How Co-Washing Saved My Bleached-Fried Hair

How Co-Washing Saved My Bleached-Fried Hair

heavy-metal-toxicity-detox-marissaI’m Marissa, the Wellness Manager at kaia naturals. Today I’m sharing with you my experience with co-washing and how I was able to train my hair to need less shampooing. I used to wash my hair every single day, but now I only wash it twice a week. Find out how I did it below.

Two summers ago, I bleached my hair using a box dye just before heading to Florida. I got distracted, left the bleach on a little too long, and my hair looked and felt like someone had put it the deep fryer – crispy and crunchy. Although I wouldn’t call this a blessing in disguise, frying my hair that summer would change how I would shower and wash my hair forever.

My hairdresser (who was appalled by the mess I made) told me the first step I had to do was stop shampooing every day, as that was stripping my hair even more. Motivated to nourish my hair back to a healthy state, I started researching how I could possibly go a day without washing my hair and not have greasy roots. I then discovered the “co-washing and dry shampoo method“.



Co-washing is when you skip the shampoo in your routine and only use conditioner or another moisturizing product so that you aren’t stripping your hair of its natural oils. This may sound odd, but here’s how it works. Scientifically speaking, like dissolves like, which means that oil will dissolve oil. 

The result? The oils/moisturizing agents in your conditioner will mildly dissolve and cleanse the oils on your hair, but will not strip the hair entirely of its natural oils like shampoo does. By skipping shampoo your hair will also, over time, stop overproducing oil and balance out its own oil production. You can now go longer without the need to wash your hair.




DAY 1: I would shampoo and condition like normal.


DAY 2: By the end of the day, I was itching to wash my hair again but with sheer determination I washed my hair using only conditioner (avoiding my roots so they didn’t become greasy).


DAY 3: This day was tough until I implemented dry shampoo, which was a total game changer. Instead of washing, I sprayed a natural dry shampoo into my roots before going to bed. This way when I woke up, the dry shampoo had had enough time to absorb the oil, sweat and odor from the previous day.

NOTE: Day 3 is the real hump you have to get through! Stay motivated and power through!


DAY 4: It was time to shampoo and condition again!


What I found after a few weeks of sticking to this routine was that my scalp become less greasy between every shampoo, and I couldn’t believe the time I was saving from not having to wash my hair every day. In just a few months after my bleaching mishap, my hair felt so much softer and even noticed my scalp was less dry and had less dandruff. The co-washing + dry shampoo method is a total life saver!

If you want to learn a few more tips on how to start washing your hair less, read more here.


This Beauty Product Is The Lethal Bomb

This Beauty Product Is The Lethal Bomb

Hairspray is one of the key offenders when it comes to the most toxic beauty products. The Canadian Government classifies it as a “HAIR LACQUER”, which should give you a pretty good indication as to what you are about to read.



The National Institute of Health says that it doesn’t know if all ingredients in hairspray are safe for human use. That alone should make you wonder if you should be using this stuff at all! What makes things worse is that even ingredients that we do know cause harmful diseases and birth defects are still being used in hairsprays all the time!

First developed in 1940, conventional hairspray formulations have remained highly volatile, dangerous, and virtually unchanged. The only exception was a government mandate to remove CFC’s (Chlorofluorocarbons) in 1980 due to the depletion of the ozone layer.





(just another name for plastic!)

FUNCTION: Gives structural support to the hair.

CAUTIONARY TALE: One polymer often used, polyvinylpyrrolidine, is also used to bind the layers of wood in plywood together. Do you really want this on your hair?!

NOTE: there are natural polymers available (ex. silk, wool and cellulose).




FUNCTION: Used as a carrier for the active ingredients in hairspray.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Most often ethanol alcohol is used because it dries fast (and is VEYR drying to hair) and doesn’t corrode in the can. Ethanol use has been restricted because it is a volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contributing to air pollution, and is deadly when it comes into contact with an open flame.

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: Usually ethanol alcohol. There are no acceptable replacement solvents approved to date.



FUNCTION: Gasses, mainly butane and propane, responsible for propelling the hairspray out of the can.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Propellants have been linked to allergic skin reactions, asthma and breathing difficulties. They are highly flammable, so just think how harsh this would be on your hair if you blasted a blow dryer on hair coated with a flammable substance?

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: propane, butane.



FUNCTION: Added to make hairspray more flexible and perform better.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Additives are just a bunch of chemicals that make the product work better, but serve no other purpose, exposing us to chemicals for no reason.

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: Isopropyl myristate, diethyl phthalate, and silicones. (Plasticizers: added to make hairspray more flexible).


Aminomethyl propanol (AMP), ammonium hydroxide, morpholine, cyclohexylamine, borate esters). (Neutralizing and anti-corrosion agents: added to control resin solubility and help prevent the inside of the can from rusting).



1. FINISHING HOLD: A natural pump hair spray as this eliminates:

  • Propellants
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Lauryl alcohol
  • Replaces ethanol alcohol solvents with fatty alcohols (healthy for hair)  derived from nature Cetyl alcohol



  • Hair serums
  • Sea Salt Spray


3. FOR OILY HAIR: Dry shampoo.


4. TO VOLUMIZE: Dry shampoo.

The One Ingredient In Shampoo That Is Damaging Your Hair

The One Ingredient In Shampoo That Is Damaging Your Hair

mary founder of kaia naturalsWelcome to “DECODED”, a series to help you make sense of what’s actually in your beauty products. I’m Mary, the founder of kaia naturals and as a veteran product developer from the beauty industry, I’ve been witness to the harmful ingredients that are formulated in many products, and while they may work, there are effective natural alternatives.

This week we are decoding the one ingredient in your shampoo that is damaging your hair: sulfates.

We all know that sudsy lather of shampoo that makes us feel like our shampoo is really working hard to leave our hair squeaky clean. What you may not know is that lather is completely stripping your hair. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t have sulfates in shampoo.



Sulfates are harsh detergents made of sulfur-containing mineral salts. Here is why they work. Sulfates contain molecules that can attract oil and water – one side of the molecule attracts oil, while the other attracts water. This means that sulfates can loosen and lift oil and grime from your hair and dissolve it so it rinses out.



The problem is, sulfates are not selective in which oils they attract, meaning they will also attract, dissolve, and strip the good oils that our hair produces naturally to keep it in great condition. The second problem, this includes natural sulfates! Although, though they are natural, they are still very damaging and strip oils as well. So even when using natural shampoo be sure to look for sulfate-free formulas. This means you must get use to washing your hair without that lathering feeling sulfates give.



To make matters worse, because sulfates strip the hair of its natural oils, your hair starts to think it must produce more oil to keep it from over drying. Within hours of washing your hair, with sudsy lather (although I know you love it), you start producing your own oil, which creates a vicious cycle which is hard to break. Click here for a guide on how and why you should wash your hair less.




Synthetic Sulfates to look out for:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate

Sodium Lauroyl Isoethionate

Sodium Lauroyl Taurate

Sodium Cocoyl Isoethionate

Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isoethionate

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate


Natural Sulfates to look out for:

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Decyl Glucoside

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate



Look for sulfate-free shampoo and use other ingredients to help clean your hair. There are natural cleansers that cleanse the hair, but don’t strip away our natural oils.


Some of these natural sulfate-free surfactants include:

Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis leaf juice)

Avocado oil Persea gratissima

Coconut milk  (Cocos Nucifera Extract)

Green tea (Camellia Sinensis)

Lemon essential oil (Citrus Limonium (Lemon) Oil)


By switching to a sulfate free shampoo you will find less need to constantly wash your hair, as you won’t be stripping it of its natural oils. This especially helps fine hair, dry hair, and over processed hair. Also, using a nontoxic dry shampoo can help lengthen the times between washes. This will lead to much healthier hair in the long run!

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