Natural hair is often very dry and requires a very complicated process when it comes to balancing between washing and conditioning. So here comes co-washing or conditioning washing which some people say are very successful in making their hair soft and properly moisturized.
How does one know that it is good or not without trying?
Are there not natural shampoos in the market that can do the same thing that co-washing promises to do?
Yes there are many best shampoos for natural hair, but just like with other things, some products work with some people while in others, it may not produce the same results.
But first, we have to understand what co-washing really is. Co-washing or conditioner washing should not be taken to mean just literally applying conditioner to your hair. What it actually means is to wash your hair using a conditioner.
So unlike when you apply your conditioner after you shampoo, you just don’t put a small amount to your hair. You use a generous amount that will be able to cover all of your hair and use that to massage and squeeze through your hair in order to help remove dirt and oils from it.
What are the Effects of Co-Washing vs shampooing?
These two products definitely produce two different effects on the hair. Co-washing can lead to softer, shinier hair but without shampooing it can weigh your hair down. The amount of ingredients that will stick to your hair as well as the added sweat and oils that conditioners simply are not made to remove will eventually make your hair feel so heavy.
But today, there are co-washing products that contain natural cleansing ingredients such as lemon, aloe Vera, and clay which help remove the oil and dirt. So the secret is to find those products that offer a bit of cleansing effect to your hair.
Shampooing on the other hand will lead to dry hair especially if you cannot afford to use non-sulfate products. Sulfates such as SLS are commonly found in shampoos as they help strip the oils and dirt from the hair.
But since naturally curly hair have a more difficult time distributing the natural oils into the curls, it often becomes very dry due to shampooing and this leads to weak and brittle hair. If you opt to shampoo your hair, the best thing would be to use a conditioner afterwards and to use it infrequently about only twice or thrice a week.
This way, your scalp will get the time to replenish its natural oils first and nourish the hair follicles.
What Types of Natural Hair will Benefit Most from Co-Washing and Shampooing?
One of the first things that you have to consider when deciding whether to co-wash or not is the nature of your hair itself. As you may well know, conditioners add moisture and softness to your hair with little to no cleansing effect.
So co-washing will be highly recommended for those who have very dry and coarse hair. These types of hair are not prone to dirt because they are very dry and the lack of oil in the scalp will help eliminate any chances of dirt and dust sticking to the hair. So it requires little cleaning and even simply rinsing with water can remove them.
On the other hand, if you have oily hair, if you frequently use and apply oil to your hair or is often engaged in activities that make you sweat a lot then shampooing will definitely be a must. Shampoo will remove dirt, excess oils, and sweat which not only makes your head smell unpleasant but can even lead to infections.
The accumulation of dirt and bacteria brought by sweat can also affect hair growth. Sebum, which is the scalp’s natural oil, can block hair growth if it is not regularly cleaned from the hair follicles.
So the choice is really up to you whether you should co-wash or shampoo. There are certain co-wash products that can deliver great results but they also come at a cost or you could choose to shampoo and then condition your hair. It will all depend upon the kind of lifestyle that you have or the type of natural hair that you have.