What is co-washing & when should and shouldn't you do it.

What is co-washing & when should and shouldn't you do it.

What is co-washing 

Co-washing stands for 'conditioner washing', it is the act of washing your hair with a conditioner, this replaces the shampoo within your routine. It is a cream cleasner that does not lather like shampoo's. 

The Pro's

  • Most curlies use a co-wash as it is less stripping to the hair & scalp supporting moisture retention supporting natural oil retention.
  • Reduces frizz for some curlies.
  • Your hair will typically be more hydrated.

The con's and why some curlies don't like co-washing

  • Some curlies find that it does not cleanse their scalp properly.
  • Due to this co-washing can result in clogged follicles which can affect hair growth. This may add to a build up type of feeling.
  • Some curlies find that their hair feels heavy and looks dull.

When should you co-wash

Shampooing can be stripping if overly used. Some curlies may benefit from using a co-wash mid week freshen up for example when working out or when their hair is dry. 

Although some curlies do like to co-wash alternative weeks to shampooing as their hair does not have a lot of product build up on their scalp and hair shaft.

If you try co-washing and your find that your hair responds well to co-washing it may just be for you.


When shouldn't you co-wash

If you find that you are suffering from product build up you may find you have an itchy scalp you may want to cleanse with a shampoo, their are sulfate free shampoo's which are less harsh and stripping but still cleanse your hair.

Your may also want to consider shampooing your curls if your hair appears limp and dull this maybe a sign of product build up.

If your products contain silicones, co-washing will not remove these ingredients as often silicone removal requires sulfates which are common in sulfate based shampoos, which as explained can be harsh and stripping. Some curlies do not like silicones as they form a film over the hair affecting the penetration of water to the hair, which curlies need most.


The Golden rule

Ultimately your curly hair journey is just that 'yours', find out what works for you which is all through trial and error.
Sometimes throughout your curly hair journey your routine may change this could be due to the weather or just your hair needing different things at any time for example more moisture or protein.
Learn what your hair likes and how it responds to certain things and implement the best regime for you.
As what works for one will not necessarily work for another.

Silicone free Co-washes

Only Curls Co-wash

Cantu Co-wash



Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser


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