Here's How to Achieve the PERFECT "Wash and Go" for Type 4 Curls

By: Alesha Faulkner

One of the beautiful things about natural hair is its versatility.
Straight, wavy, curly, kinky; the sky is the limit with the styles you can achieve. All you need is some skill and a little creativity (OR a bomb stylist, but that’s for another day). With that being said, let’s face it sis; we know that no matter what product we have in our PJK "Product Junkie Kit", some styles like a wash and go are much easier to achieve given a certain curl pattern. 
For example, let’s talk about my experience with a wash and go…… *cue dramatic music*
 I am a proud 4b/4c natural and up until recently I had always believed that a wash and go just wasn't a styling option for my hair type. What I now know, is that a wash and go is not only a realistic style for 4b/c hair types; but it can be a bomb styling option if executed properly. I know what you’re thinking...
What about the shrinkage?
What about the tangles and the knots?
What about the mushroom effect?
(If you’re not familiar with the mushroom effect, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Lol)
Yes, I used to experience all of these things with my wash and go’s; but this last one chile, it made me a believer! So let’s get into it. Here are the steps I took to achieve a PERFECT wash and go style for type 4 curls. 
To start, I washed my hair with Bella Curls Nourishing shampoo. Tip: For an easy wash day routine, check out my helpful video here. 
I then deep conditioned with Crème of Nature Detangling and Conditioning Conditioner. Be sure you don't skip that step because you need clean, super moisturized hair to get the best definition.
After deep conditioning, I applied extra virgin olive oil to my hair and rinsed (as an oil rinse to seal in moisture after my hair dried) Then, while in the shower, I sectioned my hair into four sections and worked on one section at a time with soaking wet hair. I began working in Cantu Beauty Coconut Curling Cream and Wetline gel in very small sections to define my curls as best I could chile. Its best to apply the gel and create spirals using your fingers as you finger detangle through each section.
Whew! It definitely took some time. To be more specific, let's just say my water was almost ice cold when I finished.
Then came the drying process 😩😩 It took forevaaaa!! I estimate it took around 7 hours and that was WITH a diffuser nozzle on my blow dryer 😒  The whole experience was true to the saying "Anything worth having, doesn't come easy." 
That being said, here is my 100% completely dry result....

A post shared by Alesha F. (@aleshanokeys) on

It's like a curly defined afro, which I love!!!
My takeaways…
  1. Don't do this at night. It takes forever to dry and you NEED it to be dry before you sleep on it.
  2. As a 4b/c natural, your results won't look like your fav 3b/c natural, and that's ok. Just know that before you start.
  3. Using a gel with good hold helps us keep our curls defined longer.
  4. Our hair is prone to tangles in its natural, shrunken state, so take extra care when coming out of a wash and go. Prepoos, oil rinses, steamers, and other measures of getting extra moisture will be your friend on wash day.
  5. It may take several attempts with different product combinations to get your best results. So don't let one bad turn out turn you off to the WnG.
  6. Defining your hair in smaller sections results in bigger hair when it dries, and defining your hair in larger sections results in less volume, but you may also experience less tangles, so that is something that could work if tangles is a problem for you.
  7. After day one, you can use a banding technique to add length and lessen the mushroom effect. If you want to add length on day one, AFTER YOUR HAIR IS COMPLETELY DRY, use the concentration nozzle on your blow dryer and stretch the hair wherever you want to add length. (I usually stretch the back, bottom layer).
That’s all folks!!

The wash and go is possible, even as a 4b/c natural. You just have to know what works for your curl pattern. And it’s definitely not JUST a wash and go for us! It’s a wash, and work, and wait, and WERK! Overall, I will definitely revisit this style this summer. Maybe not all the time, but I will be putting them in the rotation.


Comment below to let me know if you have any questions 😙  and be sure to share with any type 4 curly girls you know. 


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