What is Co-Washing?

Co washing is washing your hair with a conditioner rather than shampoo. For it to be effective make sure you are using a moisturizing conditioner, not a protein conditioner. A protein conditioner will dry out your tresses. Look for inexpensive products like Giovanni or Tressemme Naturals to wash your hair with because you are going to use a lot. However, if you feel your hair needs an extra treat you add a little penetrating oil like coconut or olive oil to provide an extra boost of moisture. Swapping shampoo for conditioner means that your strands are not being exposed to the stripping and drying effect of shampoo. Instead at each application of conditioner your locks are getting a “boost of moisture” and are being moisturized.

Co-washing is a simple alternative to shampooing the hair. Simply put, is it washing with conditioner; point blank! The process is simple and easy and you cant go wrong with it!

The Benefits of Co-Washing

The general benefit of co washing is that it eliminates dryness, some women find that their hair grows more when they co wash. Another common effect is that women find it easier to retain hair length. For the hair types mentioned below the following benefits are often experienced.

Transitioning hair – Softens new growth so less breakage at demarcation* line.

Relaxed hair – Softens new growth making stretching** relaxer touch ups is easier.

Natural hair – Eliminates dryness and makes wash and go styling a reality.

Weave hair – Keeps your own hair underneath the weave healthy and soft.

  • It does not strip the hair of its natural oils

  • It leaves the hair moisturized, soft, and more manageable

  • It adds the ease of detangling and combing

You simply use conditioner as you would shampoo. It does not sud, so do not expect it too!

How to Co-Wash your Hair?

1 Apply the conditioner to wet or dry hair

2 Leave the conditioner in your hair for 3 – 15 minutes. Detangle your hair whilst it is full of conditioner – it’s easier.

3 Fully rinse out the conditioner or for a more frizz free finish leave 5 – 10% of the product in your hair.

4 Ideally allow your hair to air dry.

As you become accustomed to how your hair feels after co washing you may wish to do it more often. If this is the case there are some points you particularly need to know and they are covered below.

Dangers of over conditioning hair

The over use of a conditioner on your hair can lead to breakage because it softens the hair to a point where it begins to break. Tell tail signs that you have reached this point is your hair being very stretchy when wet or feeling mushy. When your hair feels like this use a medium strength protein conditioner, one or two applications is usually enough to put it right. Ideally develop the habit of using a protein conditioner once a month or more depending on how often you co wash.

Daily Co washing

As mentioned before co washing on a daily basis can be highly beneficial. Some women experience more hair growth, whilst others discover retaining hair length is easier. Unfortunately for some the experience is less sweet. One of the main reasons for this is often the hair is never allowed or never has the chance to fully dry day after day. This constant state of wetness can lead to hair breakage. Bearing this in mind, proceed with a little caution when considering daily co washing.

Essentially co washing on a weekly basis is an effective easy and way to deal with dry hair. Give it a try. Dig out those old bottles of conditioner you didn’t totally fall in love with and make them useful.

Here is a guide to help you find some Co-Washing Conditioners:

1. As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner
2. Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner

3. Ouidad Curl Co-Wash Low-Foam Cleansing Conditioner

4. Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner

5. Darcy’s Botanicals Daily Cleansing Conditioner Cream

6. EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing CoWash

7. Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner

8SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser

You can do a Google search and find one that works for you. These should give you a head start on what exactly to use!

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