Let’s have a lil chat about CO-WASHING, aka: “conditioner washing”. The first time anyone told me I should try washing my hair with a cleansing conditioner, I was like GIRL BYE. I’m a bubble loving froth queen so I was just not about to rub condtioner in my hair without shampooing. And I was certainly not going to believe that that’s going to leave me with anything but a hot greasy mess after blowdrying. Uh… Until I tried it. Let me tell you that I blew out my hair and it was (I swear) bouncier and fuller than usual. So then I was like– okay, beginner’s luck. My hair must have been cleaner than I thought to start. I did it again– same results. I kept thinking to myself– if this works so well then why doesn’t everyone do it?? I realized that just like me, most people probably want the bubbles. It’s just what we know. Bubbles mean there’s a cleaning agent and if there’s a cleaning agent, then there are less oils. And yes, while that’s true, it doesn’t mean that’s a good thing. After diving deeper into the actual science of hair for the last few years, I’ve realized how much we need to keep some of those natural oils (don’t vomit, it’s called sebum) on the scalp and in the hair. Sebum is hands down the greatest conditioner a girl can get. Better than the most expensive thing from the beauty supply or even the most natural organic oil you can find at a health food store. Using a cleansing conditioner will take the oils off the suface almost completely, but it will leave the good stuff on the inside so it can do it’s work to moisturize and strengthen from within.
Personally, I tried co-washing for the first time a couple years ago and anytime I see someone struggling with moisture or breakage or dull hair, I immediately chime in to tell them to try co-washing. It’s a hard sell but once you try it, you understand and you feel the difference. Each brand is going to have a different application suggestion, but I like to imagine my hair split into 4 equal sections– two in the front and two in the back. I take a couple pumps and rub it into my scalp, section by section. Then once it’s all in, I massage it into my scalp for a couple minutes, then rinse. But check the bottle for additional instructions.
CURLY, THICK, WAVY OR COARSE HAIR: No one benefits more from this that my curly girls. Co-washing is truly a must for anyone with curly hair, as curly hair naturally lacks moisture. Thick, coarse hair often needs some extra TLC in the moisture department as well. Wash your hair every 3-5 days (3 for coarse, thick and closer to 5 for curly girls) and use this every time.
FINE, STRAIGHT, LIGHTLY WAVY, OR LIMP HAIR: If you have finer or straight hair and you’re terrified to commit, try alternating first. You’ll at least be saving more of your oils than you are now. I have fine hair but a lot of it. I co-wash twice a week and regular wash once a week. And then in the summer, I like to alternate because my hair produces more oil when it’s hot out.
I know this is a lot for some, and take your time in convincing yourself to try it… but TRY IT. You will be shocked at how light and airy your hair feels after co-washing. There’s a cool new co-washing product coming out soon that I can’t wait to tell you about. But for now, tell us your co-washing experiences (or fears) in the comments below, and please include your hair type/texture! This is such a great topic to discuss…