As a twa (teenie-weenie-afro) girl during my first few months of being natural I wanted to showcase my curls. But attempting and failing the wash and go many times led me to do some serious digging on youtube. CoilyHeadChick is the queen of the wash and go, if you haven’t already been acquainted.
She uses what’s called the shingling method. Shingling is when you apply a gel mixture directly to sections of your hair and rake the product through with your fingers until ringlets develop. She has several different recipe variations on how to create the gel custard (EcoCustard is the term she uses), but I will be uploading my recipe soon. It’s not super difficult, all we’re doing here is mixing styling gel with oils. The oils add movement to the gel when applied to natural hair, so that your curls don’t become dry and stiff.
You can check out her channel and search ‘wash and go’ for a visual tutorial on how to create this style and maintain it (http://www.youtube.com/user/jcokes7/search?query=wash+and+go), but here is a written description below.
Step 1: Wash, condition hair and detangle in the shower without towel drying. We’ll need this water to add some extra slip when applying the custard, so a simple wringing of your strands will suffice.
Step 2: Apply leave in conditioner and section damp hair into 4 large quadrants, clipping away 3…I like to start with the back of my hair.
Step 3: With the first section of hair, take a smaller subsection and begin applying the custard from the ends of your hair to the roots raking through with your fingers. Continue to finger comb / detangle until you begin to see ringlets forming…then move on to the next section.
Also, at this step, there is no such thing as too much product. Your hair should still be pretty drenched even after adding the custard. If you move on to a new section of hair, just use a spray bottle to make sure it’s wet enough.
Step 4: After you’ve applied the custard to your entire head, create a part using a fine tooth comb. To help set the part, reapply a small amount of custard to those sections and rake the hair in the direction you want it to go.
Step 5: The cold water rinse…Run some cold water either in the sink or shower and quickly dip your strands. Not long enough to rinse out the product entirely, but we’re just re-drenching at this point. The cold water will help to set your curls and separate them to make more distinct and defined ringlets.
Step 6: Shake, shake and shake. Lean over the shower / tub of course, but shake your hair out. This activates the ringlets and separates the curls even more….can you believe it!?
Step 7: This step is optional, but why skimp on creating the perfect style! Using Curl Junkie’s Curls in a Bottle. This product is amazing. It adds so much slip when applied on top of the custard. Just take about 1 table spoon’s worth and run it from the front of your hair to the back (just enough to re-coat).
Step 8: Cold water rinse #2 and shake
Step 9: Readjust your part and apply banana clips to either side
Step 10: Let it dry. This will usually take a few hours, and by a few, I mean like 7 or 8. I don’t like using heat on my hair because it causes damage and creates frizz. So an alternative is to sit in front of a fan and get some Netflix popin’ while you wait.
Maintenance is simple. That night, sleep as you normally would with a satin bonnet or on a satin pillowcase. In the morning, your hair is going to look very flat. To reactivate the product in your hair, just spritz lightly with a spray bottle and re-shake. You can also use small bobby-pins to hold your part in place. After the first night, spritz lightly and scrunch in a little coconut oil to keep your strands moisturized.
As more days pass, your wash and go will get looser and looser. When I had my twa, I was able to rock this style for at least 10 days before having to refresh. Below are some pics of the finished look.