Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beauty Tip Series: Cowashing

I’ve been meaning to do another “I Can Vouch for That” post of my favorite products, but lately I’ve found more processes I like than actual products. More specifically, beauty processes. After a lot of experimentation I’ve found a couple things that really work well for me so I thought I’d pass them along in a series of posts.

Twice now I’ve tried going “no poo” or shampooless. It typically involves washing your hair with baking soda and conditioning with a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse. I tried all the combinations of ratios and just never liked the results of this. Plus I just didn’t like the process. It was a pain and didn’t have a very satisfying feel to it like using shampoo. And truth be told, I don’t think my hair is that horrible to begin with so switching to something so drastic just didn’t seem to be that beneficial. It’s not like I’m spending hundreds of dollars on shampoo and conditioner every month.

What I have tried with success is “co-washing” or washing with conditioner. I know. I’ll be the first one to admit I was skeptical of this because I have oily hair and have to wash it every day. I can get away with using a dry shampoo on off days if I pull my hair up but it never looks too good. Basically the purpose of cowashing is to keep more of the natural oils in your hair. This is especially good if you’ve got dry hair or process it a lot.

The process basically involves using a silicone (and other “cones”) free conditioner as shampoo. There are small amounts of cleansing agents in conditioner and it turns out it’s plenty to get all the oils & dirt out of your hair. The good news with this method is one of the best conditioners to use is Suave Naturals… the conditioner that costs like $1 per bottle.

To wash your hair with conditioner, just get your hair wet and using several palm-fuls of conditioner (you can’t use too much), work it into your scalp and the length of your hair. Massage your scalp really well to get all the dirt loosened up (like you normally do with shampoo). At this point use a wide toothed comb to detangle your hair and evenly distribute the conditioner (this is a critical step if you have curly hair… I’ll cover this in my next post). Then rinse really well with warm water. Sometimes I’ll add a higher quality conditioner to the ends of my hair and rinse again (with cooler water), but it’s not really necessary.

So that’s it! I still use a regular shampoo about once a week for my problem scalp, but for most people that wouldn’t really be necessary. I’m really liking my new cowashing process and think I’ll keep it around for a while. If any of you have tried this I’d like to hear your experience and/or tips as well!