How I Achieve My Wash n’ Go / Curly Afro

I get lots of questions about my wash n’ go/curly afro, so I wanted to give you the rundown on how I achieve this look.  The wash n’ go is my go-to and all time favorite hairstyle.  It’s simple, easy to maintain and makes my curls POP!

I start with freshly washed, conditioned and detangled hair.  I then section my hair into four sections.  I always work with my hair in sections; it’s a lot easier to handle.

My hair freshly washed and sectioned

Freshly washed hairsectioned hair

Working with one section at a time, I apply Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobob Thickening Leave-In Conditioner from root to tip in a smoothing motion.  I then apply my oil mixture (coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil mix) from root to tip.  I follow-up with an extremely small amount of whipped shea butter and smooth it through my hair from root to tip.  This ensures that my hair is properly moisturized and sealed.  Lastly, I apply a good amount of Eco-Styler Olive Oil Gel and smooth from root to tip to make my coils/curls clump.  The gel pretty much works as a holding agent and does a great job of defining my curls and clumping them together.  I apply each product, in this specific order, to my entire head.

My hair after applying my products in sections


It takes me about an hour to finish my entire head.  I know that seems pretty lengthy for a wash n’ go, but I take my time and work through my hair in sections to be sure that all of my hair strands are covered.  I normally let my hair air dry (this takes about 1/2 a day) if I’m not pressed for time and just hanging out around the house.  When I don’t have the time to air dry I sit under a hooded dryer for about 20 minutes and my hair is pretty much dry.

So, I’m sure the big question is how do I sleep without waking up to a bird’s nest on my head. LOL I gently band my hair, creating about 5-7 small pony-tails, making sure I don’t separate or manipulate my coils/curls too much.  Since my hair is not long enough to pineapple, I find that the banding method works great for my length.  I position the pony-tails strategically so that my hair falls the way I want it to when I remove them.  I then cover my head with a plastic shower cap and my satin bonnet and I’m ready for bed.  I’m creating a greenhouse effect by covering my hair with a shower cap.  I learned about the greenhouse effect while conducting my research on natural hair.  It basically entails covering your hair with a plastic cap for an extended amount of time to trap in the moisture and allow your own body heat to keep your hair hydrated.  The end results are soft, shiny and hydrated hair.  Many naturals swear by this method and claim that it promotes hair growth. I personally love this method; it works wonders on my dry kinky hair.  My hair is naturally dry…I mean really dry…so the green house effect method keeps my hair VERY moisturized and hydrated from root to tip.  When I remove my bonnet and shower cap in the morning my hair is slightly damp…just a tad bit.  I remove the bands from my pony-tails, shake and fluff with my fingers.  By the time I leave the house in the morning my hair is completely dry, super soft and shiny.

My day 1 wash n’ go

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As you can see, the fluffing and shaking gives my hair a lot of volume and I’m left with a curly fro…which I LOVE!  I band my hair and cover it with a shower cap and bonnet nightly.  I fluff and shake in the morning and I’m ready to go!  My hair remains pretty soft and moisturize for a few days and I don’t have to apply any additional products (thanks to the greenhouse effect).  Around day 4 I apply a mist of water or my leave-in conditioner, and follow-up with my oil mixture or my whipped shea butter.  I love this style so much because it is very low maintenance.  A good shake and fluff are all that’s needed – no combs, brushes, etc. I can rock this style for about a week and my hair just gets bigger and bigger.  I eventually end up with this:

My day 5 wash n’ go turned curly afro1356831017360-1-1

The infamous curly fro!

How do you achieve and maintain your wash n’ go or afro?

18 thoughts on “How I Achieve My Wash n’ Go / Curly Afro

  1. Hey Tamia! When I do my wash n’ go with the eco styler olive oil gel, I have a really bad problem with the the gel flaking after the 1st day. Do u have the same problem? If not, how do u avoid it?

    • I don’t have that issue with eco-styler gel. I think it’s because I put a layer of moisturizer, oil and butter on my hair before I apply the gel, so it doesn’t have that hardening, flaking affect. My hair isn’t extremely hard after it drys; it’s soft with a little hold. I’d say add a little more moisturizer, oil, etc. before applying the gel. If that doesn’t work you can always try a different gel. I hear that the kinky curly custard and shea moisture souffle gel works really well. I haven’t tried them yet because the eco-styler gel works really well for me and it’s a lot cheaper than the others. Let me know how it works! 🙂

  2. So THAT’s how you acheive such an awesome curl fro! I gotta try this greenhouse effect thing. I usually just put a LocSoc on my hair or just pineapple. It’s super easy, but my hair doesn’t stay super moisturized after maybe day 3.

    Another question, not sure if you mentioned this somewhere, but how often do you wash your hair?

    • I’m looking forward to my pineappling days. Lol My hair just isn’t there yet. I go about 3 days before I apply any product. That’s great for me considering how dry my hair can get.

      I normally wash, dc and style my hair once a week.

  3. Mia, how do you create your sealing mixture? Do you use equal parts of coconut oil, olive oil, and castor oil? For my short do, I swear by Taliah Waajid’s curly curl cream and a dab of non-drying styling gel to enhance/define my natural curl pattern. It moisturizes, smells great, and doesn’t leave a great deal of residue.

    • I normally use majority castor oil and equal amounts of olive oil and coconut oil. My hair seems to love castor oil.

      You know, Taliah Waajid’s products are definitely on my “Must Try” list. Since I’ve found my staple products that work great on my hair, I don’t buy nowhere as many products as I use to. I plan to try a few different products this year and Taliah Waajid’s products will be some of them. I’ll be sure to let you know how they work for me! 🙂

  4. I love the step by step notes you left in your post, this was very helpful. I’ve never done a wash and go because I was worried about well how do I sleep and what about day 2, day 3 etc. So thank you.

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