“Conditioner-only washing” also known as co-wash simply means that you skip to shampoo your hair and just rely on conditioning. Since our natural hair texture is very dry, it needs some moisture for the overall manageability and nutrition. It doesn’t matter whether you are a daily washer or a weekly washer, co-wash has its own pros and cons as listed below:
Pros of Co-Washing
Co-washing is beneficial for our hair because application of shampoo results in excessive dryness and messy hair. Since shampoo contains lots of harsh chemicals and ingredients, repeated application of shampoo results in stripping off the hair and important nutrients from the scalp. Conditioner-only washing helps in retaining the moisture of the hair by not shedding away the natural hair oils through shampooing.
If your hair is extremely dry in texture or are curly or wavy, you will surely be benefitted from co-wash. Most of the conditioner contains tiny amount of detergents called as “quats”. When these are applied on your hair and mixed with water, it gives a fresh look to your un-shampooed hair. For the people with colored hair, co-washing is a great technique because it allows longer stay of the hair color. For the hair styling people, co-washing is a best choice because it is easy to style moisturised hair than to style squeaky clean hair.
Cons of Co-Washing
You can obviously practice co-washing depending upon the type of hair you have, but one of the disadvantages of conditioner washing is that it doesn’t cleanse your hair completely. Conditioner helps in freshening up your hair, leaving the excess dirt on your scalp. Unlike shampooing, co-washing is not effective in clearing small dirt particles, lice, dandruff or such grime things from your scalp. Also, co-washing sometimes results in dry and frizzy hair because over moisturizing results in dehydrated scalp.
Moistening of hair through conditioner is important but over moisture is not considered to be good. Another disadvantage of co-washing is that it results in limp and stretchy hair, thereby resulting in the problems of split ends and hair fall.
Co-washing makes your hair feel dull and leaden and hence strips off that pleasant look from your overall appearance. People who only rely on washing their hair through conditioner may have musky smell coming from their hair as compared to the people who shampoo their hair regularly. This technique also restricts the healthy breathing of the hair follicles, and hence results in delayed hair growth.