What is a Co-Wash?
We are constantly asked about our Co-Wash and what it’s meant for. Well, the secret is out in the open: if you look closely, you’ll see that it stands for: the name is a shortened version of Conditioner Wash. We know the term may sound a little confusing at first but we promise that by reading this guide to Co-Washing, you’ll know everything that you need to know to use a Co-Wash regularly without wondering what exactly you’re putting in your hair.
Co-Washing is particularly popular among those with curly or frizzy hair. Contrary to shampooing with a lathering agent, Co-Washing is a method of deep hydration where the ultimate goal is to hydrate and moisturize hair so that its natural oils can do their job of keeping hair clean and healthy.
Co-Washing was greatly popularised by proponents of the No Poo method. If you’re not sure what that is, don’t worry, it has nothing to do with what the name might imply. The No Poo movement gained recently popularity when people realized that shampoos have only been in existence since the 1930s, but humans have been using different methods to keep their hair clean from time immemorial.
Shampoo vs Co-Wash
Most shampoos are known to contain sulfates, which for the lack of a better definition, are detergents that have the capacity to thoroughly clean your hair. On the downside, these detergents are so effective at cleaning that they also strip away all the natural oils present on the scalp.
Our scalps produce an oily and waxy substance called sebum, which we covered in our previous blog post. By replacing your shampoo regime with a Co-Wash, you’ll be helping your hair maintain its natural moisture levels, allowing for a healthier scalp.
However, there are some drawbacks to solely co-washing and it’s important to keep them in mind if you’re about to Co-Wash for the first time in your life. Many have reported softer hair in the initial stages of Co-Washing, but it is also important to take steps to keep your hair and scalp clean. Since we live in a world filled with dust, pollution, dirt and other contaminants, these particles inevitably find their way to our hair.
Just using Co-Wash alone isn’t enough to get rid of all the dirt that may accumulate in our scalps, but we strongly recommend using a hair cleanser along with a conditioner periodically to ensure that your scalp stays free of dirt and other contaminants.
How to choose a Co-Wash
Two important ingredients to look for when shopping for a Co-Wash are emollients such as Shea Butter and oils, and proteins such as vegetarian keratin or wheat germ. Our Co-Wash has carefully been formulated to include Shea Butter and vegetarian keratin to ensure that your hair stays smooth and frizz-free while the protein component of our formulation also protects your hair.
Instructions to use Co-Wash
- 1. Wet your hair. Note: do not oil your hair the day you plan to use a co-wash.
- 2. Massage the Co-Wash into your entire scalp, just like you would with a hair cleanser or shampoo
- 3. Rinse. Note: remember to spend twice as much time rinsing as conditioner takes time to get washed away
- 4. Use a leave-in product after washing if you want to