July 17, 2014

The Real Reason Why Your Wash and Go Sucks


Hola Chicas,

I #BunSoHard... until I don't.

I missed my curls.  Plus, my PJ was itching to try some new ish.  Reviews coming soon (spoiler alert: I'm not impressed).  So here we are.  Yesterday, I unfurled the bun again and re-visited my summer wash and go.  Before I started with the stretched bun a few weeks ago, I was experimenting with my various wash and go techniques.  Remember the Tracee, The Pippi (longstocking, that is) and the Unicorn? Yeah, those.  Yesterday morning, I combined the best aspects of those three routines and came up with something that may make a difference in your life... on some real levels.

The real reason why your wash and go sucks, is because...

Read On!>>>
... you're not doing it on damp hair. That's the key. You'll enjoy less shrinkage, less frizz, and better definition. At least if you have fine, highly porous strands like me!  It'll also last 4-5 days.

I know, I know.  I've shared the magic of damp styling in the past... for fluffier, chunkier twist-outs and even for chunkier, more defined wash and gos.  But you really have to try this.

Here's what I do-
  • An hour before the shower, apply a deep conditioner/oil to dry hair and don a plastic cap. To generate heat, wear a beanie, towel or microwavable heat cap
  • Hop in the shower and rinse.
  • Thoroughly saturate hair with water and divide into two (left and right).
  • Cleanse hair with co-wash or mild shampoo. Rinse thoroughly. 
  • Generously apply Aubrey GPB or Trader Joe's Nourish Spa or Aussie Moist or FUBU's Deep Conditioner and Co-Wash, to both sides in a smooshing motion.
  • Pass head back under the water stream for a second, for better distribution and added slip.
  • Add even more conditioner.  Basically, use all the conditioner.  
  • Clip the hair up and out of the way to complete shower rituals.
  • Finger detangle the right side, then the left (using the shower stream to help things along) 
  • Rinse thoroughly!!! Get out of the shower. 
  • Place each side in one large, two-strand twist (*optional* apply a little castor/coconut oil to ends)
  • Gather the two twists low, at the nape of your neck, and place a t-shirt over your head and secure in the back, like THIS.  
  • Lotion and thangs... and after 20-30 minutes head to the mirror, remove the t-shirt and gently unravel the twists.
  • Apply product(s) of choice in 4 sections (2 in the back, 2 up front), smoothing or raking and finger curling for extra dopeness. 
  • Air dry that joint.  It won't take long.  
  • Once your hair is fully dry, hit the roots with a warm blow dryer (w/ air concentrator) to add volume and stretchage.  
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*Quick and Dirty*

Pre-poo, rinse, condition and detangle, rinse thoroughly, 2 fat twists and plop, remove 2 fat twists, apply product to damp hair and air-dry! 


*For why, tho?* 

Why the pre-poo? 
Because the internet

Why rinse your conditioner?
You know that luxurious, clumpy awesomeness you experience while in the shower with soaking wet, conditioner-laden hair?  It's so amazing that you just wanna hop your sexy ass out of the shower and go about your business-- a true wash and go.  But here's the thing.  It will take 150 hours to dry (#BecauseTheConditioner #AndAllTheWater), and when it does dry next week, you'll have extra frizz and shrinkage.  So, no matter how luscious your natural hair feels loaded up with your favorite slippery conditioner, you're gonna want to rinse (or at least rinse 90% of it).  

I rinse clean to give my hair the opportunity to dry faster (to damp) so I can apply my products and keep it moving.  If you use the right conditioner (and you remembered to pre-poo), you'll have fluffy, soft, moisturized curls before you even apply your leave-in/styler products.  

Why the two strand twists? 
The 2 big two strand twists prior to the t-shirt, helps to smooth and clump my curls.  Skipping this step leaves me with that piece-y, stringy look. This step also keeps the hair detangled. One on each side.

Why the t-shirt/plop?
It soaks up the excess moisture and stretches the curls to reduce shrinkage a bit.  It preps my hair for the product application stage. 

Styling on damp hair is easier to finger curl (they hold better and you can finger curl bigger clumps), dries quicker, shrinks less and yields clumpier, fluffier curls.

*FAQs*

How do you finger style? 
Rake and smooth or praying hands.  I create curls on frizzy pieces using my finger as the roller, and on other frizzy bits, I just smooth all the way down the length. 

Which product(s)?
I still haven't found my Holy Grail.  However, I've learned that my hair does best with all-in-one, glycerin-free, moisturizing curl creams that have a sticky consistency (helps mold and hold the curls and waves) and contain vp/va copolymer and/or polyquats.  Right now, Ouidad's Hydrafusion is the only one that fits the bill.  The price is rude, but I charge it to the game. Curl Junkie's Coffee Coco Cream is one that almost meets the criteria, but it contains glycerin and sometimes leaves a white cast if I get over-zealous.  I have reviews of other curl creams coming, but I'm not impressed.  I'm taking suggestions so leave some in the comments below!

Uneven shrinkage? 
The Denman brush gives me puffy, shrunken, un-defined roots and silky, chunky, defined length.  It's bizarre and not cute.  But I found a use for it.  I have patches of hair above my ears that are almost silky in texture and very loosely curled.  They don't shrink as much as the rest of my hair.  I used to keep these sections cut shorter to help them blend, but now I simply pass a Denman brush through the roots of those sections and they shrink as they dry.  Works like a charm and my hair shrinks uniformly!

Do you damp style your wash and go? 

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