This is short for ‘conditioner washing’ or ‘conditioner-only washing’. Its simply using a regular conditioner to wash your hair, hence the name “Co-Wash”. It helps to get rid of some buildup by gently lifting oil and debris from the scalp and hair, thereby helping to re-moisturize.
Co-washing cleanses the scalp, and so increases the time frame between wash days.
When to Co-Wash
1. Co-Wash in between deep conditioning: Generally, you shouldn’t deep condition more than once a week; yh I understand you want to give your hair that much love, but there really is a thing called too much loving! That’s where Co-Washing comes in, most times, I prefer to just take my leave-in conditioner and whipped butter and do a quick mid-week re-moisturizing. However, on some other days I prefer to co-wash before sealing, maybe because of the weather (mostly harmattan when the air is dry and dusty), or just because my hair feels like its really in need of extra moisture.
2. Rainy days: as said in my previous post on Rainy days, rain water is bad for our natural hair, due to the pollution in the atmosphere. If you’ve had an unfortunate day in the rain, don’t let the rain water dry on your hair, this could lead to some itching (personal experience), and could also lead to some kind of scalp infection. Co-wash as soon as possible to get rid of it quick, before it gets more serious.
3. After swimming: I swim a lot, so I know that even when my hair is protected under a swim cap, chlorinated water still manages to get through to my hair. Chlorine dries out the hair and leaves a large amount of residue which eventually would cause hair breakage. A cleansing conditioner is just right to help get rid of that chlorine, and restore moisture to your hair.
4. After workout: Working out for long hours would lead to sweat, yh I know this is what you want, but your hair doesn’t like sweat. Sweat is salty and carries both dirt and germs along with it. Co-wash your hair to remove salt and the dirt with it, and give your hair some breathing space.
5. To Alleviate an Itchy Scalp: An itchy scalp could result from so many causes; dry hair, product build-up, dirt, and many more. Your conditioner alone, or mixed with some brown sugar helps to stop the itchy scalp.
How to Co-Wash
- Take a good amount of your moisturizing conditioner in your palm and rub generously round your hair, focusing more on your ends, because this is usually the driest part. If your hair is really long, you might want to section it to focus more from your ends to roots.
- Apply some oil to coat the conditioner; I mostly use olive oil as my hair loves it. You could use any oil of your choice.This helps to strengthen the hair and add extra moisture.
- Rub it in and massage your scalp. Then rinse off
- Follow with your regular moisturizing routine
What to Use:
I go for light conditioners, however they have to be moisturizing and free of silicones.
You could try VO5, Alberto Balsam or Suave Naturals.
Now you know when to Co-wash, how to Co-wash and what to use to Co-wash, see how easy it is? Leave a comment below with your questions and contributions; and tell me how and why you cowash. Lets share ideas shall we? 😉