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Curly Nikki

Refresh and Go- Wash & Go Tips

By January 27th, 202120 Comments

Refresh and Go- Wash & Go Tipsby Shelli of Hairscapades

Prior to discovering TnCs and buns and banana clips in 2010, I was a wash and go girl for the majority of my 11 year natural hair career! I don’t wear WnGs as frequently as I did in the past and their appearance has changed due to the curl loosening caused by henna. However, I picked up a very simple “trick” years ago that I thought might be helpful to those for whom the WnG is a staple style.

I used to dread wash day as I tended to wait two weeks between sessions. I’d do a WnG and would “refresh” as needed with water from a spray bottle and additional product (typically a “curl” gel mixed with Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter). Well, on wash day, it was a guaranteed two hour wash session in penance for not combing/detangling for two weeks. The worst of it would always be in the rear mid-section of my hair that is the curliest, coarsest and most porous. I remember one time having to get out of the shower, after an hour detangling, because there was one knot that would not budge, eventually tearing up out of frustration and finally pulling out the scissors to cut out the knot.

Well, in 2008 or so, I went for my first Ouidad cut at a salon in NJ trained in the technique. I mentioned my wash day struggles to the stylist (who was an Italian male). He asked me what my normal routine was and, when I told him, he told me two things which changed my natural hair detangling life. He told me to apply a leave-in conditioner after my regular conditioner, to comb through my hair one more time and then style. He then told me to use a spray leave-in conditioner to refresh my curls rather than water. I picked up some Infusium 23 and wash day was never the same again!!! Detangling my hair became a breeze and I am forever grateful for that tip!

I know that the use of water is constantly stressed on the natural hair sites and videos, but as with anything, what works for some does not work for others. I’m in the camp that follows the premise that if the first ingredient is water … it’s moisture. I also think that the reason the Infusium 23 (or the Sally’s GVP equivalent) worked well for me is that it contains amodimethicone, which helped smooth the cuticle of my hair, while water did not. So, if you go the CG route, I would suggest trying a cone free but pH balanced leave-in to prevent build up. I have used DevaCare No Poo for years, so I never had a problem with that. Finally, you can also make your own leave-in spray by diluting a regular conditioner with distilled or filtered water. However, if you do that, remember to refrigerate and use within a week to prevent spoilage. A chilled spritz will also help close the cuticle of porous hair.

I don’t wear WnGs like I used to and tend to put them up into a protective style after one day. But the style still works great when I’m pinched for time and I continue to use this tip to make my subsequent wash sessions a lot easier than they used to be! And, you know, a smoother detangling sessions means less mechanical damage to hair, which results in improved length retention!

Refresh and Go- Wash & Go Tips

(p.s. I thought of one other WnG maintenance tip that might be helpful to some with really thick and/or long hair. Pineappling never worked for me because my nape hair is straighter than the rest and it caused it to straighten even more. Bonnets were too small and smooshed my hair and a satin pillowcase alone resulted in wild and matted hair in the morning. So, I would use a knee length skirt slip to protect my hair at night! Just put the waist band first around your neck, pull it back until it’s around the hairline and smooth the length of the slip over your hair. Finally, secure the open end with a hair elastic! Voilà, makeshift bonnet for big/long hair!)


  • Anonymous says:

    You may consider stopping blow drying you hair

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural for about 7 years, I continue to have the problem with (I call them popcorn curls). The problem mostly happen when I blow dry my hair, they cover the floor. I do trim my hir regularly and moisturize. Whar am I not doing right?

  • mothereartha says:

    @TiAnna Mae I bought it online. They didn't have it at my local Sally's.

  • MsChina627 says:

    Those are some pretty cool tips! The WnG style is pretty much my staple style and I learned a few things work best for me and may for some. The day after day one I would rewet my hair in sections with distilled water and EVOO in a spray bottle. Then I would apply my Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner along with a little bit of the Herbal Essance Hello Hydration Conditioner and I noticed that my WnG would last longer plus my curls would be truly defined without that crunchy look or feel. Once its completely dry I may take a little Coconut oil and rub it all over my hair and thats it :-).

  • luvmylocs says:

    i actually keep a spray bottle of a liquid leave in conditioner in my shower and i mist my hair with that and let that and the steam loosen my smush hair then i finger fluff with a leave in conditioner and my hair does pretty well all week. i haven't been using any gel products but i'm retrying my version of a wet n go instead of twisting, etc.

  • hairscapades says:

    Anon @ 1:46, I used to use the Original formula as pictured here:

    It's the same as the moisturizing one in the blue gray bottle now, I believe. Just new packaging. If there was any change in the formula, I didn't notice a difference. I usually get Sally's GVP (Generic Value Product) version now. It's cheaper and works just as well!

    Anon. @ 2:54, no I don't apply it on top of my regular conditioner. I deep condition first and after I rinse that out, I apply a leave-in. Then, throughout the week if I'm wearing it in a WnG, I'll spritz with the Infusium to refresh dry, crushed curls. I would usually apply a little more product (gel/butter) to provide hold and moisture.

    Anon @ 8:47, I don't know. It seems like some people say, "Moisture is water, you need to wet your hair with water not a product with water as the first ingredient." So, just wanted to make certain that I covered myself as I got the impression some disagree with that! I'm with you though! LOL!

    Thanks all!! I appreciate the feedback and I'd love to know how the tips work out for you if you get a chance!!


  • foxyr says:

    Love the wash 'n go tips! That is my signature hairstyle. Thanks, Shelli!

  • ChrLvsBks says:

    How ingenious regarding using a slip to protect your tresses. I use a loc soc but some of my hair spills out at the top. I may get a slip. Thanks for adding that tip!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Shelli, Do you apply the leave-in conditioner on top of the regular conditioner without first washing out the regular conditioner?


  • Anonymous says:

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  • Bridget says:

    I rock wash and gos 90% of the time and about a month ago I started using Infusium 23 to refresh my hair. I mix it with water in a spray bottle about 50/50. It helps to keep my hair moisturized as well as keeping my tresses virtually tangle free. I absolutely love the results.

  • Anonymous says:

    What kind of infusion 23 are you using? Can you post a pic of the bottle? It's been years since I used it but I remember a white bottle and the new bottles are grayish-blue. Is this the same product? help!

  • kellistarr says:

    Great tips, especially use spray leave-in instead of water. I am totally with this!

  • Anonymous says:

    VERY HELPFUL!! I can't pineapple because my hair is too long and has a loose curl. The bonnet straightens and flattens my hair so I will be trying this slip thing. Thanks!

  • Pecancurls says:

    I must revisit my infusium soon.

    BTW, I've never seen lacio lacio at Sally's.

  • prettyparticular says:

    Thanks for this post. I only do wash and gos and since my hair is in the awkward in between stage, I don't get second day hair b/c its all smushed and frizzy in the morning. I tried refreshing with water and a few other products and it was stil pretty tragic. But, the Infusium in a spray bottle sounds like it might do the trick (silly, me…I'd NEVER have thought of that!) I'll try it, tomorrow in fact, and see how it goes.

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    Mothereartha, did you get lacio lacio from Sallys???

  • Anonymous says:

    I am so happy to hear that WNGs are a staple for some and they are able to retain length. I am a long time tramnsitioner and mini big chopped in May. Since then I have perfected my WNG and I love it! It is so eaasy and beautiful. I co-wash once and week and deep condition and detangle at that time. My hair is about 6.5 inches or ear length when curly so maybe later I may have to modify my rountine due to more hair and more tangles…

    I try to get at least 3-5 days for each WNG and I refresh with a mix: water, olive oil, and a little deva curl one conditioner in the morning and spray at night with water and alow vera juice.

    At night, I tie my hair with a scarf technique that (push hair toward face and tie scarf behind head) I got from a yourtuber AND IT CHANGED MY LIFE. I get longer lasting hair dos now!

    Thanks for the tips

  • mothereartha says:

    i am loving the knee length skirt slip suggestion!!!! going to get one! also will try the infusium 23…i just went to sally's darn..well i bought the lacio lacio…i'll try that 1st.

  • Anonymous says:

    Water, or anything with water as the first ingredient, DOES equal moisture. That's a fact. I didn't realize it was up for debate! I actually prefer creamier leave-ins (with water as the first ingredient) for refreshing. Sometimes I'll thin them out with a little extra water. So long as they disappear into my hair, I'm good.

    Also, I too have that issue with looser nape hair that straightens out easily. Actually this is the case with most of my hair along my hairline…I've actually left this loose while pineappling the rest. Weird (and weird-looking) but it works.

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