Put your hands up if you have done a protective style, just to take it down to reveal extremely dry and brittle hair. I know I have and it can be quite discouraging to say the least. Although taking care of your hair for the duration of your protective is essential, preparing your hair prior is just as crucial. I have a few simple tips and tricks to help you and hopefully, this prevents some of the frustrations (and keeps your sanity intact).
PRE-POO (better known as Pre-Shampoo Treatment): I honestly feel like a broken record saying this but this step is very important. I think that it should be the first step in any hair routine, whether you protective style or not. It not only moisturizes your hair but prevents your (harsh) shampoo from stripping your strands. It also add shine to your hair, help with tangles and leaves your hair more manageable overall. Need I say more? Honestly, just try it out!
CLEANSE: If you are going to have a long term protective style, I highly recommend that you give yourself a good wash. You want to have a clean environment for your hair to grow and to minimize any scalp issues such as flakes. I typically wash my hair during my protective styles but nothing beats doing it beforehand. It really doesn’t matter if you prefer a gentle clay wash, a shampoo bar or run straight for the chemicals! Just make sure your scalp is clean and happy.
DEEP CONDITION: If you have natural or relaxed hair, it is so important to deep condition, according to your hair needs. You can either do a moisturizing deep conditioner and/or a protein one. Either way, make sure that you hair is in tip top shape before you ignore it for a month. I like to use a hair steamer – but you don’t have to. A plastic bag and your own body heat can work wonders, leaving your hair extremely soft. This minimizes breakage and help you retain growth. Let’s face it, there is no amount of protective styles that will “grow” your hair, if you aren’t taking the steps to prevent breakage.
MOISTURIZE/SEAL/DETANGLE: Quite a mouthful but depending on your method, you can accomplish this all at the same. Right after I hop out of the shower, I start to detangle my hair. This is easier with moisturized hair. I work in sections and apply my leave-ins and moisturizers as I detangle. It doesn’t have to be such a chore. Just think of it as time that you are investing in yourself, for healthier/ longer hair in the future. That’s kind of a big deal.
PROTECT: All that is left to do at this point is to protect your hair. If longer hair is your goal, you need to protect your ends in order to retain growth. This include but not limited to twists, braids, wigs, buns etc… In the picture above, I am rocking this wig, which I love. In any case, just do something that you are comfortable with. Life is too short to be miserable.
I hope that this post is helpful, and at least give some insight into my wash day routine. Of course, consistency is key. Don’t expect long hair over night, and be ready to put in some work. I am not so much focus on products in this post, as I feel that technique is more important. I have seen ladies achieve an unbelievable amount of growth using very few and inexpensive products. Check out the video below, if you are more of a visual person!
One the biggest misconceptions about Natural Hair is that only a certain hair type can pull of the Wash-N-Go look. I often wonder what that actually means. The thing with natural hair is that no matter how similar your hair may be to another, it is really rare to have the SAME exact hair pattern and density as someone else. For that reason, your hairstyles may never looks exactly like your friend’s or your favorite YouTuber even though you followed the same steps. With that said, what exactly is the “Wash-N-Go” look? Big hair? Perfect curls? I believe that the reason why people believe that 4C hair cannot do the Wash-N-Go is because of the preconceived ideas of how the end results should LOOK like.
The Wash-n-go should be just that: wash and go! We often spend endless hours raking products through our already beautiful tresses in a desperate attempt to have the perfect curl all around. The thing is, your hair is already perfect. The point of the wash and go, in my opinion, is to spend as little time as possible styling your hair. I believe it is a time when you let YOUR hair decide how it’s going to behave. We already put so much tension and stress manipulating our hair on the regular so why not just let it be free? The first step to achieving a wash and go is to understand that your hair is not going to look like mine, or the person next to you. It is going to look like your hair. It is going to be unique and it may not even look like the last wash-go you did last week. That’s okay. That is the beauty of it all. Once you realize that the goal of a wash-n-go is not to have perfect curls, and that no products is going to CREATE a hair pattern that you don’t have, then you will be able to succeed. Any hair types can “pull off” this hair style.
To help you with the process however, I am going to share with you how I achieve my wash-n-go. I find that using the right products can help prevent my hair from getting dry. The goal for me is to be able to wash my hair a week later and not be left with dry, brittle hair. This basically rules out all gels with high alcohol! I ended up using the Eden Body Works Coconut Shea Line and I loved it!
Wash hair: I like to start with clean hair. Especially since I know I will be putting more products in my hair, it was crucial for me to wash it. That way, my hair will not feel sticky and/or weight down
Deep Condition: This goes without saying! 4C hair craves moisture and I know that I have to deep condition my hair weekly to keep it nice and manageable.
Define: I should emphasize that this step should be quick and simple. Also, no amount of products will create curls magically. Whatever products your end up using, just make sure that it doesn’t try your hair out. Also, I like to detangle my hair then too. This is where i really love the Eden Body works Curl Defining Creme because it has a lot of slip. It allows me to finger detangle, which is gentle on my hair. It also keeps my hair moisturized the entire week!
Refresh: This step is done as needed but I will basically spritz my hair with water every morning and used an oil to full it out again. I sleep in a satin bonnet so my hair is pretty flat in the morning.
That is it! Super simple and super easy! If you would like a visual representation of what I do, watch the video below. If you have any questions, please let me know! Now tell me how you achieve your wash-n-gos and what are your holy grail products?