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?