Lately, I’ve been asked by several people what products I use on my hair or how I achieve my wash and go. If you know me, then you know I almost always rock my hair in its naturally curly state. I love my curls, but this wasn’t always the case. Growing up, my hair was relaxed and it was always straight. Having straight hair was my standard look and I never really deviated from it. As I got older, I realized that I really didn’t need to relax my hair. I began to learn that my hair could thrive and be a lot healthier without relaxing it. As a result, I abandoned the “creamy crack” after I graduated from high school and have been natural for over 10 years.
The last 10 years or so have definitely been a labor of love in terms of growing to love and appreciate my hair and finding the products and styles that work best for me. While I love my curls now, I did not exclusively start wearing my hair in its curly state until two years ago. Even with being natural, I still mostly wore my hair straight and even experimented with color, both which resulted in limp, lackluster curls whenever I did try to wear my hair in its curly state. In 2016, I decided to cut my hair. I was pregnant with my son and just a few weeks from my due date. As I approached such a big life change, I wanted to do something new. I wanted a hairstyle that would be easy to maintain once my son was born and that would ultimately allow me to focus on getting my hair to a more healthy state.
Cutting my hair was one of the best decisions I ever made. My hair feels like it’s in a much healthier state and my confidence to wear my hair in its naturally curly state has increased significantly. I now love the versatility of my hair. I can wear it curly, in different styles, and even straighten it when I feel like it. The best part is that now when my hair is straight I literally crave my curls! For me, that’s such a huge shift from how I thought in the past.
As a curly girl, my go to style is a wash and go, primarily because it’s so easy to maintain, especially as I try to balance everything that comes with family life and work.
Here’s how I achieve my wash and go:
Step 1: Wash & Condition
I typically wash and condition with whatever products I have handy. More recently, I have been using either Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Shampoo and Conditioneror Tresemme Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner. Next, I finger detangle using lots of conditioner. I then deep condition for about 5 minutes using Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. Finally, I rinse out the masque with cool water.
Step 2: Prime with Leave-In & Oil
Once my hair is washed and condition, it’s time to prime with a leave-in conditioner. I have found I achieve the best results when I apply my leave in to mostly wet hair, focusing specifically on the ends. To seal in moisture, I apply coconut oil, again focusing on the ends. My favorite leave-in condition is Kinky Curly Knot Today. I have also recently tried Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Leave-In Conditioner. I like that this leave-in comes in spray, making it easy to apply again later in the week, if necessary.
Step 3: Style
To style my hair, I section my hair into four parts. Starting with the back, I apply a styling cream from root to tip, raking and smoothing the product through, making sure I coat each strand. Next, I apply gel to set the curls. I repeat this process through the remaining three sections. My go to styling cream is Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. However, I recently tried Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Twist-Defining Custard. Although this product says it’s for twists, it has been perfect for moisturizing my wash and go. Plus, it smells amazing! Every time I use it, I always have people telling me I smell so good! The only gel I use on my hair is Eco Styler Gel (Olive Oil or Black Castor & Flaxseed Oil). I love this gel because it provides great definition and hold, without the crunch or white flakes often associated with gel.
Step 4: Diffuse
The last step is to diffuse for added volume. Before I diffuse, I apply a heat protectant. I then proceed to diffuse on low, warm heat setting for about 15 minutes or until I achieved the amount of volume I want.
To preserve the style at night, I put my hair in a very loose ponytail at the crown of my head (pineapple) and sleep with a satin bonnet. My wash and go will usually last all week, only getting more voluminous as the week goes on. Throughout the week, my hair will typically only require refreshing with a spritz of water or leave-in.