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6 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CLEANSING CONDITIONER AND CO-WASHING HAIR
Shampoo every day or skip a day or two? That topic is always hotly debated among beauty pros. Up until recently, there really haven’t been viable alternatives to sudsing up with shampoo in the shower. Granted, there are dry shampoos, which are great for absorbing excess oil from the scalp and removing unwanted odors from the environment and from your own body. But dry shampoos don’t really offer the freshness and revitalization of the shower and shampoo experience.
Now, however, there’s an intriguing alternative to skipping the lather or misting on a dry shampoo—it’s called co-washing.
1. WHAT IS CO-WASHING YOUR HAIR AND WHAT ARE CLEANSING CONDITIONERS? Co-washing is short for "conditioner-only washing." This no-shampoo method is also referred to as cleansing conditioning or "no-poo" shampooing. It’s done with shampoo-free formulas that cleanse, balance and refresh your hair without stripping or depleting its natural oils and nutrients.
natural oils and nutrients keep your hair strong, shiny and supple, when your hair is damaged, the outside layers of each hair strand, which, in healthy hair are dense and compact--could become disrupted and irregular.
Traditional shampoos rely on detergents that are chemically attracted to the dirt in your hair. They’re distributed by rubbing, scrubbing and lathering, and when they’re rinsed, your hair feels squeaky clean—which isn’t always a good thing if it tends to be dry or damaged. So then you reach for your conditioner to add back moisture.
2. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CO-WASHING HAIR? Cleansing conditioners are gentle, detergent-free, all-in-one formulas that clean, hydrate and condition hair in one step. They contain little-to-no sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate), and they generally don’t lather. They leave hair soft and frizz free without stripping or drying.
3. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF CO-WASHING IS RIGHT FOR YOU? Consider adding a cleansing conditioner to your routine if your hair is dry or extremely dry; if your hair is damaged; if it’s chemically processed—colored, highlighted, relaxed, straightened. Consider co-washing if your strands are super curly, because the coiled nature of tight curls make it difficult for natural oils to travel from scalp to ends, which leads to a tendency to be dry.
4. WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN A CLEANSING CONDITIONER FORMULA? Ideally, cleansing conditioners should be "free from"—free from sulfates and soaps that remove impurities harshly; free from parabens, which are preservatives that many people prefer to avoid; and free from silicones that can sit on the surface of the hair and cause build-up.
5. HOW OFTEN AND WHEN SHOULD I CO-WASH MY HAIR? Your hair type, your routine and lifestyle and your climate will all affect your co-washing strategy. If you shampoo in the morning, and then hit the gym after work, you may consider co-washing after your workout to refresh your hair and scalp.
6. HOW TO CO-WASH YOUR HAIR PROPERLY Co-washing is easy. Simply apply the cleansing conditioner and massage it into your scalp for a few minutes. Comb it through to the ends with a wide-tooth comb for even distribution, then proceed with your shower. Just before you’re finished, rinse out the co-wash with lukewarm water. Switch off the shower, towel dry and style as usual. That’s all there is to it!