I’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“.
WHAT IS CO-WASHING?
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. Now just be cautious and avoid using conditioner near your roots as it could make your roots look really greasy.
I found that the key to co-washing is rinsing your scalp with water VERY thoroughly. I get my fingers in there and will massage my scalp under running water until I feel like it’s squeaky clean.
Photo by Amy Humphries
MY TRIED-AND-TESTED METHOD TO NOT WASHING YOUR HAIR EVERYDAY:
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 hair hack really works because when I wake up the next morning, the dry shampoo had enough time already 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! Whenever I have used dry shampoo, I like to use a scalp scrub to gently exfoliate my scalp and to avoid clogging my hair follicles.
What I found after a few weeks of sticking to this routine was that my scalp became 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.
PHOTO BY GREGORY PAPPAS.