Caring for your natural hair is not a new concept. If you have run out of ideas on improving your hair care routine, it is best to go back to basics. Saying this, there is one basic technique that regularly gets a lot of attention to curly and coily hair.
Say hello to co-washing, which is often recommended as the solution for afro hair which can suffer from dryness due to its texture. So, if you’re thinking of using the co-washing regime as part of your hair care routine, take a look at our easy guide which will tell you what it is and whether you should adopt it for your afro curls.
What Is Co-Washing?
In simple terms, co-washing is a process that uses a conditioner to cleanse your kinky hair instead of a shampoo. However, you shouldn’t co-wash your hair with a regular conditioner. This is because traditional conditioners aren’t designed to cleanse, meaning that your afro curls could become prone to product build-up or over moisturised if you plan to co-wash regularly.
With this in mind, it is essential to use a cleansing conditioner that can gently cleanse your afro hair and eradicate product build-up. This process will also save you time on your afro haircare routine as you can cleanse and condition simultaneously.
How Often Should You Co-Wash Your Afro Hair?
This decision is yours, depending on the type of hair you have. If you’ve never tried co-washing before, we recommend using this process at least once a week in between regular washes. If you have a dry scalp, you might want to use co-washing at least twice a week. But, if you co-wash more than once a week and notice that your strands feel sticky and heavy, they might be over-moisturized. This could be your sign to co-wash less.
What Are The Benefits Of Co-Washing Your Afro Hair?
Reduces The Occurrence Of Dry, Frizzy Hair
While sulphate shampoos can leave your hair clean, they can also strip your scalp and strands of essential hydration. Unfortunately, if your curls are not kept moisturised at all times, they will break off. Co-washing prevents this from happening as a cleansing conditioner helps your hair stay hydrated. It follows that when your ends are healthier, you will be able to initiate better hair growth.
Makes It Easy To Detangle
Kinky hair is often difficult to detangle as a result of its curves and textures. Thankfully, co-washing can put moisture back into your strands, which loosens up any tangles and single-strand knots.
Adds a Healthy Shine To Your Afro Hair
While co-washing helps moisturise your afro hair, it can also add a natural shine to your curls. In addition, the more hydrated your hair is, the better its curl definition.
How Should You Co-Wash Your Afro Hair?
Step 1: Begin With Damp Hair
Make sure your kinky hair is wet using warm water to open up your hair cuticle to let moisture in. This step will help the co-wash penetrate deeper into your strands.
Step 2: Apply Your Cleansing Conditioner
To make sure that all of your afro hair is covered in conditioner, start by separating your hair into smaller, more manageable sections or twists. This process will allow each part of your hair to get the TLC it needs. You also need to opt for a conditioner free from harmful ingredients like parabens and sulphates so that you don’t choose products that strip your hair of its natural oils.
Step 3: Detangle
After conditioning your afro hair, detangle it with your fingers. Avoid using a brush or a comb for detangling, as this can cause more breakage, especially if your hair is damp.
Step 4: Rinse And Repeat If Necessary
Leave the co-wash mixture on your afro hair for around 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water and repeat steps 1 - 4 if you have damaged or dry natural hair. Once you’ve rinsed the conditioner from your hair, switch to cold water at the end. This action will close the cuticle and seal in the moisture. You can also use a microfiber towel before styling to avoid frizz and breakage.
Step 5: Apply Oils After Co-Washing
Use a natural oil as a leave-in to provide your afro hair with moisturising benefits for longer. Consider using our Curling Creme with Coconut & Jamaican Black Castor Oils to hydrate your curls. The coconut oil can nourish your ends if they are split, while the Jamaican Black Castor Oil can enhance the thickness of your hair and stimulate hair growth on your scalp.
Whether you opt for the co-washing process as part of your wash day routine, the choice is yours based on your set of coils and curls. The final decision as to how you cleanse and condition your hair must be made after testing what works for your afro hair. Have you tried the co-washing process? Let us know what you think.