Wednesday 14 October 2015

BEAUTY LAB: Co-Washing

I admit I have batted the whole co-washing trend away with 'it's just glorified 2-in-1 shampoo' for a while. But early summer my hair was going crazy. It's always been dry but last winter it was so dry and frizzy that I at one point considered cutting it all off and I just couldn't face that again this winter... Luckily the moment passed before the deed was done!

Of course there is the whole fear that co-washing is just for curly girls, not blonde, fine Scandinavian hair. That by day 2 my hair will look like that of the evil girl from the well in the movie "The Ring", lanky, greasy and flat.

"Co-washing" has up until now been some kind of mythical thing that celebrities do. And the available brands that do a cleansing conditioner reflects that. I think it is rather outrageous that most of these cleansing conditioners are priced about £20-30. I suppose most come in a larger volume than the brand's usual shampoo+conditioners (usually between 400-500ml) and it is two products rolled into one, but come on. I don't even pay that for a foundation. One of the most popular brands of cleansing conditioner seems to be Wen, but at £27 or so, it's too pricey for me. Also more brands need to start doing their co-washes in sample sizes that don't cost £5 for 30ml (I'm looking at you, Ojon) that way you can try before you buy, because I suspect it's not for everyone!

In fact I'm surprised none of the the high street brands have got on to this trend, like L'Oreal/Pantene?..

How to do it
You will be using a lot of product. The stuff does not lather. At all. Start with soaking wet hair, and I mean soaking. Pump 5-6 pumps of product into your palm and massage this thoroughly into the top and sides, including the scalp. The wetter your hair is the better the stuff spreads and cleans. Wet your lengths and then massage another 5 pumps (depending on how long your hair is) into the lengths. Let it sit until you have done all your other washing (at least 2 minutes). Rinse and massage at the same time, wetting hair as you go along. You will need to rinse properly but you will soon be able to tell when it's enough.

I had heard somewhere that you should alternate the co-washing with normal shampooing, so I did. Within a few washes, things were looking better... I've now been doing it for a few months and things are awesome! I've officially not had a hair cut for over a year but hair is still looking good!

High Street / Drugstore Products
So even if you're in the UK there are alternatives if you don't want to fork out for more expensive brands! I surfed around to find a cleansing conditioner that didn't cost £20+ and I found Palmer's Olive Oil Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, which can be purchased from several online retailers for about £5.99 for 470ml. It has some decent reviews so I thought - why not! I wasn't enamoured with the smell at first, but it doesn't really linger so that was OK.

Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
Recently I found that Superdrug have launched their own brand cleansing conditioners! :) AND it's 2 for £6 at the moment but at RRP £4.99 it's not going to kill you at regular price either. So of course I got them both. They are slightly smaller 300ml bottles but you should get decent mileage! They both smell amazing and the scent lingers nicely but isn't overpowering.

Superdrug Hair Therapy Cleansing Conditioner
So what's the verdict? I decided to go shampoo free every other wash in the name of beauty science and it is a success, even though I have fine Scandi hair :) It's now part of my routine and long may my hair thrive! I think almost everyone with long hair can get on with the shampoo free wash, if your hair is very greasy you could shampoo the crown and use cleansing conditioner on the lengths! I wouldn't bother with it if you have bob length or short hair though.

Have you already tried co-washing? What did you think??

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