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CO-Washing: Natural Hair 101

CO-Washing: Natural Hair 101

Co-washing is a staple technique for Naturals.  It’s one of the first things I learned about on my quest for maintaining healthy, happy Natural hair.  It’s essential and (I think) the number one reason lots of Black women won’t go Natural. 

Water…it’s essential for life and extremely essential for healthy Natural hair.  It’s the cheapest and easiest moisturizer and Natural Hair loves it.  Combine water with conditioner and you’ve got the perfect marriage for moisturizing our hair.  Relaxed women primarily don’t or won’t want to wet their hair and co-washing must be done with water.

Co-washing your hair is the same as washing with Shampoo but replaced with conditioner.  Shampoo is deeply cleansing the hair and can harm and strip the hair of essential oils.  Shampooing too often is actually not good for our hair.  Co-washing can cut down on how often a Natural needs to shampoo and since it mildly cleanses the hair, some Naturals have stopped using shampoo altogether. 

I still shampoo but only once in a while to either clarify or when I’ve gone too long between cleanings.  I don’t repeat as most shampoo instructions specify but I did when I was relaxed.  I find I’m not using harmful products on my hair so one application of  shampoo wash is sufficient.  Everyone has their own technique but here’s the just of it:

I jump in the shower and allow the water to penetrate my hair thoroughly and part my hair into four sections.  I apply my staple cleanser of As I Am Coconut CoWash and use like a shampoo.  To keep tangles at my I use my fingertips in a downward motion and make sure to hit my scalp while allowing the cleansing conditioner to slide down my hair. I allow to sit on my hair while I cleanse my body before rinsing out and applying my deep conditioner.

When I am just getting in the shower to wet my hair I use my favorite conditioner SheaMoisture Community Commerce Hydration Intensive Conditioner to my palm.  Amount?  About the size of a large gumball for each section.  On some days I’ll add the size of a golf ball but you really can’t go wrong with being generous and as long as it has slip, I’m good.  I finger comb the conditioner through and sometimes use my wide tooth comb but finger combing is the usual method. 

Slip– Used to describe how slippery a product is (usually a conditioner or detangler)… the more slip it has, the more effectively it will coat the hair to aid in detangling. CurlyNikki

I co-wash around once a week and just wet my hair and add conditioner about 3 or 4 times a week.  I used to have a dandruff problem while relaxed and even when I flat iron it comes back but while I co-wash and do my daily wash and go, I have been dandruff free! 

Co-washing is one of the most essential Natural hair requirements for moisturized, healthy, happy hair.  You’ll be satisfied with the results and even if you still love shampoo co washing or adding conditioner to your hair in between washings is a great way to keep your hair moisturized.  

Keeping ourselves in the “know” Naturals,

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