Adding co-washing to your hair cleansing regime can help soften and strengthen your hair.
Betito Ebengo, Head Stylist at ORS South Africa (formerly Organic Root Stimulator) recommends a weekly co-wash for your natural or chemically treated hair.
A co-wash is when you use only conditioner to cleanse and condition your hair at the same time.
Who should co-wash?
People with excessive dry hair and scalp may benefit greatly from co-washing because shampooing on a weekly basis can strip the hair of natural oils thus leaving the hair extra dry and susceptible to breakage. It is recommended to co-wash dry hair every other week whilst maintaining a shampoo-and-condition regime in the week in-between.
How to co-wash
- Create a solution using shampoo, conditioner and lukewarm water
Although specific co-wash products are available any conditioner can be used.
Various co-wash techniques exist, Betito recommends creating a solution in one of two ways when using a normal conditioner: mix your conditioner with lukewarm water to dilute it slightly; or mix one-third shampoo with two-thirds conditioner.
If you use a specific co-wash product there is no need to create a solution because it already includes cleansing properties.
- How to apply the solution
– After wetting your hair thoroughly part it into four sections, as you would for relaxing.
– Start applying the co-wash solution from the middle of your head and work your way to the back, front and sides.
– Gently massage the solution into the hair and scalp with your fingertips, not your nails.
– Keep the solution on your hair for three to five minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
– You can now detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb, towel-dry and style as usual.
When NOT to co-wash
There are however instances where co-washing is not recommended. If you suffer from weak, over-processed hair or extremely oily scalp, co-washing is not for you. It should also not be used if you have dandruff.
Co-washing should never be the only cleansing regime because it does not effectively remove product build-up on the hair and scalp which is why it is recommended to alternate between a shampoo (cleansing) one week and co-washing the next.
Ultimately, including a co-wash into your maintenance regime adds moisture to the hair, detangles, softens, strengthens and nourishes your hair. Co-washing will result in lubricating your hair and scalp leaving hair elastic and thus preventing breakage.
For more information on co-washing, watch this video: