If you are natural or are new to the natural hair community, I’m sure by now you must have heard the word “co-wash”… A lot of people are aware of the term while some are still confused or curious as to what it actually means.
What does it mean?Simply put, it is a form of washing hair without the use of Shampoo (no -poo movement), just conditioner alone. Co-washing has since become the primary washing method for those with natural hair, as it is more gentle, doesn’t strip hair off its natural oils (meaning your hair isn’t dried out) while removing dirt; this has led to production of cowash conditioning cleansers by different hair product companies.
Co-washing cleanses, balances and softens hair as it concentrates mostly on the conditioner to cleanse hair and it is believed to prevent hair damage and split ends. But just like everything co-washing has its pros and cons, here are a few things you need to be aware of while co-washing.
What’s the difference?
Confusing, huh? As much as co-washing is a healthy alternative to Shampoos beneficial to the hair and scalp, it shouldn’t be confused with Shampooing or totally replace Shampoo. Shampoos actually contain certain ingredients that make for easier removal of dirt&prevent build up, as the acidity of shampoo is said to raise the hair cuticle, thus allowing hair grow.
You should alternate the co-wash with (clarifying)shampoos every now and then, especially when you’ve applied a lot of butters, oils and moisturizers at a particular period, to remove product build up.
Is it for everyone?
Because cowashing softens hair while washing, people who have weak, mushy or over processed hair should avoid using this method, as well as people who have itchy scalp, dandruff or scalp issues, to avoid causing more harm than good.
Know your hair & if you figure you fall within this category, you should stick to shampoos, especially those that contain peppermint, rosemary, lemon or tea tree oils.
Will any conditioner do?
It’s always wise to read the labels, you should develop the habit so you’ll be aware of what’s in the product should any case allergies occur. Watch out for silicones, this -cone at the back of the bottle, especially the ones which are not water soluble as they tend to cause build up.
To be safe, buy products written ‘cowash’ or ‘conditioner cleanser’. Do not use products labelled ‘deep conditioner/masque/mask’ to cowash as they are meant for a different purpose.
You can cowash as often as weekly. It is important that factors like climate/seasons should be noted when planning to co-wash, as it may cause more harm than good. For example places in Africa that experience dry season (harmattan) with too much dust in the air, alternating more with clarifying shampoos will be ideal to remove dirt especially in cases where heavy oils (like castor oil)are being used often.
The best part?
Now you get the value of 2 in 1… no more bulk, you’ll be packing 1 bottle instead of 2(you’ll get this if you’re a frequent traveller), your cowash will give you an excellent result and feel on your hair with less hassle!
- Pantene “Truly Natural’ Cowash
- Eden Body Works All Natural Cleansing (Coconut Shea) Cowash
- Cantu Shea butter Complete Conditioning Co-wash
- As I Am Coconut Cowash
- Creme of Nature Argan Oil Pure-Vicious Co-wash
- Motions For Natural Textures Conditioning Cleanser
I hope you found this helpful and just incase, remember you can order these products via email, whatsapp or stop by our store.
Do enjoy the rest of your week.
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