Benefits of co-washing vs shampooing

Co-Wash Vs Shampoo? Which is best for 4C Natural Hair

In this comprehensive guide, we talk all about co-wash vs shampoo, explore the benefits of both, how to properly do each method and lastly some product recommendations for both methods. I know most, if not all of us have found ourselves asking if you should co-wash or shampoo your Type 4 natural hair.

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When it come to co-wash vs Shampoo conversation, you’ll find me on the shampooing side. This is because I do monthly cleansing and there is no other way to get rid of all month long dirt, sweat and product with co-washing. I’ve nothing against co-washing, only that it wouldn’t work for my hair.

Co-Wash Vs Shampoo ; the benefits, products recommendations and how to do each

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All things Co-wash Vs Shampoo

The Shampooing.

We are all familiar with the shampooing part of our hair wash day regimen. Shampooing is the process of applying a gentle cleansing shampoo or clarifying shampoo to break down the dirt, sweat and product build-up.

Benefits of shampooing.

  • Deep Cleansing; shampooing removes product buildup, dirt, sweat and other impurities that can accumulate on your hair and scalp. Shampoos, especially clarifying shampoos are perfect for deep cleansing. Experiencing build-up? Shampooing is the way to go.
  • A clean scalp is super essential for healthy hair growth. Shampooing helps maintain a balanced, clean and nourished scalp.
  • Also, a clean scalp and hair helps with absorption of other products from deep conditioners, moisturizers, moisture sealants, styling products and oils. Clean hair and scalp gives better styling results compared to hair and scalp with product build-up.

How to Shampoo 4C Natural Hair|

  • Start by preping your hair for Shampooing. To prep, start by sectioning the hair, use a pre-shampoo treatment to minimize the stripping effect of shampoos and also detangle before cleansing. Always detangle before shampooing to avoid more tangles and knots.

Best pre-shampoo treatment that are perfect detanglers too

Natural Hair shampooing vs co-washing
  • Choose the right shampoo for your hair’s porosity type and depending on how much dirt and build-up is on your hair and scalp. For high porosity hair and minimal build up, use gentle cleansers and sulphate free shampoos and for low porosity hair and lots of build-up, use clarifying shampoo or deep cleansers.
  • Apply shampoo on sopping wet hair for quick and easy lathering. Focus more on the scalp. Using the pads of your fingers or a scalp massager to massage the scalp to break down the dirt and product build-up.
  • Thoroughly rinse off the shampoo.

Top clarifying shampoo recommendations

Top gentle cleanser/ sulphate free shampoos

All About Co – washing.

Co- washing is a hair cleansing process where one uses a conditioner instead of shampoo. I know you’ve seen products labelled cleansing conditioner or Co-wash. Most people use co-wash products for mid- week cleansing. Conditioners aren’t formulated to cleanse meaning deep cleansing is next to impossible.

Co- Wash benefits include;

  • Co- washing, or conditioner washing, helps preserve natural oils, preventing over-drying the hair. Unlike shampoos which strip off the natural oils leaving your hair dry, Co-washing products leaves your hair feeling soft and moisturized.
  • Conditioning agents in co-washes smooth the hair cuticle, reducing frizz and promoting a smoother appearance.

How to Co- wash Natural Hair

  • Divide your hair into manageable sections to ensure thorough cleansing and coating each strand. The number of sections depends on your hair’s thickness.
  • Use a generous amount of co-wash and distribute it evenly. A generous amount is needed because conditioners aren’t meant for cleansing.
  • Detangle your hair using a wide-tooth comb, detangler brush or your fingers while the co-wash is in your hair. For matted hair, I prefer to start off with using my fingers to detangle then follow up with a wide tooth comb.
  • Ensure you rinse thoroughly to avoid product buildup. Leaving too much conditioner on your hair and scalp may clog your pores causing scalp irritation or itchiness.
Co-washing vs shampooing natural hair and Curly Hair

Top Cleansing Conditioners/ Co- Washes Product Recommendations

Related post; best cleansing conditioners for natural hair

Co-wash Vs Shampoo, the best choice is what your hair needs. Note that conditioners aren’t formulated to cleanse and when it comes to shampoos, we have clarifying shampoos which are also referred to as sulphate shampoos and we also have gentle cleansers, also known as sulphate free shampoos. Go for clarifying shampoos when your hair got a crazy amount of build-up.

Valerie Kinoti

Valerie Kinoti has loved all things hair since she was 8 and always dreamt of having long hair. Decades later she is living the long hair dream and sharing all tips, tricks she has learned over the years.