How To Co Wash Natural Black Hair, What That Means, And Should You Do It?

How To Co Wash Natural Black Hair, What That Means, And Should You Do It?

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Co washing is a hair care method that’s gaining a lot of popularity among black women. It’s something many women are adopting, especially those with natural hair.

If you’re wondering what co washing is, or you have some questions about it, then you’re in the right place. We’ll be answering any questions you have about co washing, so keep reading girl!

What Does Co Washing Hair Mean? The Definition

A black woman with a towel wrapped around the head

Co washing is a method of washing hair without the use of shampoo. The term co washing is the short form of conditioner-washing only. All you need is a conditioner; preferably a moisturizing one and you’re good to go.

Washing your hair this way strips off sweat and light dirt leaving hair softer, smoother and easier to manage. Although the hair is not left squeaky clean, it’s clean enough to go about your daily business feeling refreshed. It’s a great way to stay away from the harsh chemicals present in most shampoos.

Is Co Washing For Everyone?

Is co washing for everyone?

Co washing works best for women with thick, dry, course or curly hair. If you have thin, fine hair, you might not really notice the benefits of co washing. On the other hand, black women with an active lifestyle benefit greatly from co washing.

It’s an efficient way to get rid of sweat without damaging hair by over washing it with shampoo. During the cold weather, black women with dry benefit immensely from co washing. It replenishes and rejuvenates the hair strands.

If you have oily hair or a scalp condition such as dermatitis, you’ll need a shampoo to keep your hair clean but you can still co wash one in a while.

Should I Co Wash Afro Hair? What Are The Benefits?

Benefits of co washing

If you’re new to co washing, you should definitely give it a try. Take a look at how co washing will benefit your Afro hair.

1. Moisturizes Hair
Co washing adds a great deal of moisture to your hair. For starters, since you’re using a good moisturizing conditioner, the moisture level in your hair will automatically increase. The absence of shampoo also means that you’re not using harsh chemicals that strip away moisture form the hair and leave it dry. Thus, your hair is left looking vibrant, healthy and breakage is drastically reduced.

2. Styling Is Easy
If you’d like to have an easy time styling your hair, try co washing. Squeaky clean hair is always difficult to style. However, co washing makes the hair more manageable when styling. Those pins will stay fixed exactly where you put them.

3. Keeps The Hair And Scalp Healthy
Shampoos are normally too harsh on the hair and scalp. They strip of the natural oils leaving hair brittle and the scalp dry. This isn’t the case when you co wash. Co washing allows you to get rid of dirt while retaining natural oils on the scalp and hair.

4. It Saves Time And Money
This is self-explanatory. Normally, we use both shampoo and conditioner to wash our hair. When co washing, the absence of shampoo means the whole process takes less time. It also means that you don’t need to spend money on large amounts of shampoo thus saving some money.

5. Detangles And Defines Curls
Co washing detangles hair and makes combing a breeze. This also reduces the amount of hair breakage when styling thus promoting hair growth. Another advantage is that curls become more defined and bouncy as a result of co washing.

The Cons Of Co Washing

Cons of co washing

Co washing also comes with some disadvantages. Since a conditioner doesn’t clean thoroughly, it leads to product build up which makes the head feel heavy and sticky. You might also be left with a mucky smell if the hair was too dirty.

Too much co washing leads to over-moisturizing of hair. As a result, the hair becomes mushy, too soft and weak which causes it to fall off.

How To Co Wash Natural Hair

How to co wash natural hair

Start by wetting and detangling all your hair. Make sure it is soaking wet. The water loosens the dirt thus making it easier to wash it out. Doing this also helps with even distribution of the conditioner on the entire head.

Next, divide your hair into four to six sections. Now take the conditioner you’re using and squeeze out a healthy amount. Keep in mind that you’re cleansing and conditioning so you’ll need to cover all hair, from the roots to the ends. Using your fingertips, thoroughly massage the first section.

Ensure that you cover the scalp and growth completely. From the scalp, work your way up to the middle and the ends. Repeat this for every section. Finally, rinse, dry and style your hair as you’d like. If you have dry or damaged, leave the conditioner to rest for a while before rinsing it.

You should wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo biweekly or monthly to get rid of product buildup. You can increase or decrease the interval depending on how long it takes for your hair to get weighed down by product buildup.

Can I Co Wash Transitioning Or Natural Texturized Hair?

A black woman touching her hair

Yes, you can co wash texturized or transitioning hair. For transitioning hair, the boundary between new hair growth and relaxed hair is very delicate. Co washing moisturizes the hair strand and makes the boundary stronger hence reducing breakage.

This makes the transitioning much smoother. As for textured hair, co washing ensures that the hair remains vibrant and curls maintain their shape.

Which Kind Of Conditioner Should I use For Co Washing?

Lathered hair

For women with thick hair, a regular conditioner will work just fine. If your hair doesn’t fall on the thick side, you should use a conditioner that’s specifically made for co washing.

They’re usually called cleansing conditioners. Cleansing conditioners contain natural cleansers such as aloe vera. Ensure that it doesn’t have sulfates, mineral oils, heavy petroleum or silicones which usually sit and build up on the hair surface.

If you’re co washing with a regular conditioner, ensure that it is a moisturizing conditioner. This will add more moisture to your hair making the co wash more effective.

Will My Hair Really Get Clean When I Co Wash

Does co washing really clean hair?

This is a major concern that most black women have. Conditioners don’t usually contain cleaning properties that shampoos have. For this reason, they may not effectively wash out product build up and oils on hair.

That’s why you need to wash your hair with clarifying shampoo every once in a while. If you have extra oily hair, not using shampoo completely is not advisable. However, you should use a mild one.

Preferably, try and alternate between co washing and shampoo. This way, you’ll get the benefits of both sides.

How Often Should You Co Wash Your Hair?

What is co washing

This is a matter of personal preference. As a standard, you should co wash as often as you used to shampoo but without shampoo.

So, if you washed your hair once a week, co wash once a week too. There’re black women who prefer to co wash daily, especially those who work out on a daily basis.

It all depends on you. Just remember to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo when it starts becoming dull or heavy.

Best Conditioner For Co Washing (And Other Top Products You Can Buy)

Aussie moist conditioner

With the huge selection of conditioners in the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for co washing. If you have a favorite, you’re free to use it. However, if you’re a newbie to co washing, or you’re just looking for another conditioner to try out, take a look at the following conditioners:

L’Oreal Paris EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner

Do you have severely parched hair? You’ll only need a few pumps of this conditioner to bring your hair back to life. It’ll hydrate your hair and restore its shine and healthy state.

Aussie Moist Conditioner

This is a great conditioner for black women with curly hair. It has prefect moisture, perfect slip and makes the hair really soft. It’s smell is also amazing!

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Conditioning Wash

This conditioner has the ability to wash away product build up, cool right? It also reduces and the best part of all of this is the fact that it doesn’t contain all those chemicals other hair cleaning products have.

Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner

This conditioner restores moisture and has a slightly thin consistency which means it doesn’t leave residue on the hair. It detangles hair, has great scent and is affordable.

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser

The name itself gives you a clue of what this product contains. It uses the goodness of silk protein, coconut oil and neem oil to give you clean, soft and shiny hair.

You may also want to look at these natural hair products.

How To Co Wash Natural Black Hair, What That Means, And Should You Do It?

Try co washing and see whether it’ll work for you. What do you think about co washing? Do you have any more questions about it? Say something in the comment section below.

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One Comment

  1. What shampoos and conditioners are good for natural fine thin hair, to get good detangling results so my blow drying and flat ironing will be easy? Thank you

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