Can You Successfully Wash and Go Long 4B/4C Hair?

Can You Successfully Wash and Go Long 4B/4C Hair?
LEFT: Straight almost WSL hair (shot from July 2012). RIGHT: Shrunken, un-combed, damp hair (January 2013).  Shrinkage never ceases to amaze me.  Hair eventually shrinks to EL once dry.

By Chinwe of Hair and Health

Back in January 2013, I took down my set of jumbo twists and tried Cynthiarf’s daily wash-n-go regimen for kinky hair.  Wait!  Hold up.  Yes!  Wash-n-gos on my almost waistlength (at the time), 4b/4c hair.  Following is how it all began, how it went and whether I would ever do it again …

This was back in January 2013 and prior to that month, the last time I recall wearing a wash-n-go was when my hair was around shoulder-length or maybe a little longer than that.  It’s a well-known reality that once your kinky hair got past a certain length, wash-n-gos would become the enemy and bring about mass destruction in its path.  (Okay, that last bit is a tad dramatic but I digress.)

In January, though, I was kind of forced into wash-n-gos.  My jumbo twists had gotten fuzzy, I had undergone a serious surgery and the idea of doing my usual twist routine was not an option – physically. So, it was either experiment with Cynthiarf’s method OR get braid extensions, the latter of which I did not have the money or physical energy to do.  So, I picked the former.  I will admit that I was extremely frightened of getting knots and tangles considering my length and shrinkage.  (See EXHIBIT A – the above photo.)

After allowing hair to dry some.

To my surprise, the regimen worked out well, and by “well,” I meant without the anticipated matted disaster I was almost certain would happen.  I experienced very little knotting and tangling due to Cynthia’s daily finger combing method to remove shed hair.  (The method really only took me about 10 minutes daily tops.) It also helped that my hair was thoroughly detangled prior to the jumbo twists (hence hardly any tangles when starting the routine).  I kept this regimen going for two weeks until I was able to go back to my regular twisting routine.

Since that January, I have kept the wash-n-go as a viable option for the summers, especially when I just want the freedom to have water hit my hair and scalp daily.  However, the massive shrinkage does still scare me, so you won’t really catch me going overboard. I avoid the following when opting for the wash-n-go:

1) maintaining the wash-n-go routine beyond a few weeks,

2) touching my hair in its shrunken state

3) skipping more than one day between finger combing sessions

4) using shampoo during the routine.

Although the knots and tangles are minimal,  the majority of them do occur in the back where my hair is finer so I have to give that area special attention. (Hence, if you have long AND fine 4b/4c strands, I would personally recommend that you be extra cautious if you want to try this method.)

Stretched wash-n-go (via braids I did not allow to dry all the way).

Wash-n-go after air-drying throughout the day.  (I swear I can enter a shrinkage contest.  Where’s the application?)

What I probably love most about this method is that it has given me a sense of comfort and confidence in handling and wearing my hair in its completely shrunken state.  Never did I think that would be possible past shoulder length!  Additionally, I like that each day of the routine leads to my hair becoming easier to finger comb.  I believe Cynthiarf alludes to why (as well as why this method works for our hair in general) in this response to her youtube video …


So, look forward to the wash-n-go making another appearance at some point this summer!  For those who are interested in trying her method, here is the link to her video tutorial.

Ladies, have you tried Cynthiarf’s method? Does this change your view on wash and gos?

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