I've never met a co-wash that I've liked.
Obviously working here I get to try out quite a few, and I've been TRYING to be optimistic, I promise. But I'm just about done.
Every time I've tried one co-wash or the other, natural or scientifically augmented, carrier oils or alcohols, full moon or dark moon, my hair comes out feeling like straw EVERY. TIME. It's just not for me!
So how is it that I love co-washing? Well…
First off, co-washing is kind of a totally different thing. Co-washing means that you wash your hair with conditioner. Sounds simple enough...but then what does washing your hair with co-washes mean?
Many products that brand themselves as a co-wash aren't truly just a conditioner. They're actually a mild conditioning cleanser. To me, that's not much different than those 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner branded type products. GASP, right? To call these products co-washes is technically not a lie... but considering that the portmanteau co-wash came from Conditioner Washing, I feel like it's kiiiiiiiind of stretching the truth.
In any event, the haircare industry has decided that a co-wash, as far as a product name goes, is ultimately a cleanser. I have hyper-porous 4A coils, so for me that's not a good thing. I co-wash every two weeks, and when I do I shouldn't step out of the tub feeling like I could break my hair off at the roots is what I'm saying.
For curlies who have finer hair, an oily scalp, looser textures, a scalp condition, or just need to cleanse their hair more frequently than I do, store-bought co-washes may be a necessary part of your routine. But for my Swiss Cheese-level porosity hair, it's a pass.
Believe it or not, popping my curls off like snap peas doesn't do a whole lot for my mood.
But ACTUAL co-washing on the other hand?
I'm so down with it I can't even tell y'all. I fortunately don't get dandruff, and my scalp doesn't make a lot of sebum naturally. Granted, I'm layering on more products now that I'm hip to milks and gels and definers, I have a lot more product build up than I used to in the years before my position here. But ultimately, the only time I really ever need to clarify is after I've left my crochet braids in too long. Which is...always.
Co-washing lets me lift the dirt and dust out of my hair without stripping all the moisture out of it. My curls are big ol' gluttons, you guys. All the butters, all the cholesterols, all the creams, all the fats? That's what they gravitate towards and do well with. I have to fill those high porosity voids!
Ironically, there have actually been regular shampoos that I've enjoyed. The Marula Curl Therapy Gentle Cream Cleanser, for instance, rocked my world. But some crazy-how, while gentle shampoos are fine...co-washes aren't. Or at least they haven't been YET.
Ultimately, I'm still open to the idea of trying co-washes.
I kind of have to be in order to work here, haha. BUT I've got to admit, I'm not super confident. Granted I've also got lots of deep treatment masques at my disposal to try and counteract any of those effects, but y'all know what I mean. Meanwhile, all of my finer haired, more oily friends are getting some hastily re-sealed co-washes for their birthdays.What about you all, curlistas? Do you have a co-wash that you love? Or are you a hater like me? Let us know in the comments!