Co-Washing: Your Hair's Newest Routine

When it comes to hair care, we love talking about our healthy hair and scalp formulas - even more so, how best and when to use them.  For example, our Hair Styler provides fullness with low-key shine and flexible control (which is probably why it racked up a major award). But if you “cocktail” it with our Hair Gel, the combined textures give yet another effect; more staying power, sculpted definition and shine to any hair style. 

Fun-fact: the cooling and stimulating effect of menthol in our moisturizing Shampoo gives just enough of a tingle to keep hair and scalp feeling fresh. But this is not just for show. Behind the scenes, the shampoo clears away dirt, sweat and pollution in a detergent-free -- no parabens, sulfates, or silicones here -- cleansing option.  

As covered previously in 5 Reasons You Should Be Using A Conditioner, Too, we break down how our Conditioner is the natural follow up to it’s partner the Shampoo. Below, we’ll dig into an alternative benefit to our nourishing Conditioner: “Co-Washing”.

What is Co-Washing?

Co-washing is shorthand for conditioner-washing, which is when conditioner stands in for the shampoo. This practice has grown in popularity and it’s quite simple and efficient. Over-shampooing -- especially in hotter, humid months -- can cause excessive dryness of your hair and scalp. A conditioner acts as a cream cleanser to remove buildup and cleanse the hair. But without the lathering or harsh ingredients, such as sulfates or parabens typically used in shampoos.

Co-washing is especially good for textured, natural or wavy hair as it doesn’t strip the hair and scalp of natural oils. The hair remains stronger and healthier with better moisture retention and less breakage.

Some people will ‘co-wash’ daily in order to get the grime-clearing benefits, along with the hair-nourishing ones but find a cadence that suits you. Typically, every other day, or alternating between regular shampoo days works well.  How to do it? Apply a thick and generous layer of conditioner, scrub the scalp (creating friction is key to lifting dirt and grime) and work through hair from roots to ends. Go about your business and then rinse thoroughly.

Top Co-Washing Benefits:

  1. Co-Washing Saves The Scalp

    For hot summer days, or for those who exercise regularly, removing sweat from the hair is essential. Salt and odor from frequent perspiration can dry out the hair and even irritate the scalp. One of the benefits of co-washing is that it can remove the dirt and sweat buildup while at the same time avoid stripping hair of its natural oils while nourishing the scalp.
  1. Time = Money

    Short on time? Co-Washing is a game changer. Skip the lathering step by wetting hair, massaging in a big dollop, massage in and rinse away.
  1. Strengthens The Hair

    Given that some shampoos can strip or even dry out hair, Co-Washing replenishes moisture and elasticity, making it easier to comb, detangle, style, and dry a lot smoother and sleeker. 
  1. Co-Washing Keeps The Shine On

    All that protective sebum you’re keeping on your strands can lead to shinier, healthier-looking hair.
  1. Your Hair Will Smell Fresh & Clean

    Conditioner is meant to be absorbed by porous hair to help replenish moisture, smooth the cuticle and provide healthy shine. The added benefit is hair will hold on to scent longer, keeping it smelling fresh and clean.
  1. Define Those Curls.

    Curl definition doesn’t just come from styling products. Moisture helps define curls of all shapes and patterns.
  1. Smooth The Frizz

    Each strand of hair has overlapping layers of cuticles on the outside- kind of like shingles on a roof. These layers protect your hair best when they are smoothed down. Smoothing is what conditioners do best.  Cuticles that are raised may show up as “frizz.”
  1. Co-Washing Zaps Away Static

    Conditioners make your hair anti-static. Hair tends to have a negative electrical charge due to lack of moisture or simply interaction with the environment. Conditioners are positively charged, so they neutralize your hair and prevent static. No fly-aways.

If you’re using a shampoo every day, try skipping it for Co-Washing to avoid drying out your hair and scalp. Bonus points if you have textured, natural or wavy hair, as you’ll benefit most from your hair remaining stronger and healthier with better moisture retention and less breakage.

About our Smooth & Nourish Conditioner:

Our lightweight, yet powerhouse cream conditioner helps soothe the scalp and nourish hair prone to dullness, dryness, breakage and frizz. Smoothing the cuticle and sealing in moisture and shine, this is your hair's MVP.  Nourishing conditioner helps restore dull, dry or frizzy hair with Wheat Protein and Biotin to repair and strengthen. Aloe soothes the scalp as Shea Butter, vitamin-rich Argan Oil and Panthenol seal in moisture- keeping hair smooth, soft and manageable.  Scented with fresh, clean and invigorating notes of energetic citrus, fresh juniper and aromatic greens. Check it out here.