Washing hair isn’t the most fun portion of most people’s beauty regime, so anything that can perk it up is usually welcome. Step in co-washing – otherwise known as skipping shampoo and heading straight to conditioner. Not convinced? Before you dismiss it read on as you may be surprised.
The idea of co-washing is to steer away from drenching your tresses in harsh detergents in favour of a more gentle way of cleansing. The conditioners usually boast no sulphates, so are particularly good for caring for coloured hair as they don’t strip away the hue. Cleansing with conditioner is also a good move for those with very curly hair, which can be particularly dry. The oils which are secreted by the scalp can find it hard to make their way down wavy hair shafts, leading to parched tresses.
If you decide to give this a go, there are a few things to keep in mind. First up make sure you check the ingredients list. While technically you can use any conditioner, ones packed with silicone will leave your hair slippery. That might look nice when it’s squeaky clean, but in the long run locks will be dull and full of build-up as synthetic silicones are water soluble so hard to clean.
Keep a check on the feed of your hair. Using too much conditioner can leave it feeling limp and dirty, if that’s the case ease up on the amount of product you’re using.
Co-washing can be great, but you’ll likely still need the occasional rinse. Just think of all the product you put on your head – we’re talking mousse, hair oil, wax, spray and colour. Now do you see why sometimes a sulfate-free clarifying product is just what your locks need?
If you have sensitive skin or a condition like dermatitis this might not be for you either.
While you could try co-washing with your usual conditioner, we’d recommend using a product specifically for this. Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner is aimed at those with dry and over processed hair and promises not to strip away natural oils. It helps hair cling on to moisture and colour and is bursting with healthy ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, vitamin E, keratin protein and aloe vera. It’s recommended that between 12 and 20 pumps are used per wash, with the product added to the scalp in sections. Water should then be splashed on, the product massaged into hair and left while you shower. Eventually rinse off thoroughly.
If you have coloured hair Kérastase Chroma Sensitive Cleansing Balm is specially formulated for your tresses. It is low-foam and sulfate, paraben and silicone free. It should be used in the same way as the above product, so leave in hair for a few minutes after you’ve massaged it in to get the full effect.
Those with seriously damaged hair should go for L’Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Absolut Repair Cellular Cleansing Balm, which is one quarter cleaning agents and three quarters moisturising. It can either be used daily for hair in poor condition or as a weekly treat to revive locks.
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