WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CO-WASHINGShab
Co-washing, which is more popular amongst those with extremely curly and textured hair, is the act of washing your hair with only a conditioner instead of using shampoo. This technique is based on the idea of preventing over-cleansing of the hair and allowing your natural scalp oils to remain in place in order to increase moisture in your hair. It allows the conditioner to continue to build moisture onto the hair and weigh down frizz in unruly hair and maintain a beautiful coil or curl.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to the ‘correct’ way of washing hair. Unfortunately the more widely known approach involves infrequent washing and co-washing is a result of this. The other is based on the fact that scalp care is the most important element of healthy hair.
Taking proper care of your scalp requires preventing build-up by cleansing sufficiently. Co-washing allows you to skip shampooing and continue building up moisture from products and conditioner. The issue with this is the eventual sebum and product build-up on the scalp that blocks your follicle opening at the root. This can lead to scalp conditions such as inflammation and dandruff and cause hair thinning down the road. A blocked hair follicle opening (where the hair grows out of) makes it difficult for hair to grow strong and causes permanent damage to the follicle itself. Co-washing at first can seem like a short-term solution, but only at the risk of hair growth issues with its prolonged use. For those who co-wash regularly, I would suggest a bi-weekly clarifying shampoo to give your scalp and hair a good exfoliation and prevent excess build-up.
How often should you use a co-wash? I don’t believe in changing one’s habits, but rather working with established routines. If you’re prone to co-washing, just be sure to keep your clarifying shampoo handy for occasional use. Think of it as a weekly exfoliant you use on your skin when you want that extra deep clean effect that your daily face wash does not provide.
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