Contrary to popular belief within the natural hair community, wash-and-go hairstyles can be achieved on 4-type hair. Here are some tips to achieve and maintain a 5-day wash & go for natural hair:
Tip #1: Soaking Wet Hair
Styling on super soaking wet hair can feel a little weird but when trying to achieve a wash & go on any type of hair, it’s best to style on wet hair rather than damp. Why? Your texture is most prominent when wet, so manipulating it during this stage in your routine will help achieve the best results.
Tip #2: Shingle & Coil Method
It is debated whether or not shingling and coiling the hair to achieve a style can exactly be considered a real “wash-and-go”, but you should do what best works for your tresses and preferences! Personally, for my coils, shingling and finger-coiling my hair allows me to keep my natural texture while clumping several strands for a more noticeable pattern. As for time, the more you practice the faster styling becomes. Sectioning the hair also helps immensely.
Tip #3: Use a Styling Gel
To style your wash-and-go, use a styling gel (not edge control) whether you’re choosing the shingle/coil method or simply finger-combing product through each section of hair. Keep in mind that some styling gels have a lighter hold or more hold, so pay attention to what your hair likes to establish a preference. For low porosity, try a lightweight gel; for high porosity, try a heavier gel with more hold. 4-type naturalistas tend to find gel with extra hold more effective especially when trying to enhance or create texture.
Tip #4: Don’t Disrupt The Drying Process
Whatever you do, be sure not to disrupt your drying process! After styling your wash-and-go, leave your curls to set on their own without manipulation.
There are a few drying methods to try:
- Blow dry with a diffuser
- Sit under a hooded or bonnet dryer on low to medium heat
- Air dry it the natural way (continue on with your day, let the windows down in the car, run errand, etc.)
Tip #5: Pineapple & Preserve It
In order to maintain your wash-and-go, preserving the style at night is a must. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase can easily mess up your style and create frizz overnight. If you have a bad habit of not covering your hair, invest in a satin or silk pillowcase. Otherwise, pull your hair into a “pineapple” with a scarf and repeat nightly. You can even pineapple your curls and coils during the day as a quick up-do style.
Tip #6: Revive with a Refreshing Spray
After a full night of beauty sleep, revive your style with a refreshing spray especially if you live in a dryer climate. If your climate is humid, you may not need to do very much refreshing. Remove all scarves and bonnets, then spritz your hair in the morning with the spray and fluff as needed. Need mid-day refreshing? Carry a small bottle of diluted leave-in conditioner or spray in your bag!