At The Hive, we’re huge fans of co- washing your hair, regardless of it’s texture. Co-washing is when you wash your hair with your conditioner, instead of using shampoo. The reason why you would want to use a conditioner is that all shampoo, even the sulfate-free and organic ones, contain detergents designed to remove oil from your hair. Although some shampoos, like the Intelligent Nutrients PureLuxe Shampoo have very gentle detergents in them, they are still designed to cleanse away oils and debris. Depending on your texture, you may find that shampooing- even when infrequent- can make hair frizzy or difficult to style.
Benefits of co-washing include:
- Decreased frizz
- Increased shine
- Increased color retention
- Bouncier/more defined curls
- Less scalp itching/discomfort
- MORE volume- yep!
Why can detergent be bad?
Detergents remove the natural oils that are produced by your scalp to nourish your hair. Plain and simple- your hair loves oil. Your hair loves oil so much that it can absorb 15 times its weight in oil- which why all of our hair clippings are sent off to clean up oil spills! When you remove the oils from your hair, the cuticle becomes raised and frizzy. When you remove the oils from your scalp, your scalp produces excess oil to try to balance out the deficit. This is why shampooing can actually make your hair feel even more oily.
Will I get greasy?
It depends on your products of choice. Most products contain plastics and/or silicone, which create a moisture-proof barrier on the hair. Plastics and silicone are not water soluble ingredients so they need detergents to break them down. Using products containing plastics or silicone along with co-washing your hair can lead to a heavy, oily feeling build-up on the hair because they never rinse away.
All of the products at The Hive are free of plastic, silicone, and their derivatives, which means you can co-wash your hair successfully, regardless of what products from The Hive you choose.
How does Co-washing work?
Oils have solvent properties. Have you ever used oil or peanut butter to get gum out of hair? “Like attracts like,” so when you take a conditioner and scrub it into your scalp, the oils in the conditioner link up to the oils on your scalp. Conditioning ingredients like Behentrimonium Chloride help your hair absorb more of your scalp’s own oil, leading to exponentially softer, more manageable strands. Co-washing never removes 100% of your scalp oil, so it doesn’t trigger excess oil production.
How do I do it?
Grab a bottle of Harmonic, PureLuxe, or PureServe conditioner and hop in the shower! Start by rinsing your hair under the water for a good minute while massaging your scalp to help loosen up any products. Flip your head upside down (very important) and put about a dime size blob of conditioner into your hands. Rub your hands together to break down the product and then proceed to apply it to your scalp, using circular scrubbing motions, just like if you were shampooing.
Once the scalp area feels lightly lubricated, run your fingers through to the ends, adding more conditioner as necessary. Your hair should have a nice light layer of conditioner over it so that you can feel a slip. If you are frosting your hair with conditioner, like you would do to a cake, you are using too much. Once all of your hair has conditioner on it, give your hair a thorough massage before rinsing. Co-washing should take at least 5 minutes but, ideally, leave the conditioner on for the entirety of your shower for maximum benefits.
When do I use shampoo?
Depending on your personal preference, texture or porosity, you may choose to shampoo, or you may choose not to shampoo. The best way to decide when to shampoo is through trial and error. Co-wash daily until you hit a day where you feel like you just aren’t getting your desired hair results and use that as your shampoo (or vinegar rinse) day. Then, see how your hair behaves. If it seems too dry, frizzy, or has a negative effect, try pushing your hair out longer before your shampoo. You may find your hair tolerates the occasional shampoo wash, but for many clients they discover that their hair is at its best when theres no shampoo in its life.