Happy Wednesday everyone! If you missed last week’s installment, we talked about sulfates and the drying effect they can have on your strands. We also touched on the fact that many sulfate-free products have ingredients that haven’t proven to be any better for your hair than sulfates themselves. A practice that is becoming increasingly popular is co-washing. This basically entails ditching the shampoo altogether and picking up a cleansing conditioner instead. Read below to learn more about it:
What are cleansing conditioners?
Cleansing conditioners are a two-in-one product designed to gently cleanse hair while providing a conditioning treatment. First brought to the market by Wen, cleansing conditioners have proliferated today’s beauty scene and are available from many different brands. They offer consumers an alternative to traditional shampoo+conditioner methods.
How are they different than shampoo?
Most cleansing conditioners don’t contain any sulfates or other harsh detergents so they don't really lather at all and are much gentler on your hair. They also contain loads of conditioning ingredients for your hair and scalp, often plant derived oils.
How do they work?
Instead of sulfates or harsh detergents, cleansing conditioners most often contain fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol. These compounds have moisturizing properties and while they do have some cleansing abilities, they pale in comparison to the effectiveness of the sulfates found in traditional shampoos.
Can I replace my shampoo?
In my opinion, you shouldn’t, especially if you regularly use products to style your hair. Co-washing is awesome for days when your hair is feeling extra dry and needs a break from your regular shampoo. However, cleansing conditioners don’t have the ability to completely remove the product and oil buildup in the hair. They should be used in between the days that you shampoo to give your hair a rest from strong cleansing agents.
Should I co-wash my hair?
This is totally up to you, but I will say that I think it’s worth experimenting! If your hair is dry, course, curly, over-processed, weak, brittle, or damaged, a cleansing conditioner might be an awesome addition to your haircare routine. How often you co-wash and how often you shampoo is completely up to you and depends on how dry or oily your hair and scalp feel. Cleansing conditioners are meant to be used very liberally, so don’t be shy and use lots of it! I’m personally a pretty big fan of the method so I co-wash in between my shampoos (Usually 1 shampoo and 1 co-wash per week). My favorites are R&Co’s Cleansing Foam Conditioner (it’s pretty darn expensive, but it’s SO amazing) and UnWash's Bio-Cleansing Conditioner.
Have you used a cleansing conditioner before? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Thanks for Reading!