Two ingredients: water and conditioner. That's it -- that's all you need to start co-washing your hair. Co-washing (or conditioner-washing) is a hair technique that, for years, has proven wonders, leaving hair soft, moist, and totally luscious. Conditioner washes sans shampoo are meant to make the hair smooth and clean while still retaining moisture.
However, co-washing works best with a very specific hair type. The thicker, coarser, curlier, textured, and even drier your hair, the better off you'll be if you're looking to test this method for yourself.
For those with fine, straight, thin hair, co-washing will likely just make your hair flat, oily, and weighed down -- not exactly a look I assume you want to go for.
This technique can replenish dry strands and add life to your hair, not to mention save you a ton of time in your overall routine. No shampoo, no problem, amirite?
Of course, it's important to choose the right conditioner for your hair type. For textured hair, it's best to opt for a conditioner without silicones, because that can weigh your hair down. For finer hair, a cleansing conditioner is the way to go, as this will work to remove the dirt from your scalp in a gentler way.
Most people co-wash their hair anywhere between one and three times a week. So if you're the type of person who can't go even one day without washing your hair in any capacity -- let alone ditching your shampoo possibly for good -- this technique isn't for you.
However, if you're down to give it a try, it'll behoove you to plan your washes according to your specific lifestyle.
So, say you had a week filled with intense workouts and, well, lots and lots of sweat. Your scalp probably needs a thorough cleanse after all that, so a little bit of shampoo will probably go a long way in that context. Co-washing with just conditioner will still leave your hair clean, but not as squeaky clean as shampoo.
Overall, co-washing is your best bet when you don't really use a ton of products in your hair to begin with (products build up in your scalp, making you feel like you need to shampoo), and it's especially great if you're looking for that day-after-washing, slightly textured, tousled look.
Alternate between co-washing and regular washing before saying an official goodbye to your 'poo.
So, maybe two weeks out of the month, you go for the co-wash method, and the other two weeks, you revisit your shampoo. That way, your scalp doesn't have to endure so much product build-up, but you still get to reap the benefits from washing with conditioner more than shampoo.
Keep in mind that, if you aren't accustomed to co-washing, your scalp may need some time to adjust. Be patient, and expect your scalp to be just a little oilier than usual in the beginning. But with time, you'll see the results of your freaking dreams.