Co washing hair helps define curl patterns and decreases out of control, unruly frizz. When you use the technique, it helps tames your curls by increasing moisture. However, all types of hair can benefit by using this method! You'll be amazed at the lustrous result's you'll get!
The bottom line is that curls need moisture to show properly! Lots of it! Without it, curls can become dry and brittle and is left prone to hair breakage. Straight hair also needs the right amount of moisture to shine and help keep hair in place. All hair types need replenishment!
It is also important to check out the ingredients in the products you use on your hair. If you're using products that dry out your hair, you are defeating the purpose!
Using organic products will ensure that you’re getting the proper nutrients your hair needs. Always check and make sure that you're buying the right stuff! If you are unsure, check out the this list of ingredients that contribute to dry hair.
[Co washing hair is an abbreviation for conditioner washing. Its also the No Poo and Curly Girl method of taking care of curls!]
Co Washing Hair Technique
Hair plopping (see below) is a technique that will decrease drying time and further help define curls. It is best to use your conditioner as a shampoo to help show off curls and waves.
Before co washing hair, use a comb or pick to completely remove tangles and knots.
Rinse your hair thoroughly in the shower. Make sure all of your hair is fully saturated by gently moving your hair around in the shower. Squeeze a small amount of conditioner into your palm and apply conditioner to your entire scalp. The thicker your hair is, the more conditioner you’ll need. Use your fingertips to distribute and massage the conditioner over the entire scalp. This action helps to loosen and remove unwanted debris, dirt, and dead skin cells.
Get another small amount of conditioner in your hand and distribute it to the rest of your hair. (How much you use depends on the thickness and length of your hair.) Rinse with a little water and run a wide toothed comb through your hair to untangle it and/or use your fingertips to gently pull them out. To eliminate breakage, always start at the ends and work up. Leave the conditioner in your hair for a few minutes (*or longer). Go ahead and part your hair with your comb or fingers. If you don’t have a mirror nearby, rake your hair to the back with your fingers and your natural part should fall into place or be easy to find by touch.
Rinse your hair well but not thoroughly. You’ll want to leave a little bit of conditioner in your hair to make it more manageable. This helps increase shine and decrease frizz. If you can stand it, rinse with cool water to help seal the cuticle of your hair. When your cuticles are properly sealed, your hair reflects more light.
*You can leave the conditioner in your hair for a few hours if your hair is overly dry and needs more moisture. Simply get out of the shower, cover your hair, and then come back to shower and rinse.
After co washing hair, get out of the shower and wrap a towel loosely around your head to absorb excess moisture. When your hair isn’t dripping wet anymore (2 or 3 minutes), start applying products to your hair. You can choose whichever products you like, but it’s best to layer products that help define curls. Don’t comb them through your hair though. Instead, use your fingers and gently graze the products through your curls. If your curls look flat near your scalp, be sure to apply products on your roots too. This helps bump them up and encourages them to curl.
After product application, start scrunching your hair from the bottom up. Cup your hand, push your hair up, and gently squeeze your hair to create curls. Do this on all sections of your hair. You can wrap your curls around fingers to give even more definition. In hard to curl sections, use pin curls to help set curls. You’ll have to allow them to thoroughly dry though, before you take them down.
If you want to prolong the effects of co washing hair and decrease the drying time, use the hair plopping technique.
Hair Plopping after Co Washing Hair
Hair plopping works best after co washing hair because you’ve already started forming curls prior to plopping. Plopping gets better results on longer hairstyles. When done on short hair, curls can look strange and malformed.
More Tips for Co Washing Hair
If you have a dry scalp, co washing hair can be done more frequently. If you have an oily scalp or hair, you can actually remove oil with oil. So using conditioner to wash your hair may actually help decrease oiliness.
If you co wash frequently, you are bound to get an oily build up, so you'll need to remove it from time to time. To make your own clarifying rinse, see this page.
Some conditioners contain essential oils and natural herbs that help moisturize your hair.
For added moisture, try adding honey to your conditioner. You can add a few drops or a lot. (about half) Be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly though. Raw honey left on the hair can make it sticky.
Products that help define curls after co washing hair include: Graham Webb Curl Defining Gel, Kenra Curl Defining Cream, Moroccanoil Curl Defining Mousse, Mop C-System, C Curl Defining Cream, Got2b Kinky Curling Mousse.
Co washing hair is so easy and cuts out the need for buying shampoos. And even though this method is recommended mostly for curls, it also works very well for everyone, no matter what type of hair you were born with!