Skip to content

What Is a Wash n Go Hairstyle and How Do You Style It?

BY Jana Russick

What is a wash n go hairstyle? In case you don’t know, a “wash and go” is any hairstyle made by using just your natural waves, curls, or coils — no heat tools or diffusers required. Because in this age of hair positivity and the Curly Girl Method*, why risk hair damage when you can embrace your natural hair texture instead? 

Achieving the perfect wash n go style doesn’t necessarily come naturally. It requires a bit of hair care prep and knowledge to master. So here’s a breakdown of what a wash n go style is, how to do one, and a few of our favorite wash n go hairstyles. 

Wash n Go Styles 101

Ever noticed that as you let your hair dry, the wave or curl pattern becomes gradually flatter and less voluminous? When you don’t take advantage of your tresses while they’re still in their wet state, they lose their definition. That’s where you might find yourself re-wetting your locks, using huge globs of gel, and desperately scrunching your hair just to get your natural shape back. 

Wash n go hairstyles prevent this from happening. They maximize your wavy, coily, or curly hair by taking advantage of their natural hair pattern while your hair is still wet. By styling your hair in the shower, you can preserve your natural texture and maintain hair hydration throughout the day. 

If you’re someone who treats your natural texture with straighteners and blow dryers, wash n go hairstyles may be your ticket to restoring your texture and preventing further heat damage and breakage. Habitual heat styling is not good for your locks — and it takes an unnecessary amount of time away from your day. Plus, aren’t you curious to see what you look like without all that heat? (Answer: Stone-cold fabulous!)

Pro Tip: 7 ways to prevent heat damage

How to Style a Wash n Go

Now that you know the benefits of wash n go styles, here’s how to prep your hair for them. The best way to start is by doing something you already do: wash your hair. But how do you maximize a wash routine for your unique hair pattern? By using a custom shampoo and conditioner.

Choose a Custom Shampoo and Conditioner

Every wash n go style starts by washing your hair. But since wash n go styles are all about maximizing your natural curl pattern, don’t just go for any shampoo and conditioner. Get extra definition by choosing a hair washing duo that’s made just for your specific hair type. 

Choose a shampoo and conditioner made to enhance your natural hair texture and help you achieve a smoother texture. This can be especially helpful if you’re recovering from years of heat styling and need extra help defining your natural hair pattern. Adding in a shampoo and conditioner catered towards your wavy, curly, or coily hair type can help retain your shape and improve overall manageability.

Pro Tip: 5 ways to find the best curly hair shampoo and conditioner

Apply Conditioner Generously

Now that you’ve selected your custom washing duo, it’s time to strategically cleanse your locks. Start by working the shampoo through your roots by gently massaging your scalp. Then wash out and get ready to condition.

With a wash n go hairstyle, you want to apply enough conditioner so that each strand is completely lubricated with the product. This maximizes smoothness and hydration and makes it easier to detangle your locks. You can even replace your conditioner with a deep conditioning hair mask to further enhance moisture. Once hair is lubricated, you’ll want to carefully detangle sections of your hair from the end of the strands up. Then rinse out all of your conditioner.

Pro Tip: How to use a hair mask

Time to Style

What sets wash n go styles apart from the rest is that you start styling them in the shower. So while your locks are still soaked, flip your head upside down and start scrunching your waves, curls, or coils. The sections that you’ve already detangled with conditioner should help you get an ultra-defined shape. Once you’ve scrunched to your heart’s delight, it’s time to apply some products. 

Use the LOC (leave-in, oil, cream) method by starting off your styling efforts with a leave-in treatment. This will help lock in moisture and maintain softness and shine in your natural texture. Once you’ve applied this treatment to your locks, it’s time to add oil. 

A hair serum will help protect against frizz and dryness (the enemies to anyone with a curl pattern) and keep that slick, glossy look all day long. Once you’ve added moisture to your hair, apply a curl cream or gel to really amp of the volume and curl definition of your natural texture. 

When you have the look you want, it’s time to jump out of the shower and let your locks dry. Whether you decide to ring out the water or let it dry completely on its own is up to you. The quicker your hair dries, the less you’ll need to squeeze out excess water. By experimenting with your wash n go routine, you’ll figure out how much or how little you’ll want to ring out your locks before letting them dry.

Pro Tip: How to style coarse hair

Try These Wash n Go Hairstyles

Loving the way your wash n go hair looks? That’s great! But if you want to try styling your natural texture into something different, try one of these fun wash n go styles.

Half-Up Hairdo

Try a half-up hairstyle that maximizes volume and brings out the best of your natural hair texture. Divide one-fourth of your hair into an upper section and three-fourths into a lower section. Secure the upper section with a small banana clip to create a waterfall effect.

Voluminous Pony

For extra drama, try a wash n go ponytail style. Start by piling all your hair on top of your head and securing with a tight elastic. Smooth out your roots using a wide-tooth comb and secure loose hairs into the pony with bobby pins.

Pigtail Braids

Want a style that stays out of your face but still shows off your ultra-defined locks? Start by parting your hair down the middle and separating it into two sections. Then French braid each section halfway down the length of your hair. Secure two low ponytails for a cute half braid, half pigtail hairstyle.

Loving the Wash n Go

Not only do wash n go styles save time, but they also take advantage of your natural wave, curl, or coily texture and help save hair from heat damage. By using a customized shampoo and conditioner and styling your hair with the right combination of curl-enhancing products in the shower, you can achieve the ultimate wash n go style.

Want a hair formula that sets you up for a successful wash n go? Then take the Function of Beauty hair quiz and create your custom formula. Whether you’re prone to frizzy, oily, or dehydrated strands, you can add in all kinds of beauty goals to help further enhance your natural hair texture. And whatever your formula is, your hair washing set is created without sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or gluten for those who prefer not to use these ingredients. What a way to wash!

*Function of Beauty is not associated with Lorraine Massey, the Curly Girl Method (“CGM”), or Curly Girl: The Handbook. Reference to the Curly Girl Method is provided for informational purposes only and is accurate to the best of our knowledge, however, it is not guaranteed. Product formulas can change at any time.