When I first heard about washing hair with conditioner only and no shampoo, I thought that was dirty and that there was no way conditioner could get hair clean the way shampoo could.
Man, was I wrong. Not only did my hair get cleansed by conditioner alone but it didn’t strip my hair like shampoo, even a low sulphate shampoo, does. Plus it was super moisturised, which is exactly what I needed. Now, just to clarify, I do cleanse my hair with shampoo when I feel my hair has a lot of buildup and needs shampooing, although I have to do a lot of conditioning and moisturising to get my hair back to normal.
Anyway here is the rundown on co-washing…
1. The main benefit is moisture. Co-washing adds a quick blast of moisture creating softer, healthier hair
2. Most commercial conditioners contain cleansing agents along with conditioning agents. Making shampooing not essential.
3. Most conditioners are quite cheap – so no need for expensive products
1. Most conditioners contain silicones, which is the substance that gives hair slip and shine. There are two types of ‘cones, water soluble and non water soluble. Conditioners with non-soluble cones will cause buildup in your hair, which will then need stronger cleansers, most likely with sulphates, to remove. So then a very common con of co-washing is product buildup on the hair. Product buildup from cones is not so much a problem in conditioners though, than it is with daily use of ‘cones in other styling products such as serums. This can easily be overcome by using a conditioner with no silicones (like the one I use Tresemme Naturals) or one with water soluble silicones( for example ones with Dimethicone Copolyl or PEF Modified Dimethicone).
2. Co-washing alone, does not cleanse the scalp. Some use of a clarifier or shampoo is needed to cleanse.
3. Excessive co-washing can lead to limp, weak hair. Everything in moderation, co – washing daily is not necessary.
How often should one wash
This all depends on the coily haired girl. I co-wash my hair every 5-10 days and I clarify every month. I occasionally use shampoo, when I get product buildup on my scalp that clarifying doesn’t rid. My hair is usually quite clean, I have a simple regimen without using many products so washing of my hair is usually to have water on my strands. To impart moisture.
Do not use deep conditioners to co-wash, deep conditioners are meant to condition and not for such frequent use.