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Is Co-washing right for your hair? 

Co-washing is the act of washing your hair with just conditioner and skipping on the traditional shampoo step. Over the past couple of years more ladies have been ditching the shampoo in favour of Co-washing.

Why? Washing with just conditioner doesn’t strip the hair of natural oils meaning hair feels nourished and in better condition. Does it actually work though?

I’m not going to lie, I was kind of sceptical about this. Surely it would leave hair looking greasy?

Typical me I decide to do a little bit of research in to this as I wanted to find out more about the claims of Co-Washing.

As it turns out Co washing isn’t actually that new. Women with curly hair, particularly Afro textured hair, have been skipping shampoo and washing with just conditioner for years.

Most conditioners contain small amounts of detergent known as ‘quats’. When these are mixed with water they pick up small amounts of dirt leaving the hair gently cleansed.

My Interest piqued I decided it was about time  I gave Co-washing a try. Not wanting to part with a large sum of money I opted to try out Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Cleansing Conditioner Rrp £5.99. You can find it in Superdrug or online from Amazon and FeelUnique.


So how did I get on?

Firstly it would probably help by telling you about my hair type. I have hair that is naturally wavy and tends to get dry feeling quite quickly, especially at the ends. Oh and don’t get me started on it’s prone to frizz, if treated incorrectly. I have actually had a fair bit of hair chopped off recently so my hair is currently in good condition.

Co-washing is most definately a technique you have to get used to. It actually took me a couple of washes before I could confidently say I was using it correctly.

My first attempt left my hair feeling weighed down and It actually looked more greasy than when I started. Not one to give in though I have tried and tried again.

Here’s a quick guide to the correct way to use a cleansing conditioner.

  • Rinse the hair with just water thourghly first.
  • Make sure you massage the cleansing conditioner into the scalp well and through the length of your hair.
  • It helps to use a wide tooth comb to disperse it evenly through the hair.
  • It will not lather, so don’t be surprised by this.
  • Leave in the hair for a good 5 minutes before rinsing THOURGHLY.

You certainly are not left with that squeaky clean feeling you get after using shampoo. I would describe it as second day hair, so if you like a bit of texture this helps. Due to this frizz is also not an issue.

I wouldn’t like to comment on the long term effects this has had on the condition of my hair as I have only been using this for about 3 weeks. It hasn’t felt dry at all though, even the ends.

It’s worth bearing in mind that Co Washing may not be for everyone. Having experienced that initial weighted effect on my hair (when I didn’t use it properly) I can imagine if you have fine or very straight hair it would weigh it down. Also if you are someone that has a particularly oily scalp this probably would make that worse.

If you have colour treated hair that is perhaps dry or damaged or a natural curl to your hair then you may find this works for you.

This particular Co-wash gets bonus points as well as it is free from Sulphates and parabens which is great if you are someone trying to keep chemicals to a minimum.

Have you tried Co-washing before? what was your experience?

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