Co Wash problems

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  • 1 Post By SereneCurls

I have been co washing for years and it has worked great. Then this year I began training for a half-marathon which significantly increased how often I'm sweating; and I cut my hair to shoulder length (it had been down my back). Over the last several months Co Washing has stopped working. I've switched out the washing conditioners that I use (mainly between Suave Naturals and V05 variations) and introduced a sulfate free shampoo. I've started spraying my sweaty roots with water and lavender oil as CG recommends. But even one use of conditioner leaves a build-up on my hair that looks like product. It's gotten so bad my scalp is starting to itch and my hair feels disgusting. I've tried clarifying washes to reset everything and it's not working.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it possible for co washing to just stop working?
I can't speak to the increased exercise part of it, but I had to change the way I co-washed after I cut from mid back to shoulder a few months ago. I used to be able to glob the conditioner on like mad, but that hasn't worked for my shorter hair. A couple things I do differently now: about fifteen or twenty minutes before I get in the shower, I mix some conditioner with water in my hands and massage it into my roots. Having the extra bit of time to sit there seems to help it soak up any excess oil and dirt. In the shower, I put a few pumps of conditioner and some water in a bottle and use that mixture as my co-wash. Being diluted almost seems to help the conditioner foam up and spread through the hair. I use a denman to detangle, but something like a tangle teaser might work as well, ducking my head under the shower spray periodically to add more water. The mechanical action of the brush seems to help the conditioner and water move through the hair and then rinse out cleanly. Of course before rinsing I've massaged my scalp as usual, that part of my routine hasn't changed. Hopefully some experimenting with technique will help you figure out what's going on in your situation. Oh and in case this is relevant, have you recently switched from hard to soft water or vice versa? That seems to cause some people problems.
naturecat likes this.
2c/3a, dense, fairly coarse, normal porosity and elasticity, just below shoulder
Low poo: Giovanni 50 50
Co-wash: down under naturals, tresume naturals
R O: Tresume Naturals
L I: Giovanni Direct, KCKT
Stylers: cjccccl, cjpp, jcrr, brhg
Oils: coconut, argan or evoo
What are you using to clarify with? A clarifying shampoo?

If you have build up you need to use one and also check the ingredients of the products you use for styling. They can build up.

I do a lot if running to and one thing you need to do is immediately get in the shower after you have cooled down and stretched to rinse your hair out before cleaning it.
That's an excellent suggestion from @Blueblood. I would also say that picking a Co-Wash that specifically says 'cleansing' in the title would be a good idea, too.

As I Am makes pretty good one that's pretty cheap, Jane Carter Solution's is excellent albeit kinda expensive. I know Shea Moisture makes one too that's lauded, as well. I tried co-washing with regular RO conditioner too and it's never worked for me.

You might need to do a weekly shampoo, too... A lot of wavies need to shampoo more often than straight curlies, so I would recommend that, as well.
2C/3A; very, very thick fine to medium hair; low porosity.

Current Products:
Co-Wash: As I Am Cleansing Co-Wash
Conditioner: Shea Moisture Tahitian Masque, Eliah Sahil Conditioner
Leave-In: Coffee Coco Curl Creme
Oil: Jojoba Oil
Stylers: Mop Top Curl Custard, Jane Carter's Incredible Curls, Shea Moisture Curl Custard[/FONT]


"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." -Khalil Gibran
I'm using the same array of conditioners that I've used since I started co-washing 4 years ago. Occasionally, I've experienced build-up with Suave naturals but that normally takes several weeks. I'll try pre-conditioning before I shower. One of my constraints with the running schedule is time so letting it sit is going to be tricky.

I would prefer to go a couple of days between co-washes. Any suggestions on how to beat the sweat on the days between? Would spraying and massaging roots with water and lavender oil be enough?
I'm using the same array of conditioners that I've used since I started co-washing 4 years ago. Occasionally, I've experienced build-up with Suave naturals but that normally takes several weeks. I'll try pre-conditioning before I shower. One of my constraints with the running schedule is time so letting it sit is going to be tricky.
Originally Posted by Cherrycurl
If the products aren't working because your life style has changed then you need to change them. Also be aware that in the 4 year period the products you have been using would have been "improved" i.e. had their ingredients changed.

The idea to use a shampoo once a week will probably sort out your build up problems and stop your scalp itching.

Some people get itchy skin on any part of their body if they don't wash the sweat of their skin. If I'm sweating that badly I have dried white patches on my skin including my arms, legs, scalp, neck and face so I wash it.

I would prefer to go a couple of days between co-washes. Any suggestions on how to beat the sweat on the days between? Would spraying and massaging roots with water and lavender oil be enough?
Originally Posted by Cherrycurl
You could try it. I don't bother. It's quicker just to do some form of washing.
Has your water changed at all? Have you moved?
2c-3a - coarse - normal-high porosity - high density - growing out to donate

NP/LP: KMF Whenever Cond./ Giovanni TTTT
RO/LI: CJ Argan & Olive Oil, KCKT, YTCucs
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
OIL/STYLER: SM Elixir / KCCC, SS CEJ
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
I run as well and I always shower asap after I run. I alternate a sulfate wash (Redken Fresh Curls) with a water wash. If my scalp is feeling pretty dry, I might substitute a cleansing conditioner like Curl Junkie Daily Fix.
Coarse texture, normal-high porosity, normal elasticity (Komaza Care), very weak waves
cleanser: Redken Fresh Curls Shampoo, CJ Daily Fix

rinse out: GVP Conditioning Balm, CJ Repair Me, CJ Smoothing

jellies/creams: CR Curl Maker, KCCC, UFD Curly Magic
gels: CJ CQ, BRHG

Dunno if this will help. I've not found CO washing to work for me either, other than once in a blue moon. I use edible aloe vera gel with vegetable glycerin; this cleanses buildup better than CO, but it's not harsh like clarifying, and is actually moisturizing for my hair. I found this recipe on IAgirl's science-y hair blog.

2B/2C/f/i
Baby fine brown hair, high porosity
No poo: AVG mixed with glycerin
Stylers: SS CEJ, gelatin hair gel, SS FHG
Treatments: fenugreek, rosemary and chamomile tea rinse (with marshmallow root and irish moss water), henna, hydrogen peroxide
IA Girl's PT, SS PT
Homemake hair products.
Well, it is possible that co-washing would stop working, but only if you do it wrong. Here's how you do it. To achieve it, you will need SILICONE FREE CONDITIONER

You first soak your hair when you get in the shower, then you add conditioner to your palm, and spread it on two hands. Add the conditioner to your scalp. To promote hair growth, massage your head for 5-10 minutes AS your head will be facing downwards (look to the ground)

Rince it off after you finished this process. After, you add another palm of conditioner but only spread that on the lower part of your hair. This will be the only time which you can detangle your hair. Brush all the knots, making sure your hair is all soft. Then, finger comb your hair just incase you missed anything.

To rince this off, stay under the water for only 5 seconds! Now, get out of the shower, and start scrunching your hair with your microfiber towel, or just a cotton shirt. Don't completely dry it yet! Add LA Looks Gel (silicone free), spread it down your hair. Scrunch once more, then air dry it! BLOW DRYING IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED.

Here are some silicone-free conditioners:
- Suave NATURALS
- VO5
- TRESemmè NATURALS

How to know your conditioner consists of silicone: Just find any ingredient that ends with, CONE, COL, XANE, OR CONOL

Here are some sulfate ingredients:
- sodium laureth sulfate
- sodium lauryl sulfate
- sodium coco sulfate
- ammonium lauryl sulfate
- ammonium laureth sulfate

BASICALLY ANYTHING THAT ENDS IN "SULFATE"

Goodluck! PM me for more! xoxo

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