What’s This Co-Washing Thing Then?

You heard of co-washing before? Well I hadn’t heard of it until a co-washing video popped up in my YT subscription feed and before pressing play I somehow came to the conclusion that co-washing stands for someone else washing your hair for you in the shower. Oo la la. Unfortunately that isn’t the case and it is in fact a term used for shunning shampoo completely and solely using conditioner to cleanse and clarify your mop (have a read of this handy article for all the in-depth stuff). Interesting, huh? It’s a concept originally dreamt up for those with curly hair tendencies to smooth and calm frizz, but lighter textured conditioners are now making it a common practice for all. So I thought I’d put it to the test for a week armed with the Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner, a conditioner made specially with co-washing in mind, in one hand and a can of dry shampoo in the other – you know, just in case. I must add that being a gal with straight follicles that lean more to the greasy side of things doesn’t make me a prime candidate for this technique in any way shape or form. I put myself up to the test purely out of co-washing curiosity. So…

DAY 1 – THE FIRST WASH. This felt weird. No bubbles. No lather. No suds. Just slippery, sloppy locks that felt heavy and dangled on my shoulders like octopus tentacles. I’m not really selling it am I? For all the unpleasantness of how it felt in the shower I have to say the results were worth it. My roots didn’t feel as refreshed as normal, but my lengths were ridiculously ‘hair advert’-like soft after blow-drying. And shinny. Oh so shinny.

DAY 3 – THE SECOND WASH. I feel like this was the wash where I really started to get in the co-washing groove. With the main perk being that I barely even needed to comb my hair after.  Gone was my annoyance at the sloppiness of it all and I embraced the lather-free rinse. Though by the fifth day the itchiness that can sometimes occur in the absence of shampoo had started to set in and I’d begun to rub my scalp against abrasive objects in a Baloo type fashion.

DAY 6 – THE FINAL WASH. By this point I was resisting the urge to grab for one of my usual clarifying shampoos to make things super squeaky clean, but I persisted with the co-wash thang and as per the other rinses things were left super soft and silky. I did notice that by this point things were getting a tad greasier quicker, particularly at my crown and a few more spritzes of dry shampoo than normal were deployed the following morning. As a bit of a follow-up on day 8 I used the Boots Anti Build-Up Removal Shampoo (one of my faves) and it felt fabulous. All things in moderation and all that.

A positive experience all in all and I predict co-washing will be a regular punter in my routine; though I’m thinking perhaps on a ‘swap each time’ schedule with my normal shampoo followed by conditioner get-up as with a straight-up co-washing regime the dry shampoo did have to work overtime on a few occasions and things did get a tad itchy. One for curly haired lasses to ponder perhaps? Co-washing crew? I get ya.