Much Ado About Co-Washing Natural Hair





Co-Washing Natural Hair

If you have been researching the possibilities of going back to natural hair then you have no doubt heard of co-washing natural hair.  You are probably wondering what in the heck that means.

Using sulfate shampoo can dry out the hair since sulfate products wash off the natural oils that are produced from the scalp.  Co-washing means washing your hair with conditioner instead of using shampoo.  It is a way to clean your hair without using a harsh sulfate shampoo product.

When you are transitioning to natural hair, it is very important to keep your hair moisturized and co-washing can help. Products can buildup on your hair strands and clog your scalp if not washed away regularly – weekly, bi-weekly, whatever your choice.  Although you still have relaxed ends, you will notice that your relaxed hair will also benefit from co-washing natural hair.

If you decide to try co-washing, detangle your hair (to remove any shed hair and/or knots); apply your conditioner just like you would wash your hair with shampoo.  You can try this process in sections using hair clips.  If you have thick hair, you definitely want to separate your hair into sections for washing.  I recommend co-washing in the shower since the downward stream of the water helps to detangle natural hair.

Be sure to use a moisturizing conditioner for your co-wash and not a protein conditioner.  You should of course have a protein conditioner on hand for alternate wash days (weekly, bi-weekly, or whatever your hair requires) because co-washing too often with a moisturizing conditioner can cause your hair to be limp from too much moisture.  You should gently scrub your scalp (do not scratch your scalp with your finger nails) to make sure you have removed any built up product and dirt.  While the conditioner is still in your hair, you should take this time to detangle your hair with a wide-toothed comb or your detangling brush of choice.  Remember to start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up to the roots.  After your hair is detangled, you can then rinse out the conditioner with water just as you would rinse out shampoo.