Co-Wash is just another way to say “conditioner wash”. To co-wash the hair is to wash your hair without the use of shampoo, but instead use a conditioner of your choice.
You might ask, “what is the benefit of co-washing my hair?” Many people co-wash for a variety of reasons. One of the most popular reason is for a healthy head of hair and scalp, and to reduce the damage cause by over processing. Washing your hair with shampoo can be very drying and result in added damage to your already stressed tresses especially if you are a relaxed head. Recently discovered by hair enthusiast alike, shampoo harbor’s a whole list of chemical agents that are super drying and unhealthy for you. Just flip over your favorite brand of shampoo and start reading those ingredients next time you get ready to cleanse your hair. Most likely, unless you are already using an all natural brand from your local health food store, you will see ingredients like ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl ether sulfate etc.
So why co-wash you ask? For many, myself included, it gives my hair a break from the over dry, unmanageable frizz that I usually get from using regular shampoo. The conditioner will add the moisture and softness that my hair is starving for while simultaneously cleansing my hair. I usually use what ever conditioner I am favoring at the moment. Sometimes I will just use a dollar store brand if I am co-washing several times a week.
Benefits to Co-Washing
Things you will need:
- bowl & brush
- gloves (optional)
- leave-in conditioner
First, I start off by sectioning my hair in 4 parts. Then starting from one part I begin parting my hair using 1 inch parts, and applying the conditioner in a downward motion starting at the root working my way down the hair shaft making sure each part is completely saturated. Continue applying conditioner until your whole head of hair is covered. At this point I will usually cover my head with a plastic cap and go about my day or night. The amount of time you leave the conditioner on will vary. Sometimes I co-wash my hair overnight and rinse in the morning; while other times I will choose a day when I will be around the house mostly. But you can just co-wash your hair and leave on for an hour or two as well. Its just a matter of personal preference. After I rinse the conditioner out, I would apply my leave-in(s), and style as usual. But that’s pretty much it! Not hard at all to do. You should try if haven’t already.
*How many times I co-wash per week just depends on how I am feeling. 😉
This is just one of my secret hair regimens to growing and maintaining my long healthy hair. It’s how I take care of my natural hair. Even though I have been known to co-wash my extensions as well. Actually using a conditioner to wash your extensions is much better than shampoo. It will extend the life of your hair extensions. You will find that most of us ladies already do.
What about you? Have you ever tried co-washing your hair before? If so, what benefits did you notice.