Using a co-wash after your shampoo
Co-wash is a verb and a noun. Originally, co-wash was known as cleansing and refreshing your hair with a daily, rinse-out conditioner. Now, brands are formulating co-wash conditioners, also known as cleansing conditioners, with gentle surfactants that help to mildly cleanse and nourish the hair. Cleansing conditioners are not designed with the intention of replacing shampoos or clarifiers rather to be used alternately.
If you are using a shampoo, then it is unnecessary to follow up with a co-wash or cleansing conditioner, as a co-wash is a gentler, cleansing alternative. A shampoo should always be followed up with a deep conditioner or daily conditioner while a co-wash may not require that a deep treatment after, depending on how your hair feels.
Read more: Do You Really Need a Cleansing Conditioner?
Pre-poo and co-washing
Since a co-wash is designed for gentle cleansing, it is not necessary to pre-poo. Cleansing conditioners are not created to effectively remove all oils, product buildup, and residue on the hair and scalp like a shampoo. Therefore, using a pre-poo before a co-wash only creates an additional layer that your co-wash may not be able to completely remove. If your concern is excess dryness, then either deep condition after using a cleansing conditioner or use a different co-wash that is less drying.
Daily conditioners and deep conditioners are formulated to restore the pH levels of the hair after cleansing, so a little dryness after clarifying should be expected. The softness you feel on your hair from constant co-washing and pre-poo is probably product residue, which could eventually make your strands excessively dry over time and even agitate the scalp. Pre-poo treatments are better suited to precede clarifying your hair, especially if you have not found a shampoo gentle enough to make your pre-poo treatments unnecessary.
Read more: Daily Conditioners vs. Co-wash Conditioners
Using a daily conditioner and a deep conditioner
Using a daily conditioner and deep conditioner in conjunction with one another is unnecessary. After cleansing with a shampoo or clarifying, you can use either a daily conditioner or a deep conditioner. A deep conditioner is a daily conditioner on steroids; therefore you are not missing any benefits by omitting the daily conditioner. Use either or. If you are using a co-wash conditioner or cleansing conditioner (not daily conditioner), then it is ok to use a deep conditioner after you cleanse.
Even though people use daily conditioner to co-wash their hair, rinse-out conditioners are not formulating with cleansing properties, so using a deep conditioner following a daily condition may be causing product buildup.
Read more: Daily Conditioner vs. Deep Conditioner
Using different products for each hair texture
Most if not all people have multiple curl patterns. This usually manifest in the crown and/or hairline. It is superfluous to buy products to create two separate regimens for 3c/4a hair. It is also unnecessary to create two different regimens because your have highlights, as the lightened strands are more porous than the virgin strands. Simply find products that meet the needs of your entire head. Using products for color-treated hair should work just as well on your virgin hair. Maybe your crown requires an additional layer of oil, but I would not buy three different shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizers because I have a hodgepodge of curls. Do not make this journey or transition harder than it has to be.
Building a regimen takes years for some and one attempt for others. Excessive products and product usage are usually indications that your products may be sub par to your expectations, so remember to take your time finding products that meet your unique needs so you will not waste your money and time.
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Have you been guilty of making your regimen complicated?