So what is Co-Washing? (short for conditioner washing or no-poo)
Simply put, it is actually washing your hair with conditioner as opposed to regular shampoo. Co-washing is highly preferred by the Naturally Curly Community as a primary method of Washing hair because it is more gentle on curls/waves (both tend to be naturally dry) and won't strip your hair of its natural oils. They contain little-to-no sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate), and they generally don’t lather. Traditional shampoos rely on detergents that chemically attract dirt in your air; these chemicals are distributed during the washing process by rubbing, scrubbing and lathering, and when these chemicals are rinsed away, your hair feels squeaky clean—which isn’t a good thing if your hair is prone to dryness and/or damaged. Washing hair with conditioner removes enough dirt and oil without drying the hair, leading to Less Breakage. Curly/Wavy/Textured hair will retain more Moisture throughout the cleansing process because you're cleansing with natural oils, extracts, botanicals & healthier ingredients that won't strip your hair and preserve its natural oil.
So What are the Benefits of Co-Washing?
Co-Washing mostly benefits those with Dry, Damaged & Dehydrated hair and especially those with naturally textured and/or naturally curly hair.
The best way to start is with an inexpensive, lightweight drugstore conditioner because co-washing requires a lot of product, so you really don't want to us the expensive fancy stuff to co-wash. Use a generous amount of something like VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Conditioner (under $2.00) or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration (under $4.00) or Sauve Naturals Coconut Conditioner (under $2.00 and one of my co-wash staples). Saturate hair with water then pour a very generous amount of your Conditioner of choice in your hands and rub it into your scalp just as you would with shampoo, massage into your hair then rinse and repeat. Always make sure you Detangle while your hair is SATURATED with Conditioner. To Detangle, part your hair in 4 to 6 sections, take a wide tooth/shower comb and comb hair from ends to roots. Do not comb from the roots to the tips. That will result in more breakage! Use shampoo once in a while to remove buildup, perhaps every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how many other styling products you use regularly.
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