Braid Out Vs Wash & Go

Samio afro hair

I constantly get asked what my hair routine is and what products I use. So I thought it was about time I finally did a hair post detailing my two go to techniques that I regularly use to achieve my most common hair styles.


I regularly do a braid out when I’m busy and don’t have time to wash and dry my hair in the morning. A braid out is achieved by braiding the hair and then leaving the braids in for a length of time before taking out the braids. Once the braids are taken out you should be left with hair which has been tamed slightly as it has taken the shape of the braids, to create loose curls or waves. Obviously the longer you are able to leave the braids in the better the desired result, when taking the braids out. Often perpetration the night before I find works best. A lot of people see braid outs as a chore but for me I find it one of the simplest ways to prep my hair and treat my hair at the same time.

What products should I use and how much should I use?

The first thing I do before I braid my hair is prep my hair with products. If I’ve just washed my hair I’ll usually wait until my hair is almost dry but still slightly damp to add the products. If I’m not washing my hair and I’m just adding more product, I’ll sometimes dampen the hair first by patting it with wet hands. I do this so not to soak the hair but just to lightly wet it to make it more manageable when braiding. The products used can often help to dampen the hair too, again making it more manageable for braiding. I’ll lightly comb through the sections with my fingers before braiding each part.

Which products you use is up to you and it often takes some experimenting and trying out different things to find out which products work best for you.

The products I mostly use when doing a braid out are; Macadamia Oil Treatment and Inecto Coconut Hair Repair Treatment. The Inecto treatment is actually a wash out product but I find it works really well at keeping my curls intact when left in my hair. I’ll usually use about two large dollops of the Inecto treatment for each braid and then run through the ends with a pea sized amount of the Macadamia oil treatment.


How many braids should I do and how should they look?

The amount of braids/plaits you do is up to you. The braids shouldn’t take you hours to do. Depending on how much time I have to spend prepping my hair, I’ll usually do between two and six braids (two when I’m feeling really lazy). The amount of braids you do also affects what type of curl/wave pattern you’ll achieve. Usually bigger braids and plaits give a looser wave and smaller ones create a much tighter wave or curl.

Most times I’ll do five braids and although they don’t have to look particularly neat, it always helps to make one of the parts where you intend to have your actual parting once the braids are taken out.

For this braid out I went for a middle part.

20130901-124735.jpg-Continue braiding the hair like this until you’ve braided all the hair.

Do I need to wrap my hair after braiding?

Before going to bed it’s best to cover your hair with some kind of hair net or scarf, that way it stops friction between the hair and the pillow, as to prevent frizz. If I’m going out and my hair is in braids I’ll usually wear a headscarf.

Taking out the braids

Take out each braid until you’re left with a head of wavy/curly hair similar to this.


How do I separate the hair and make it look more natural?

An important tool to use is an afro comb. If you don’t have an afro comb, don’t panic, you can always use your fingers to tease out the hair.

Start with a wide tooth afro comb and working from the root, gently tease the hair out. Be carful not to drag the comb all the way through the hair, as this will brush the hair out and ruin the style. I’ll usually work on my hair with a smaller toothed comb towards the ends but again, using your fingers is fine and the size of comb is just a preference.


The end result


For a wash and go the technique is easy, you simply need to wash your hair, add your products and let it dry. I tend to do a wash and go when I have more time to wash and dry my hair and when I want to have my natural curls out. It’s all about finding the products that are right for your hair, working out how much to use and when to use them. Serums and oils are good on dry parts of the hair. For example, when I took the pictures for this post I was due a trim, so I used more oil on the ends to help eliminate frizz. Since then I’ve had a hair cut (only a trim I’ve not gone bald or anything) and now I’m able to use less serum/oily products as the ends are in better condition. It’s always good to rotate which products you use anyway, so that your hair doesn’t get use to them and stop producing the same results.

What should I wash my hair with?

You can use shampoo and conditioner. I use a two in one product called Macadamia Flawless (click here to see previous review post), it works wonders on my hair and helps it dry quicker. When I’m in the shower and I still have some of the product in my hair (or conditioner), I’ll comb through it, starting at the ends and working my way up before rinsing.

What products should I use and how much should I use?

After washing my hair I’ll wrap my hair in a towel and leave it to soak up the excess water. Whilst the hair is still damp, I apply my products. Again I use Macadamia Oil Treatment and Inecto Hair Repair Treatment. Other products I like to use are; Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner and Twisted Sister Curl Activator Cream. I like to change which products I use from time to time and will usually use a combination of about two at a time. I probably use around five large dollops of a product, making sure it’s spread evenly through my hair. I’ll use serum or the Macadamia oil treatment to run thought the ends (when needed) and any dry parts.



How should I dry my hair?

I used to be really good and avoid hair dryers as much as possible, letting my hair dry naturally. More recently though I’ve slipped back into my old habits and started using a hair dryer again, hence me using an old travel size hair dryer at the moment. Since I’ve started using a hair dryer again, I should buy a new one that at least ‘claims’ to be gentle on your hair…. Anyway, if you have time it’s always good to let your hair dry naturally but if you’re like me and want speedy results, then you can use a hair dryer and keep it on a lower heat if you want to ‘be good’ to your hair.

As I’m drying my hair, I’ll tend to tease out it out slightly by pulling parts whilst drying it to add length when dried.


How do I make my hair big?

This is a question I get asked a lot and the cut is really important when it comes to this. Layers really help make the hair look thicker and add volume. Another thing that helps add volume is my all time favourite tool, the afro comb!

Once my hair is fully dried, I’m ready to add volume and tease out some of the curls slightly by working though it with my afro comb. The technique is basically the same as when I’m teasing out my hair after a braid out. I’m usually slightly more rough when teasing out my hair after it’s washed and dried, as I know it takes a lot to break up the natural coils and so it won’t ruin the style. I like to tease out my hair and work through it until it starts to get a more natural look, where the curls are still intact but they don’t look too perfect. Most importantly, I like my hair to look big.


The end result


And there you have it, Braid out Vs Wash and go, my two favourite hair routines for styling my afro.

Samio x



  1. Rebecca
    September 2, 2013 / 3:09 am

    Thanks soo much!! This was a brilliant demo of how you achieve your gorgeous styles.

  2. fairytalesandcoffee
    September 7, 2013 / 1:06 pm

    I love BIG hair and started following your blog out of hair envy. My hair is naturally limp/straight-frizzy-fine with a few random waves and I am always trying to figure out how to add more volume and waves/curls. I started doing a lazy braid tail and realized braids added nice wavy volume. Thanks for the multibraid tip. I found that the less silicone or no cones in the product, the fuller my hair is and more volumized. Even though it is knotty as hell to come. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier. Frankly, I wish you did more hair/beauty/fashion posts. You are gorgeous!

    • Samio
      September 9, 2013 / 4:10 pm

      Thank you! That’s so nice of you to say. At least I know someone is interested in my ramblings.

      I intend on keeping up with it and doing many more, so thank you very much for the kind words and support.

      Samio x

  3. Ali
    September 8, 2013 / 12:52 am

    Agreed, it was really helpful to follow through all of the steps toward achieving each style. I tend to be like you and do braid outs most of the time and every once in awhile, a wash and go. I find that “wash and go”s can be harder to maintain overnight.

    Anyway, thanks for the demo and seriously gorgeous styles!

  4. Kayanna Scott-Brown
    October 21, 2013 / 3:21 pm

    Hi, I really like you hair. I was wondering if you do wash ‘n’ go’s during the winter and fall? The weather is changing where I am and I was told it is best to do protective styles during the winter. I am a wash ‘n’ go type of girl and my hair is still short so I am not sure I want to do twist and weaves. Any tips/advice.

    • Samio
      October 23, 2013 / 12:01 pm

      Hi there,
      Thank you!
      Yes I do wash & go’s all year round. I too mostly wash & go but try to do a braid out about twice a week. I agree it is more important to protect your hair in the winter due to the harsh weather but I know it’s not always practical. You can maybe try something as simple as wearing a hat when outdoors. If your hair is quite short, I’m guessing a hat would cover it and you can always take it off when you get into work (or wherever it is you’re going). Then you can spend a quick five minutes preening it to its former glory, because lets face it, curly tops are prone to hat hair! You could always carry a miniature spray bottle with your chosen product inside, along with an afro comb so that you can quickly go over your hair in ladies.
      If you choose to just leave your hair out constantly then I’d just suggest that you make time to do a deep conditioning at least once a week (if you don’t already), just to help prevent your hair getting to dry and damaged in the harsh weather.

      Hope this helps.

      Samio x

  5. Jacky
    December 28, 2013 / 12:33 pm

    Gorgeous,i love the two results

  6. Ruth
    August 7, 2014 / 2:10 am

    Do you work as a model in London only? Or do you travel around? I don’t have curly hair like you, just slightly wavy near my nape and ears, but I’ve been wondering how to better take care of my hair. It’s dry at the ends and my scalp gets really oily quickly…although I’m not sure how as this has never happened before…then again I know that as you grow older, especially late 20s, your face/scalp gets oilier. Sadly.

    • Samio
      August 10, 2014 / 5:06 pm

      I mostly work in Manchester and London but I’ve recently been working in Barcelona and I’ve worked in other parts of Spain in the past too…

      Maybe try a braid out and see how it works for your hair. I guess you could try it by adding sirum/oild to the ends but not all the way to the roots. I have friends with looser hair types than me who use similar techniques using less or no products depending on how their hair responds to different products.

      Samio x

  7. Angel
    January 24, 2017 / 11:56 pm

    Your hair is simply gorgeous. As simple as it seems I still need help. I’m really struggling trying to figure out how to get my hair tamed the way I want it. I’m going try your products to see what results I get. I do believe my hair is a little courser than yours, could make all the difference in the world. Wish me luck:-)

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