Co-Washing Is Not For Everyone

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Having soft, flowing, luscious hair is the ultimate dream of us natural girls. We tend to run – correction – we sprint away from shampoos especially those that have sulfates.

To maintain moisture and upkeep in our hair, a lot of naturals opt for co-washing in lue of using shampoo. Some even ban shampooing all together and stick strictly to co-washing. If you are new to the natural world, you might not know what we mean when we say co-washing, so before we go any further allow me to clarify.

Co-washing is the process of cleansing your hair using nothing but conditioners eliminating shampoo to maintain and promote soft, luscious and moisturized hair.

But is it for everyone? Can everybody ditch shampoo and co-wash only to get beautiful and moisturized hair? Personally I have to say no to this one. Co-washing is great because it can cleanse hair that is not very dirty and it can give dry hair a well needed moisture boost. However for a lot of natural girls like myself, co-washing simply does not work as effectively as it does for our partners in crime.

Below are two of the biggest problems that I and some like me have experienced with co-washing:

Co-washing cleanses the hair but not the scalp
Have you ever co-washed your hair and after all the scrubbing and massaging, your hair is left feeling greasy and often looks white and chalky? Depending on the condition of your scalp, conditioner cannot effectively clean your scalp.


If you have eczema, psoriasis, dandruff or any other scalp condition, then co-washing can be a big waste of your precious time. Of course you are not banned from co-washing your hair; you can co-wash if you just want to refresh your hair and boost the moisture level, but know that it will not be effective at cleaning your scalp.

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About Shelly Ann Cameron


Hi, I am Shelly Ann Cameron, freelance writer for BlackHairInformation.com. Jamaican born but call NYC home since 2005. When I'm not at my full time job as a Marketing Analyst, I am blogging about natural hair and lifestyle on my blog www.glamnaturallife.com. I created my blog to document my natural hair journey and share whatever I learned along the way. I am a promoter of healthy hair whether it's relaxed or natural. While I am no natural hair Nazi, since going natural in 2011, many of my articles are natural hair driven.

About Shelly Ann Cameron


Hi, I am Shelly Ann Cameron, freelance writer for BlackHairInformation.com. Jamaican born but call NYC home since 2005. When I'm not at my full time job as a Marketing Analyst, I am blogging about natural hair and lifestyle on my blog www.glamnaturallife.com. I created my blog to document my natural hair journey and share whatever I learned along the way. I am a promoter of healthy hair whether it's relaxed or natural. While I am no natural hair Nazi, since going natural in 2011, many of my articles are natural hair driven.

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romasonia duchinmojososeriousRelaxed Thairapy | Natural TwistYolanda Delgado Recent comment authors
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Valencia Mitchell-Harding

I only use conditioner because all the shampoos I have tried seem to strip my hair. I would LOVE to find a shampoo that works well with my hair

Pattie Armstead

I shampoo more then I
co wash. Co washing is not for everyone. And some have fallen head over hills for
co washing only. All the products that we use on a day to day basis-how can someone co wash alone and never shampoo their hair? Yuck!

Kristen Greer

I don’t feel like cowashing gets my hair clean enough. I just make sure that my shampoo contains no (or very low) sulfates and that works fine.

Shanice Sahel

I prefer co washing though I do use mud washes and low sulfate shampoo. I haven’t gotten to sulfate frees because I have a lot of shampoo to use. I’m a co wash girl it works for me.

Christianah Olufunmitor Oluwarinola

Cowashing is a no no for me,because it doesnt really clean my hair,i still prefer shampoo

Theresa Loscocco

I tried the Shea moisture shampoos and my hair was always left feeling stripped and extremely dry. After a lot of trial & errors I was really close to avoiding putting shampoo in my hair altogether until I discovered As I Am curl clarity shampoo. It’s cheaper than Shea moisture (no surprise there) and my hair and scalp feel very clean without being completely stripped of moisture. I deep condition once weekly and co wash once or twice weekly with Eden Shea coconut co wash and only use the clarifying shampoo every 2 weeks or so. So far my hair seems happy with this routine. I’m tempted to try all of theEden hair products after the amazing results I got from the co wash and Deep conditioner.

Aries Ram

It works for me…I shampoo no more than twice a month

Aries Ram

For those saying shampoo strips their hair…I recommend trying Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Shampoo. One of my girls put me on and I’ve been hooked every since

Rochelle Corilette Liyah Warner

I Co wash 3 times a week and shampoo once a month. To avoid any stripping I pre poo AND mix my shampoo with castor oil if I don’t have any shea dec on hand.

Victoria Mackie

When I tried co washing I had to throw in a shampoo every few times to get rid of product buildup and actually clean my hair. Now, I just shampoo more often than not, it just means I have to take more time with post wash care to ensure that my hair remains well moisturized and sealed.

Kujaiji Sillah

Even if your hair is or feel strip after shampooing, you can always put oil in your hair. If your feel dry moisturize it or put oil on your hair, simple. I love (Sheamoisture) shampoo. I like my hair clean and smelling good. Co washing and pre pooing I don’t get it. Well, it’s what ever works for you that matters.

Ni-Ni Patterson

Doesn’t work for me, and I tried it before it became all the rage. Doesn’t work for my sister either. We both have to use clarifying shampoo to get our hair completely clean unless we’d rather shampoo with regular stuff countless times just to get that end result.

Yolanda Delgado

I like co washing my curls are lose and easier to manage. I mainly use it to remove the gel I am still trying to find a gel that works for me.

Relaxed Thairapy | Natural Twist

My hair isn’t fond of cowashing. Instead, I apply conditioner to dry hair and rinse it out.

mojomo86
mojomo86

I’m a co-washer, but I will opt for the apple cider vinegar rinse if my hair really needs it. My hair actually feels clean after co-washing, I use tresemme moisture rich. I’ll even do a deep condition before-hand if my hair needs it. I use to shampoo on a regular basis but no matter what I used my hair always felt dry, I then used apple cider vinegar to clarify my hair, which cleaned and made my hair feel soft… but I agee co-washing isn’t for everyone, not everything is for everyone…

sonjay101

I have tired the go wash I do not think it do good for me, but if it working for you go ahead I may give it a try with some other product and to see if ill like it

roma
roma

I prefer a cleansing conditioner….Something that was made to cleanse and condition the hair. Co washes only work for me if I was trying to get sweat and salt out of my hair mid-week. I use shampoo that is sulfate free or cleansing conditioners…