Sunday, May 6, 2012

Co-Washing Is Your Friend! Here's Why...

Co-Washing (conditioner washing) is simply washing your hair with conditioner. Instead of using a shampoo, you use a conditioner. You may have heard that it is not healthy to co-wash your hair; however it can actually be very essential to taking care of your natural hair.

What are you co-washing for?
Co-washing is very good for all types of hair. Many shampoos (commercial shampoos) have sulfates in them. Sulfates are what cause the soap to foam once it is in your hair. These are also what strips our hair of oils. So when you wash your hair, switch to sulfate-free shampoos. In addition to using conditioners for the purpose of conditioning, they also have cleaning agents in them. So you can actually use your conditioner as a 2-in-1. Co-washing will the moisture back into your hair and will also make the detangling process much easier.

What type of conditioner should I use?
The main problem that people have with co-washing is that their conditioner causes alot of product build-up in their hair. The reason this happens is because conditioners contain silicones. Silicones are the agents that allow conditioners to give your hair its shine and slip. The best conditioners are those that are water soluble (non silicone). These conditioners will wash easily from your hair and will not leave it feeling gunky!

So, how often should I co-wash?
Honestly, it is completely up to you. I co-wash 1-2 times a week depending on how much product I have used in my hair throughout the week. Then I will wash my hair with shampoo once every week to 10 days, but that works for my hair. Many naturals co-wash 3-4 times a week or even daily! You have to establish what is best for your hair. If your prefer to wash wish shampoo and then conditioner, and have decided that works best for you, do not change your regimen. I will recommend to those who have not adopted a co-wash into their natural hair journey, to substitute their shampoo for conditioner.

Although co-washing does cleanse your hair, I will not recommend cutting out shampooing altogether. You should do a thorough cleanse to prevent build-up. 

.....Co-washing is not just for naturals!!! VERY highly recommended for the relaxed sistas as well, especially since the relaxers are so harsh. I hope this helps those who may have any questions about co-washing. XO-Andrea

A Few Non-Silicone Conditioners (& Many More)
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat conditioner
Alberto V05 Creamy Citrus Healthy Shine Conditioner
 Carol’s Daughter Khoret Amen Shea Butter Hair Smoothie
 Giovanni Direct Leave-in

Day 2--The No Heat Struggle (Be Encouraged)

Day 2 was a struggle; however, I was able to learn some valuable lessons as I get into this no heat challenge. 
  1. My hair does not naturally absorb all of the oils that I put into it so I need to be careful of the products I used (I had oil all on my neck by the end of the day)
  2. As we already know, water is my friend!
  3. I need to be patient!
As I was getting prepared for my sister's graduation party last night, I thought about using the flat iron at least 3 times. Because my edges have broken off so badly, I could not get them to lay down. I just wanted to press them out. Even though my twist-out was only a day old, I could not get it back to how it was on Day 1.

Luckily, I purchased a curl pudding from Lustrasilk (pictured below) and it does an excellent job with defining my very tight curls. It also moisturizes without being too oily and without leaving a residue. As far as my edges go, I used the Organic Roots Twist & Lock Gel and they we actually under control for the entire night. 

As I continue on this heatless journey, I am aware that I will be tempted to put heat on my hair but I keep picturing how healthy my hair is going to be because of the change. Be encouraged natural sistas! XO-Andrea

This stuff saved my life this weekend!