Co-washing or Conditioner Washing, is cleansing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. Co-washing does not strip your hair like shampoo. If you’re transitioning or already natural, you should co-wash to keep your soft and moisturized, to prevent breakage, and to promote growth. Believe it or not, most conditioners contain some amount of cleanser so the act of wetting and massaging the scalp gets rid of oil and dirt.
The most common issue with co-washing is product buildup on hair. This is because conditioners contain silicones – an agent that gives hair “slip” and shine. Silicones come in two forms – water soluble and non-water soluble. It is best to use moisturizing conditioners with water soluble silicones (or no silicones) because product buildup will be unlikely. Water soluble silicones wash easily from the hair, but non-water soluble silicones do not because they are removed by stronger cleansers such as sulfates that are found in shampoo. Sulfates cause your hair to become dry because they strip the hair of all its natural oils.
READ the label to see if the conditioner ingredients contain these water soluble silicones: Dimethicone Copolyl and PEG Modified Dimethicone. If so, you’re good!
Some co-washing tips:
* Don’t use protein-based conditioners to co-wash, as they can lead to breakage.
* Choose an inexpensive product since you’ll be using more of it than usual.
* Make sure hair is saturated with water before applying conditioner.
* Use a good amount of product and finger comb through to distribute from roots to ends.
* Gently and thoroughly massage scalp to distribute product and cleanse roots.
Rinse hair to remove conditioner to desired amount. Some naturals prefer to completely rinse out the conditioner while others may leave a bit in for continued moisture.
Use a natural clarifier/detox like Apple Cider Vinegar or Mud washes to remove product buildup. Clarify your hair every other week depending on your usage of styling products (oils/butters/gels/leave-in conditioners/etc).
Here is a list of a “few of the Conditioners” that work well:
*Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition
*Herbal Essence Hello Hydration
*Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa (Trader Joe’s)
*Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle (Trader Joe’s)
Co-washing helps your hair retain Moisture, Moisture, Moisture! It also creates softness and added manageability! Therefore, the end result is GROWTH!!!
Do you co-wash? Have you noticed a difference in your hair?