How to Co-Wash Natural & Relaxed Hair
Ok Ladies. So there is a lot out there about Naturally Curly Hair and how to care for it. Many of my clients have asked how often do I wash my hair my natural hair. And then the infamous Co-washing regime comes up.
They ask, whats that??
I answer: Co-Washing is simply cleaning your hair and scalp with conditioner.
Conditioner actually can act as a mild detergents and may contain moisturizing agents, fragrance, thickeners, silicone oils and/or proteins. When dealing with naturally curly coifs moisture is essential and with the help of conditioners, ones hair will be soft, subtle and smooth. You can fight against frizz, and breakage when co-washing.
Well it really depends on your hair type. Co-washing can be done on a weekly basis or daily basis.
If you have done the Big Chop and are rocking a TWA (tweeny weeny afro) Then your Co-Washing can be done in not time. For my Diva’s who have grown their curly coifs, patience will be needed.
What kind of conditioner you use it up to you. I am a bit biased to 3. Salerm Mascarilla, Chi Curl Preserve and Joico Hydration. If you are doing this on a more regular basis I suggest a Generic Brand knock off from Sally’s.
Salerm Mascarilla can be also used as a deep conditioning treatment as well as the AWESOME Joico K-Pak Reconstructor touched with some local honey sweetness.
- Rinse the hair with warm water. Avoid water that is too hot (if it initially stings your back, it’s too hot). Hot water can be damaging and strip the hair of vital moisture. While rinsing with water, gently comb your hair with your fingers.
- Apply your conditioner. There are different was to do this and it is all preference and what’s easier for you.
(1) Part your hair into sections and apply a line of conditioner into your hand and apply each line onto the pre-parted hair sections. Work the conditioner from the roots to the tips. Continue until all the hair is covered.
(2) Squeeze your normal amount of conditioner into a large clean spray bottle or a Applicator Bottle. Mix with warm water. Spray liberally onto the hair. Make a large batch of diluted conditioner, spray your hair and rinse out after bathing. (this is also very useful when Conditioning Hair Under Braided Sew In Hair Weaves)
- Comb your hair with Bamboo Paddle Brush. Start from the ends and work your way up. I prefer to detangle while hair is completely drenched in Conditioner and ideally after heat has been applied either directly of from being under a processing (shower) cap. *This step is optional, as there remains a debate as to whether combing while wet does more damage to hair than combing while dry. It has been said that combing while wet can stretch the hair past it’s longest point, thereby causing breakage. However, many who wear their hair natural report that combing while the hair is fully conditioned is the best time for them, as the hair is soft and pliable, leading to less breakage. In either case, comb hair gently by working on one small section at a time.
- Allow the conditioner to set on your hair for at least a few minutes if possible. Use a Shower Cap, the steam from the shower and the conditioner itself will work on your hair during this time. Give yourself a nice salt or sugar scrub while your hair is being conditioned.
- Rinse your hair well, again with warm water. Ease your fingers through each section while the water flows through to remove any remaining conditioner.
- Apply your hair products, leave ins, oils, etc. — while your hair is dripping wet. Best absorption is gained at this time. Your products can be more evenly distributed throughout your hair while it is sopping wet.
Cleansing your hair by co-washing is a great alternative to traditional shampooing which can strip your hair of vital natural oils and moisture. With just a touch of practice, getting in and out of the shower with a clean head of hair will take less time than applying your makeup, and your hair will benefit greatly from it.
Side Note: I also love to use the Biosilk by Silk Therapy 17 Leave and CHI in with either CHI Silk Infusion and/or CHI Deep Brillance REFLECT Silk Reflection.