Co-washing simply means washing your hair with conditioner rather than shampoo aka “conditioner washing”. Over 90% of the marketed shampoo contain sulfate and there has been some controversies over the use of sulfates in shampoos.A lot articles advice to stay away because Its believed to cause cancer,immune system damage.With little evidence or research to support this theory,i still think the best option for me is avoiding shampoos that contain sulfates.
Sulfate is basically what makes the shampoo lather.And because we are used to associating the lather to clean hair,this may seem okay to us. Sulfate shampoos help to clean your scalp of build up but it dries out the hair,makes it brittle and strip the natural oils.(More harm than good).
I put products in my hair daily,oils(Olive oil,Shea butter,Glycerin etc) so its very important for me to keep my scalp clean and this is when co-washing comes in.
Co-washing makes leaves my hair feeling so soft and neat,smells nice too( i love the smell of my conditioner). I only get an instant satisfaction from co-washing though,my scalp itches terribly afterwards.It feels so uncomfortable. *so sad*. I think this has to do with the conditioner not totally cleaning my scalp before i go back to putting in more products which could cause the itch.
I have heard some naturals talk about using baking soda instead of the sulfate shampoos,it cleans your scalp and doesn’t do all the bad things sulfate can do.I have not tried this yet though.
As it has been quite hard for me to get a sulfate free shampoo,i bought something closest i could find. It contains only Sodium Laureth Sulfate amongst all the sulfates usually found in shampoos.This is a milder version of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and its less irritating.The bottle has “Natural Honey Nourishing Shampoo,Dry damaged hair.100% natural honey and almond oil” written on it (sounds good to me). I only use a very tiny proportion to wash my hair before using the conditioner.
I would be using this shampoo until i can lay my hands on a 100% sulfate free shampoo.
Do you co-wash? How does your hair feel afterward?