Monday, June 15, 2015

A Note On Co-Washing

A Note On Co-Washing

Co-Washing (or No Poo) a term that has taken the beauty industry by storm in the last year or so, yet has been a practice that women with curly hair have been relying on for years. If the seemingly buzz word has left you bewildered let me explain exactly what Co-Washing is and how you can perhaps incorporate it into your routine.

It seems there are two methods, the first which I wouldn't technically deem to be Co-Washing but a helpful trick and routine shake up that may just benefit finer hair types. Prepare to forget what you've been taught in terms of hair conditioning and reverse wash (a far more adequate term wouldn't you agree?), the first idea is that you condition your hair before washing with shampoo. The theory is that finer, lighter hair will not be bogged down by any residue as you will be cleansing afterwards yet the hair is still getting a much needed moisture dose. I've heard it works wonders for adding volume and taming flyaway's. As someone with easily matted hair this does not work for me in the slightest, I need the slip of conditioner to rake a comb through after showering.

The other method, and what most will deem the real way to Co-Wash is to rinse the hair with conditioner and skip shampooing completely. I say completely when really I mean every now and then; say you wash your hair traditionally with both shampoo and conditioner three times a week, every second wash you could forgo Shampoo. Traditionally Co-Washing is reserved for curly hair to smooth and add additional moisture to a somewhat coarser hair texture, it is not a stand alone cleansing method. Curly hair is naturally drier and will not need to be cleansed with shampoo as often as straighter hair types as there is less oil to build up. By Co-Washing such hair types are not only refreshed but curls are left softer and easier to manage.

My hair sits somewhere in the middle of curly and wavy, it is thick, long, frizz prone and is what most would deem to be a 2b curl/hair type and I find Co-Washing overwhelming for my hair type. I often find that my hair feels lank, greasy and overwhelmed regardless of how well I rinse the conditioner out afterwards. This is also true for the so called cleansing conditioners. Apparently (as Chloe has pointed out below) this could be due to silicone build up, unbeknown to me if going down the Co-Washing route you should use a silicone free formula for the best results.

Sure there are a whole array of products dedicated to Co-Washing, claiming to be cleansing conditioners (a top hair dresser told me really there is no such thing, it is either a light conditioner or a 2-in-1 product i.e Shampoo and Conditioner) but unless you have curly hair I don't think you will reap any benefits from the traditional method of Co-Washing.

Over to you - Co-Washing yay or nay?

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  1. I've never actually heard of this but the first one, where you condition first sounds a lot better than forgoing shampoo altogether. My hair is way too oily at the roots to do this, although the ends may benefit.
    -- // x

  2. I have wavy hair which can be quite frizzy too and I've tried reverse washing before and I didn't really like it, I like the weight and shine that conditioning last gives my hair. I've been really wanting to try the Wen Cleansing conditioner since watching Claire Marshall's videos but I don't think it'd be suited to my hair type. Great post :)

    Vicky xo

  3. I have very curly hair, and I only use Shampoo about once a month, more often if I've used products like hairspray but to be honest with co-washing I don't really use any other products - where I used to have to use SO many to control the frizz! And I just use John Freida's Frizz Ease conditioner, nothing that's intended to be used to cleanse hair, and let water do it's work! I think it really does depend on hair type though!


  4. Have to admit I have never heard of the second method. I have used the first method and it did seem to make my hair smoother! I would be a bit scared of the grease slick to try the 2nd method, perhaps for a rainy day, haha ;)

  5. I tried both methods and the first left mine awfully matted, and the second very weighed down yet nourished - I think once a week is a great idea or just an intensive condition treatment over night if you have finer hair, it works a treat!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  6. You misssed out mentioned the most important part of properly co-washing - you can't use any products (at all!) containing silicones as these aren't water soluble so cause build up. I have very thick wavy hair and co-wash most of the time, only shampooing maybe once a fortnight. It's the best thing I've done for my hair, though I get that everyone is different. And not many have the patience to scan through every single conditioner on the shelf to find one suitable for co-washing! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

    1. I honestly had no idea - it makes complete sense :) annoyingly I have a few "co-wash" cleansing conditioners and they contain silicones. How disappointing! Thank you for the heads up though - I may try again with a silicone free product and see how I get on! x

  7. I have fine hair, that I also highlift a color levels. I started just washing with conditioner before I used wen. Now I've been using Wen for almost two years. I fully recommend using Wen. I have a ton of review about Wen up on my blog by the same name if you want to check it out!

  8. cowashing works really well for me and my hair actually loves it when I skip shampoo on occasion. I do like to use shampoo once a week or so to give it a good cleansing but my curls look better, my hair responds better and is just overall healthier looking when I don't use shampoo all the time. I have curly, frizzy hair btw.


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