I know it’s still winter but I just had to try this method for a wash n go on kinky hair I came across on YouTube by a stylist named Anthony Dickey (this guy is SERIOUSLY amazing! He knows his stuff! I learned so much just from watching two of his videos). Here’s a link to the video – TRUE wash n go styling for kinkier hair types. His Wash n Go method involves 1) Co-washing, 2) Styling, 3) Setting. Anthony Dickey insists that you can’t be stingy with any of your products. Apply A LOT of product on soaking wet hair. The key is not to scrimp. Conditioner is a Kinks best friend! It acts to soften and prep the hair for the styling products. There’s no ‘put this in your hair and wait for an hour, then put that in your hair and wait for another hour, then put those in your and leave it overnight’!
This really inspired me to give Wash n Go’s another try since leaving behind my modified Maximum Hydration Method experiments last autumn. If this could work for me, it would give me great definition without all those tedious steps.
Failed First Attempt
Of course the first time I tried it my hair looked like a complete frizzball! More like a fro than a wash n go! I co-washed, rinsed and then added oil and gel. Didn’t work well for me at all (the oil completely frizzed out my hair), although the co-wash was a great eye-opener as I added a TON of conditioner to my hair which weighed it down nicely (my hair loves conditioner!). So I thought I’d take the Anthony Dickey concept but tweak it to suit my 4b/a hair.
Going back over my modified MHM pics, I realized how lovely my coils looked with the combination of the co-wash and the clay mask from week 2. All the other times, my coils were slightly frizzier (why was I running away from conditioner?!!!). So I thought I’d take elements from both concepts and work them together. I wanted something that would give me the results I wanted but with less time to create it. I’ve been playing around with products to see what works well and what doesn’t but the overall techniques I’ve been using have produced AMAZING results for me. I get lovely defined kinks that don’t shrink up any more than my regular flat-twist out does, but that doesn’t take me 5 hrs to achieve!
It’s really hard to capture the full texture definition with my camera phone, but you get the idea!
My Successful Wash n Go Routine
- Co-wash & Detangle
- Clay Rinse*
- Style (in shower)
*Clay Rinse Recipe: 1 tablespoon Rhassoul Clay, 1/2 tablespoon Bentonite Clay, 150 ml warm Water, shaken together in an applicator bottle and left to sit for a while (at least 30 mins). This makes a really runny clay mix. That’s why I call it a rinse and not a mask.
Co-Wash & Detangle
I start by thoroughly soaking my hair and rinsing away any excess product. I gently massage my scalp whilst rinsing to loosen any dirt/debris and sebum. I section my hair into 4, then taking the first section, apply a generous amount of conditioner (I’m currently in LOVE with the Dove Absolute Quench Conditioner for curly hair, it leaves my hair feeling so soft and has great slip) and finger detangle small sections at a time using a closed fist technique. I close my hand into a fist around my hair with my thumb sticking up and smooth my hand down my hair. My thumb works to separate the strands as I keep smoothing my hair downwards. I find this works better and causes less breakage than raking my fingers through my hair. Once done I clip up the section and move to the next. This gives the conditioner time to work on my hair whilst I work on the other sections.
If I feel I need to, I’ll shampoo my scalp to remove all the dirt and product build-up before conditioning and detangling (currently loving the ORS Shealicious Sulfate-Free Hydrating Shampoo, which I bought at Tesco!!!)
Going back to the first section, I rinse out the conditioner and then squirt on a generous amount of the clay rinse and squeeze it through. The rinse makes my hair feel hard and rough in comparison to the co-wash but I know it’s because its clumping my kinks together (it rinses out well and leaves my kinks soft). I gently smooth my hair downwards to encourage clumping, loosely clip up the section and move to the next one. Once I’ve applied the clay rinse to all my sections I leave it on whilst I shower.
I’ve found that a watery clay mix works just as well to clump my kinks as a thick mask would. You end up using a lot less clay, so your bag/jar will last much longer. I don’t add any oils to the mix as I’ve noticed that if I do, the clay mix just ‘sits’ on my hair and doesn’t clump it properly. No oil allows the clay to absorb better and gives much better clumping. Also adding this step reduces the amount of other products I need. If I didn’t use a clay rinse, I would need an incredible amount of co-wash conditioner to weigh down and clump my kinks. I would also need a lot more styling product to define them. This step allows my kinks to clump and be easily definable in the next step without using too much product.
Taking out all the clips, I thoroughly rinse my hair until the water runs clear, massaging my scalp gently to make sure all the clay is rinsed away. I then separate my hair back into the four sections and clip three out of the way. I re-rinse the section to ensure my hair is sopping wet and apply some leave-in, adding more water and smoothing it through to thoroughly coat all the strands. I then take a generous amount of gel and smooth that through. Afterwards, I go through the section, working with small amounts of hair and smooth through more gel, especially at the roots. As I apply the gel, I add more water to the hair to really weigh down the hair and evenly distribute the products. Once I’ve gone through the entire section I move on to the next. Once all sections are done, I flip my head over, wet my hands and scrunch my curls, cover my face with a flannel and shake my head a bit to get more clumping and definition. However my hair looks at the end of this stage is how it will look once dry, so it’s important to get it to look the way I want at this step.
I’m still testing out different conditioner/gel combinations to see which ones work best together. I came across THIS VIDEO on YouTube which gave some great advice that helped me figure out which combinations of conditioner and gel worked well together. Only those that blended well in my hands first, got to make it into my hair. So far I’ve tried 1) Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Eco Styler Gel, 2) Kinky Curly Knot Today and Eco Styler Gel, 3) Kinky Curly Knot Today and Kinky Curly Curling Custard, 4) Dove Absolute Supreme Crème Serum and Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Elongating Flaxseed Gel. So far I’m preferring combo 2, which defines my kinks, leaves no white residue and dries to a medium soft hold with nice movement.
To set my defined kinks in place, I gently diffuse my hair using my Braun Satin Hair 7 blow-dryer with the diffuser attachment on a low air/high heat setting, with the satin protect setting enabled. The stain protect setting stops the heat from rising above 70 degrees Celsius. If I didn’t have that option I would probably use a low air/medium heat setting. Diffusing my hair sets my kinks and reduces the amount of shrinkage I would get if I left it to air-dry only. I’m assuming that the heat hardens the exposed gel whilst the inside is still wet which holds the curl but keeps the hair weighed down. Because the hair is set like that, it doesn’t shrink up much as the remaining water evaporates. I’ve found that diffusing my hair in two goes (diffusing for 30 mins, leaving it for 20-30 mins and then diffusing it again for another 30 mins) leaves my hair dryer at the end then if I tried to diffuse it for an hour all in one go. Once it’s sufficiently dry (about 80-90%) I go on to style my hair how I want. I would love to get a good quality hooded dryer to dry my hair more easily. At this stage you can switch the diffuser attachment to a concentrater nozzle and ‘shape’ your hair by holding sections of it taught with one hand and focusing the blow-dryer on the roots. This can stretch and add volume to the finished look. But I don’t bother with that.
You can air-dry if you want, but because the hair is loaded with water it will take A VERY long time to dry. I suggest at least partly drying with a diffuser or under a hooded dryer to reduce the amount of time it will take your hair to dry.
Tip: Dry hair in the general direction you want it to lay after styling, as it’s much harder to change the direction of the hair once dry.
I manage to wear my wash n go for about 2-3 days before re-washing. Both Anthony Dickey and the MHM recommend keeping the hair fully hydrated by washing often. This keeps the hair in its best definable state.
The Keys To My Success
- Adding the clay rinse is a MUST for clumping my kinks together. Without it my hair would require a lot more products.
- Using a conditioner/gel combination (being very generous with the gel) brings out the best definition (no oils, as they frizz out my kinks).
- Water is key during styling to weigh the hair down, which helps stretch the kinks, stopping it from frizzing up and brings out the most definition.
- Setting my defined kinks with heat has also been a huge hit to holding the definition achieved from the styling products.
There you have it. A great ‘in-shower’ wash n go technique to really bring out those kinks and coils, without spending half the day/night faffing around with a million and one steps!
I hope this helps others with a similar hair texture discover the best techniques for their perfect Wash n Go.