In the natural world, it is very common to hear how hair is diverse and how it can do everything from a wash and go to perfect pin straight hair. In my view and experience, this is true for some hair but seriously misleading for others.
Many people desire to do a wash and go, on the surface of it seems simple and easy, condition, finger detangle and go.…..right? Wrong, the truth is some hair (especially that in the longer type 4 section) really does not do well with a wash and go. For some of us, myself included, wash and go’s are a recipe for serious tangling and breakage. I think people like to debate whether it is the case that a shrunken type 4 hair style is attractive or not but this is not my point. I am saying that if your goal is long hair, then for some naturals chosing to NEVER wash and go is the way forward.
Whenever I say this, many people cite youtuber cynthiarf as an example of how wash and go’s work well on type 4 hair, so today I will compare how her hair behaves in contrast to the ever popular video of glamfun who is an example of type 4 hair that really does not care for wash and gos.
1. You have serious shrinkage
-Glamfun’s hair shrinks when wet and continues to shrink significantly as it dries uncontrolled (0:20)
- Cynthiarf’s hair really does not look majorly different when it is wet and when it is dry. There is some shrinkage but really not that much (8:16 — video below)
The story with shrinkage is that the curl within the hair is essentially becoming tighter. The strands have a high change of meeting and tangling with each other due to the reduction in hair volume. Therefore, the higher the shrinkage, the tighter the curl and the higher the chance of tangling.
2. You hair does not clump uniformly.….ever
- Cynthiarf’s hair has a mass of small and very clear clumped curls when wet and when dry. They are clear and present all over her head.
- Glamfun’s hair has some clumps in some regions (a few ends) but is generally never forming a clumped curl from root to tip
Clumping curls are a great way to protect individual hair strands by forming a larger stronger unit instead of leaving each strand having to withstand combing or manipulation. If your hair does not clump, then every strand has to withstand manipulation on its own making it more susceptible to breakage
3. Your hair has a love — hate relationship with water
- Cynthiarf clearly states in her video that her hair requires water at least every day or once every other day.
- Glamfun’s hair on the other hand shrinks severely when exposed to water
Water is essential to give hair moisture and flexibility. However, for some hair, applying water daily to hair only increases the chances or hair meshing due to shrinkage. Other people can apply water and water containing products on a daily basis, but those with the meshing issue, need to try to stretch it out to every 3–4 days or once a week.
4. Your hair is fine and fragile (i.e you tend to hear your hair pop when detangling)
- This is not covered in the videos but if your individual hair strands are fine and tend to snap easily do pay attention.
If your hair has ALL the 3 previous attributes of hair that does not like wash and go’s AND is also fine, then you are highly likely to be the most susceptible to tangling and breakage. It is not really the case that your hair is inherently fragile, it is just the case that the finer strands require super careful handling especially when wet.
5. Products do not make a major difference to your hair
- In Cynthiarf’s video she really talks about how certain products work well for her
In my experience, some hair really does not care that much for product. It will generally not behave differently whether you use an intense moisturising natural conditioner or indeed a simple store bought conditioner. It becomes more obvious with leave in conditioners and for some hair skipping a leave in and using oil is fine or you can play around with several leave ins and find that there is no major difference. You will sometimes find people advising a clarifying treatment or a protein conditioner or a porosity treatment to try to get hair to ‘react’ to a product. However, the likely fact is that your hair is fine (provided you have a clean scalp and no build up) and is actually just not that picky ingredient wise.
The bottom line is that some hair really does not do well in terms of tangling and breakage when it comes to wash and go’s. If you are keen to grow your hair longer, you need to pay attention to this, it is not really about the aesthetics of the style which is a subject of personal taste.
Ladies what have your experiences been with wash and go’s? Do they work for you or no?