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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hair Tips | Is Co Washing For You?

Hair Tips | Is Co Washing For You?
When you start to care for your hair and do lots of hair care research, you will learn a lot about different regimens and care treatments that may work for you better than what you thought. I surely thought this about co washing...

What is co washing?

First of all co washing (short for 'conditioner washing') is using your favorite conditioner instead of a shampoo to cleanse your scalp and hair. This method talks more in depth in Curly Girl: The Handbook (Expanded Second Edition) by Lorraine Massey.

Massey suggests that all conditioners have a small amount of gentle cleansers and that conditioners can and should be use more than shampoo to clean curly hair. Shampoos tend to strip too much of the natural oils from the hair, which can make curly, coily, and kinky hair drier than it needs be (that's why pre-poo and hot oil treatments are important when using shampoo).

Hair Tips | Is Co Washing For You?
Co-washing is part of the Curly Girl Method, which is also known has the no-shampoo and no silicones movement. It is important to know that if you are going to choose co washing, then using silicones (ingredients ending in -cone) would not be the best idea for your hair. Silicones coat the hair with it's product (not necessarily moisturizing or sealing) which can cause lots of build-up and just "ickiness" to your hair. Using your shampoo will cleanse that right out, but using the co wash method only has gentle cleansers that will not cleanse your hair entirely. So be mindful of the products you are using.
Now I don't use a regular "cleansing" or "cleanser" co wash. I find those to hard on my hair and frankly, just like a shampoo. Instead, I use Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle to cleanse my scalp/hair while conditioning my hair as well

How To Co Wash Your Hair

Separate your hair in 4-6 manageable sections and detangle each section to get the shed hair out. It is important to detangle your hair no matter how you choose to do your wash regimen. I usually use coconut oil to help with the process. But if I'm in a rush, I use the Tea Tree Tingle to help detangle, since I'm going to use this product to co wash anyways.

Hair Tips | Is Co Washing For You?

After my hair is completely detangled and in loose 2 strand twists, I saturate my hair completely with water. I massage my scalp with my finger pads for about 5 minutes.

Then I squeeze the excess water from 2 strand twists. I take a generous amount of Tea Tree Tingle and massage it on my scalp for about 5 minutes, then run the warm water along my scalp to get the product buildup out.

Hair Tips | Is Co Washing For You?
I take my 2 strand twists out and use the conditioner again, this time along the length of my hair (not on my scalp). I take enough conditioner to coat my hair (while concentrating on my ends) and make sure it's done thoroughly. Then I clip all of my hair up in one big Bantu knot and leave in for about 7-10 minutes, while I stay in the shower (the steam will open the hair cuticles to give more conditioning benefits).

Once done, I rinse my hair under cool water to seal the hair cuticles and give really nice shine.

Then I take a regular T-shirt and 'plop' my hair to make sure that the excess water comes out of my hair.

Then if I have time, I'll move on to my deep conditioning treatment for more added moisture benefits. If not, then I'll go right into styling my hair. Either way, my hair is freshly cleansed and fully moisturized.

And there you have it!

I absolutely love to co wash my hair! I've been co washing weekly since January 2015 and I will keep with this same washing regimen. I feel like co washing is best for my hair to stay moisturized while cleansing...my coily hair can get dry so easily.

Now I do use my Mud Wash as needed when I feel my hair for a need to be really cleansed, but the products I use don't cause much product buildup and I definitely don't use any silicones (which cause product buildup).

Here are a few cowashes and conditioners that have great reviews:

  • Pantene Pro-V  Truly Natural Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner 
  • Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Co-wash Conditioning Cleanser 
  • Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing Co Wash
  • As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner (my hair did not like this [sad face], but there are some great reviews and results with this Co Wash) 

If you do decide to add co washing to your regimen:

    You don't need to purchase an expensive co washing product. The Tea Tree Tingle is under $4.00 at Trader Joe's and it's a 16oz. So whatever is your preference is cool, just as long as your conditioner is moisturizing to your hair.
  • You don't have to rinse all the conditioner out. You can use some as your leave-in and to give your hair extra slip when styling.
  • Try not to use a conditioner that is heavy in protein. This will cause your hair to be hard and could also dry it out.

Natural hair says: if you find that your hair is always dry or your washing regimen is just not working out for you, try co washing for a few weeks. You will be amazed with the results.

Always Desire Your Natural,

Christina J 

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