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!