Healthy Hair & Women's Wellness

Are you wondering what exactly is a co wash and how does it fit into your 4c natural hair care regimen? Or is it even necessary? Find out everything you need to know about co-washing 4c hair.

What Is A Co Wash?

A co-wash is short for conditioner wash better known as a cleansing conditioner and yes it does exactly as it’s describes, at least sometimes, to be honest.

Selecting the perfect co-wash is another topic.

Essentially, it’s a conditioner that cleans the hair at the same time it conditions and moisturizes so it’s a two in one product that makes wash day a little less stressful.

We all can use less stress when dealing with 4c hair.

The ingredients are more gentle than a shampoo but more cleansing than a regular conditioner.

It doesn’t produce foam like a shampoo so it more simliar to a regular conditioner in texture and appearance.

In fact, you won’t be able to tell a rinse out conditioner and a co-wash apart by physical apperance.

A co wash is used in replacement of a shampoo and even a rinse out conditioner if you like.

Following up with a rinse out conditioner is optional.

A co wash contains really mild cleansing agents such as Cocamidopropyl betaine, Kaolin clay, Behentrimonium methosulfate that are usually listed towards the middle or bottom of the ingriedient list versus at the top.

This ensures that it doesn’t over cleans the hair and over power the conditioners it contains.

Because otherwise, what would be the point of skipping your shampoo, right?

How To Use A Co-Wash On 4c Hair?

Video tutorial demonstrating how to co wash 4c natural hair

Step By Step

  • Detangle and twist hair into at least 6 sections
  • Get into shower and moisten twists with water
  • Loosen one section and apply cowash from ends to scalp
  • Retwist saturated section out the way and repeat on all sections
  • Rinse out all product with water without loosing twists
  • Towel dry
  • Apply leave in conditioner
  • Style hair

Now this may sound like such a simple routine you can adopt as your weekly hair care maintenence but DON’T!!

A co wash should not replace your regular shampoo long term.

It is so mild as cleanser that you are bound to run into product buildup, dry hair and itchy scalp over time.

It is more safe to alternate the weeks you use a co wash or use it as a mid week refresher in between your regular shampoo routine.

Pros Of Using A Co wash

  • Doesn’t strip the hair of natural oils
  • Less steps on wash day
  • Great for moisturzing high porosity hair
  • Keeps hair cuticle smooth
  • Reduces frizz

Cons of Using A Co-Wash

  • Can make fine hair limp
  • Doesn’t wash away heavy build-up
  • Can cause itchy scalp
  • Can cause dry hair if used too much

Do You Actually Need To Co-wash?

NO and Yes!

It isn’t a mandatory step for maintaining moisturized healthy hair but it can come in handy at times.

As we know, 4c hair is more prone to dryness so a regular shampoo may be too stripping and can cause the hair to become even more dry.

If you are having trouble finding the balance between clean hair and making sure that hair is well conditioned, then you may want to try out co-washing your 4c hair and see how it works.

It will also be beneficial if you work out 5 days a week and want to refresh your sweaty scalp and hair midweek without the risk of over shampooing your hair.

Or you may just want to refresh your hair for a short noticed event but limited on time to go through a full wash day.

Maybe you’re the green girl who reads the ENTIRE ingredient list and makes sure everything is super clean, so your hair doesn’t need a hard cleanse from a shampoo.

These are great examples of how a co-wash can fit into your hair care regimen.

Always be realistic when adding another step to your regimen. Your hair always has the final say.

If it works well for you, continue to use it. If not, then you can skip the co-washing step and keep your regimen simple.

I recenly started co-washing my 4c hair every other week in between shampoo about 2 months ago and my hair loves it so far.

My hair is definitely thriving and it feels more moisturized.

I’m curious to know, have you added co-washing to regimen or do you just stick to shampoos to clean your hair?

Try this simple Co-Wash routine

Check out this Co-wash for your regimen, it has done wonders for my hair.

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