Cleansing conditioners are beneficial for curls because they do not strip moisture or sebum, the natural oil of the hair. However, when it comes to scalp care, co-washing can be detrimental, especially if you have a flaky scalp condition or are experiencing hair loss.
What is hair loss?
Hair thinning and hair loss are synonymous terms used to describe bald spots, loss of density, loss of hair with a noticeable scalp, and excessive shedding.
If you notice hair loss after using a cleansing conditioner several times, you might have a sensitivity ingredients in the product. Burning, itching, and flaking may also occur. This is called scalp contact dermatitis.
Does co-washing cause hair loss?
Co-washing itself does not cause hair loss. Rather, it is the sensitivity to ingredients found in any hair care product.
If you are experiencing hair loss prior to co-washing, keep the scalp free from excess buildup. Co-washing limits your ability to eliminate buildup and will not create a healthy environment for the hair to grow back in.
What cleansing products can be used?
To help clean and invigorate the scalp, try Taliah Waajid Stimulating Herbal Cleanser. It can be used before you shampoo for a gentle deep cleansing that will not dry out your curls or scalp. It is sulfate-free and removes dirt with the mild surfactant Cocamidopropyl Betaine.
Taliah Waajid Stimulating Herbal Cleanser has camphor and menthol in it, which leaves a cool sensation on the scalp. It helps stimulate the scalp with the use of green tea extract.
What if you have dandruff?
If you have a scalp condition that causes dandruff, co-washing will not help remove flakes, excess oil, or dirt from the scalp. When buildup is not removed from the scalp properly, itching of the scalp and dandruff get worse. Dirt, oil, and flakes need to be removed by cleansing with shampoo. Using a pH balanced sulfate-free shampoo will help remove flakes, soothe your scalp, and control itch without stripping your curls of moisture.
Try PURA D’OR Scalp & Dandruff Premium Organic Argan Oil Treatment Shampoo. This shampoo has tea tree oil and peppermint oil to reduce bacteria on the scalp that causes dandruff, leaving the skin feeling cool and refreshed. PURA D’OR Scalp & Dandruff Premium Organic Argan Oil Treatment Shampoo also contains lemon oil that naturally cleanses and purifies the scalp.
What if you need more moisture?
If you want to use a product that has the consistency of conditioner, but the cleansing capabilities of shampoo, try Kera Care Natural Textures Cleansing Cream. It lathers enough for your hair to feel clean, but will not tangle the hair or disturb your curl pattern.
See a dermatologist or trichologist for a proper diagnosis if you are experiencing hair loss or think you may have a scalp condition. Until then, try finding the right shampoo to replace your co-wash by reading these 3 Reasons You Need a pH Balancing Shampoo
Do you co-wash your thinning hair? What has your experience been like?
This article has been updated with additional resources.