Co-washing is a method of cleansing hair using special co-wash conditioners. The term “co-wash” is a portmanteau of the first two letters in “conditioner” and “wash”. Some naturals often wonder if it is safe to co-wash natural hair. The answer is yes. As a matter of fact, there are many reasons you should be co-washing your natural hair.
Why You Should Co-wash Your Natural Hair
1. It Keeps Your Hair Hydrated For Days
Co-washing is a way to get your hair clean while giving it added moisture to keep it hydrated for days. Shampoos have often been outed by the natural community as stripping the hair of its natural oils. Although shampoos keep the hair clean, they usually strip it of its natural oils, thus, leaving it dry. Conditioners, on the other hand, are gentle on the hair. As such, they’re a good alternative to keeping your natural hair clean while still helping it retain its moisture.
2. It Aids In Curl Definition
If you have curly hair, a co-wash may help to tighten your curl pattern, thus, defining it even better. You’ll notice how your curls come alive after a co-wash.
3. It Minimizes Hair Breakage and Damage
When your natural hair is dry, it is more susceptible to breakage and damage during combing, detangling or styling. Because conditioners can provide protein and moisture, your hair can get the necessary strength it needs, thus, minimizing breakage and damage.
4. It Is A Quick Way to Clean Your Hair
A normal wash day includes pre-pooing, shampooing and conditioning. While this is great for the hair, it can take more time to finish up. When you only co-wash, you reduce the time spent on wash day.
What You Should Know
Co-washing is not the same as conditioning. That means co-washes are different from your regular conditioner because they are specially created to not just cleanse but condition the hair. As such, make sure the label of the product clearly states that it is a co-wash conditioner when purchasing one.
Also, make sure to read the ingredients on the label of the conditioner to know if it contains parabens or silicones. This is because these ingredients can be difficult to wash off your hair strands. Another thing to note is you should never fully replace your shampoo with conditioner. Co-washing for a long period can leave your natural hair looking dull. This is because co-washing is meant to be gentle and as such, does not provide the deep cleanse a shampoo would.
Top 5 Best Co-wash Conditioners
1. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Moisture Co-wash
2. Alikay Naturals Cowash Me Cleansing Conditioner
3. Cantu Shea Butter Complete Conditioning Co-wash
4. As I Am Coconut Cowash
5. Aunt Jackie’s Moisturizing Co-wash Cleanser
How To Co-wash Your Natural Hair
As mentioned already, co-washing your natural hair is a simple process and it won’t take much time. First of all, make sure your hair is soaking wet. Secondly, put your hair into sections and massage the co-wash into each. Do this for 5 minutes. After this, rinse out thoroughly with cool water. Finally, apply your leave-in conditioner when your hair is damp.
Frequently Asked Questions About Co-washing
Is co-washing good for my hair type?
Co-washing is good for thick, curly, coarse or dry hair. However, it can weigh down thin or fine hair and cause it to appear dull.
How often should I co-wash my hair?
You can co-wash your hair very often. Still, you will need a shampoo for that deep cleansing once or twice a month.
Should we still co-wash our hair? The answer is yes. However, it is advisable for you to observe your hair and scalp to see how it responds to co-washing. If your hair is always looking dull or greasy, then co-washing may not be for you.