A lot of people assume that student life—little time, money, and being generally lazy—means being natural is a no-no. The fact that I’m disabled, and a spoonie, usually makes people even more shocked that I manage to be natural. But the reality is that natural hair doesn’t require an excess of cash or energy! To prove it, I’m going to share the results of my latest wash n go, perfect for students and spoonies alike.
‘Wash n go’ isn’t a complete title for this style. It might be more accurate to call it a protective style n go; it begins with an easy, protective style which can be worn for as long as you need before being transformed into a wash n go look!
So if that sounds like your thing, read on…
I used just three products for this style: Alberto Balsalm conditioner, which can be bought for £1 (I recommend the blueberry, coconut or raspberry one for best results); coconut oil, which I buy 500ml for £2.45 from the supermarket; and shea butter, which can cost as little as £2.99 for 100g (though you can splash out on slightly fancier ones, like my favourite by Mour Mour Creme).
After washing my hair (using a new method which I loved and will write about soon!) I layered my products on 60% wet hair. The drier your hairtype, the more wet it should be when you apply products. This helps lock in maximum moisture!
I don’t have a lot of hair, so I only split my hair into two sections to apply the product. However, if yours is more dense, you’ll need more sections. I think the average person will need four, and those blessed with the abundant hair of my dreams may need eight.
Going section by section, I used the following method:
First, I applied a small palm-full of the Alberto Balsalm conditioner to the ends of my hair, smoothing it through until my strands were saturated. Then I worked the product up to the roots, adding a little extra to my coilier, more fragile sections.
Second, I took a ten-pence-piece sized lump of coconut oil and rubbed it between my palms to melt the oil into its liquid state. Once done, I smoothed it through the section, again concentrating on the ends. As the oldest and therefore most delicate part of our hair, our ends need extra moisture!
Finally, I took a small amount of the shea butter, again rubbing it between my palms before applying. I smoothed it solely through the ends of my hair, staying away from my roots. The shea butter acts as an extra sealant and is very nourishing, but if you’ve never used it before I recommend testing it on a small section of your hair first. Those with particularly fine or soft-textured hair may find it too heavy, and unnecessary for this style. It can also be replaced with EcoStyler gel if you prefer more defined styles, but I like mine soft and slightly frizzy!
Once all the products are applied to half your hair, braid it! It doesn’t need to be especially neat or precise; just whack a quick braid in and move on to the other side.
Repeat for all sections; then take your braids and pin them into an up-do using a few grips! Here’s mine:
I have a centre-parting, but you can do yours to the side if that’s how you wear it! The up-do is neat, unobtrusive, protective, and simple.
I left the style in for two days while I finished some essays; then, when I wanted to wear my hair out, I coated my fingers in coconut oil and took down the braids. A few spritzes of water, head-shakes, and fluffs later, and I achieved this result:
My hair was moisturised, glossy and full! Despite being pretty short and thin, it’s approaching mane territory thanks to this method. On top of that, it was incredibly cheap to do, took no time at all, and provided me with a quick, simple protective style too. This is perfect for those like me who often need to leave their hair up for convenience, but want to take it out when needed without too much fuss. So if you’re a student, a spoonie, or both—or neither, but just short on time and money—this protective style turned wash n go is perfect for you too!
If you try this method, let me know how it goes! Comment below, or tag your results on Instagram and Twitter and use the tag
Good luck, and see you next time,