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365 Days of Wash and Go Instagram Challenge

Starting Year 2022 I’m a 365 days out of a year wash and Go Natural again! I just wanted to go back to my roots and see my natural hair thrive and clump again without major manipulation. What are my roots? My source of clumped type 4c hair has always been the Maximum Hydration Method.

It all started somewhere 2013 when I saw videos with women of my tight curly hair that were rocking wash and go sets using Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Detangler and Kinky Curly Curling Custard or Uncle Funky’s Curly Magic Hair Stimulator Gel. I was so amazed that I did not blink and eye and started transitioning my chemically relaxed hair in 2014.

The information out there was so different from what I begin my interest for my own natural hair in 2008. By the time I went natural in 2010, I was completely devastated and overwhelmed to be honest. It was a real nightmare to find out my hair is not the silky big curly hair looks I’ve been consuming through hair blogs, long hair forums and Youtube all these month. No matter what I did, my hair stayed cottony with tiny patches of silky hair. The majority did not clump from roots to tips. I could pour bottles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto my hair, it never lay down.

Little did I know that the source of my chronically dry 4c hair issues was my own fault. I rarely washed it and I coated it with heavy products that did everything but not clumping my hair. How come whenever I under processed my hair with relaxer creams or I used texturizing creams, parts of my were always curly? Similar to type 4a and 3c hair strands. Yet rarely did I saw uniform curls and waves with my own natural hair.

It took me years to finally realise we Black people had various formation of curls. There’s no one curl or wave formation. There are multiple patterns out there that we were simply not aware of because of the Andrew Walker Hair System, Internet and cultural believes Black communities. All these projections created so many misconceptions that even in Year 2022, twelve years after my first big chop, the naturally curly hair world is still floated with wrong information about curl clumping in type 4 hair.

All I needed to see uniform clumping of hair strands was a regular hair wash and the use of styling products that could hold these clumped hair strands. I didn’t need to belong to a certain ethnic tribe, my dna didn’t need to be mixed with a silky a hair type and I didn’t need to perm my hair with curl rods.

Looking back, it sounds so simple, but it really isn’t. When you’re coming from a relaxed hair system, which is not taught the right way, you won’t have it easy with your own natural hair. I grew up with shampoos being the number source of dryness in Black Hair. We can not wash it like Mixed People’s Hair and too many hair washes and water will make Our hair fall out. So it is very understandable that once you go natural, you just keep on with what you know. Not realising your hair needs to be clarified and washed regularly to see your true hair texture, which is curly and wavy.

Starting my social media pages with a new start from scratch wasn’t easy in Year 2021. Things had changed a lot and the curly natural hair community was obsessed with long hair more than ever. It was not just about having big, curly, high density hair, now it needed to be waist length to build a trust worthy reputation. Something that I didn’t achieve, because I belonged to the opposite spectrum of curls very far away from social media standards. Curls that have the tendency to shrink up to 80%, never showing their true length. Curls that don’t look like curls from far away. Who would find them beautiful? I showed them anyway and realised the wish for switching up braids and twists is big. But many simply didn’t know how to get their natural curls as defined as my own.

It was also the Summer me finding about the 30 Day Hair Detox Challenge that totally surprised me. All I always knew was the Maximum Hydration Method with frequent hair washes, the use of clay masks and botanical gels. I didn’t need to buy high end salon worthy hair care products in order to achieve long lasting wash and go stylings. And I certainly did not need paid subscriptions or books to learn about the basics of hair care. All I ever needed was google and the ability and luck for research to find free answers.

Which is the main reason I started the 365 Days of Wash and Go Challenge on Instagram with daily mini vlogs of my hair. My goal is to show that it’s not about the use of botanical styling gels or clean beauty brands. It’s about understanding basic hair care and knowing what is needed to achieve the best curl definition and lasting hold. We can’t be that ignorant and exclude the majority of the tight curly hair “nation” that don’t have the resources of paid subscriptions and ever lasting access to wifi. Why can great hair & healthy care only be achieved with products that sum up a 1-3 month salary of people working in different parts of the world? Shouldn’t hair care be accessible to everyone according to its financial budget?

There’s a reason why only a small minority can afford luxury items and the rest has to be happy with regular common items. But it doesn’t mean, it’s bad. A car is a car regardless of it being a Ferrari or a Renault Clio car. A bag is a bag regardless of it being a Louis Vuitton or Aldi bag. All these items serve a function and not just prestige. It’s sad, but not everyone can afford organic food. The market price and your own finances will dictate what you’re willing to afford. You can find very affordable and good hair care lines that aren’t 100% sourced organically or botanically, but will still serve the purpose of keeping your hair beautiful.

The main function of shampoos and cleansers are to lift the dirt & oils away from your hair. Conditioners are designed to make your hair smooth and to bring down the ph from lifted cuticles during the cleansing phase. Brushes and Combs will untangle matting and take out shed hairs. Styling products are there to give a specific hair style you want to create Hold once it dries. This is it.

Every styling product is formulated in a different way and depending on your own hair structure, density and past hair care routines (that alter your hair porosity), the outcome will always vary. What do you need to know when you have very tight curls and waves? One styling product is usually not enough to hold your hair for days, unless you’re interested in washing and restyling your hair every two days.

A combination of curl defining agents and strong hold agents are your best friends. Look out for gels that are high in humectant ingredients like Glycerine or Aloe Vera Juice. Then layer a second gel or mousse on top for good hold. Depending on the season, you may need to switch up the styling products in humid weather time. Using styling products very high in humectants will make your hair sticky and cause more shrinkage than usual. So you better use less or have staples that can be switched.

Many black curl specialists don’t want to hear this, but sometimes it’s really trial and error of styling products, if they don’t give you enough options for wash and gos sets. Products and wash and gos work very different in humid weather areas. No one should tell you to stop your curl defining hair style because you live in parts of the world, where it rains all days. Others also wear their naturally curly hair when it’s raining, so why shouldn’t we tight curly heads be able to wear it, even if it means to keep it in a ponytail outside and open at home.

Ideally you don’t want a lot of volume the first days after the wash and go set. You want it as defined and condensed for a few days and natural expansion as the week goes by. Volume is wonderful, but volume also creates frizz and less definition. Our hair is naturally prone to more frizz and comes with a lot of volume, because of the tight spiral and wave formations. So we ideally don’t need to excessively lift our roots, like other curly heads would need on their first days.

Now looking at this basic summary, it doesn’t take a lot to define your natural curls. I will be slowly uploading all the successful wash and go sets I did as blog posts, so that you can always come back to read my reviews. There are so many hair care brands and good options out there and nobody should look down to you, because you can’t afford certain brands. Maybe all you need is just to save up for one or two styling products and have the versatility of choosing shampoos and conditioners that aren’t expensive. It’s time that you find your own balance and stick to it. Let me filter the product junkie out of you. 😉


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