Beauty Natural Hair

How to Achieve a Poppin’ Wash and Go Every Time!

January 22, 2019

Wash and Go’s have been my go-to style since returning natural. However, I had no clue how many steps it took to achieve one. I thought it was as simple as putting water on my hair and then -boom- I’m done, but nope!

There are certain steps you need in your regimen if you want to achieve a wash and go that lasts.

I feel like I’ve finally perfected my wash and go and now I’m more confident to share these tips with you. Here are tips you can start practicing so you can achieve a poppin’ wash and go!

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Freshly cleansed hair is a MUST

Achieving a wash and go starts at the very beginning of your wash day. It’s not all about the products you use (although those are important too). Freshly cleansed hair and a clean scalp are a must-have when you plan on doing a wash and go. You can’t expect to achieve defined, poppin’ results if your hair and scalp have product build-up!

You can’t expect to achieve a defined wash and go if your hair and scalp have product build-up. Click To Tweet

Another important tip is ensuring you use a good-quality cleanser. If you use a shampoo that leaves your hair a tangled, frizzy, and dry mess, then you won’t be able to achieve your best results when styling.

Make sure your cleanser is sulfate-free and doesn’t leave your hair feeling stripped afterward. A good step to do before shampooing is a pre-poo treatment. I talk about pre-pooing frequently on here, and I believe this step is necessary to have in your regimen.

Related: Sis, You Need to Pre-Poo! Here’s Why.

Here are some of my favorite sulfate-free cleansers to use when I plan on doing a wash and go:

Make sure you deep condition!

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what style you plan on achieving, you should ALWAYS deep condition every wash day. This step is necessary if you want healthy, natural hair. Deep conditioning regularly helps to restore moisture, improve elasticity, provide more manageability, and provide strength to your strands.

Deep conditioning regularly will restore moisture, improve elasticity, and provide strength to your hair. Click To Tweet

You can’t expect to achieve a poppin’ wash and go if your hair is dry!

While deep conditioning, I’d recommend using heat so your product can penetrate your hair more effectively. I don’t leave mine on any longer than 30-45 minutes. Trust me, I know sometimes you feel like skipping this step because you’re not in the mood, however, your hair will truly benefit from deep conditioning.

Here are some of my favorite deep conditioners to use:

Apply products to soaking wet hair

In order to achieve a poppin' wash and go, make sure you apply your products to soaking wet hair.

This step may vary for every natural, however, I have to apply my products on soaking wet hair if I want my wash and go to be defined, moisturized, and long-lasting. I follow the LOC method when applying products for my wash and go. If you don’t know what LOC means, it stands for:

  • Liquid or Leave-in Conditioner
  • Oil (to lock in moisture)
  • Cream (to prevent moisture loss and add definition/hold)

Related: The LOC Method for Natural Hair. What is it?

You want to make sure the leave-in conditioner you use will provide enough moisture for your hair. Water should be the first ingredient in your product in order for this to happen. Here are some of my favorite leave-in conditioners:

Lock in moisture with an oil

Following the L in the LOC method is applying your oil of choice. The oil you use will seal in the moisture your leave-in conditioner provides for your hair. If you want to achieve a poppin’ wash and go that lasts, then it’s important to find an oil that works for your hair and will help you retain moisture.

I don’t always use oils when I do a wash and go—it depends on how my hair is feeling. Here are some of my favorite oils to use:

I get the majority of my oils from Amazon! You can check them out below.

Use a gel/custard for hold and definition

Adding a gel or custard to your wash and go's will ensure you achieve more definition and hold.

For the last step in your regimen, you want to apply a gel or custard. This will provide more curl definition and hold for your wash and go. I believe using a gel/custard is important for achieving my wash and go’s. I can’t see mine lasting long without using one!

Using a gel or custard will provide more curl definition and hold for your wash and go’s. Click To Tweet

When I apply my gel, I use the rake method. I work in small sections to ensure I get the product on every curl before moving on to the next one. There are other methods you can use such as the praying hands or shingling method. You have to find which one works best for your curls!

My favorite gels to use for my wash and go’s:

Air dry and hands-off!

Thankfully, air drying doesn’t take long for me since I have high porosity hair, however, I know it can be a pain in the butt for some! While air-drying your wash and go, keep your hands out of your hair! I know it’s hard because I love playing with my curls once I’m finished styling.

If you continue to touch your hair while it’s air drying, it can cause unwanted frizz and shorten how long your style will last. Another option if you don’t like air drying is using a diffuser. I’ve been using a diffuser more often to dry my wash and go’s. I find that using a diffuser provides more volume for my style and also lessens the amount of shrinkage I have.

I purchased my diffuser off of Amazon. The blow dryer came with the diffuser attachment and different heat settings. You’re able to adjust it to whatever your hair likes!

How to Maintain Your Wash & Go

Maintain your wash and go throughout the week by keeping your hair moisturized and protecting your hair at night.

Once you finish air drying, you should’ve achieved a poppin’ wash and go! Of course it’ll take time to perfect this style, however, these tips will ensure you’re on the right path. Maintaining your wash and go throughout the week is important and can affect how long your style lasts. For me, depending on the products I use, sometimes I don’t have to refresh midweek. At night, I put my hair into mini pineapples and wear my satin bonnet to protect my curls.

The next morning, I may spray it with some water and then use oil to fluff it out. This does a great job of keeping my curls defined and soft. You’ll have to go through trial and error so you can see what your hair needs throughout the week when you achieve a wash and go style.

How you maintain your wash & go throughout the week will determine how long your style lasts. Click To Tweet

Following these tips will ensure you start achieving a poppin’ wash and go that will last more than a couple of days. You have to remember everything takes time and you won’t get perfect results overnight. Continue to practice and find products/techniques that’ll provide the results you’re looking for.

What are some things you do in your regimen to ensure your wash and go’s turn out good? How do you maintain it throughout the week??

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  • Reply Consy January 22, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Great tips. I agree with every single one! I think cleansing and deep conditioning well are the most important. Often times people don’t think certain products didn’t work for them but they cowashed their hair (for example). For me I preserve in a pineapple or loose bun and my bonnet or scarf. Ever since my hair has gotten longer they have become harder to preserve tho. I def cannot get a whole week but I also hate refreshing wash and gos lol it’s just so much manipulation and causes so many knots and tangles for me. I’m sure if I focused more on refreshing I could get them to last longer but I’m ok with it lol

    • Reply Madisen January 22, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you for reading sis! Yes, co-washing regularly will not give the results you’re looking for, and that goes for ANY natural hairstyle! People do forget that so I’m glad I included those in this post. Lol, I think mine is able to last long because my hair is short/medium-length but I honestly hope it continues to hold up well as my hair grows! Thank you for sharing sis!

  • Reply Jacqui August 31, 2019 at 2:38 am

    Thanks so much for this info.

    I understand now why my wash and gos, whilst good to start with, end up being full of flakes by day 3. I’m not pairing my gel and leave-in conditioner well enough.

    Lately I’ve stopped using leave in, which is probably quite unwise and I’ve been using all Cantu products (except leave-in) to achieve my wash n go’s (ie., their curl activator and curl custard) but as these aren’t completely working for me I need to invest in a better gel and go back to using leave-in.

    Really handy to know how to maintain the style over the course of the week.


    • Reply Madisen August 31, 2019 at 9:20 am

      Thank you for reading sis! Depending on the products I use for my wash & go, I don’t always apply a leave in conditioner either. I usually stick with creams since it provides more moisture for my curls. But yes, switch out the products and see what happens from there!

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