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How to Perfect Your Wash-and-Go Routine



Wash-and-go’s are a popular natural hairstyle for a reason—who doesn’t want moisturized and super voluminous-looking curls? But when it comes to discovering the right combo of products and techniques that work for you, it can be challenging. That’s because it really depends on your individual hair texture and needs, so you should play around with your routine until you figure out what works for you.

It took me a while to find a wash-and-go routine that worked for my curls, so below, I’ve detailed my step-by-step guide in case you’re in need of some general tips to help you fine-tune yours.

Step One: Pre-Shampoo Treatment

This step is optional, but if your curls tend to get dry like mine, I’d consider adding it into your routine. A super-hydrating mask not only protects your hair from drying out during wash day, it also makes it easier to detangle your hair before you shampoo and condition.

Depending on what my hair needs, I’ll either do a quick pre-shampoo mask for about 15 minutes before I hop in the shower or, if my curls are in need of some major TLC, I’ll go to bed with an overnight mask in my hair and start the wash process in the morning. (I wear a shower cap to bed to prevent any residue from ending up on my pillow.)

Instant Soothe Scalp Elixir

Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Masque

Curl Quenching Deep Moisture Mask

Step Two: Cleanse your hair

Kicking off wash day with clean hair is a must-do for everyone. I gently detangle my hair before rinsing the treatment out of my hair. Then, I take a couple squirts of shampoo and work up a lather, focusing on my scalp to remove product build up.

Coconut Custard Wash N’ Go Shampoo

Rice Water & Grapeseed Shampoo

Baomint Moisturizing Shampoo

Step Three: Work in a conditioner

Conditioner is the ultimate multi-tasking hair product—it works to soften your curls, detangle your hair, and smooth out your texture, making the styling process a breeze.

For this step, I’ll usually separate my hair into four sections before working the product through each section; this helps to ensure that every inch of my hair is fully-saturated in product.

Gold Series Moisture Conditioner

Natural Shea Butter & Pure Coconut Oil Moisturizing Curl Conditioner

Cold Processed Hair Conditioner

Step Four: Detangle your hair

Then, I reach for a detangling brush—the conditioner provides enough slip to make the process a breeze. I comb through my hair, starting at my ends and working my way up to my roots to prevent potential breakage.

Cushion Paddle Brush

Macaron for Hair Detangling Brush

The Original

Step Five: Deep condition your hair

Because my curl pattern is thicker, it can be difficult for moisture to penetrate my hair. So to ensure that my hair is fully hydrated, I work in another deep conditioning treatment while my hair is wet and sit under a hooded dryer for about 15 minutes before rinsing out the mask.

TLC Comb-out Treatment

3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner

Love Curl Mask

Step Six: Layer on a styling product (or two)

You want to add in your styling products while your hair is still wet for more defined curls. The order in which you layer on your gels and creams depends on your unique texture, so it’s going to take a little bit of trial and error. I usually add in a curl cream for some additional moisture and apply a lightweight curl gel before gently finger-coiling my hair for added definition.

Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave–in Defining Crème

Styling Cream

Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste

Step Seven: Dry your hair

If I have time, I’ll air-dry my hair, but most of the time, I’m in a rush, so I’ll spritz on a heat protectant and diffuse my hair on low-heat. Afterwards, if I notice spots on my hair that could use some sheen—usually my ends—I’ll gently work in a light oil.

High Shine Anti-frizz Nourishing Oil

Pure-fro Hold and Shine Serum

Hair Oil Everyday Gloss

Step Eight: Maintain your look

You don’t want to expose your curls to the elements for too long without adding a hydration boost; on days where you want to restore definition, moisture, and volume, spray a curl refresher on your hair and then finger coil the pieces that look a little limp.

When you’re going to bed, loosely plop your curls into a ponytail on top of your head and make sure to sleep in a silk or satin bonnet to keep your curls in tip-top shape.

Bb. Curl Reactivator

Curl Manifesto Curl Refreshing & Restyling Spray

Coco Dew Curl Pre-styling & Restyling Refresher Spray

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@naomielizee

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