I’m trying to master twist outs and braid outs though.

  9. Sheila

    In my case I don’t know what the #### I’m doing wrong with wash&goes. I am biracial with very kinky hair. 0 curls, super undefined. But it grows a lot and super fast. I would say I have long and healthy hair and the afro fans from the 70’s would love it. However, it does not want to curl at all. The only way I can get definition is twisting it. That’s it! I tried this wash and go technique under the shower: deep condictioning, detanling, and applying echo styler gel. It looked curled when wet but as soon as I blow dryed it, it started to have more volume (in a bad way) so the result is that my hair looks like nothing have been done after 1 hour in the shower trying to achieve the look :/ I find quite fun that when there’s no product on my hair it dries out in a minute because of its porosity, however when you apply eco styler it dries in a very weird way. A completly mess, so dissapointed with this method!

    1. Vivian Chandler

      Just a suggestion… Try the Curly Girl Method – Lorraine Massey’s book on Amazon. You have to be patient with your hair, but it works. My hair took nearly 6 mos to fall into curls. I deep condition weekly followed by a bentonite clay treatment. No heat ever including blow drying. Your hair needs moisture and blow drying kills the moisture aspect. The book comes with a DVD to help you.

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