WASH N GO TOOLKIT

Over the past two years, I've ditched the stretched styles and opted to wear my natural curls in a wash n go out of both laziness and a desire for less style manipulation; the former was definitely a gateway to the latter. Since November of last year, I've worn my hair in a wash n go style 99% of the time and have gotten a technique for my curls down pat with a perfect product combo to match. I've gotten so good at executing a wash n go that I dubbed myself Wash n Go Queen due to my perfection of the art *congratulatory pats self on back*.

I'm always asked how I achieve my style when stopped on the street by a fellow natural and then told by the inquirer that they wish they could do the same to their hair but their hair type can't be styled in such a way. If I had a dollar for every time I said, "All hair types can wear a wash n go" I would be rollin' in the dough, for real. All naturalistas and curly peeps out there can master the art of the wash n go and I'm going to show you how.

Products

Moisturizer/Leave-in
The lightness in texture or heavy-handedness of product use is solely based on your preference and hair type, but this product is a must-have for wash n gos. For some lucky curlies out there, it's the only product used for wash n gos! For those of us who need a bit more product to style our curls, a moisturizer or a leave-in conditioner is the base of a wash n go's foundation and is super fundamental to ensuring that your hair stays moisturized throughout the duration of your style.

When choosing a moisturizer, make sure you know which ingredients work well for your hair and desired style. If you prefer a lighter hold or a product that doesn't weigh your hair down, try a moisturizer that isn't heavily shea butter based like Camille Rose Naturals' Curl Love Moisture Milk, Curl's Creme Brule Moisturizer, or Mielle Organics Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk. If you prefer more of a butter-based moisturizer, try Shea Moisture's Restorative Conditioner.

Styler (definition)

This bad boy is the layer of product that goes on after the moisturizer that will give your curls life and make them pop. A styler can come in many forms as a butter, milk, pomade, etc so the options are truly endless. My personal favorite at the moment is DevaCurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler due to its lightweight consistency and but some people might prefer something a bit heavier to create more definition like Carmella Marie's awesome Treasure hair styler.

Gel (Optional)

If you don't think that moisturizer, leave-ins, butters and/or stylers are enough to keep a wash n go going for days on end, try to add a bit of gel to your regimen. In the summer heat, my wash n gos tend to go for at least 4 days when I add a bit of gel to lessen frizz as time passes. Depending on how much hold you want, you can opt for a lightweight, natural gel like flaxseed gel (my all-time favorite and holy grail product is Carmella Marie's MyGel Flaxseed Gel) or an oil based gel like Bumble and Bumble's Anti-Humidity Gel Oil. If you want more of a defined look you can use Eco Styler Gel or Camille Rose Naturals' Aloe Whipped Butter Gel.

Tools

All of the tools that I find useful for the wash n go process are meant to help in the shaping a definition of creating a wash n go.

Denman Brush/Fingers
You can coil/shingle ends and make your curls more defined simply by brushing through your hair after the moisturizer or styler is applied. Some prefer wide tooth combs while others prefer Denman brushes or finger detangling. It's all about personal preference when it comes to wash n gos so choose your detangler/defining tool based on what works for your hair.

Diffuser
Every time I think about air drying my hair, my initial thought is "Ain't nobody go time for that!"My diffuser is my best friend and I find that diffusing or drying my hair under a hooded dryer captures my curl pattern and reduces frizz as compared to air drying. I also have an opportunity to stretch my style and combat some shrinkage if I use some type of dryer. Word to the wise, if you do plan on using a dryer for your wash n gos, make sure you keep the temperature on cool or warm to avoid any heat damage.

Afro Pick
If you want volume, this is your best friend. Everyone can use one. You should use one. Your wash n go 'fro game will go from 0 to 100 real quick.

Now you're equipped to take on a wash n go with confidence! Don't be afraid of shrinkage, embrace it. Don't shy from the challenge of mastering your personal wash n go, accept it. I truly believe every natural can rock a wash n go and I want you to believe it for yourself too.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Sherelle Naturelle