I'm sure you're wondering why I'm talking about shampoo versus co-washing. Well, this is because it's one of the most common questions that people ask me! You want to know when to use your hair products and what they do for your hair, so I'll break it down for you.
Shampoo: Shampoos are designed to cleanse the scalp by removing dirt and oils from the hair shaft. It also removes product buildup on the scalp which can cause dandruff or other scalp conditions. If you have dry or damaged hair consider using a moisturizing shampoo with an added conditioner as well as protein treatment every few weeks.
Co-wash: Co-washes are typically gentle cleansers that don't strip. It is the act of
washing your hair with conditioner. If you have oily, mixed textured, curly or EXTREMELY dry hair, there's a chance that your hair care routing could benefit from it.
When to use Shampoo vs Co-Wash
1. Build Up
One obvious sign that it is time to put down the conditioner and pick up your shampoo bottle is when you’re experiencing a lot of build up on your scalp. Cleansing the scalp is extremely important in order to ensure that the pores of the scalp are not clogged and that all dead skin, excess oil and product is gone to allow the scalp to breathe.
While there are conditioners with cleansing agents strong enough to clean the hair, most of the time women are just using whatever conditioner they have laying around instead of an actual cleansing conditioner.
If you’ve straightened your hair recently, or plan on straightening your hair in the future, chances are you’ll be using a heat protectant. Since most heat protectants contain a form of silicon in them to coat and protect the strands, it will need to be shampooed out before attempting a new style.
The reason why silicones need to be shampooed out is because they coat the hair with a “film” which prevents moisture from entering the strands and causing frizz. Since our strands need moisture in order to maintain its health, the silicon will need to be completely stripped from the hair so that moisture will be able to penetrate again.
When to use Co-Wash Vs Shampoo
1. In Between Cleanses
Technically, you can co wash whenever you want if your hair isn’t in need of a deep cleaning. For example, if you just shampooed your hair last week and you don’t feel as though it’s dirty enough to have to shampoo again, you can do a co-wash.
The good thing with co-washes is the fact that you’re able to cleanse the scalp without losing out on moisture or stripping the nutrients that the hair needs in order to stay healthy. You can co-wash as often as you’d like, but remember that the scalp will need an overall cleanse at least once a month.
When To Use Both!
1. Active Lifestyle
If you live a very active lifestyle, you will need to cleanse your scalp more often than others. Assuming that your schedule allows it, someone who is physically active in terms of fitness and/or sports should cleanse their hair at least once a week.
Many women who sport wash & gos during their active lifestyles opt to co-wash during the week and shampoo at the end of the week, so depending on your preferences you’ll be able to gauge when you should co-wash vs. when you should shampoo.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best shampoo for your hair type. We’ve covered some key points in this post, but there will be more that you need to research on your own as well. The most important thing is understanding what benefits each offers and which one would be better suited for you based on your specific needs (e.g., budget, hair texture). If all of these considerations seem overwhelming or if you just want help figuring it out from someone else, we have a couple options for your here! Which one do you think is better? Let us know below!