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FEATURES Oct 23 2012 7:42PM
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Techniques For Maintaining Your Winter Wash & Go

by Antoinette of Around the Way Curls

I don’t know about y’all, but my curls pop, lock and drop in the summer. I become a wash/wet and go fanatic. No styles, no twist-outs, no nothing. Anything that entails more than wetting my hair, adding a leave-in and heading out the door is much too much for summer me. But with reality and Old Man Winter rearing its ugly head, I have to get back into the swing of things and gear up for some protective styles. But dare I ask, is there a way to have a successful wash and go while braving the cold weather? The answer is, “Yes” but it’s all in the preparation and technique. See below:

Use a Diffuser:  A diffuser is an attachment for your hairdryer uniquely designed to enhance curl definition and body by distributing heat evenly throughout your hair. I’m a huge supporter of diffusers. While some stay away from heat at all costs, I embrace low heat diffusing in conjunction with Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In and aloe vera juice. This combination, when introduced to heat, acts a semi-deep conditioning treatment for your hair.

After wetting your hair and applying your favorite leave-in conditioner, let your hair air-dry 50-60%. This will allow your natural curl pattern to form. Keep in mind that the diffuser’s bowl-like shape and prongs aid in the formation of a spiral-curl pattern creating tighter curls. The tightness of the curl depends on how close you hold the diffuser to your scalp. 

For added body, flip your head upside down. Begin diffusing at a medium-low heat, starting at the crown of your head. Keep the diffuser there until your hair is dry. Occasionally, check your curl pattern to ensure your curls are not too tight or too loose. Adjust the diffuser accordingly.

Keep in mind, diffusing can take some practice. There are still days when I don't do it right so be patient and give yourself a chance to really master the technique.

Prepare Your Hair At Night: Before I go to bed I wet or wash my hair, add my favorite leave-in conditioner and Hair Milk Alcohol-Free Gel and cover my wet hair in a shower cap. (Some people use a silk bonnet, but I have found that the shower cap clings less to the hair, preserves the shape of the curls better and is more secure.) I sleep comfortably while positioning my head in a way (usually on its side) so that my hair is not being smashed. In the morning, I remove the shower cap and shake my hair loose. If my hair is not fully dry, I allow it to air-dry while I prepare for the day. If it is completely dry, I reset any smashed curls by lightly spritzing them with a spray bottle full of water. After my hair dries, I fluff it and pick it out to its desired shape.


Hat Head: (For thicker hair) Wet your hair in the morning, add your leave-in conditioner and then twist your hair in 6-10 large semi-loose twists. Throw on a loose fitting hat (a slouchy crochet one always works best) and allow your hair to dry while on the go. Untwist your hair and remove the hat right before your hair is completely dry so that your hair has time to expand and take on its natural shape. While my hair is too thin for this technique to work, my fellow “Around the Way Curls” partner in crime, Shanti does this and her results always amaze me. I would recommend anyone with 3c-4c hair to try this technique.


For the Bold and Cold: While I know every grandmother in the world disapproves of this, I have definitely been in a rush and walked out of the house on a wintry day with wet hair. Don’t judge me. But, believe it or not, I did not get sick. This is a last resort kind of thing, but I want you to know it does work. After wetting your hair, towel dry it (I use an old cotton T-shirt because it’s less damaging and doesn’t cause as much frizz), and add your leave-in conditioner and sealant (Try Carol's Daughter Hair Balm Liquid Pomade). With a pashmina scarf, wrap your hair like an old 1960s movie star, and if your hair tends to fall in your face use earmuffs as a headband and let your damp hair dry on the way. It’s not ideal but it is practical.

There you have it. Your wash and go doesn’t have to suffer just because winter is arriving. Feel cool but always look hot.

All products from this article can also be found at your local Target store. 

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