Hair Products,  Hair Routines & Growth

Here’s Why You Should Be Co-Washing Your Natural Hair

brushing hair during co-washing

Co-washing has become very popular over the last couple of years, especially among those with coily, wavy, or curly hair types.

I remember when the co-washing routine became a thing, I was in the 8th grade and thought, ok so traditional shampoos are bad and a co-wash routine is the only way I should wash my hair! Boy was I wrong!

Co-washing should be integrated into your hair care routine, but it should by no means replace your regular shampoos, rather you should work them into the same natural hair routine for healthy hair growth.

In this blog post, I’ll go over what the co-washing process is, its advantages and disadvantages, who can benefit from it, which hair types might not be suitable for it, the difference between traditional shampooing, regular conditioner, and co-wash products, ingredients to look for, and how to use co-wash.

What Is A Co-Washing Routine

The term co-washing was coined from the words conditioner and washing.

It involves using co-wash products to cleanse the hair, rather than a regular shampoo. This could also be a regular conditioner or a product specifically for co-washing with a co-wash formula.

When co-washing, you work the hair product into the hair and scalp, gently scrubbing the scalp with the fingertips to remove any product buildup.

Co-washing cannot completely replace traditional shampoo, I suggest you have both in your natural hair regimen.

Co-washing is essentially conditioner washing – so you skip the shampoo and only wash your hair with a conditioner or a specially formulated cleansing conditioner.

The idea behind a co-washing routine is that most regular shampoos are too harsh for everyday use on dry hair types like curly or coily hair types. So, co-washing helps give you a mild cleanse and add much-needed moisture back into the hair.

Not all traditional conditioners work as co-wash products.

Some regular conditioners contain ingredients, such as silicones, that can cause product buildup on the hair.

When co-washing hair, it’s best to use a conditioner, that has a co-wash formula or at least one that is silicone-free and lightweight.

While co-washing hair with a regular conditioner can be a good option for curly hair, a special co-wash product like Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash can provide even better results.

These products are formulated specifically for co-washing hair. They’re more lightweight than traditional conditioners and contain ingredients that can improve the cleansing process.

Co-washing conditioners can help prevent product buildup and leave your curls feeling refreshed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-Washing:

co washing 4c hair

While co-washing offers many benefits for curly hair and coily hair types, it’s essential to weigh its pros and cons.

Advantages of Co-Washing Routine:

  • Gentle Cleansing: Co-washing provides a mild cleanse, ideal for brittle and dry hair types prone to damage from harsh chemicals in regular shampoos.
  • Moisture Retention: Unlike traditional shampoos that can strip the hair of its natural oils, co-washing helps retain moisture, leaving curls hydrated and healthy.
  • Reduced Frizz: By nourishing the hair with conditioning agents, co-washing can help minimize frizz and enhance curl definition.
  • Improved Manageability: Co-washing can make detangling and styling more manageable, thanks to the added moisture and reduced tangling.
  • Doesn’t Strip Your Hair: Traditional shampoos can be harsh on curly hair, leaving it stripped and dry. The best co-washes help maintain your hair’s natural oils, leaving it feeling softer and more manageable.
  • Prevents Hair Breakage: Because co-washing hair is a gentler method of washing your hair, it can help to avoid hair breakage and help with length retention.

Disadvantages Of the Co-Washing Process:

  • Product Buildup: While co-washing can effectively remove dirt and product buildup, using the wrong products or failing to rinse thoroughly can lead to product buildup over time.
  • Scalp Issues: Some individuals may experience scalp issues, such as itchiness or irritation if the conditioner is not properly rinsed or if the formula contains ingredients that are not suitable for their scalp.
  • Weighs Down Curls: Co-washing with heavy or rich conditioners may weigh down fine or low-porosity hair, resulting in limp or greasy-looking curls.

Who Can Benefit from Co-Washing:

Co-washing is particularly beneficial for those with curly, wavy, or coily hair types, as these hair textures tend to be drier and more prone to frizz.

Additionally, those with high porosity hair can benefit from co-washing, as it helps with moisture retention and prevents further damage to the hair shaft.

On the other hand, individuals with fine or low porosity hair may find that co-washing weighs down their hair or leads to product buildup, making it less suitable for their hair type.

Difference Between Shampoo, Conditioner, and Co-Wash Products:

Traditional shampoos are designed to cleanse the hair by removing dirt, oil, and product buildup. However, they can also strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to damage.

Regular conditioners, on the other hand, are formulated to moisturize and detangle the hair, providing much-needed hydration and softness.

However, some regular conditioners contain ingredients like silicones that can cause product buildup over time.

Co-wash products, including cleansing conditioners and co-wash formulas, offer a gentler alternative to traditional shampoos.

These products cleanse the hair while also providing moisture and nourishment, making them ideal for curly and coily hair types.

There are also low-poo shampoos.

Low-poo shampoo is a gentle alternative to traditional shampoos, formulated with milder cleansing agents to minimize the stripping of natural oils.

It offers a delicate cleanse, making it suitable for individuals with curly or dry hair who want to maintain moisture without compromising on cleanliness.

Ingredients to Look For:

When choosing a co-wash product, it’s essential to look for ingredients that will nourish and hydrate your hair without weighing it down or causing product buildup. Some key ingredients to look for include:

  • Coconut oil: Known for its moisturizing properties, coconut oil helps hydrate and soften the hair.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a natural humectant that helps retain moisture in the hair, keeping curls hydrated and healthy.
  • Shea butter: Shea butter is rich in vitamins and fatty acids that nourish the hair and scalp, promoting healthy growth and shine.
  • Essential oils: Essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender oil have antibacterial and soothing properties, making them ideal for maintaining a healthy scalp.
  • Silicone-free formula: Look for co-wash products that are silicone-free to avoid product buildup and ensure that your curls remain lightweight and bouncy.
  • Sulfate-free formula: Look for co-wash products that are sulfate-free to drying out your curls.

Step-By-Step Guide On How to Use Co-Wash:

Using a co-wash product is simple and straightforward, but it’s essential to follow the right steps to ensure optimal results. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using a co-wash:

  1. Start by wetting your hair thoroughly with warm water to open the hair cuticle and prepare it for cleansing.
  2. Apply a generous amount of co-wash product to your hair and scalp, focusing on the roots and working your way down to the ends.
  3. Gently massage the product into your scalp using your fingertips, focusing on areas where product buildup is most likely to occur.
  4. Allow the co-wash to sit on your hair for a few minutes to penetrate and cleanse thoroughly.
  5. Rinse the co-wash out of your hair with warm water, making sure to remove all traces of the product.
  6. Follow up with a leave-in conditioner or styling product to lock in moisture and define your curls.

By incorporating co-washing into your hair care routine and choosing the right products for your hair type, you can enjoy clean, hydrated curls that are full of life and vitality.

The Best Co-Wash For Curly Hair

Discover the ultimate solution for luxurious curls, the best co-wash for curly hair:

As I Am Jamaican Black Castor Oil Cowash

Unlock the power of Jamaican Black Castor Oil with As I Am’s Co-Wash, meticulously crafted to cleanse and nourish hair while promoting healthy growth and vitality.

As I Am Jamaican Black Castor Oil Cowash

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Sulfate Free Cleansing Conditioner for Curls

Indulge your curls with Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Sulfate Free Cleansing Conditioner, enriched with agave and shea butter to gently cleanse and moisturize waves, coils, and curls.

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Sulfate Free Cleansing Conditioner for Curls

Aussie Miracle Curls Co-Wash

Aussie Miracle Curls Co-Wash offers a delightful fusion of moisture and cleansing, ideal for enhancing the natural beauty of curls while maintaining hydration.

Aussie Miracle Curls Co-Wash

Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash

Experience the rejuvenating blend of tea tree, lavender, and mint with the Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash, perfect for coarse, curly, and dry hair types seeking hydration and nourishment.

Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash

How Often Should You Co-Wash

To maintain the perfect balance of moisture and cleanliness, co-washing should be approached strategically.

Reserve co-washing for occasions when your hair craves a refresh but isn’t dirty yet or you have no product buildup, preventing unnecessary drying.

I advise you to stick to your regular hair wash day routine when your hair is visibly dirty, alternating between co-washing and traditional washing each week to strike the perfect equilibrium.

FAQ About Co Washing 4c Hair

Q: How often should I cowash my 4C hair?

A: Co-wash your 4C hair as needed, typically every 1-2 weeks, to maintain moisture without stripping natural oils.

Q: How long can 4C hair go unwashed?

A: 4C hair can go unwashed for about 1-2 weeks, but it’s essential to listen to your hair’s needs and avoid excessive buildup.

Q: What is the best way to wash 4C hair?

A: The best way to wash 4C hair is with a gentle cleanser or co-wash product, followed by deep conditioning to retain moisture.

Q: Should I Cowash my natural hair?

A: Yes, co-washing natural hair can be beneficial for maintaining hydration and reducing dryness.

Q: Is it OK to put water in 4C hair everyday?

A: Spritzing 4C hair with water daily can help maintain moisture levels, but be cautious not to over-moisturize, which can lead to hygral fatigue.

Q: Do you use conditioner after co-wash?

A: Yes, it’s recommended to follow up with a conditioner after co-washing to provide additional moisture and detangling benefits.

Q: Should I wash my 4C hair with cold or hot water?

A: It’s generally recommended to wash 4C hair with lukewarm water to avoid stripping natural oils or causing scalp irritation.

Q: Should you comb 4C hair before washing?

A: Yes, gently detangling 4C hair before washing can help minimize breakage and ensure even distribution of products.

Q: Is Cowash better than conditioner?

A: Co-wash products are formulated to cleanse and condition simultaneously, making them an efficient option for maintaining moisture and reducing buildup compared to traditional conditioners.

Q: Can I use co wash instead of shampoo?

A: Yes, co-wash products can effectively cleanse the hair without stripping its natural oils, making them a suitable alternative to shampoo for some individuals, especially those with dry or curly hair types.

Pin For Later!

how to co-wash your hair for easy and faster wash days
how to co-wash your hair for easy and faster wash days
how to co-wash your hair for easy and faster wash days

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