Sunday, July 14, 2024

FYI : Is co-washing a better way to wash your hair?

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How you care for your hair is something that matters. Taking proper care of your hair can prevent certain types of hair loss.This includes the right way to wash your hair. Out of all the different ways of washing your hair, something that’s doing the rounds is co-washing. The Pioneer’s Tejal Sinha speaks to experts about whether co-washing is a good option, and who can give it a shot.

Washing our hair the right way is one of the biggest concerns for many of us. While many use the age-old traditions, many on the other side have their own way of washing their hair.

Social media and the internet are flooded with various tips and tricks related to the right way of washing your hair. And here’s another different way of washing your hair: To our shock, this new tip claims that you just need a conditioner and not a shampoo.

We’re talking about co-washing. Co-washing is basically washing your hair with conditioner.The act of co-washing has become more and more popular with those who have curly and coily hair. It’s also known as “conditioner-only” washing and involves no shampoo.It’s important to know that co-washing is not just about skipping your shampoo and applying conditioner as normal. It’s about using conditioner in place of your shampoo, which means on your scalp as well.

Many shampoos include ingredients like sulphates that clean hair thoroughly but can actually strip natural oils and moisture from the strands of your hair, leaving them dry and more prone to breakage. It’s been claimed that by cutting down on the use of shampoo via a co-washing regime, your hair is able to maintain its natural moisture levels, so it can grow healthier and more resilient.

Shampoo certainly has its place, but for curly hair that requires lots of moisture, co-washing can be a better fit. This doesn’t mean that you should dump shampoo entirely, but the one you choose is key.Sulfate-free shampoo is the best option for curls, as it breaks down excess oil in a much milder way than its sulfate-filled counterparts. While it’s important to do somewhat of a deep cleaning of your curls every few weeks or even just once a month, curls will thrive better with the use of a co-wash for those in between cleanses. More on how often co-washing sessions should be happening in a bit.

But the important question that arises here is, is co-washing a good option or not? We connected with Dr. G. Rekha, a trichologist in Secunderabad, who said, “Co-washing is not an option for all types of hair. If you have coily, mixed-textured, curly, or extremely dry hair, there’s a chance that your hair care routine could benefit from it. But it’s important for one to understand the main difference between shampoo and conditioner. Shampoo cleans the hair, while conditioner adds moisture and nourishment.You should first cleanse the hair with shampoo, and then apply conditioner to the hair to moisturise it.”

Seconding Dr. G. Rekha, Dr. Megha Chakraborty, a hair specialist, tells us, “Co-washing can be especially great for curls and coils. Co-washing can help put a stop to breakage, since damaged hair is dry hair and benefits from the added moisture, both naturally occurring (oils from your scalp) and provided by conditioner. However, if you deal with excessive scalp and hair oiliness, keep shampooing.Because shampoo removes oil, not regularly washing out that oil could weigh down your hair even more, leaving it flat and extra greasy.”

The doctors share with us the pros and cons of co-washing for people who wish to try it:
Pros of co-washing

Using shampoo too often can strip the hair due to the harsh chemicals. Therefore, co-washing provides a great conditioning treatment for your hair while also providing mild cleansing agents.When you follow the right co-washing steps, it also serves as a way of refreshing your curls. If you’ve found that you wet your natural hair a lot more frequently when it’s curly, you should be using a co-wash.

You can just rinse and then re-style, but curls plump up and are revived with moisture.The water will do this, but rinsing hair with a bit of co-wash will help seal that moisture in while getting rid of any excess styling product or dirt that might weigh down your curls.

Cons of co-washing

Some disadvantages of co-washing include hair feeling dull and heavy, as Brook explains. She even says that she’s found that clients with thick hair who use this technique sometimes have a bit of a musky smell to their hair instead of being fresh and clean like you would achieve with shampooing. The forecast also explains that due to

co-washing, the hair follicle may not breathe at its best, which is required for healthy growth. So if you’re trying to grow out your hair, this may not be the best time for you to try.

Tailor hair types Curly hair

If you have curly or coarse hair, you will have to leave the conditioner on for a long time, and make sure to spend enough time thoroughly rinsing it all out.

Coily hair

Curly hair can end up being coarse, and curls can feel dry and undefined. If that’s the case, it might be time to swap your daily shampoo for a co-wash. A richer co-wash is better for highly porous hair, like color-treated, or chemically processed.

Wavy hair

If your curls are on the finer side, try a lightweight co-wash, as it contains fewer oils to weigh down your hair.

For fine hair

It can be a bit challenging to find a good conditioner for fine hair. A lightweight formula won’t strip your hair’s natural oils.


Step 1: Make sure you’re using the right product for your strands.
Step 2: Don’t jump straight to coating your hair. Rinse your hair before applying any product. A thorough rinse will help remove most of the buildup on your curls and make the job of your cleansing conditioner much easier.
Step 3: Co-washes are moisture-rich, you want to be sure that you don’t overdo it with the amount of product you use. To gauge whether or not you have the right amount, take note of how thoroughly your hair is coated.
Step 4: Make sure that you feel the co-wash at your roots after you apply it.

Step 5: After you work the product through your ends, go back in and gently detangle your hair with your fingers before rinsing it out.

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