I Tried It: Co-Washing
Last week I shared my horrible experience with cutting out shampoo and conditioner from my hair regimen. This week I'm bringing back the shampoo and conditioner but more specifically the conditioner. After a view years off from co-washing, I decided to embrace it again as I struggle to grow my hair out.
Co-washing, or conditioner washing, is pretty simple. Instead of washing your hair with shampoo, you wash it with conditioner a couple of times a week. It first came up in curly and natural hair circles. Textured hair is typically dry and using shampoo will dry it out more. Conditioner contains a small amount of cleanser and won't strip your hair of its natural oil, keeping it moist and allowing your natural hair texture to really come out.
A silicone-free conditioner is used to reduce build up, and you agitate your scalp the same as with shampoo. An occasional wash with sulfate-free shampoo will help clarify your hair of any additional gunk. This process also works wonders for women with bleached or damaged hair.
I used to co-wash my hair regularly when it was long and curly, but I've abandoned the process since cutting it short. Now that my hair is a little longer, my natural hair texture is coming out again and it's been difficult to manage. In-between styles are tough to even find. I figured instead of fighting it, I can embrace the curls and let them come out to play. With co-washing, it has been a warm welcome.
My curls are well formed, if a little messy—that's all part of the style though. My hair doesn't feel oily, dry or frizzy. And my hair is healthy and manageable, which is key as it grows to the desired length.