I wanted to update this post as the natural hair community evolves and we find out more about what works and what DOESN’T. Cowashing is getting pushed out of favor with Naturals and shampoo is making a STRONG COMEBACK. Whether you cowash or shampoo regularly, you need to know what each one is and what it can do for your strands.
I rarely cowash anymore. If I do cowash, I do it to revive my hair in-between washdays and I’ve seen more Naturals do the same. Despite what I choose to do, I need everyone to be fully informed to care for your natural strands correctly. Here’s a straight-forward version on what shampoo and cowash (cleansing conditioner) are, and why you may choose using one over the other.
What Is Shampoo?
We’re pretty sure that you are familiar with shampoo. You’ve probably used shampoo your entire life, but do you really know what shampoo is all about. Shampoos are designed to clean the hair by ridding it of all oil, dirt and build-up. In order to do this, many commercial shampoos contain detergents and cleaning agents, such as sodium laureth sulfate. These agents are very harsh and drying, especially to kinky, curly textured hair and as a result, many naturals have ditched them.
Not ready to ditch the shampoo? Try one of these popular shampoos for natural hair:
Shampoos will still have a place in your haircare regimen even if you cowash more often like clarifying shampoos, sulfate-free shampoos or moisturizing shampoos.
What is a Cowash or Cleansing Conditioner?
Cowash is short for “conditioner wash.” This simply means washing the hair with a cleansing conditioner or a botanical conditioner. In recent years, beauty companies have begun creating products labeled “cowash” that are designed to clean and condition the hair. These commercial co-wash products may contain cleansing agents, but they are usually far less harsh than those found in shampoo.
Interested in trying cowash? Here is a list of several popular co-washes that you should try:
SHAMPOO VS. COWASH: WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Should you continue using shampoo or give it up and simply cowash? The answer to this depends on your hair type, lifestyle and personal preferences. If you frequently use products with silicones or have a very oily scalp, then you may find it necessary to use shampoo exclusively.
WHY USING A SHAMPOO BAR ON NATURAL HAIR IS A GOOD THING
Some women simply prefer shampoo because they don’t feel that cowashing gets their hair clean enough. This is perfectly fine, however you may want to stick with sulfate-free shampoos to prevent dryness and scalp irritation. There is nothing wrong with using both but know there is not right or wrong answer on which route to take.
Listening to your hair is what you need when trying any product as your hair will tell you if the products are working or helping your tresses. Try both, see which works best for your tresses and allow your hair to guide you.
Which do you prefer?