Co-washing, or conditioner washing, is a key step in maintaining curly-kinky hair. The textures are naturally dry, and co-washing aids in keeping the hair soft and moisturized, while cleansing the scalp to promote healthy hair growth.
Many naturals fail to realize that shampoos, even sulfate-free formulas, do more harm than good by stripping our naturally dry hair of its natural oil. In the end, we are left with drier, tangled, and frizzy hair. Shampooing your hair with a cream based shampoo, or co-washing, is a great way to maintain the hair’s moisture while cleansing the scalp as needed. The following co-washes have been tested, and I definitely recommend incorporating one into your regimen:
Pantene Truly Natural Hair Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner ($4.99)
Description: Cleanses, conditions, & detangles in 1 easy step without stripping the hair’s natural moisture.
Ingredient list: here.
Review: The Pantene Co-Wash was suggested to me by an assistant at the hair rules NYC Salon (review coming soon). It is very inexpensive and gets the job done! It is a great alternative to sudsing shampoos because it does not lather, which is essential for healthy, curly hair. Suds tend to strip the hair of its natural oil, thus increasing dryness and frizz. This co-wash cleanses the scalp and hair, while maintaining the hair’s moisture and softness, and I can easily detangle my hair while using it. This co-wash is also gentle enough for color-treated hair, which is great because my hair is extremely highlighted. The price, bottle size, and functionality of the product make this product a go-to.
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash ($20)
Description: Ultra-hydrating creme cleanser. Be Gentle, Be Kind creme co-wash is a 4-in-1 formula that effectively cleanses, conditions, detangles, and nourishes your hair. This ultra-hydrating formula removes impurities without stripping hair of natural oils. Fortified with hydrating shea, nourishing avocado oil & quinoa extracts, and soothing aloe to enhance manageability and healthiness of the hair.
Ingredient List: here.
Review: The Be Gentle, Be Kind co-wash has been a favorite since its release in 2014. In my opinion, it is very concentrated and can be diluted with water to increase spreadability. My scalp feels super clean and my hair is extremely soft and moisturized after using it. This product also has a great amount of slip where I can easily detangle my hair. It has the distinguished Briogeo smell, which I love. My only concern with this product are the size of the bottle and the price. Although it is a bit pricey and the bottle is small, this product is very much worth it. Because it is concentrated and can be diluted, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth!
Eden BODYWORKS Coconut Shea Cleansing CoWash ($8.99)
Description: Sulfate-free, no suds gentle cleansing conditioner cream for removing residue and build up between regular washings to promote a healthy hair environment for growth.
Ingredient List: here.
Review: I picked up the Coconut Shea Cleansing CoWash at the 2014 CurlFest event in Prospect Park, Brooklyn and instantly fell in love! A little definitely goes a long way with this product. I always felt that my scalp was extremely clean after using it, which is key for me. My hair was also soft and moisturized, and I was able to detangle my hair with no problems. It has a sweet coconut smell, but it isn’t sickeningly sweet, and the price and jar size were just right!
Important Tips for Successful Co-Washing
One thing I’ve learned about co-washing is that the amount of product used is very important. You always want to be liberal in your product application, which not only cleanses and conditions your hair, but it also sets your hair up for styling. It is also important to remember that kinky-curly hair is naturally dry; therefore, you want to saturate it and keep it moisturized. Co-washing is the first step in your regimen and once you are finished, your hair should be fully detangled, and you should be able to easily run your fingers through your hair. hair rules taught me the best way to co-wash your hair is listed in the following steps:
Wet hair completely and saturate it with product. The amount of product used should reflect the amount of hair you have (a lot of hair = a lot of product).
Detangle hair first! Detangling your hair first will help minimize tangles once you start scrubbing your scalp. Your hair should still be detangled after you’ve cleaned your scalp.
Always use a palm to fingers motion. Using this specific motion will help decrease frizz, while helping to easily detangle hair. Never pick at your hair! Always be sure to smooth your hair and run your fingers through the ends. This also aids in curl elongation.
I now use a cream based shampoo every wash day and my hair is noticeably softer, which is also a plus since my hair is color-treated. I recommend picking up a cream based shampoo and incorporating it into your regimen. I guarantee you’ll notice a difference.
SN: a hair rules Salon review is in the works!
Until next time,