Immediately after my big chop, I began defining coils for a wash n go. I remember using Kinky Curly Curl Defining Gel. I got lots of shrinkage. Of course I knew NOTHING about defining coils. I still loved my coily, springy hair though.
When I started to experiment with Braidouts and Twistouts, I stopped doing wash n go's as much. I was working with about 6'' of natural hair, and my hair was just about to enter the "awkward" stage.
Too long for wash-n-go's (but not long enough to hang). Short, but not short enough to be put into a cute hair clip-free wash-n-go styling. The great thing about natural hair is the versatility. When I felt that my hair was not looking good in a wash n go styling, then I did braidouts/twistouts.
I mostly did some sort of pinned back styling, not loose like I wear my coils now (for my w&g). For this post, I'll share the "good, the bad, and the not so good" LoL!
There are a lot of factors that can effect the outcome of a wash n go.
Figuring out my wash n go step-by-step works out great for me. I avoid white product build-up, can avoid too much shrinkage if I want to. I know how to avoid puffy wash n go's (if I want to).
In 2013, I'm about to start learning how to style on a wash n go! It may be easier now that I have about 17'' of hair to work with.
But enough about that, lets get back to our walk down memory lane...
The great thing about wash-n-go's is that the hair is kept in it's natural state. Usually no heat involved (although some people stretch the roots with heat). Wearing the wash n go is an opportunity to keep the hair moisturized. Don't get me wrong, there are products that are used for w&g's that are drying. Stay away from those products (for instance, hair gels/curl definers with alcohol or mineral oil).
In the next few pictures (below), I definitely notice length. I also notice that I start getting the "hang" of laying down my hair. It doesn't hurt that the new length is adding weight and assisting with the "laid down" look.
I start to use less clips and styling accessories to wear my w&g at this new length.
It seems that I'm past the "awkward" length for wash-n-go's, so I start to focus on perfecting the curl definition, the shine/sheen, the way the hair lays, and the texture (I don't like hard-hat curls). I don't mind some crunch to my hair (matter of fact, I need a bit of crunch to hold the curls for a few days), I just don't like when it feels like my hair is glued together.
I love to define curls and then use the ponytail to display them! It's a break away from wearing my hair down--especially when the time is hot. In the above picture, I defined my coils with Jane Carter's Curl Defining Product (can't recall the name right now). It's really great! It's just super expensive. But the ingredients make it pretty worth the money. When you rinse out a product like this from your wash n go, your hair is left soft and ready for it's next style!
So I encourage you to keep searching for your hair's favorite base ingredients to define your coils. No matter the length or the curl pattern (you just have to have a curl pattern). If you don't have a curl pattern, no worries--you can create them (that's a whole different post)!
Take the mystery out of defining coils. Yeah, I slowed down on doing w&g's when my hair was a difficult length, but I didn't rule them out. I'm glad I picked them up again, because I wouldn't want to miss out on yet another one of the MANY versatile and beautiful ways to wear coily hair.
GIRLS WITH COILS HAVE MORE FUN