Every time I scroll down my Instagram feed I see beautiful naturalistas showing off the most perfect curly hair and I think how wonderful is it. But for every one of these posts there are a whole host of followers in the comments complaining about bad hair days and bemoaning the fact that their hair is not turning out like that. As I go about my day almost everyday I’m asked multiple times whether in person or online : “How did you get your hair like that?”; Followed by “how can I get mine to look like that?” After directing them to my blog or Youtube channel I usually ask a few questions to see what they are doing wrong and offer some specific solutions. And while everybody’s hair is different and no set of rules apply to everyone I have noticed many commonalities among persons who complain that their hair just doesn’t turn out right or is dry, frizzy, undefined etc. I have compiled a list of the top 10 reasons your wash and go is not coming out right and not to worry I will be offering some advice on how to fix these problems. So if your wash and go keep turning out wrong keep reading:
Reason No. 1: You are Not Deep Conditioning Regularly
If you complain too me about dryness, frizziness etc I am almost certainly going to ask if you deep condition and how often you do it. Most persons who complain about their natural hair being dry do not deep condition regularly or do not deep condition at all. This is appalling! Especially since there is so much natural hair care information that is easily accessible online. Most of us would think by now that everybody deep conditions…but they don’t. Deep conditioning is the most significant way of moisturising natural hair. It causes the hair follicle to open up and absorb moisture and nutrients which helps maintain the hair’s elasticity and strength. No matter how many moisturising products you use if you are not deep conditioning your hair is not going to stay moisturised and your styles are not going to look their best.
Solution: Deep condition with a moisturising deep conditioner at least once a week (or every other week if you schedule really doesn’t allow it- do not allow more than two weeks to pass).
Reason No. 2: You do not Include Protein in Your Regimen
This ties into my first point about deep conditioning. Many persons who I talk to do not pay attention to the fact that there are moisture based as well as protein based products and that protein is vital for keep their natural hair healthy as well as make their curls pop.
Even though natural hair doesn’t require a lot of protein to keep it healthy since the structure is not generally compromised, I still recommend doing a protein based deep conditioning treatment every 4-6 weeks. If your hair is colour treated or if you use heat often you might want to alternate your moisture based deep conditioner with a light protein deep conditioner every other time to ensure that your hair remains strong. You can also incorporate protein in your regimen through moisturisers or leave-in conditioners that contain protein. You just have to try different methods and see what you like.
Issue No. 3: You are not Using the Correct Styling Products
While deep conditioning and protein treatments can ensure that you have a healthy head of moisturised curls your style can still go down hill if you are using the wrong products. You cannot expect to use a product meant for straightening or volume to achieve a defined wash and go. A wash and go for example requires me to layer on a leave-in and a gel but a flexi rod set does well with a light leave-in and some setting moose.
Luckily, there is no shortage of natural hair tutorials on the internet that should point you to the right products for whatever the style you want to achieve. For a general rule of thumb stick to heavier products such as, creams butters and gels and custards for wash and goes, twist outs and braids and lighter products such as moose and liquid leave-ins for rod sets, roller sets and blowouts.
Reason No. 4: Not Using the Right Type of Product For Your Hair Type
When it comes on to natural hair and products one size definitely does not fit all. Choosing the wrong products for your hair type and texture can have you frustrated and confused even when you are doing everything else right. Why did so and so’s hair turn out like that? I used the same products and mine is a fail. Even when your hair looks just like another persons the same product can work differently, and sometimes the same product works great on vastly different hair types. But generally a person with type 4 curls cannot expect to get the same results using the same products as a person with type 3 hair.
Try to find content creators with a similar curl pattern and texture when you are looking for product recommendations, that way you won’t end up trying products that are either too lightweight or too heavy for your hair type. In general, tighter curly hair does better with heavier, stronger hold products, while looser textures get better results using lighter products.
Reason No 5: You are Combining Products that are Incompatible
There is nothing more annoying than a product combination that turns your hair into flake city. No matter how good the definition is or how smooth your curls are those flakes will drive you back into the shower i a split second. No one wants to look like a walking dandruff factory lol.
Do a test before applying any combination of products to your hair. Simply take a few drops of products in the palm of your hand and mix together observing how well they blend. If they form a smooth mixture your are good to go if they for clumps or beads it’s a no go!
Reason No. 6: You are Not Sealing In Moisture
No matter how much deep conditioner and moisturiser you use if you are not adding a sealant on top to lock in the moisture and prevent evaporation your style is almost certainly going to turn into a giant frizz ball of dryness as soon as you take it down.
Always follow-up moisturising with an oil, butter, or gel to make sure that all the moisture you worked so hard to impart is going to get lost as soon a the first wind blows or even worst yet your hair is going to start absorbing moisture from the atmosphere and start frizzing.
Reason No. 7: You are not Working in Sections
Recently someone said to me “oh your wash and go requires a lot of work” and I replied yes that’s why it looks so good and lasts all week and can last even longer if i would stop fondling my curls all day long! The key to my wash and go success (along with everything else I have said) is working in sections. Trying to do your whole head in one go is going to turn into a mess and you might just turn out looking like a bird’s nest.
Obviously! Work in smaller sections so the product can get to all strands. This also makes it easier to detangle your hair which make styling much easier and smoother. Working in sections is also going to reduce frizz and make your style last much longer.
Reason No. 8: You have Unrealistic Expectations
This reason could be a whole blog post by itself and I may write one on it soon come to think of it. But seriously, it is time we come to accept every type of curl as beautiful. My curls will never be your curls and your curls will never be mine. Many person are expecting to see what does not exist and wind up being disappointed with their wash and go.
The sooner you accept and learn to love your hair the way it is the happier you will be and the better your styles will turn out.
Reason No. 9 : You are Not Being Creative
Your wash and go might not be looking right because you are afraid to be creative. You do not want to step outside of the refresh and go routine.
Get creative with your styles. turn your failed wash and go into a puff or add an headband to Jazz up a dead style.
Reason No. 10: You are Impatient
Like anything else in life nothing good happens without some hard work and patience. The more you take care of your hair, the more you figure out what it likes and the more it will respond and look the way you want it to. So do not expect your hair to look like a picture of perfection the moment you do your big chop.
Keep working on finding the products that your hair likes and being consistent with your regimen and your hair will eventually start reward you with some good hair days.