Why You Should Start Co-washing If You Aren’t Already
The wave that caused the natural hair revolution brought with it many perks and innovations. Some came and went as quickly as the summer sun but others, like the current co-washing trend, seem to be here for the long run. Naturalistas all over the world have embraced this new hair care trend. If you haven't started co-washing as yet, here’s why you should get on this train.
What is co-washing?
Co-washing is essentially a conditioner only washing technique. This method, also known as the curly girl method, is where you skip shampooing and use a regular conditioner or a cleansing conditioner to wash your hair. The co-washing method is a part of the “no-poo movement” which is in essence a challenge to take shampoo out of your hair regimen. There are other techniques in the no-poo movement that provide safer ways to wash your hair with substitutes for shampooing. Co-washing is has become the go-to technique for many naturalistas, because it cleanses and simultaneously provides hydration.
How does it work?
So, how does it work? The idea might sound a bit crazy, because we know that shampoos clarify, so how does co-washing really work for your hair? Many shampoos contain harsh chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens, which are good for clarifying and stripping hair but unfortunately can make hair dry due to the loss of essentials oils. Conditioners generally have cleansing agents but they also provide moisture.
One of the major benefits found in co-washing is its ability to help hair retain moisture. This is because unlike shampoos, conditioners don’t strip your hair of its natural oils, this helps to keep hair soft and shiny and for many naturals it prevents breakage. Another benefit of co-washing is that it makes detangling quick and easy, a good conditioner that provides a lot of slippage will have you combing through your hair with ease. Co-washing also helps to cut down on the time spent washing your hair, and we all know wash days can be long. Traditionally, naturals shampoo at least twice then move on to conditioning, now you can skip to the conditioning and save time.
How to co-wash
- Apply a generous amount of conditioner to scalp and hair
- Massage scalp and gently distribute conditioner on your hair shaft
*Optional (you can add a natural oil while conditioning, this will make hair extra soft and you can also leave the conditioner and oil in for a few minutes, to ensure they penetrate the hair shaft)
Many naturalistas have joined the no-poo movement, but when it comes to our natural hair we are all different. Co-washing may or may not be the right thing for you. Learn about your own hair and its needs. For persons who might have dermatitis, for example, co-washing alone might not be sufficient. Generally speaking however co-washing is a good technique to add to your hair regimen as it adds moisture and who doesn’t love moisture?
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