Which Wash-n-Go Should Your Client Get?

Which Wash-n-Go Should Your Client Get?

The Wash-n-Go (or as we sometimes call it, a hydrate-and-define) is a staple style in the natural community. Unfortunately, it has a bit of an infamous reputation due to its perceived achievability. Many naturals have struggled to achieve their version of a successful wash-n-go. This is often due to the products, application, or overall maintenance of the hair. Sometimes, your client may need YOU to show them how gorgeous their natural curls are. I’ve personally had to convince some of my clients that wash-n-go would look beautiful on them. They were typically hesitant because they’d attempted and failed before. I believe it’s our duty as stylists to show our clients the true potential of their hair and help them further embrace their beauty.

So, let’s talk about the wash-n-go!

Why Do We Love This Style?

I recommend wash-n-gos for the following reasons.

  1. They don’t require a lot of manipulation. This style doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. All your client has to do is not get it wet while they bathe, cover it at night, and shake it loose in the morning! This is an easy style that allows its wearer to get up and go.
  2. There’s no tension. This style lets the scalp and hair hang loose. A tension-free scalp is a happy scalp!
  3. They show off your client’s natural curls. A lot of us have been tricked into thinking our tight curls aren’t presentable. Even within the natural community, there is an emphasis on loosening your curls via curl rods or twist-outs. Those styles are still natural and stunning, but only wearing them can create a warped perspective of your client’s natural hair. Wash-n-gos highlight how stunning each and every curl is.
  4. Clients get inspired by their hair’s beauty. This ties into the reason above. I’m overjoyed every time I hear a client tell me that she loves her hair and didn’t know her curls could do this style.

    There are 2 Types…

    Every client is different and so are their preferences. Having a conversation about your client’s expectations and lifestyle will help both of you decide which version of a wash-n-go that best suits them.

    The Wash-n-Go for Elongation

    Elongated wash-n-gos have more definition and less frizz. This type of wash-n-go starts off with curls that are already lengthened from ample water. The wet hair has a styler applied to it, then the curls are carefully separated. Drying the hair immediately after the gel application creates a cast on the hair. The best part? As days pass, an elongated wash-n-go will naturally become more voluminous as water evaporates from the hair. This style is perfect for establishing a curly cut or for clients who want their wash-n-gos to start condensed and end expanded.


    The Wash-n-Go for Volume

    A voluminous wash-n-go is for those who want bigger hair right away. The truth is, not everyone wants an elongated wash-n-go. For your clients who love their hair big but still want the benefits of a wash-n-go (as opposed to doing a fro), this style is better suited for them. You can achieve this as a stylist by being strategic about the type of styler and drying technique you use. A styler that provides a soft hold will allow your client to walk out of the salon with their desired volume. As days pass, the hair will go from big to bigger. Bigger hair also means less curl definition, so be sure your client is comfortable with a curly fro.



    Lifestyle Matters

    When helping a client decide which wash-n-go they want, have them consider their lifestyle. Do they prefer a wash-n-go that will last them a full week or are they okay with redoing their hair every few days?

    Stylist tip: It should be noted—and explained to your client—that frizz and definition usually sit on opposite ends of the spectrum depending on hair density. Using the right product, the correct amount and application techniques, and drying the hair will determine how both types of wash-n-gos will set. 

    Key Factors to Keep in Your Client’s Mind

    As a stylist, you can do only so much for your client. Even if their hair is damaged, uneven, or chronically dry you will most likely have the tools and knowledge to make your client happy while they’re in your chair. It’s important, however, to remind your client that the overall health of their hair is determined by their hair habits.

    Keep your client well-informed about how to make healthy hair choices. These are the key things I encourage my clients to incorporate into their regimens.

    1. Routine maintenance such as weekly cleanses and quarterly trims.
    2. Use high-quality products that are plant-based and/or water-soluble.
    3. Use products correctly. Misuse of products can cause damage to the hair or lackluster results.
    4. Protect the hair every single night. Securing the hair at night with the correct materials will reduce breakage and improve hydration retention.

      Quick conclusion

      As stylists, a large part of our job should be educating our clients. We should be a helpful resource for everyone who sits in our chair. Defining the different types of wash-n-gos with your clients shows that you care about their preferences. It gives them the opportunity to explore a style and figure out what works best for their lifestyle.

      Tightly textured curls have been misunderstood and underserved for generations, meaning most of our clients haven’t been taught the best methods to take care of their hair. Our role as their stylist is to debunk misconceptions and show our clients how to achieve their personal hair goals in a healthy way. We have to serve them with integrity and treat them as individuals, not as a means to a paycheck.

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