Co-washing

Co-washing is the process or method of washing your hair with conditioner only. It means skipping shampoo and relying solely on conditioner for daily, weekly or monthly hair wash. The result of washing the hair with just conditioner is something between squeaky clean and hair that is smoother, softer, and easier to manage. Using just conditioner to wash your hair will save you shower space, as well as time and money. Eliminating shampoo requires adjustments to how you rinse and condition your hair.

Here are step by step directions for a smooth transition.

Fully saturate your hair with water: The strands should be sopping wet. Think of it like soaking a dirty pot. The water loosens the debris, making it easier to rinse out eventually. This also helps distribute the product evenly throughout the hair.

Squeeze out a healthy amount of conditioner: Forget dime-size and quarter-size dollops. You need to use enough to coat strands from root to tip. For some people, this can mean using as much as a golf ball-size amount. This may seem like a lot, but don’t forget that you are cleansing, not just conditioning.

Massage the conditioner into the scalp and distribute evenly through the ends: This will help break down oils and any residue left over from styling products. Then allow the conditioner to be absorbed for three to five minutes. If your hair is particularly dry or damaged, leave it in longer. It will act like a mask. Now rinse your hair, dry, and style as usual. You may discover that you need less styling product, since the hair is less parched and more responsive.

Use a clarifying shampoo once every two to four weeks: Buildup from sweat, styles, or conditioner is inevitable, regardless of whether you shampoo or co-wash. Experiment with how frequently you need to clarify your hair. In general, a once-a-month or twice-a-month wash will cure dullness without drying.

If your hair still feels weighed down after biweekly clarifying, alternate as needed between co-washing and shampooing.

By Mercy Kukah

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