Enjoying my fav, a delicious iced hazelnut coffee with cream and discussing the hair cleansing technique called co-washing. This article is a repost that I wrote from a few  years back but is always so informative for new naturals and those in transition or those who’d like to revisit this technique again. It’s all about the basics and co-washing is one of them. Hope you enjoy!

What is co-washing?

Co-washing is using conditioner to cleanse your hair and scalp in replacement of shampoo. Many curlies opt to shampoo once a month or even twice or month. Co-washing is another way to cleanse  your hair without stripping the hair of its natural oils. It relieves overly dry hair from the stress of harsh shampoos and clarifiers. While  
co-washing can cleanse the hair and scalp, build-up can still be left behind so clarifying the hair and scalp at least once a month is recommended. 

What if I choose to do no poo?

If you choose to do no poo you must find alternative methods of cleansing as co-washing will not be able to clarify the hair and scalp in its entirety.  Don’t be dismayed, there are options for those curlies who choose to do no poo.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse/ACV  Rinse
  • Rosemary Rinse
  • Baking Soda
  • Bentonite Clay

These are all alternative methods that for many naturals, get the job done. 

How often should I co-wash?

There is no specific amount of times a natural should Co-wash. It is all based on personal preference . It is important to listen to your hair and observe what it needs. Split ends mean it is time for a trim, Co-washing means it is time for a  wash, shampooing or clarifying means it is time to cleanse when co-washing is not catching all the build up. For me, it is only necessary to clarify once a month  as for the other three weeks out of the month, I just co-wash.

What is the best conditioner to co-wash with?

You want to co-wash with a conditioner that has a lot of slip and is water soluble. Deep conditioners and leave-in conditioners are meant to stick to the hair for extra moisture so those will not be effective in cleansing the hair and scalp but they rather stick to the hair and do not remove build-up. Avoid conditioners with silicones, silicones stick to the hair and reduce frizz but can only be removed with shampoo. Over time silicones build up on the hair causing loose or limp curl definition. Here is a list of some water soluble conditioners I like to co-wash with.

Shop my favorite Co-Washes:
Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner | Aussie Moist | Giovanni

So how do I co-wash exactly?

Pretty simple actually. Take your conditioner of choice and massage and work into wet scalp and hair as you would shampoo. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Those with hair that gets tangled very easily: co-washing in the shower with your hair sectioned makes finger detangling less of  a hassle. Let your hair run under the shower stream and see how easy it is to get shed hair and tangles out quicker. Another method would be to wet your hair under the sink or with a spray bottle then work conditioner in hair and scalp and then get in the shower to remove conditioner. Both ways work well for me but co-washing while in the shower seems to be the quickest way and is of course lazy girl approved.

Happy Co-Washing!

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