If you have type 4 coily kinky hair, then you may feel like the wash and go is a distant pot of gold at the end of a YouTuber’s rainbow. But, alas, I have good news. The wash and go can be achieved and worn as often as you like.
If you’re waiting for this article to list all of the products you will need to automatically give you a wash and go, then I have disappointing news--this is not that article. The secret to a consistently, achievable wash and go is how you treat your hair and your technique. Keep reading, and I will share with you my method and techniques (along with some suggested products)
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First learn your hair and learn from others
My curls and coils are a mix of type 4a and 4b hair, and I have been wearing a wash and go as my “go to” style since my big chop in 2013, after 11 months of transitioning. Currently, I have low porosity and medium density hair.
Over the years, the way that I have achieved and maintained my wash and go has changed along with my hair length, porosity and density. (All things that matter concerning taking care of your hair.)
Throughout this time, I have consumed an innumerable amount of content on natural hair care. There are some vloggers or influencers who I follow religiously like LavishlyBritt, Janae Mason, HappycurlHappyGirl, Chazzisawesome, Naturally Temi and Finally Amber to name a few. I follow each of them for different reasons. Some of them have hair like me, and some of them wear wash and go’s consistently.
I have learned to use the information they share to develop my own methods and techniques that yield me a successful wash and go almost every time. (Except for those times when I got too heavy handed with my products but that’s on me).
Aim to refresh and cleanse
Two days ago my hair was in a bad, dry place as I had been putting off washing it because I was exhausted and getting ready to head out of town. Look at that pic SMH not good!
First, I pre-pooed my hair. Now, I know what you’re thinking oh come on not that...its an extra step ugh!! Believe me. I totally relate and often times I don’t do this step. But as I said my hair was really dry. It’s been super cold outside, and I had neglected washing my hair.
So yes this time, I did a hot oil treatment on my hair (if you want to know what kinds of oil I put in my treatment leave a comment below). Hot oil treatments are amazing in two ways: 1.) they help stimulate growth and decrease dry scalp 2.) the oil helps me get most of the shed hair out of my hair, which ultimately makes my detangling session so much faster.
I kept the oil on my head with a plastic bag while I made and ate my lunch. Then I washed it out with a cleansing shampoo. Most of the time, I like to co-wash or use moisturizing shampoos like many other naturals, but I had just put a bunch of oil on my hair. I was going to need something to break apart all of that oil, so my hair could actually get clean.
Click here to read what a professional hair care stylist thinks about Pre-pooing
Next, I used a moisturizing deep conditioner (DC). I always use one that has great slip because I detangle at this step. This time I used Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Shea Butter Mask. I have a number of different DC's that I typically rotate, but I really like this one because it works for me and both of my girls’ hair. The moisture level and the slip is on point especially for the value.
I sat under the dryer with a plastic cap for 20 minutes and then rinsed out the conditioner. Then I added the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor, which has been one of my most important steps, lately. I have been doing this because I am battling weakened hair since I flat ironed it in November of 2018.
This stuff is incredible, and it only takes 2 minutes. My hair always feels strong and fortified but not overly so, like after an intense protein treatment. After the requisite 2 minutes, I rinsed it out.
While my hair was still dripping wet, in the shower, I applied my leave in conditioner--Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Leave In Conditioner. I absolutely, love this stuff. I only use this and the Giovanni Leave In now. All other leave ins have been tried, liked and used, or hated and discarded.
While these two have remained and been elevated to holy-grail status. Even my husband uses them. If you have not tried the Mielle leave in then you are most assuredly missing out.
How success is achieved
You’re probably wondering why did she have to go through explaining all of that. Well, here’s why. The prep and cleansing of my hair is 70% of my successful wash and go. If my hair isn’t properly detangled, especially at the roots then I get a poofy wash and go that maybe lasts 3 days. Or if my hair isn’t completely cleansed and has even a small amount of build up then I may have flakes or worse my wash and go will only make it 2 days! Both of these things have happened to me a number of times, and now I’ve learned.
Next, I divided my hair into halves and then began working on the left-side. I divided that side into halves again. Clipped up the top halve and applied my Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Coiling Custard.
Let me clarify about these products that I’m mentioning. I use a variety of different products to achieve my wash and go. So I’m not saying these products specifically give me my results. I can use a variety of different brands and get the same results, because I have experimented over the years and understand the techniques. This particular technique is to try to stay within the same product line. It ensures that products will mix well. I didn’t have to worry about flaking, because I knew my leave in would mix with this styler. When I don’t stay within a product line then I have to test my products to ensure they will mix well. I’ve learned that this Mielle Organics Leave In mixes well with almost every styler.
So I coated the back left section with the coiling custard, and ran it through my hair thoroughly. I didn’t want any of the product clumping because that would lead to sticky hair and you don’t want that. After that, I split that section into three subsections, took my blue WetLine Xtreme Gel, shingled and smoothed it through each of those three subsections. Once I had done those three subsections I smoothed the entire section with praying hands. I repeated this process throughout my entire head. I had to spray the sections on the right with water as they were no longer dripping wet. I have found that damp hair can lead to sticky hair so it try to maintain very wet hair.
The Results Are In
After this, I shook my hair to aid in clumpage and then immediately sat under the dryer to set my hair. For the past 8 months, I always sit under the dryer. Previously, I would let my hair air dry, but the results are just better, when I sit under the dryer. I can’t deny it. You have to set your hair.
Once my hair was 90 -95% dry, I got my blow dryer and sectioned my hair off horizontally from back to front and stretched each section using tension and the heat from the blow dryer. I do not aim the heat directly on my ends because I want to keep the shape of the curl on the ends. This helps with the final look and shape of my hair.
The last step was to take some of my oil and use it to scrunch out the cast from the gel and fluff my hair a bit. Upon completion of this step, I looked in the mirror and enjoyed my curls.➰
That's Cynthia's Mindset on how to achieve an incredible wash and go on type 4 natural hair!
Remember to have a live and learn mindset
Leave a comment below if you have some techniques that always work for you. Share your mindset!