6 Steps to Achieving the Perfect Wash and Go Hairstyle for Natural Hair

What is a Wash and Go?

A wash and go is a method of styling your hair that doesn't involve the use of heat, protective styling, or other manipulation techniques.

The process involves washing your hair, applying your styling products, and allowing your hair's natural curl/coil pattern to reveal itself. The result is usually well-defined curls that look healthy and moisturized.

Anyone can achieve a wash-and-go hairstyle regardless of their hair texture. All you need are the right styling products and a good routine.

What to Know Before you do a Wash and Go

Before doing a wash-and-go, it is important to know your hair type. This information will determine the appropriate shampoo, conditioner, and other products to use during the process. Using the wrong products can strip nutrients from your hair and result in undefined curls.

Here is a list of the available hair types:

  • Type 1: Bone-straight, shiny, and resistant to curls.
  • Type 2: Wavy with increased volume, but flat at the roots.
  • Type 3: Curly spirals.
  • Type 4: Very curly, coily, and kinky.

    What you Need for a Wash and Go

    1. Shampoo
    2. Conditioner
    3. Curl booster
    4. Hair clips
    5. Hairbrush
    6. Hairdryer
    7. Diffuser
    8. Detanglers (optional)
    9. Leave-in conditioner, styling gel, and mousse.

    How to Achieve a Perfect Wash and Go on Natural Hair

    Jenn shows a detailed, step-by-step process of how she achieves a wash and go style on her 4C hair.

    Step 1: Shampoo your hair

    To achieve well-defined coils for this hairstyle, the first step is to wash your hair. This is to ensure that your hair is clean before you begin.

    Before shampooing, determine your hair type. If you have a curlier texture, shampoo may not travel down your hair easily; in this case, focus on your roots. This will allow you to cleanse your hair without stripping it of its natural oils.

    Knowing your hair type will also help you choose the right shampoo for your hair.

    Step 2: Condition your hair

    The purpose of conditioning is to replace the moisture lost during the shampooing process. Conditioning also adds slip to the hair, making detangling easier, and softens the hair cuticles. As with shampooing, it is important to choose a conditioner that is appropriate for your hair type.

    Step 3: Detangle your hair

    The next step is to detangle your hair. Some hair types will naturally detangle from the effect of the conditioner while still in the shower. Others may detangle more easily when partially dry, and some may require additional products such as leave-in conditioners, oils, and detangling sprays.

    Whichever method is best for your hair, be sure to start detangling from the ends and work your way up to the roots to avoid hair breakage or loss.

    In addition to using products, you can also finger detangle your hair. While detangling, keep hair clips handy to help section your hair away from your face.

    Step 4: Wash your hair thoroughly

    After thoroughly shampooing, conditioning, and detangling your hair, the next step is to wash off the products from your hair.

    Step 5. Apply the styling products to your hair

    It's time to style your hair! To achieve beautiful curls, your hair should be soaking wet during the styling process. This helps keep your strands clumped together.

    After detangling your hair while wet, apply your styling products. You can use a method called layering, which involves applying your go-to styling products on top of each other.

    Think of leave-in conditioners, styling cream, gel, or mousse. Depending on how easily your curls get defined, you may want to use two or more different styling products.

    Step 6. Allow it to dry and wear as desired

    Once you've styled your hair, you can finish your look with a hair spray or gloss. If you can't stand the feeling of wet hair, you may use a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment to prevent frizz.

    Alternatively, if you prefer to air dry, you can let your hair dry naturally while going about your day.