When natural hair bloggers flooded the beauty industry, one of the most talked about regimens became co-washing. Brands immediately began flooding the aisles with products promising to condition strands as they cleaned them. In theory, that’s all co-washing is, using conditioner to clean your hair as opposed to traditional shampoos which can strip strands of moisture. The reality, however, according to celebrity hair stylist Nai’vasha, is you might be applying a conditioner, but you certainly aren’t cleaning anything.
“I think a co-wash is necessary every now and again, but to make it a part of your regular regimen? I think it’s disgusting,” said the woman who has created red carpet hair looks for the likes of Tracee Ellis Ross, Alicia Keys, and Logan Browning. We caught up with the hair maven, who elaborated on the dangers of co-washing on a regular basis. “It’s really nasty. That’s like you’re never taking a bath, but you’re always putting on lotion. You’re still dirty.”
Struck both by her hardcore stance as well how many brands have pushed the cleansing power of co-washes on consumers over the years, I asked Nai’vasha what that was about, and she simply replied, “foolishness.”
“The fact of the matter is you’re just constantly layering on top of dirt –oil on top of dirt, oil on top of dirt — that’s all that you’re doing. It’s conditioner on top of dirt. Conditioner on top of debris, condition on top of your pillow case, conditioner on top of your boo — it’s conditioner on top of everything and you haven’t even washed your hair.”
If you’re a member of the “I don’t like my hair super clean” tribe, you should know shampooing isn’t just about clean hair, which is important, but it’s also key to achieving the style you want. “You cannot get optimum curls on dirty hair,” Nai’vasha explained. “You have to exfoliate that hair so that you can get to the source to even put true moisture back in there. You have to clean it.”
After seeing how passionate Nai’vasha is about cleansing hair, I began to better understand why the celeb stylist for the new Emerge hair care line considers the It’s Knot Happening Sulfate Free Shampoo to be the hero product of the collection. Still, what makes this shampoo better than any others?
“One of the things that’s different about this shampoo versus other brands is the lather and I love that, Nai’vasha said. “We all like to know that we’re clean, whether it’s our body or it’s our hair, whether it’s our skin, whatever, we want to know we’re clean and the beauty of that clean is that it’s not coming out dry.” That’s because the shampoo is sulfate-free, knot-free, paraben-free, and alcohol free and that, she said, makes a “Big, big difference.”
So what’s a girl who is currently obsessed with co-washing and hates shampooing to do? We say follow Nai’vasha’s regimen.
“I shampoo my hair once a week. There are some ladies who shampoo their hair every two weeks and that’s okay. But to just not shampoo your hair for months on months and go with a co-wash is a poor health regimen for your tresses,” Nai’vasha said.
And if you’re asking yourself, do I have to give up co-washing altogether, the answer is no.
“I recommend shampooing your hair thoroughly once a week or once every two weeks and directly in between, like at your halfway mark, do a co-wash.”