Co-washing or “conditioner washing” is washing your hair with conditioner only. That’s right, no shampoo.
People have adopted co-washing in their hair care routine to help alleviate dryness. Chances are if you have tight coils, curls, or wavy hair, then you would benefit from co-washing.
Curly and wavy hair bends and loops more than straight hair. Certain hair textures can loop around so much, sebum, hair’s natural oil secretions, can not lubricate the ends of the hair. Leaving the ends very dry.
So if you want to start co-washing here are a few tips:
Saturate your hair with water, and then apply the conditioner. Depending on how much hair you have, you could add a little or a lot. Massage the conditioner into your hair and scap, and let it sit for a few minutes, or as long as you are showering. Then rinse the conditioner completely out.
Don’t co-wash if you intend on straightening your hair later with heat (i.e. flat iron, straightener, blow dryer). Co-washing can cause hair to be very flat or greasy in appearance. Heat-treated hair needs to be shampooed, followed by deep conditioning, and a through rinsing.
When needed, use a clarifying shampoo to remove any build up, especially if your hair feels weighed down or itchy.
And lastly, practice makes perfect. Experiment with different conditioners to find which one works well with your hair texture. Some people like thicker conditioners, while other people prefer thinner textures. Co-washing is not for everyone, but it makes a world of difference to many.