Co-washing African American hair is a term with which some people may not be familiar. Even those who have heard this said before might be fuzzy on what it means. Co-washing is a simple method of washing ones hair. Instead of using shampoo, you would use only conditioner. This method can help restore moisture to dry African hair.
What causes dry hair? There are several reasons ones hair might be dry, or lose moisture. In fact, there are so many we will not be able to discuss them all right now. Abnormally dry hair, or scalp, could be a sign of a more serious condition. If your hair is extremely dry, you should visit your local salon or maybe even your doctor.
African American women tend to suffer from dry hair more than most people, especially those who have natural African hair. Dryness is a well-known characteristic of black hair. Washing your hair too often, chemicals in your water, harsh shampoos, and your diet are some of the most common causes of dry hair. There are other more serious causes including some that reduce the amount of healthy oils that you scalp is making.
Co-washing can help restore the moisture that you hair has lost due to environmental or health reasons. There are many different ways that you can use this method of washing your hair. You can use this method along with your normal washing routine. Alternatively, you can use this method in place of your normal washing regiment.
You can use this method as frequently or as infrequently as you want. You can co-wash your hair every two weeks, once a week, in between regular washings or even every day. It is generally not a good idea to co-wash your hair everyday unless you suffer from very dry scalp. How often you use this method depends entirely on the condition of your scalp. If your scalp is not excessively dry, but you want to add a bit more moisture to your hair, once a week should be plenty. Use common sense when deciding how often to co-wash your hair.
You can use any type of conditioner when co-washing your hair. Some people prefer to use a less expensive brand of conditioner because you use quite a lot more when co-washing. Some cheaper brands to consider are Suave, VO5, or White Rain because they are inexpensive but work very well.
If you are co-washing your hair frequently, and begin noticing that your hair is feeling gummy, back off. It is possible to over moisturize your hair, and you do not want to do that. If you are worried that you have been co-washing your hair too often, you can try this test to find out. Grab one strand of hair between your two fingers and pull. If hair stretches a lot before it snaps, or coils after it breaks, you should probably lay off the co-washing.
If your hair is starting to feel gummy, that means you might be due for a protein treatment.
I co-wash 2-3 times a week and use a light protein conditioner on shampoo days. Works great! Soft, strong hair!