Co-Washing Natural Hair...What is it??

July 20, 2012
The term co-wash is used to describe a way to cleanse your hair without the use of shampoos.  Many naturals opt out of using shampoo to wash their hair because it dries out their hair too much, by eliminating any of the natural oils made from the scalp.  Washing with shampoo can also strip the hair of it's natural sheen and color.  I've been co-washing my hair all summer long and have noticed a difference in moisture content.  My hair is more softer and isn't as dry like it was when I washed my hair with shampoo.

There are two ways you can co-wash your hair.  One way is the use of water only.  Place your hair under running water and scrub your scalp gently, to loosen dirt and product build up off your scalp.  Another way to co-wash is using a conditioner in place of shampoo.  Apply conditioner, as you would with shampoo, to your hair and massage through.  Make sure to scrub your scalp gently as well to remove dirt and product build up and then rinse with water.

It is necessary to clean your scalp because product buildup and dirt can prevent hair from properly growing.  Co-washing is ideal for naturals because it doesn't completely strip the hair and scalp of it's moisture and natural oils.  The only time I wash my hair with shampoo is when I straighten it.  My hair will be lifeless and heavy if I co-wash my hair instead of using shampoo, when I want to straighten my hair.

You Might Also Like


  1. Interesting....i've been looking for a clear definition of co-washing and you were the only source I found that explained it in "laymen's terms"

  2. I never knew using plain water was considered co-washing. Great info. I also appreciate your info on hard water and how to diffuse hair