Co washing, water washing, and combing

I read somewhere here on the boards that co washing was much more involved than "shampooing, but only with conditioner instead" so I wonder if someone could explain and share more insight or info on how exactly you do a co wash. If anyone can also suggest things to look for in a co wash vs a rinse out, that'd be awesome too.

I've also been reading that people water wash. Is that basically the same thing as co washing but without the co? Is it totally water only? Does that get out residues from styling products too? Do you add more gel and stuff when you get out? What is the reasoning for water washing instead of co washing?

Alas, combing is my last question for now. Generally I don't brush or comb my hair when it is dry...except when I am about to wash it. Detangling it outside of the shower or bath seems to make it easier (and less hair in the drainer/hair catcher) though I do also comb it with condish. I know that brushing and combing dry hair is a BIG no no for curlies, but is it true for wavies too?

Thanks wavies!


Lady Caiside, Noble Lushetarian and Wavy Wayfarer of Mugglswick, in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

2b-3a Fii, porous and low elasticity

Currently using a variety of products, and looking for that magic combo

Hair bio: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...5&postcount=59

Let's do this in reverse order:

I don't personally brush my hair when dry (and wavy - I do when it's straight), but I can't speak for whether it's "bad" for it or not. I just don't really tangle, so I'm able to comb through in the shower if necessary without any problems. Hopefully someone else can weigh in there.

As far as cowashing, I find that it is more time consuming/effort than shampooing. Here's how I do it: I put my cowash (Suave Naturals coconut) onto my scalp in sections. With each section I scrub with the pads of my fingers for 20 to 30 seconds. I do four to six sections, depending on the day and how lazy I'm feeling. If I do fewer sections, I scrub longer.

As far as what to look for in a cowash, I try to stay away from oils, and go for a condish that is thinner/kind of runny. I know there are condishes that are made to be cowashes, but I don't use any of them, so I'm really not knowledgeable about that.

Hope some of that ramble-y mess helped!
Location: West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
2b/cMii, medium-high porosity

Likes protein and most oils, HATES mineral oil
Summer Routine
Poo: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture
Cowash CJ Daily Fix
Rinse out: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture
Leave In: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture, SSRPT
Stylers: Ecostyler Krystal, LALSG (in really high dews)
PT: SS Repairing Protein Treatment
I read somewhere here on the boards that co washing was much more involved than "shampooing, but only with conditioner instead" so I wonder if someone could explain and share more insight or info on how exactly you do a co wash. If anyone can also suggest things to look for in a co wash vs a rinse out, that'd be awesome too.
Originally Posted by plunkybug
For me cowashing has meant less work on the cleaning part of my hair since I do it far less often than I ever shampoo'd. However, when I do cowash it is more involved in the action I use on my scalp than when I shampoo'd. I spend more time actually massaging and scrubbing my scalp with the pads of my fingers. Tiffany gives a great blow by blow of how to cleanse on her blog: http://www.livecurlylivefree.com/curl%20care.htm

As far as ingredients go, I think its really dependent on hair type and preferences. I love slip and look for that. A must have for me behentrimonium methosulfate for detangling.


I've also been reading that people water wash. Is that basically the same thing as co washing but without the co? Is it totally water only? Does that get out residues from styling products too? Do you add more gel and stuff when you get out? What is the reasoning for water washing instead of co washing?
Originally Posted by plunkybug
I cowash once a week, sometimes once every other week. Other times I water wash if my scalp needs cleansing. For me, water washing is doing the same cleansing motions on my scalp but with water only. I then use a rinse out and leave in. I am currently playing around with more waterwashing and less co-washing. When I first started CG I cowashed almost daily in fear of the transition period. That really never happened for me though and I have been trying to back off on co-washing further to see what it will do for my hair.

As for product removal with water only - as long as you are using water soluble styling products (either strict CG or PEG modified cones) things should wash out.

I think some people water wash to avoid getting overconditioned and others do it because they are trying to simplify. For me, its resulting in better curl definition and retention. YMMV.

Alas, combing is my last question for now. Generally I don't brush or comb my hair when it is dry...except when I am about to wash it. Detangling it outside of the shower or bath seems to make it easier (and less hair in the drainer/hair catcher) though I do also comb it with condish. I know that brushing and combing dry hair is a BIG no no for curlies, but is it true for wavies too?

Thanks wavies!
Originally Posted by plunkybug
I consider myself a wavy/curly and only comb or use my Denman with wet hair with a slippy product in it. I tend to get tangly so it can take a bit but I have seen less breakage this way.

Hope that helps and others can share their perspectives as well!
Sulfate & Silcone Free since July 2009
2C-3A normal to high (ends) porosity, medium texture, lower end of med density
Currently experimenting with Water Only Washing and dropping stylers

Negative on: AOHR, mineral oil
http://public.fotki.com/CurlyQMom/
Thanks for the link curlyqmom. I've seen that blog before but I can't recall if I saw that post. It might be the one I was thinking of (I've done SOO much reading lately!). There's way more information on the site than I realized.

What exactly is slip? Something to do with slipperiness? How did you determine that beh meth was a necessity?

Yeah, I think that water washing mixed with co washing is probably to help prevent over-conditioning. I'm a little afraid of that as my hair is so flat on top and I don't want conditioner weighing it down.

What is a Denman? I see lots of people referencing it.

Thanks for all your help and input wavies.


Lady Caiside, Noble Lushetarian and Wavy Wayfarer of Mugglswick, in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

2b-3a Fii, porous and low elasticity

Currently using a variety of products, and looking for that magic combo

Hair bio: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...5&postcount=59


What exactly is slip? Something to do with slipperiness? How did you determine that beh meth was a necessity?

Yeah, I think that water washing mixed with co washing is probably to help prevent over-conditioning. I'm a little afraid of that as my hair is so flat on top and I don't want conditioner weighing it down.
Originally Posted by plunkybug
That's exactly what slip is. It's how easy the condish moves through your hair and how easily your fingers can slide through it, etc.

First thing is experiment experiment experiment. I'm still new to this but I see you have my problem too. My hair is super picky about product weighing it down, I have no root curl, AND my hair is thin!

Well I tell ya what. I've shampoo'd with a very low-poo once in a month. I don't need to wash my hair everyday either. I co-wash & condish every other day. When I get up in the AM I spritz my hair moist again add a light weight leave-in and a dabble of curling gelly and scrunch and go. My hair has loved me nearly every day. My transition stage has been very peaceful. Do not fear the conditioner, you'll just have to look for the best suited one for you. That's what I'm doing for myself right now. I'm getting samples and trying them out and I have found some loves!

Alexjoujou has really guided me on products! http://thewavytales.blogspot.com/

She has great hair info and product reviews. it's more reading but it's wroth every bit of it!

And the last but not least, if you have a bad hair day you can always put your hair up in a Ponytail and move on lol!
CG Since 2010
Hair Attributes: Mixed 2 with 3A undergrowth & no root curl.
Fine, Thin, Easily Manipulated, Easily Styled, Easy to Frizz, and Easy to damage.

Favorites: CJ Daily Fix, CJ Rehab, Anything Spiral Solutions, Darcy Botanicals Pumpkin Seed

New Goals To restore my hair after dying it twice in two weeks. Learning more about products found in the stores to fit my tight budget. I'm still working on trying to grow out my hair.
Denman brush
http://www.denmanbrush.com/acatalog/...c_Styling.html
I think I've read generic look alikes work fine.

You want slip in conditioners if your hair tangles. It makes it easier to brush.
http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
Cowash: Tresemme naturals
Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
Curl enhancer: FSG
Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers
Thanks for the link curlyqmom. I've seen that blog before but I can't recall if I saw that post. It might be the one I was thinking of (I've done SOO much reading lately!). There's way more information on the site than I realized.

What exactly is slip? Something to do with slipperiness? How did you determine that beh meth was a necessity?

Yeah, I think that water washing mixed with co washing is probably to help prevent over-conditioning. I'm a little afraid of that as my hair is so flat on top and I don't want conditioner weighing it down.

What is a Denman? I see lots of people referencing it.

Thanks for all your help and input wavies.
Originally Posted by plunkybug
Slip for me means that I can easily slide my fingers through after applying the conditioner. Some prefer their conditioners to be more "grabby" in how it penetrates into the hair.

A Denman is a brush you can find either on curlmart or at Sally's. You can do a search and find lots of threads on it.
Sulfate & Silcone Free since July 2009
2C-3A normal to high (ends) porosity, medium texture, lower end of med density
Currently experimenting with Water Only Washing and dropping stylers

Negative on: AOHR, mineral oil
http://public.fotki.com/CurlyQMom/
Denman brush
http://www.denmanbrush.com/acatalog/...c_Styling.html
I think I've read generic look alikes work fine.

You want slip in conditioners if your hair tangles. It makes it easier to brush.
Originally Posted by pedaheh
Why this particular brand? Any particular one? Is it better than using a wide tooth comb? I have a Mebco I got at Trade Secret many years ago when I was still living in Florida. It's a nice tortoise wide tooth comb. I have a wooden one from The Body Shop but I don't like it as much.

My hair does tangle a bit...probably not as bad as some, but maybe worse than others. I do love it when I have my comb go through my hair nice and smooth like.


Lady Caiside, Noble Lushetarian and Wavy Wayfarer of Mugglswick, in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

2b-3a Fii, porous and low elasticity

Currently using a variety of products, and looking for that magic combo

Hair bio: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlta...5&postcount=59

Is it better than using a wide tooth comb?
No. A wide tooth comb is probably a better option. Some people with thicker hair use a denman to distribute the leave in and styler. Some people with thick tangly hair need it to detangle.
http://pedaheh.blogspot.com/ (a blog to help new wavies, go to the how do I get started page)
2a (nc.com) 2bFi (Fia), very fine, thin, low/normal elasticity, porous, CG, doesn't get weighed down
Cowash: Tresemme naturals
Rinse out/leave in: Renpure Organics (red)
Curl enhancer: FSG
Gel: BRHG, Salon care aloe, Ecostyler Krystal (normal dews)
PT: ION effective care, IAgirl's gelatin PT
Low Poo: renpure (red), Ion swimmers

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