Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wash N' Go for Thick, High Density Curls

At some point late in my last pregnancy, when I'd grown too big and uncomfortable to do my hair, even the average wash day felt like a huge chore that I wasn't up to tackling (can any of you moms relate?). So I came up with an easy way to wash and style my hair that also allows me to wear my natural curl pattern, something I haven't been able to accomplish until now.

Enter the "Pseudo Wash N' Go."

Typically I don't do traditional WnG's because my hair is so thick and dense (read: each strand is thick and I have a lot of those thick strands closely packed together) that it shrinks, tangles and frizzes quickly as it dries. I've tried applying a ton of product to weigh it down, but then product just ends up getting on everything (think of Soul Glo..."Just let your soul GLO! Let it shine throuuuuugh..."). 

Why "pseudo"? Because unlike your traditional WnG you're not washing then wearing your hair out immediately. Actually it's more of a twist-out but I call it a WnG because you're wearing your natural curl pattern.

Here are the steps to achieving a virtually shrinkage-free, hassle-free "wash n' go":

1. Wash or co-wash your hair and detangle. 

2. Part your hair so it falls how you want it to once the twists are out.

3. Moisturize and set your hair in large, chunky twists. I like to start in the back and work my way forward. To moisturize I keep my hair wet with a spray bottle, use SheaMoisture's Reconstructive Conditioner as a leave-in then seal with EVOO. (I've found that the "LCO Method" works better for me than the "LOC Method.")  

4. For extra definition in the front: I do two large flat twists going to the left and one going to the right. This really makes my curls pop and helps keep them defined.

5. Allow twists to dry completely (I let them air dry for a day) then release and fluff. If you prefer a more crisp and defined look then don't separate the twists too much and take your time, especially with the ends so they don't frizz out. But if you prefer some frizz, then fluff away! Big hair is on the way :) 
Top left: two flat twists & chunky twists; Bottom left: air dried & releasing twists;
Right: fluffing and separating

The two flat twists in front going to the left.
This pic was when I'd re-twisted for less shrinkage
(see next section).
High definition from flat twists in the front

How to Reduce Shrinkage With This Technique

Last week I discovered how to reduce shrinkage using this technique. It had been a couple days since I'd taken out the twists and my hair was already getting dry (thank you, postpartum hormones). Instead of co-washing I dampened my hair using the spray bottle and re-twisted using the same technique and products mentioned above. Except this time when I released the twists after they had dried my curls had stretched! *happy dance!* I was thrilled because my curls were still really springy, even in the back, where my curl pattern is the loosest.
Curls are POPPIN'!
Hello, kinks and coils! :)

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