Could Cowashing Leave You Dirty?

Recently I saw a proclamation on Facebook that “Co-washing your hair is like washing your dirty clothes in fabric softener.”

Say what?

Co-washing is washing your hair with conditioner and has many benefits. It is gentler than washing with shampoo, strips your hair of less oils, and if you have color-treated hair can actually contribute to your color lasting longer, saving you money on touch-ups.

While many women with curly and thick hair have been co-washing for years it has entered the consciousness of the mainstream with the arrival of co-washing agents being put on the market. Often these are called “cleansing conditioners.” So do they get your hair clean?

The short answer is “yes.” Many of these new cleansing conditioners actually contain some type of cleaning agent. For example, L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner contains Sodium Cocoamphopropionate, an ingredient in many conditioners that actually work to clean hair too.

If you want to be sure that your conditioner is cleaning your hair and scalp, look for those that contain these ingredients:

  • Cetrimonium chloride
  • Dicetyldimonium chloride
  • Behentrimonium methosulfate
  • Stearamidapropyl dimethylamine

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