TWA styling – What Wash and Wear really entails


First off, I need to tell you that the term “Wash and Wear” has a very loose interpretation. I remember thinking that I’d be able to do just as the term implied. Boy I was so wrong. The emphasis is on the word AND. I really wish that natural hair enthusiasts would tell us that. But wait, I’m one too now so it’s my duty to let you know.

If I must be really honest, sporting a TWA is not always an easy task. It’s quite high maintenance. If your hair has ever been short you’ll know that even blowdrying it is a hassle. Your hair will never look the way it did when your stylist cut it and performed her miracles.

Like any hairstyle, mastering the maintenance takes time. You have get to know your head and your hair in order to get it right.

First off, styling starts with fresh clean hair. What most naturals call “Wash Day”. Some prefer soaking wet hair and other prefer damp hair. Personally I prefer damp hair. With Cape Town’s chill at the moment I can’t be walking around with a wet head. And yes, there is plenty of walking. It takes time and I walk round the house to give my arms a break every so often.

Wash and Wear explained

You wash and condition and apply oil and apply cream and apply gel/other actuators and twist/coil/Bantu knot/curl rods/whatever and breath and don’t lose your patience and Wear!

The best style thus far is the finger coils. It stays in for a few days after wash day and is the easiest for me to refresh in the morning.

Four day old finger coils

This look was achieved by starting out with damp hair and the LCO method. The products used were (From start to finish):

1. Palmers Shampoo
2. Palmers deep conditioning mask
3. Aunt Jackie’s “Curl La La” Curling Custard
4. Aunt Jackie’s “Don’t Shrink” Elongating Gel
5. John Frieda Repair oil (Normally I’ll use olive oil but I ran out so I grabbed some of my daughter’s stash)


After washing your hair, pat it “dry” with an old (clean) T-shirt or a microfiber towel if you have one. Then you section your hair and apply generous amounts of product (Curling Custard) on your hair. I would say apply to all hair at first and not just the section you’re going to start with. Your hair will start absorbing the product and won’ t frizz too much while you’re busy with the smaller sections.

Then you take a small piece of hair, depending on how big you want your coils to be, apply the gel and coil. A few times around your finger should do the trick. Once you’ve got the hang of it you can take two pieces at a time and twist on both hands. Mine never goes in the same direction but it doesn’t matter. It does work out in the end.

Once you’re done with all your coils, you can apply the oil. That’s if you also decided on the LCO (Liquid Cream Oil) method. And Voila. You are done.

Freshly done, still damp coils

I don’t generally worry about how I sleep and I break all the rules nightly because I forget to wrap my hair or cover my pillow with satin. You may want to do that but it’s not a train smash if you forget.

PS: Since it’s winter, I dry my hair by placing a diffuser attachment to my hairdryer. If you have a hood hairdryer that would be perfect too.

PPS: Fluff your coils by using a fro pick once it’s completely dry for that extra volume. It is a TWA after all.

With love,


Leave a Reply