HAIRapy Tip: A twist on the Co-Wash

Here's a new hair-care tip I recently picked up:  the Co-Wash.  Ever heard of it?  I hadn't, until I read this month's issue of Allure magazine and discovered that the co-wash is apparently something thick-haired women of the world have been doing for years.  As a girl with rather full-bodied hair myself, I thought I'd give it a try - and man am I sorry I didn't know about this sooner.

The co-wash is essentially washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo.  Many women do this to add extra moisture back into dry or frizzy hair, which makes it a great at-home remedy for fly-aways.  While in a typical co-wash you are supposed to leave shampoo out of the equation altogether, I decided to just reverse my normal shower routine entirely and condition first, shampoo second.  By conditioning first I am giving my hair the moisture it needs and ensuring that I am tangle-free.  Shampooing immediately afterwards removes any build-up that would otherwise coat my strands from the conditioner.  The effect?  An unimaginably soft mane that is both silky and full of body - no longer weighed down by build-up!

To try this twist on the co-wash yourself, follow these easy steps:

1.  Apply a quarter-sized amount or larger of conditioner to roots and massage gently down to the ends.  I actually use about two to three quarter-sized amounts, but this is because I have extremely thick hair that is also pretty long.  I suggest using whatever amount you normally need when conditioning your hair the regular way.  The conditioner I am really loving right now is the Split-End Treatment by Nexxus;  it works wonders for long hair that is prone to split ends from styling damage.

2. Leave conditioner in hair for 1-2 minutes.

3. Rinse conditioner out completely.

4. Apply half the amount of shampoo that you would normally use.  For me this is about the size of a quarter.  Massage into scalp and through ends and then rinse.  You will notice that even though you are shampooing second, the conditioner still leaves your hair feeling soft and de-tangled.


Generally I will co-wash my hair using the above routine 3 times a week (and I wash my hair about 5 times a week - any more and it would dry out completely).  If I'm not styling my hair immediately after I shower I'll put it in a long braid.  Now it's time for you to try!