What is Co-Washing?
Most of us in the natural and/or curly hair community have stumbled upon the term ‘co-washing’ at some point - but what exactly is it? And should we be doing it?
What is co-wash?
Co-wash is short for 'conditioner wash,' which refers to washing your hair and scalp with conditioner rather than shampoo. As co-washing has gained popularity, products known as ‘cleansing conditioners’ have been developed, specifically for this use. In short, co-wash provides the best of both worlds: hair cleansing and conditioning benefits.
Why should you co-wash?
Many shampoos contain harsh, drying sulfates and surfactants that strip the hair of its natural oils. While a good clarifying shampoo can be much-needed every once in a while, using these types of products on a regular basis can be too harsh for dry and/or textured hair types. This is where co-wash comes in - it provides all the hair cleansing benefits, without the oil-stripping effects...So, don’t expect big bubbles or a rich lather from a co-wash!
Who would benefit from co-washing?
If you find that your hair becomes very dry and tangled after cleansing it with shampoo, co-washing is probably your best option - particularly if your hair is curly or coily, as these hair types become tangled more easily than looser textures. The slip and conditioning benefits of co-washing can counteract the tangling that often occurs when washing hair with shampoo.
Even if your hair is loosely textured, you may want to consider alternating between using shampoo and co-wash, to give your hair some rest from the harsher surfactants found in most shampoos. This is especially helpful if your hair has been damaged by heat, chemicals, or manipulation.
Best use scenarios:
If you do decide to embark on a co-washing journey, please ensure your chosen cleansing conditioner does not contain silicones. Silicones are very difficult to remove and can lead to build-up on hair, creating quite the opposite of a cleansing effect.
If you’re looking for a gentle cleansing conditioner that uses the power of herbal extracts to cleanse the hair and scalp, rather than harsh surfactants or sulfates, then your search is over! Our Marshmallow & Babassu Herbal Co-Wash does just that.