Have you ever washed your clothes in fabric softener?
If you haven't, take my word for it: after the third wash they feel icky, hazy, and smell like a toxic waste zone.
"What had happen was…"
I sent my daughter to the store to get free and clear laundry detergent, and she picked up fabric softener instead.
Hair is just like a fabric, if all you do is co-wash (use conditioner only to cleanse) it may eventually feel hazy and icky. Not to mention, you are clogging up your hair follicles, which in turn could suffocate them and potentially result in hair loss. I spoke to natural hair product experts and this is why they think co-washing may not be enough to get the job done.
Conditioners are made to adhere
Let's start with amazing trail blazer, Keneesha Hudson, Owner and Founder of Urbanbella in Atlanta, Ga.
"The purpose of co-washing is to cleanse hair while not stripping it of the oils needed to maintain beautiful healthy curls. I am in support of this concept, however, there are other factors going on. Conditioners are designed to adhere to the hair shaft. This means that they do not remove the debris that already exists on the hair nor do they remove build-up from the scalp."
Let the Church say Amen!
- Urbanbella's No.7 Non-Lather Cleanser is a great start and let me tell you it's like that York Peppermint Pattie commercial. It works well primarily because of the Peppermint Essential Oils that cleanse and naturally exfoliate the scalp, along with two additional sulfate-free cleansers.
Your scalp needs to be cleansed
Jeannell Darden, Owner and Founder of Moisture Love, is in agreement with the philosophy that co-washing alone doesn't get the job done:
"I don't think that co-washing only is a healthy strategy. Think for a second what it would be like if you only ever washed your clothes with fabric softener? Or if you took showers with lotion? Would you consider your clothes and/or skin healthy and clean? You have to think of your hair the same way."
Jeannell also mentions that:
"The skin is your largest and most absorbant organ in your body, which extends to your scalp. If not properly cleaned, at least on occasion, it will struggle to thrive. I understand the challenge that curly girls face with shampoos. The ones that are traditionally sold are for textures of hair that desire to strip all oils from the hair which tend to have a higher pH -- those high pH levels open the cuticle and strip all the moisture leaving curly hair feeling dry, damaged, and frizzy. And then, it is much harder for us to seal and mositurize."
- For those of you that still want a luscious lather, you have got to try Moisture Love's Gentle Embrace Hydration Shampoo. It's formulated with my Hydralure Technology (TM) that infuses moisture into the hair on a cellular level. It has impeccable foam, and gently cleanses without stripping the hair.
I chose Lisa Keizer, Founder and CEO of Up North Naturals, to chime in and sign off on this controversial subject. For me, they seal the deal. Lisa says:
"I believe that co-washing only is not healthy for your scalp but has many positive benefits, including encouraging hair growth. I do, however, know that certain conditioners have a certain amount of surfactant properties that allows dirt to surface and be washed away. If someone wanted to use this to co-wash once a month, I'd say to go right ahead, but please don't skip shampoo the next wash day."
- Try their Clean Curls Cleanser which uses rosemary and mint for a deep clean. Follow up with the TLC Replenishing Conditioner for richer moisture.
So there you have it: 3 leading expert opinions on why co-washing all the time is not always a good idea.
Free your curls from build-up so your products will work again and embrace the right cleansers for a healthy hair and scalp.
I know this may be a hard transition, but you can do it!