You may have noticed us talking about co-washing over on Instagram. Short for “conditioner-only washing,” it’s the new no-poo method that’s transforming natural hair care everywhere. The idea is that conventional shampoo strips hair of its natural oils. This can be rough on strands, especially when done regularly. Co-washing, on the other hand, gently cleanses to leave hair soft and hydrated, which lays the foundation for growing and maintaining healthier, stronger strands.

 

Is co-washing right for you?

Do you have curly or wavy hair? Is it color-treated? Thick or coarse? Extra dry? If you answered yes to any of those, you’re a great candidate to reap all the benefits of co-washing. If you have straight, fine hair, just using conditioner will weigh your tresses down too much. Have a super oily scalp or dermatitis? Conditioner won’t treat either issue, so it’s best to address those concerns first before making the switch.

 

Choose the right conditioner.

The next step is to pick the best co-wash conditioner. Grab your favorite formula and check the ingredients. Silicones like dimethicone are added to many conditioners for extra shine, and if you don’t not shampoo regularly, they’ll build up and do exactly the opposite—leave strands lackluster and heavy. Our pure plant-derived Voluminous Conditioner is a favorite among co-washing pros because instead of silicones, it’s packed with rahua oil, lemongrass, citric juices, lavender and eucalyptus. It’s a cleansing conditioner that leaves hair silky soft, super manageable and smelling fresh. Rich yet lightweight, the moisturizing formula also adds bounce and shine.

 credit @levertbeauty

@levertbeauty

Perfect your co-washing routine.

Once you have a silicone-free conditioner you’re ready to co-wash. Wet your hair and apply conditioner, starting at the scalp. Use your fingers to really massage it in, just like you would if you were shampooing. This helps to break down oils and remove any debris. Next, apply conditioner to the rest of your hair, taking care to distribute evenly and remove tangles with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. After that’s done, leave the conditioner on for three to five minutes. You can leave it in longer if your locks need some extra TLC (think dry, damaged hair). The final step is to rinse it out, and you can experiment here, too. If your tresses are coarse or particularly parched, try cutting the rinsing step short so that a bit is left in your hair as a leave-in conditioner. Play with the timing here and adjust as needed. From there, dry with a T-shirt or microfiber towel to avoid frizz. You may find that you don’t need to use quite as much styling product as you do when you use shampoo, so try dialing it back a bit.

 

Hold on—don’t toss the shampoo.

Co-washing doesn’t mean ditching your shampoo altogether. It might sound counterintuitive, but you’ll still need to use a clarifying shampoo regularly to get rid of any buildup. How often depends on a number of factors, including your hair type, your conditioner and how much styling product you use. We recommend using a sulfate-free formula like our Voluminous Shampoo once a week.

credit @justaskarjun

@justaskarjun