Flip it and Reverse it: 5 Ways to Style Your Old Wash n' Go

What do you do when your wash and go gets old or your pineapple fails in the middle of the night, leaving you with scary hair in the morning?

You improvise. Avoid the hassle of washing your hair and starting from scratch with these 5 creative styling suggestions:

1. Get Creative with Bobby Pins


Whether your wash and go is past its prime, or went sour due to wack products, a few bobby pins can always save the day. With a spray bottle of water, an edge taming product like Curls Blueberry Curl Control Paste or a DIY butter pomade and a handful of bobby pins, the style possibilities are limitless. Pull the front of your hair into a pompadour, create a faux hawk, or a nice little flat twist to conceal unruly parts of your hair. Need a little style inspiration? Check out this video by Tia Kirby:

2. Bantu, Twist, or Braid


A warped wash and go can be fertile soil for an epic twistout, braidout, or bantu knot out. It will provide enough definition and tons of volume because the hair you are working with is essentially dry. Just re-activate the product in your hair with a little (enough to make it pliable, but not soaked) water, add a twisting butter like Qhemet Biologics Aethiopika Hydrate & Twist Butter or tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer, and set your style. A few tutorials, for your viewing pleasure:

note: these specific style tutorials may not have been done on old wash and go styles. But the methods and inspiration are still the same!

Twistout (courtesy of Chronicurls)

Braidout (courtesy of African Export)

Bantu Knot Out (courtesy of NaturalMetra)

3. Rods & Curlformers


Not quite ready to wash your hair, but in need of a fly style? Try a flexi rod, perm rod, or Curlformers set. All you need is a spray bottle of water to help make your hair workable, and a styling foam like Beautiful Textures Curl Definer Foam or LottaBody. You can also incorporate more products, but when working with old wash and go’s, less is more. What good is is to have a fly new style ruined by buildup? Check LiveNaturallyLove’s tutorial:

4. Heatless Blow Out


Make your big hair even bigger. Old wash and go’s tend to be stretched, so this is the perfect time to use Naptural85’s heatless blowout method aka finger and comb detangling. It’s super simple and requires zero additional product:

5. Tuck it Away


Sometimes, you just can’t be bothered trying to make an old wash and go work. I understand. When you aren’t feeling like rejuvenating an old wash and go, the easiest thing to do is just tuck it away into a milkmaid braid, bun, roll and tuck, or updo. If you’ve got 5 minutes, you can pullof this BeBe Nycole inspired tucked away updo:

How do you rock your old wash and go’s?

Christina Patrice

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.
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8 years ago

What would you call “letting it ‘fro out”? I’ve been experimenting with washing every four days but I wasn’t able to do it this week so on day 6 I did a very light picking-out with my fingers and a little oil. Normally I would have pulled it back into a puff or a bun but instead I just left it out and went to work. One of the things I loved and still miss about my TWA is the ability to literally wash and go (or rinse and go) whenever I wanted without it taking up a huge amount… Read more »

8 years ago

Hey LBell. You’re description of lightly picking out your hair and applying oil sounds like you were styling a fro on your hair. I felt the same way about my TWA. I just tried a wash & go routine yesterday and got great results. I pre-poo’d and finger detangled Saturday night with a mix of Shea Moistures raw shea butter deep conditioning masque & coconut oil. I put a shower cap on and sleep with that mixture on my head overnight. Sunday morning I shampooed/conditioned, lightly dried my hair with a T-shirt until damp. I applied a good amount of… Read more »

8 years ago
Reply to  B3Fearless

Your Sunday morning styling regimen sounds almost exactly like mine. 🙂 I don’t call it a WNG though…I call it a “coily ‘fro” and it’s become my number-1 style for this year. *My* personal time threshold for a WNG is 15 minutes start to finish. With my TWA it was more like 5 minutes start to finish!

8 years ago

I wear wash and gos exclusively and I’m pretty good about doing them every 3 days so my hair never really get old. But if I’ve somehow managed to go beyond that 3rd day and I don’t feel like redoing my hair, then I keep it super simple – a bun (with or without added hair), a big high afro puff, or a low ponytail with a middle part. If I have the time then I’ll occasionally do a side swept updo and use a little gel on the section that’s left out.

8 years ago

Whaooo great post but still dreaming to get my hair to that length. I just got the BC 3 months ago and go now 2 inches of hair.

7 years ago

Did anybody else start singing Missy’s “Work It” after reading the title lol

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