Why Your Wash and Go’s Keep Failing and How to Fix It

Wash and go’s involve letting your natural hair shine in all of its glory. This style encourages your curl pattern to form and fall naturally, allowing you to determine the health of your strands as well as your hair’s attributes in its natural state – how does your hair hold up in various climates, how much shrinkage is present, etc. On the other hand, if your wash and go’s aren’t turning out the way you want them to more often than not, it is more than likely a fixable misstep. Here is why your wash and go’s keep failing in your natural hair and how to fix it:

wash and go's keep failing
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Why Your Natural Hair Wash and Go’s Keep Failing:

1) You have heat and/or chemical damage

The frequent use of heat tools, hair dyes, or relaxers, can cause irreversible damage to the structure of your hair strands. Not only can the health of your hair be impacted, but this damage can also change the way your hairstyles turn out and may be the cause of a failed wash and go. Straight-end pieces, a looser curl pattern than usual, etc. are often visible signs of heat and/or chemical damage in the hair.

The fix: Irreversible hair damage will eventually have to be cut off – either gradually trimmed off or with a big chop. In the meantime, you can try finger coiling the damaged pieces to get some curl formation. You may also want to try twist-outs and braid-outs that can help to mask the damage temporarily.

2) It’s time for a trim

Another reason why your wash and go’s keep failing is because your hair is due for a trim. If we go too long without a trim, split ends can begin to travel further up the hair shaft, creating the look of thin, tapered, and frizzled ends. This, of course, can affect the way your wash and go’s turn out. Even if your hair isn’t due for a trim, a nice shaped haircut can drastically change the way your wash and go’s turn out. Maybe try getting some layers cut for added dimension and volume.

The fix: Click here to check out 5 signs it’s time for a trim in your natural hair.

3) Your hair is not adequately moisturized

Are your wash and go’s starting off looking right, but by end of the day have frizzed up and dried out? You may not be adequately moisturizing your strands beforehand. While the weather can certainly play a factor in frizz, if your wash and go ends up drying out each time you walk out of the house, you may want to try adding additional layers of moisture. This is especially true for naturals with coily and kinky hair types, or those who have high porosity hair. Afro-textured hair is prone to dryness, so it is essential that you are providing your strands with a plentiful amount of moisture and are retaining it.

The fix: You may have heard of the L.C.O. and L.O.C methods for retaining moisture. With your wash and go’s, try to first apply a moisturizing leave-in conditioner. Then, follow up with your styling product, and then an oil to seal. These additional layers of moisture should help to make your wash and go last longer throughout the day.

wash and go natural hair

4) Your styling products simply aren’t a fit / have the wrong ingredients

If your wash and go’s just aren’t doing it for you, it may simply be the styling product you are using that isn’t the right fit. For example, many styling gels contain certain alcohols that in turn may be drying your hair out. Other styling products have multiple chemicals present in them that may be doing your hair more harm than good.

The fix: Do your research. Read and watch reviews of the product and see the results on those with a hair texture similar to yours. Also, do the research on the ingredients present in your hair products. Click here to see hair product ingredients that are best to avoid:

5) You’re manipulating your hair too much

One way to avoid your wash and go turning into a fail, is to leave your hair alone as it is drying. Manipulating your hair as it dries can disrupt the product setting and result in excess frizz.

The fix: Avoid excessively touching your hair as it is drying. If you happen to notice frizz forming, try spritzing water to the area and smoothing a bit more product in.

6) You didn’t thoroughly detangle

Applying your styling products to hair that hasn’t been thoroughly detangled will result in excess frizz and a wash and go that doesn’t last as long. If you aren’t detangling before you apply your products or as you apply them, this can be a reason why your wash and go’s keep failing.

The fix: Detangle your hair before applying your styling gels/creams. Or, you can detangle as you apply your products in sections to comb the product through.

wash and go's keep failing

7) You may need to change the way / method you are applying your products

You may have heard of the shingling method, the raking method, etc. These are certain ways of applying your products to enhance curl definition. The shingling method involves separating and smoothing your curls one by one. The raking method is where you are essentially combing/raking product through your natural curl pattern to encourage more definition. If you want to get more definition out of your wash and go’s, you can try either of these methods. Aside from definition, if you are applying too much product, this could be a reason why your wash and go’s are a fail. Applying products that don’t mix well together can be another reason.

The fix: Read the directions on your styling products. We sometimes skip over this part, but it is beneficial to read and follow. Try not to be too heavy handed with product, as this can cause flaking and visible residue as well as a longer drying time.

8) You’re expecting your hairstyles to turn out like someone else’s

When watching video tutorials, we may sometimes expect that our natural hairstyles are going to turn out like the person’s in the video. This is simply not always the case as no two heads of hair are the same. Your wash and go’s may keep turning out as a “fail” because you are expecting it to turn out like someone else’s. We all have to learn what our own natural hair likes and embrace it in all of its natural aspects.


Aside from wash and go’s, what is your favorite natural hairstyle to wear? Let us know below!

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