Should You Co-Wash Your Hair?

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co-wash embedPhotographed by Cecilie Harris.
If your thick, curly hair is feeling coarse, there's a good chance you should be co-washing. This hair-care trick, long beloved by the curly haired women of the world, defines curls and makes them feel softer. So, what exactly does it mean?

"Co-washing is washing your hair with conditioner," explains hairstylist Michael Dueñas. "People with coarse, curly hair should co-wash because it's important to leave as much moisture in your hair as possible in order to have perfect, frizz-free curls." It also makes curls more intact, he says.

This method works so well because, as Dueñas tells us, "Coarse hair tends to be on the dryer side, which is why it can look unruly. Co-washing is a simple solution." It's a solution that works for all kinds of dry hair, not just curly — though he warns that people with fine, straight hair shouldn't co-wash because it might cause your hair to become "limp and lifeless."

As for which conditioner is best, Dueñas recommends using something that's peppermint-based. "The peppermint acts as a gentle cleansing agent, and leaves your scalp feeling refreshed," he says. Since co-washing implies a skipping of shampoo, achieving that refreshed feeling without the suds is pretty key. We like Avalon Organics' version for this purpose.

So, will you try co-washing? Or are you already into it? Tell us all about it in the comments below.



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