How to Co-Wash Your Hair: 4 Things You Need to Know

Care Tips

You’ll have heard about ‘co-washing’ by now. Also known as ‘conditioner washing’, it involves eschewing your sudsy, squeaky-clean shampoos in favour of a cleansing conditioner. For some of you, it might go against the grain of your usual wash-and-blowdry routine, but - trust us – the softening, smoothing benefits of regular co-washing truly pay off. Here’s what you need to know…

Who Should Try It?

One of the first questions that crops up with co-washing is ‘will it work with my hair?’ And the answer is: just try it. You won’t know if co-washing suits you until you give it a go. What you should keep in mind is the condition and the texture of your hair, as the biggest benefits are seen if you have afro hair or if your locks are coarse, dehydrated, mechanically damaged or curly.

So, What Are the Benefits?

The reason co-washing is so good for parched, curly or afro hair is because it’s that much gentler than traditional shampoos. In the case of natural curls, their structure means oil produced by the sebaceous glands doesn’t travel down the hair shaft as easily, meaning the mid-lengths tend to be thirsty and damaged. While the average shampoo might further strip these strands of the oils they crave, a co-wash will purify your hair while adding plenty of much-needed, frizz-reducing moisture.

How Do You Do It?

It’s simple, really. First, choose a co-washing product, like our upcoming Oil Reflections Cleansing Conditioner (launching in October), which gently cleanses your hair while boosting luminosity with camellia seed oil. When your locks are wet, start by massaging it into your roots as you would a traditional shampoo, then smooth it through to the ends and let it sit for a few minutes. When you’re ready rinse thoroughly and…that’s it, you’re done. It really is as easy as that, and the best part is, you don’t need to follow it up with any extra conditioner.

As for how often you should co-wash, we recommend taking a break from time to time, and switching back to your regular shampoo for a deeper, more purifying cleanse. Do this every two to three washes to rebalance your scalp and enjoy the intensely nourishing benefits of a cleansing conditioner the rest of the time.

What Comes Next?

Once you’ve kicked off your co-washing routine, expect the unexpected. While some will see big, hair-smoothing results in just a week, others can find it takes more time. If you have very thick, very dry hair, you might want to add a few extra nourishing steps. We recommend treating locks to a rinse-out treatment with the gloss-boosting Oil Reflections Luminous Magnifying Elixir, then massaging Oil Reflections Luminous Smoothening Oil through mid-lengths. They’re a frizz-defying dream team.

Happy co-washing…

Header Image: @cristina_hotca

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