By Choya Randolph
You know what upsets me and my homegirls? The false advertisement of a wash ‘n go. For my seasoned naturals, you know that a wash ‘n go has never really been an option for us. And if you have type 4 hair, washing your hair and going is laughable. We don’t simply wash our hair. No, we have a wash DAY. We prepoo and detangle. Then we shampoo and deep condition. After rinsing out our deep conditioner, we bust our leave-in conditioners, oils, and creams to make sure our hair receives maximum moisture. This of course involves more detangling. After all these steps, we can finally style our hair. There’s no “go” involved. It simply isn’t a part of the kinky hair experience.
However, wash ‘n gos have been on the come up for the past couple years. I’ve seen some of my favorite Youtubers do a wash ‘n go successfully. Here’s the thing, these naturals have looser hair textures. As for me and my type 4 hair, we will not be washing and going. Or so I thought.
Lately, I’ve been seeing naturals with type 4 hair claim they do wash ‘n gos. I thought “Is it possible? Have we come to a point in technological advancements where those with tight 4c coils can simply wash our hair and go?” At first I didn’t pay attention to these videos because somebody had to be lying.
Then I had a moment with Jesus. There’s a scripture that goes something like “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens in me.” Well, I looked at these type 4 naturals and their wash ‘n go results and thought maybe Jesus strengthened these type 4 naturals. If so, perhaps Jesus could strengthen me too. I looked at my shampoo and said “Jesus do not forsake me.”
Unfortunately my faith was smaller than a mustard seed and I couldn’t do it. I’ve actually washed my 4c hair and left. No detangling, stretching or nothing. Just some cream, hope and a high puff. The consequences were horrible. Let’s just say I didn’t have breakage, breakage had ME. Since I was considering a wash ‘n go, I needed to do some research.
A wash ‘n go isn’t like its name. It’s not washing your hair and going about your day but actually washing and styling your hair without heat, protective styling, or any manipulation. In fact, there are necessary steps you must take if you want your wash n’ go to be successful.
When doing a wash ‘n go, you should still condition your hair. Deep conditioning is a process. When deep conditioning, you should work it in your hair which is why whenever you deep condition, you are also detangling. Most deep conditioners must sit on the hair for 20-30 minutes and then be washed out. This is not sounding like a wash ‘n go, this is sounding like a regular wash day routine. But wait, there’s more.
Wash ‘n gos do not mean you shouldn’t LOC or LCO. The LOC and/or LCO method is a way of moisturizing the hair using a liquid, oil, and cream. (The name refers to the order.) Many people go the LOC route by working in a leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream in their hair. When doing this, you’re also detangling your hair. Of course the detangling is easier but this still isn’t serving me “I washed my hair and then left.”
After moisturizing, you should also put in a gel. If you’re like me, you only use gels when styling your hair. When it’s wash day, I’m putting my hair in twists and calling it a day. I’ll use gel the next day when styling. But when doing a wash ‘n go, gel is necessary to get those curls defined. That’s nice and all but that just sounds like more work to me.
Once you’ve applied all those products to your hair, it’s time to dry. I have low porosity hair so my hair dries quickly. For my naturals with high porosity hair, you may have to get a blow dryer. For naturals with looser hair textures, it’s time for you to put that diffuser to work.
This part grinds my gears and lifts my lace front because a wash ‘n go is supposed to be styling your hair without heat or manipulation. Using gel and a hair diffuser sounds like manipulation and heat to me. And to make things worse, wash ‘n gos have a short life of only a couple of days. If you have type 2 or even type 3 hair, it could last you a week. But for those with type 4 hair? Maybe your wash ‘n go can last you three days. This is a SCAM!
As a lazy natural, a wash ‘n go sounds like an answered prayer. However, doing a wash ‘n go on curly hair isn’t for the lazy. It in fact sounds like a regular wash day but I style my hair that day. As someone with coils instead of curls, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I can’t be lazy with my hair. My hair requires detangling and deep conditioning and stretching. There’s no “go” for me and my crown and that’s okay. Yall can enjoy yall’s diffusers while I enjoy my detangling. *cries*