Revisiting the Wash & Go
When I first BC’s about a year and a half ago, I did various versions of the wash and go on a regular basis. I love being able to shower with out any regard for whether or not my hair was getting wet and I love being able to dunk my head under the shower spray and feel the water on my scalp on a daily basis. Afterwards, the resulting styles ranged from cute, to “er, what is going on with your hair today?” I struggled in the beginning with styling and getting used to a new texture. For the first couple of months, I was a product junkie in search of the perfect cream, gel, leave-in, etc that would leave my hair soft and defined. Early on, I learned that to get maximum definition, Eco-styler gel was the best and most cost effective choice. My hair was super defined with this product, but it dried very hard and crispy. It also made my head itch like crazy! As my hair began to grow longer and the weather grew colder, I had to leave the gel behind. The longer my hair grew, the more it looked like I had a small and hard jheri curl. The cold weather also made my hair dry and I was tired of my head being wet and cold.
By the time the summer rolled around, I had enough hair to experiment with twist-outs and they became my new go-to styling choice. I made one attempt to do a wash and go, but I was unhappy with the outcome because of the shrinkage. I had just started seeing more of my length with the twist-outs and I was not willing to sacrifice my length for the convenience of a wash and go. Fast forward to now. I am now 18 months into my natural hair journey and the weather has started to warm up. I have to tweak my routine every 6 months or so it seems with the season changes and the new length challenges. For the summer, I wanted to do something that would be easy and not take a considerable amount of time to do. I’ve realized that I actually like a little frizz and I prefer for my hair to not be super defined, so I thought now would be the perfect time to revisit the wash and go.
A couple of weeks ago, I went gel shopping and posted two gels that I picked up on my Facebook page.
I tried out the Curls Unleashed Set it Off™ Curl Boosting Jelly first for an entire week and I really liked it. The following week I tried the Let’s Jam Smoothing Custard and HATED it! I think if I had started with it the first week, I might have given up on the wash and go.
Here’s the process I used for each:
- I dry deep conditioned my hair and detangled prior to getting into the shower.
- I shampooed with my homemade black soap shampoo with my hair still in sections.
- After shampooing, I added a little V05 Strawberries and Milk conditioner to each section and then washed my body.
- After I was clean, I dunked my head under the shower stream quickly to rinse out some of the conditioner.
- One section at a time, I took down my hair and applied a small dollop of gel and smoothed it through the section.
- As I finished one section, I clipped it out of the way and moved on to the next.
- Once all sections were done, I removed the clips and shook my head violently.
That’s it! Every other day, I would add a little conditioner, cleanse my body and then dunk my head under the shower stream quickly. Shake, shake, shake and I was done. On the days that I did not add conditioner, I just quickly dunked my head under the water and shook.
With the Curls Unleashed Set it Off™ Curl Boosting Jelly, I did not get as much shrinkage as the Let’s Jam Smoothing Custard and my hair dried faster. Although it is pricey (about $15 for 16 oz), I like the ingredients and I like that my hair did not dry crunchy hard. The Let’s Jam Smoothing Custard retails for about $4 – $5 at Walgreens. My hair did not dry soft, because I don’t have soft hair, but as soon as I went outside, I feel that my hair drew in some of the moisture from the air and softened my hair some. I believe this is due to the glycerin that is in the product. Even though it softened from the moisture in the air, my hair did not frizz out any more than it was and I did not loose the definition that I had. I’m sure if I had used more product and gone through my hair in small sections while smoothing the gel through, my hair would have been a lot more defined. Since I prefer to have more of a bushy, afro look, this method and gel were perfect for me. Also, since I do not use a whole lot of product, this gel could probably last me a month and a half or two.
Why I hated the Let’s Jam Smoothing Custard:
First, it took forever to dry and when it did dry it still had a weird tacky feel to it. The tacky feel left residue that you couldn’t see on my hands and hair. Any time I touched my hair, even after it was dry, I had to wash my hands to get rid of the feeling. Second, I had a lot more shrinkage than the Curls Unleashed Set it Off™ Curl Boosting Jelly and less definition even though I used the same technique and in one area of my hair, more product. Third, I have a bunch of random straight hairs that stick out all over the place. They blend in during twist-outs and braid-outs but with the Let’s Jam, they were sticking out all over the place. This gave my wash and go a more unkempt look. I looked like I had just rolled out of bed. Even my puffs looked horrible. Fourth, you HAVE to wash this product out with shampoo. I tried, rinsing, co-washing, rinsing again and I still had that tacky feeling. It did not go away until I had shampooed my hair.
I may experiment with a few others gels later in the summer when the Curls Unleashed Set it Off™ Curl Boosting Jelly starts to run low, but for now, I think I will be rocking the wash and go and wash and go puff looks.
Do you use gel? What is your favorite?
Disclaimer: I purchased both of these products myself and with my own money. I am not a representative of either company, nor am I a licensed hair care professional.