So I know I said I was quittin' the wash n go. And I did, I promise... but the combination of my busy schedule* and general laziness with all things hair, has led me back down that fickle path of fluffy convenience, shrunken awesomeness and single strand knots.
|*when I say busy schedule, I mean cleaning up after Hurricane Boog. That's my handbag in her hand, oh, and my lip gloss all over her person. She also used it to decorate the chair.|
It's funny, somehow I had forgotten about the haphazard nature of a wash and go. The inevitable unpredictability and sheer chaos of it all hit me last week like that feeling you get when you stand up and your phone, which was in your lap, crashes to the floor... or when you're already at work and realize you ran out and forgot to put on deodorant. Nothing else matters... it doesn't matter that you were fresh yesterday... all that matters is right here, right now. And despite the wonderful hair days I had achieved prior, that ish meant nothing today and it was a big day for me. With the stars not in alignment, even after using the same damn product, I had to rock my frizzy, piece-y wash and go with confidence, style and grace. And I did. It's times like these where you must tap into that genuine, that intrinsic self-esteem... instead of allowing your worth to be based on external and fleeting factors such as, I don't know, a 'good hair day'. But I digress. This post is about the wash and go routine that has consistently gifted good hair days as long as I'm using the right products. Now, how do I define a good hair day? For me, it means volume and definition without either being completely compromised, a mostly consistent curl pattern and the lack of 'ick', also known as tacky, gooky ass curls. I hate feeling product on my hair and hands. So here you go-
- On dry hair, prior to washing, I apply one of two things - (1) full fat, organic yogurt, or (2) full fat, organic yogurt with oils and honey mixed in. It all depends on how much time I have to mix. I leave it in for 15-30 minutes, no heat.
-I hop in the shower and rinse thoroughly, only reaching for the shampoo if it's the weekend. If it's the middle of the week, I co-wash with a lighter conditioner. Rinse thoroughly.
-I then apply my thick and luxurious conditioner, also known as my styling conditioner. I apply it heavy, and allow it to marinate while I shower.
-Then I finger detangle, adding more conditioner and water as I go. I do this in 4 sections.
-I then rinse 80% of the conditioner, and while still in the shower, flip my head over and gather all of my hair into a loose two-strand twist at the crown of my head.
-I then reach for my t-shirt (which I leave right outside of the shower), and plop. Looks like this-
-I leave the t-shirt on my head for 15 minutes while I lotion, and get dressed. I'm happy to report I'm lotioning these days, even the places the sun don't shine! I then remove the t-shirt, and gently shake until my hair falls down in place. It's still wet but not dripping.
-Then, using a gel, I finger style the frizzy bits and air-dry before fluffing. Sometimes, once the hair is completely dry, I'll stretch the roots with my blow dryer.
So why the yogurt?- Yogurt is a great hair mask. It moisturizes, strengthens, detangles and has a mild cleansing action. The probiotics are also great for a healthy scalp. Just make sure you rinse very thoroughly or your hair will smell like assvomit. I remember grabbing Gia to smell her butt the other day, like 'what in the entire hell is that?' and then realized I was downwind of my curls.
So why the twist?- The big, loose, two strand twist prior to plopping helps to smooth and clump my curls... all the way down to the root. Skipping this step leaves me with that piece-y, stringy, ramen noodle curls. This is a technique I remember from back in the day on NaturallyCurly... started by a 3b curly or the like. Check it out HERE.
So how do you plop?- I gather my hair (the big twist) inside of a t-shirt (the big opening as if I was about to put the shirt on). The backside, bottom hem of the t-shirt is placed at the base of my hair line at the nape of my neck, and I gently wring the length in the rest of the t-shirt, roll it up and secure to my head. It looks just like a towel turban.
So why the plop?- The plopping reduces my drying time (by soaking up the excess moisture), absorbs excess product (which prevents flaking and gives softer more natural results), and stretches the curls to reduce shrinkage a bit. I remember trying 'plopping' back in the day with disastrous results. Now, when I don't plop, the results are disastrous.
So how do you 'finger style'?- I create curls using my finger as the roller, and other pieces, I just smooth all the way down the length. I make sure my fingers are wet and coated in either a curl cream or a light hold gel. I find that light hold gels work best for creating curls.
Product?- Another benefit of my wash and go routine is that I can try more products, which means reviews for you! While I've got some full reviews coming your way, know that I was gifted and tried, Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls (epic fail- gooky, dry, flaky but good definition, lol), Miss Jessie's Stretch Silkening Cream (yeah, no, but almost- stretched, soft, defined hair that didn't make it more than 12 hours), Mizani's Supreme Oil Conditioner (yep), and As I Am's Smoothing Gel (yep). I had never tried Mizani's products and I must admit that I was surprised by the luxuriousness of their instant conditioner. So surprised that I decided to leave some in and have gotten nothing but smooth, shiny, great smelling results. It leaves my hair ridiculously soft and the ingredients are rather decent. I use the As I Am Smoothing Gel on just the frizzy curls and crown, and it provides a soft, natural hold and shine. This combo leaves me with hair that looks heavy and defined without the 'greasy', 'sticky' or 'gooky' factor.
From my recent experiences, I've learned that I need a thick, creamy, tackier conditioner to help the curls find each other. Which is why Redken's Smooth Down Butter Treat (which is being discontinued!) worked so well. The pic above was the result of Redken. I still have a ton of new products to try and will begin posting full reviews soon!
Results with Mizani's Supreme Oil Conditioner + As I Am Smoothing Gel
What makes a 'good hair day' for you?
What's your wash and go routine?
How do you achieve the delicate balance between volume and definition?