It's easy to assume that most women know what co-washing is because more and more women are doing it. Co-washing, (Conditioner Only Wash) is the process of eliminating shampoo when washing the hair. Shampoos contain harsh chemicals like sulfate that can strip the hair from its natural oil. The overuse of shampoo can also lead to dry scalp, split ends, and frizz. As a woman with coarse, dry hair, co-washing has been good to me. But to tell you the truth, I don't like the idea of using a conditioner only to wash my hair. Co-washing once a week is the most I can do. I mostly co-wash my hair after a workout or if the hair feels a little dry between washes. And when I do wash with shampoo, I prep my ends with a regular conditioner and wash the scalp with a regular moisturizing shampoo mixed with tea tree and peppermint oils, plus a little bit of water. This way I don't have to worry about my ends getting too dry.
It is obvious that if you have straight, oily hair, co-washing won't do you any good. Only a good moisturizing shampoo can take care of this problem. Using a sulfate-free shampoo might also work for you. While washing your hair with a conditioner only can benefit your strands, it can also be a disadvantage if not done properly or too often.
- Lessens frizz and dryness
- Helps with oil retention
- Adds hydration
- Contains no sulfate
- Shedding, itching, and stickiness
- Over conditioning the hair
- Adds extra oil to the hair
The whole idea of ditching shampoo is to help the hair retain moisture. But keep in mind that there is such a thing as too much moisture. If your hair feels spongy or mushy, it's time to stop co-washing and go back to adding some protein back into your hair regimen.
Most conditioners contain oils because their job is to add softness to the hair after shampooing. If your hair is already oily, then co-washing is not for you. It will only cause more product buildups and leave you with oily hair.
In conclusion, you should keep the focus on your ends when co-washing your hair. Conditioners don't contain enough cleaning ingredients to thoroughly clean your scalp, especially if you use heavy creams and oils on your hair. Limit the amount of time you co-wash your hair, as co-washing your hair too often can lead to product buildups and shedding.