So many naturals tout the benefits of co-washing (aka conditioner washing) only. For sure, it’s a personal choice and not one that I’d ever make.
That’s not to say that I’m against co-washing. I do co-wash my hair every other week using the As I Am Coconut Co-wash. I absolutely love how it makes my hair feel – soft and manageable. BUT, I wouldn’t use it as a sole means of cleansing my hair.
While there are many pros to conditioner washing, there’s a couple of cons that I think are important to be aware of. For one, if you co-wash your hair only, you’re bound to have some form of build up and will need to clarify your hair – probably more often than if you used shampoo at least as much as you co-washed.
Second, co-washing is like getting in the tub and washing your body with lotion and then rinsing. While your skin will be lush and soft, your body is not getting as clean as it could if you had used some form of soap. It’s the same for your scalp.
Now, before you fire up the comments section with how wrong I am and how shampoo can do more harm than good, hear me out. I’m not saying that conditioner can’t cleanse the hair. It’s certainly able to grab onto some dirt and pull it down the hair shaft. I just don’t think it’s adequate enough to cleanse the scalp. When using various conditioners to co-wash my hair, it never felt really clean. Hence, I defer to using shampoo every other week at least.
I’m not talking about shampooing with a typical shampoo that contains sulfates (or other harmful ingredients) either. I’m referring to using a sulfate free shampoo that utilizes another cleansing agent – such as Shea Moisture.
Shea Moisture’s shampoos contain delicate cleansers derived from sugar beets. This is what causes the foaming action that simultaneously cleanses your hair AND your scalp.
I’m a huge fan of Shea Moisture products for their natural ingredients. However, there are other shampoos on the market that cleanse without sulfates. I can’t guarantee that they are all natural but if that’s not a concern then you have additional options.
Other Sulfate Free Shampoos
If you don’t find that your hair is getting clean enough with co-washing only, I suggest you try a sulfate free shampoo. Here are some brands:
* Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo
* L’oreal Paris Everpure Smooth Shampoo
* TIGI Rockaholic Livin The Dream Sulfate Free Shampoo
* TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Shampoo With Aloe Vera & Avocado
* DermOrganic Daily Conditioning Shampoo
* AG Smooth Sulfate-Free Argan Shampoo
I’ve not tried any of these brands except for the Shea Moisture so you’ll have to do your own research on this one.
Do you co-wash only or do you sometimes shampoo?