Once upon a time, a natural curly haired girl rocked wash and go’s like it was nobody’s business. Jump in the shower, shampoo, condition, finger detangle and proceed with my styler of choice and exit the facility. These were also the days of simply going to bed sans protection (never a good idea), waking up and doing the same thing all over again the next morning. As my hair grew longer, that was no longer an option for me. In fact my entire regimen changed – from the way I shampooed to my deep conditioning routine. My “routine” came from a place of “Never”. I NEVER section shampooed, I almost NEVER slept with a scarf, I NEVER paid attention to ingredients or put any thought into product selection, I NEVER detangled, I NEVER deep conditioned and quiet as kept, I sometimes skipped conditioner all together! #WhatTheWhat? I know!*clutches pearls* Arguably one of THE cardinal sins in the natural hair community! I’m a little embarrassed to admit these things and if I were Catholic, I’d take it behind closed doors and speak my ill ways through sacramental penance straight to an ordained priest via the confessional booth, but since I’m not, I trust you chicas with matters of the hair.
As a vet in this natural hair game, I can truly say when you know better, you do better. Cliché, but truth none-the- less. I was living the low effort, high impact hair life which served me well aesthetically but did little or nothing for length retention. As I started taking interest in my locs and recognizing the importance of moisture in my life, I also learned all the different methods of the wash and go. My definition was very literal– wash (shampoo and condition) and go (leave!) and that’s precisely what I did. I like to consider this time period, the prelude of my journey. You know, a piece that precedes a more important movement.
Through research and some tough lessons, I became more curl conscious and of course made sure that conditioners (regular, leave- ins and deep) became mainstays in my arsenal. I also graduated to other hairstyles, such as coils, twist outs and braid outs. Coils were too much work and didn’t last, twist outs looked like wash and go’s so what was the point, so I went with braid outs. I fell hard for the braid outs – I mean they were everything! They gave me the soft, loose wave I wanted without sacrificing a lot of length. My natural coils are super coily and tend to congregate in large numbers which can be good and bad; mostly bad. It wasn’t until recently, I revisited the twist out and I must say, I’ve once again found love. It is almost always mistaken for a wash and go but I’m okay with that. It’s a healthier version of the look and I am no longer washing it every day.