what is a cowash vs shampoo?

What’s the Deal With Co-Washing?

Have you heard the term ‘co-washing’ in the context of hair care and wondered what exactly it means? If you’ve got dry or curly hair, then co-washing your hair can be the best solution for you. Find out how a co-wash bar differs from a shampoo bar or a conditioner bar, and why co-washing is a good practice to add to your routine.

What is a Co-Wash?

It’s a term that refers to washing your hair with a conditioner (“co”) rather than shampoo. 

Now, why would someone want to do that? If you’ve got dry, brittle, or curly hair, you need to make more effort to keep it moisturized and healthy. The natural oils produced by the scalp travel down through the strands of hair, but for kinky and curly hair it is harder for this oil to reach the tips. That’s why co-washing curly hair is a good idea.

So, What is Co-Wash vs. Shampoo?

Many shampoos contain sulphates, which are surfactants that help remove dirt and grime, but they can also strip natural oils from the scalp in the process. The main purpose of a shampoo is to cleanse, while the main purpose of a co-wash is to moisturize while gently removing built-up dirt and oil but without the chemicals that cause frizz.

What Does a Co-Wash Do Differently?

So, what does a co-wash do that shampoo and conditioner alone don’t? Unlike a shampoo, a co-wash conditions more than it cleanses. In fact, you can think of a co-wash as more of a conditioner with a touch of cleansing agent. Some co-washes on the market don’t contain any cleanser at all, so essentially are conditioners.  

If you co-wash hair with one of these surfactant-free co-washes, then you will still need to shampoo your hair intermittently (every other shower) to ensure you cleanse your scalp toavoid yeast infections.

What Ingredients Make a Co-Wash?

Just as you’d want a mild soap for dry skin, you want a very mild cleanser for dry hair. Co-washes tend to contain more types of super-moisturizing butter and oil than conditioners do, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil, among others. These nourishing ingredients help hydrate the hair by locking in moisture and keeping dry and curly hair healthy and bouncy. 

Steps for How to Co-Wash

how to use a cowash soap bar

Now that you know the difference between co-wash vs. shampoo, here’s how to co-wash for the ultimate balance between healthy, hydrated, and clean hair.

  • Thoroughly wet your hair 
  • The first step in co-washing is the same as for shampooing, which is to get your hair wet.

  • Apply the co-wash from root to tip
  • Grab your co-wash bar and apply it to your hair, from the root to the tip multiple times until you can feel it in your hair.

  • Massage your scalp
  • Ensure you cleanse your scalp by rubbing your fingers over it to dislodge any built-up dirt.

    • Rinse with warm water

    Wash the co-wash out of your hair as you would with any other product, being sure not to use hot water to avoid drying out your hair.

    Please remember that even if you prefer to use a co-wash most of the time, it is crucial to intermittently use a gentle shampoo to cleanse your scalp of any build-up in between co-washing.

    Why CleanO2’s New INFUSE Co-Wash is the One to Go for

    CleanO2’s new co-wash is perfect for co-washing curly hair or extra-dry hair because it offers a convenient 2-in-1 function for people who are concerned about over-washing their hair. It is rich in moisturizing ingredients but also contains a touch of cleanser.

    That means you won’t need to alternate co-wash and regular shampoo because this multipurpose co-wash will gently cleanse and hydrate dry hair simultaneously. Keep in mind you won’t get the type of rich, bubbly lather that you would with a shampoo bar, but you can be confident that it is cleansing.

    The magic of this moisturizing co-wash lies in three kinds of butter, including shea butter and tucuma butter. Tucuma butter is a  natural ingredient that functions similar to  silicone by forming a thin, waterproof coating around your hair cuticles to help you maintain healthy, hydrated curls.

    Try this amazing co-wash today and say hello to healthy, happy hair!

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