How to Achieve The Best Wash ‘N Go on Fine Natural Hair

Last updated on June 20th, 2020 at 10:28 pm

wash and go fine naural hair

One of the reasons you went natural was because you wanted to embrace your natural curls. You wanted to rock your naturally curly hair in all of its gloriousness (Cue the harps).

Then, when you starting doing the natural girl’s signature hairstyle…The Wash ‘n Go, all didn’t go as planned.

Limp noodle spaghetti looking curls. That was the result and it’s quite common for those of us with lower density fine natural hair.

wash and go hair challenge

Why does  the fine haired natural’s wash and go suck so much???

After all…You followed your favorite Youtuber’s wash and go tutorial to the letter. You used the same technique and you even used the same exact hair products. So why after you’ve been a model student, does your hair look like you stuck your finger into an electrified outlet? I mean, lookin’ straight electrocuted!

For starters, those of us with fine natural hair should NOT be using the same hair products OR techniques as someone with a thicker head of hair or heavier weight strands. You have to do things differently to achieve your best hair.

laying edges on fine natural hair

First, let talk about products…

Fine Hair Approved Wash ‘N Go Products

Some hair products are just too heavy for fine hair. When you combine certain products, the results are even less stellar.

Instead of using the products that everyone else is using (because they are the “go-to’s”), after washing and deep conditioning your hair try using these products (in this order):

    • Argan Oil – You can still seal the moisture into your hair with an oil; Just not any oil.  Argan oil is seriously like liquid gold.  It’s so lightweight and absorbable that your fine strands will eat it up, reflect beautiful shine and there will be no build up whatsoever.  What’s best is a little goes a long way which is marvelous because the good stuff isn’t cheap

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  • Water based leave in conditioner – This will impart additional moisture and nutrients to your tresses
  • Mousse or water based Cream Styler (with a lotion like consistency). These types of products serve to define your curls without weighing them down. Fluffy, springy curls is what we’re going for and a mousse or water based cream styler will get the job done.

wash and go fine natural hair

Notice, there’s no gel on this list. Gels are great at providing your wash and go will a longer lifespan, but most gels are much too heavy for finer strands. There are a couple of gels that I do recommend for a longer lasting wash and go on fine natural hair (CurlPrep Around the Way Gel and the pink EcoStyler Curl and Wave Gel) but if you are heavy handed with your product application, use them at your own risk.

Now, let’s talk about techniques…

Recommended Wash ‘N Go Technique for Fine Natural Hair

Before I share the recommended technique for doing wash and go’s for those of us with fine hair, let’s examine some popular techniques use to defining those curls:


Perhaps the most common of all techniques, smoothing is pretty self explanatory. Styling products are smoothed onto the hair shaft in medium to large sections.

Rake and Shake

This method requires you to rake styling product(s) through the hair in sections using your fingers. To finish off the section, you’d hold the ends and shake the section from side to side. Alternatively, after raking all product(s) through the hair, you would shake your head from side to side. This encourages the curls to separate in a manner that they would naturally fall. Some ladies choose to rake but not shake. It’s a matter of preference.


Product is loosely worked into the hair and scrunched into the hair starting at the ends. This method is fast and encourages curl definition at the ends but doesn’t necessarily provide for even product distribution throughout the hair.


This method is the most time consuming of the four but yields the most defined curls. You work in very small sections, applying a styling product throughout the section and then smoothing each individual curl from root to tip using your thumb and pointer finger.

So, which method is best for fine hair?

Since the goal is to achieve a combination of defined curls with more fluff than flat, go for either the Smoothing or the Scrunching method. By simply, NOT defining every single hair like with the shingling method, you get more volume.

I like to smooth product throughout my hair in larger sections and then scrunch the ends. This combo of methods yields the most appealing results.

Drying Your Wash and Go

The last step to finishing up your best wash and go is how you choose to dry it. Using a hair dryer on cool with a diffuser will give your wash and go a lot more volume. I prefer to air dry so if you are like me and are willing to sacrifice a little volume for time by air drying, you can still enjoy the best of both worlds. Well, sort of.

Simply take an old t-shirt and blot out the excess water from your hair while holding your head forward, allowing the curls to dangle while you blot. This speeds up drying time but also encourages a little more volume (side note: this is the only acceptable time to use cotton material on your hair).

An alternative is to use the plopping method . An added benefit is reduced frizz:

plopping to define curls

Have you tried any of the methods I shared? What were your results?

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  1. Hello Michelle ,
    I can’t do any of these styles as of yet as my hair is cut down in a tapered Ceasar like cut , trying to grow it out now. Any suggestions or tips for me?? Thank you in advance.


  2. hi Michelle which products to use on fine hair in the summer, i am so confused
    please let me know really appreciate. Thanks Pauline

    1. hi Pauline- I use lighter weight products in the summer time. The Mane Choice and Camille Rose Naturals products are great to use year round. I think you can ditch butters in the summer as long as your hair is well moisturized and your styling product contains a healthy natural oil. You really have to test various products out on your hair and see what works best. It’s also a good idea to use a product that products your hair from sun damage if you plan on spending time in the sun. I don’t really do it because it’s rare that I’m in the sun for long. When I do, I just make sure I deep condition a lot.

  3. Thanks Michelle I find doing these steps to my hair has definitely helped me with volume for my fine natural hair.

    1. Hi Tiaka- I’m glad its working for you. I’ve shelved wash and go’s til the summer. So much going in my life right now (update soon) I’m keeping my hair stretched so it doesn’t break

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