Skip to main content

I Lose More Hair with Twists Than Wash and Go’s + 6 Tips for Wash and Go Protective Styling

Avatar • Jun 28, 2015

11164578_897569866970435_4054686404790034636_o

Throughout my hair journey (teeny weeny afro to waist length, and still growing!), I’ve mainly worn wash and gos. I like twists, braids, and updos, but I find them extremely time consuming, especially with longer hair (it takes me about four hours to twist my hair). Many people claim that our textured hair can’t grow to long lengths without protective styling, but can you call a wash and go a protective style? My answer — sorta. To me, a protective style is any style that protects your hair from mechanical and chemical damage, allowing it to thrive, mainly focusing on protecting the ends. So by that definition, a wash and go isn’t really a protective style because your ends are exposed to the elements.

However, I do consider it a low manipulation style, which also allows your hair to thrive and minimizes mechanical damage. I would even go as far as to say that if done properly, a wash and go can be better for your hair than twists and braids because those styles require more manipulation to the hair and the ends are still exposed unless you wear them in updos. Wash and gos are one of the lowest forms of manipulation to your hair (basically letting it do its own thing), can be worn for several days, and if your hair doesn’t rub against your shoulders your ends can be protected from the elements if you coat them with oil or another product that decreases friction.

When I do twists and braids, I lose way more hair as I’m doing the style as opposed to wash and gos, and people often retwist their hair frequently to keep the style fresh, which is a lot of manipulation. Also, if you leave braids and twists in for too long and don’t care for your hair properly, it can be a disaster. When I had box braids, I couldn’t imagine how some people don’t wash their hair the entire time they are in braids and don’t moisturize their real hair. And I’ll tell you…I watched a lot of braid videos and saw a lot of busted edges.

If you’d like to try wash and gos as a means to promote hair growth, here are some tips:

1. Decrease tangles by ensuring your hair is properly moisturized and using a holding product to keep your hair from tangling around itself. Check out my video on decreasing tangles for more detail.

2. If your wash and go touches your shoulders, decrease friction by wearing clothing that won’t catch on your hair, like leather, silk, or chiffon. This is even easier to do in summer because it’s tank top season!

3. Aim for multi-day hair by using a satin scarf or Sue Maesta hood at night so your hair doesn’t get all mussed up. Fluff it out in the morning and go! This is my night routine (still!) — super easy.

4. Don’t detangle your hair frequently — I usually aim for biweekly detangle sessions, then in between lightly finger detangle in the shower while I’m conditioning my hair.

5. Coat your natural hair with an oil or heavier moisturizer to not only decrease friction, but also help prevent single strand knots and split ends. “Sealing” hair has several benefits, and I definitely recommend it if your hair is longer.

6. Last but not least — let your hair do its thing!! Wash and gos do not have to look a certain way, so don’t spend a ton of time manipulating your hair trying to make it do something that it isn’t meant to do. I remember once I was discussing this with someone and they said that a wash and go isn’t a style, but more of a method. As I always say, let your hair be and it will thank you!

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with traditional protective styles, but it’s important to explore other options and see what works for you. Happy wash and going!

Do you think wash and gos can be a protective style?

 

 

 

//

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
20 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
herlucidsky
5 years ago

There are some people that do wash n go’s with conditioner and or butter/oil only, so in this case I would not consider it as a low manipulation or protective style because there is not much hold to keep the strands organized like gel would. For my texture, I would only consider wash n go’s as a low manipulation/protective style if the right amount of gel(I use a lot) is applied and if techniques such as yours are used or other similar application techniques which allows the hair to flourish, as we see with your hair. When I did wash n… Read more »

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  herlucidsky

I’m one of those no-gel wash & go folks. My coils are mostly 4a, I have medium to fine strands, and most of my hair is low to medium porosity. (The hair at my temples is high porosity.) I don’t need gel to hold and organize my coils. They do that pretty well on their own. All I need is a good leave-in conditioner and an oil-based moisturizer/sealant. The leave-in conditioner seems to keep my strands lubricated and less likely to tangle/knot around one another. Most of my knots happen if I get too crazy about detangling in the shower.… Read more »

Free Tea
Free Tea
5 years ago

I just came off of a wng streak. It was nice spending less time on my hair and seeing my natural curl pattern, but it had a lot of downsides. 1. Hair that never dried If you’re low-po and tightly textured, your hair might take literally forever to dry once it finally gets wet. I would do my wash and goes on Saturday, and still have damp spots on Tuesday. This was partially because my hair was bound to avoid knotting and friction damage, but 3 days of whet hair is a bit much, imo. 2. Knots and breakage Even while being… Read more »

Rea Fe Greenage
Rea Fe Greenage
5 years ago

Thank you for sharing this information. ?

April Caddell
April Caddell
5 years ago

I also notice I lose the least amount of hair when I wash and go. I have refresh everyday, at this length. But the benefits outweigh the daily upkeep. I’ve “perfected” my routine after many years of trial and error. And I have come to see WnG’s as low manipulation and therefore good for length retention.

kxlot79
kxlot79
5 years ago

Absolutely a WnG can be protective! There are a number of YouTubers and bloggers using WnGs as low manipulation styles (some fully protective by then bunning or roll/pin/tucking) to great effect. I admire these intrepid ladies for inspiring me to wear my own texture as a staple. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with braid/twists or their “out” companions. BUT I feel that Type 4 naturals especially are more encouraged to wear a manipulated texture than the texture that forms more or less on its own. With all the different methods out there (Conditioner Only, CG, MHM, TC etc), I have… Read more »

smartblackgirl2015
smartblackgirl2015
5 years ago

My hair likes the opposite. I two strand twist my hair after washing and conditioning it and wear a twist out. I don’t have to re twist until my next wash day and my hair has been growing like a weed. The twist out starts to mimic a wash and go after about a day but it’s definitely a low manipulation style for me.

vwlover
vwlover
5 years ago

I agree. For me wash and gos have been the best thing for my hair because I have fine strands (but very thick hair). My hair doesn’t tangle a lot with the wash and go. When I wear twists my hair is knotted where the synthetic hair is wrapped around my hair and it takes a lot to remove the tangles. Mind you, I would always moisturize my hair and wash it. No matter what I did my hair would tangle there. Now if I want twists I do the crochet braids method (very minimal knots/tangles if any. 🙂 I… Read more »

Happy
Happy
5 years ago

This may have moreso to do with the type of hair you have. My hair flourishes in protective styles and all my edges are well intact. Wash and Gos are a major NO for me. i have a friend that has hair that does better with wash and Gos as well: she’s more of a 3c and I’m 4c

Tabatha
Tabatha
5 years ago

I’m sure for some people wash and goes are fine, but for me they are a no go. My hair always does well in protective styles I just make sure that I don’t do it too tight. I did learn from that mistake. I’m 3C to 4C as well and my hair is low porosity and and very thick, so my hair holds on to the water for ever which in the past has caused scalp issues, so no to wash and goes.

Jam
Jam
5 years ago

Semi protective style absolutely! I have kinky hair so I have to redo my wash n go every 2 or 3 days… between a cream cleanser and co-washing. When I first started doing them that often I remember losing lots of hair each time! Which is why most naturals with kinky hair don’t like to do wash n gos… but my sistas you must perservere! My hair has gotten so moisturized now with this regimen that I lose very little hair detangling my hair while washing and styling my wash n go. I also make sure I alternate between stretched… Read more »

jwelch
jwelch
5 years ago

wash and go’s and two french braids are all I do now and its so easy i shampoo and deep condition on Sundays and then co wash on Wednesday i loose a lot less hair now

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

I can’t say I can’t wash and go and it look good but it’s not my ideal. For one I like to wash at night because mine take a long time to dry and I don’t like walking out with wet hair. 2) I get more ssks. 3) my shrinkage varies greatly ad I get a weird shape. However we all have to find our way. Some people think it’s weird that I’m a 4 and wash my hair more than once a week and never wear braids. If I leave my hair long in braids it tangles bad. I’m… Read more »

britt
britt
5 years ago
Reply to  Cosita

3 months!? That doesn’t seem very hygienic…

good2bfree
good2bfree
5 years ago

WnG’s are a no-no for my 4B/4C hair. My hair has been thriving in twists, and I’ve seen my best length retention with them as well. I twist them into some type of bun, or other braided styles, leave that style for 4–5 days, take it down, remoisturize, and all is well. What works for some may not work for others.

tracena barnwell
tracena barnwell
5 years ago

Wash n gos have become my fav style, my hair has thrived since rocking them. I don’t get tangles & hardly notice any knots. I like twist outs but it’s too much manipulation which can cause my scalp to be sore.

herlucidsky
5 years ago

That’s awesome that you can get away with wearing a wash n go without gel and not experience excessive frizz, tangles and knots. That’s the beauty of afro textured hair, each head is unique. Do you experience a lot of shrinkage with your wash n go? That wouldn’t work on my high density hair and thick strands, especially since I have different textures. Certain parts of my hair would shrink up causing more issues. I might be able to just get one day hair if that much, if I were to do a wash n go with just conditioner/oil/butter. That would… Read more »

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  herlucidsky

I do get shrinkage, but I don’t mind. The hair in the middle of the back of my head is coarser than the rest and coils more tightly, with more shrinkage than anywhere else. Instead of stretching it, I just make sure it’s extra lubricated with leave-in conditioner to stop it from knotting up. Anyway, I took a couple of shrinkage pictures today, shortly after my workout. They show how a sweaty scalp and neck cause my hair to frizz up a bit (and shrink even a bit more in the back than usual, apparently). You can also kinda see… Read more »

herlucidsky
5 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Beautiful coils and curls! Coils galore!! And your shrinkage is incredibly deceiving! People who do not yet understand afro-textured hair may be shocked at how long it really is once stretched. Your hair is lovely! When I did wash n go’s with gel, it was so very easy to maintain compared to braid-outs or compared to a wash n go with no gel because my hair stayed in place for an entire week all due to the gel. I didn’t have to re-wet my entire head, no braiding up at night, just a loose bun or sometimes I slept with… Read more »

Camille
Camille
5 years ago

I do a wash n go 99% of the time, but I refresh it every morning with a little bit of water and styling product. I like to sleep with my hair loose on my pillow and it takes less than 5 minutes each morning. You don’t have to get your hair soaking wet, just a little damp.

20
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Shopping Cart