Alternative Hair Cleansing – Does it really work?

Over the course of the year I have been hearing a lot about alternative hair cleansing methods: No-Pooing and Co-Washing. I think I read, roughly, 25 articles trying to decide which method I was going to try. I was confused and weirded out but some of the stuff I read. I knew I needed to try something because shampooing was really doing a number on my hair and scalp; seriously I’ve tried every shampoo out there cheap or pricey.

So a decision had to be made. And the winner is… Co-Washing! 

I really couldn’t see myself not using some sort of cleansing product on my hair. The No-Pooing seemed a little too “organic” for me (I know, I know organic should be a good thing, but I just couldn’t fathom using baking soda, ACV, rye flour, Kefir, or just water as cleanser for my hair).

To give you a little background on Co-Washing, click here to read this great article that helped me sort it all out. So basically, Co-washing is replacing your shampoo with a cleansing conditioner to give your hair a break from the detergents that are in most shampoos.

So now that I decided on Co-Washing, what brand of “cleansing conditioner” do I use? I chose from recommendations by two friends to try out for the experiment. 

The As I Am, I ordered from Amazon, it was $6.49 USD for a 16 oz. jar. It smells so nice, like coconut and tangerine, very tropical. The texture of it is like a deep conditioner, kind of goopy, and that is how it feels when you work it into your scalp and hair. My hair felt well-conditioned after I rinsed.

The Herbal Essence Naked, I bought from Walmart, it was $4.97 USD, and is a 16.9 oz. pump bottle. This one also smells really nice, very clean; it smells of peppermint and lavender. The texture is just like regular conditioner, it works into your scalp and hair really well, and it feels nice, tingly, refreshing, but most importantly (well to me) CLEAN after I rinsed.  

I took a few pictures of what my hair looked like, even some 2nd day hair pictures of my scalp. Since I don’t have any pre Co-Washing pictures, let me tell you a little bit about my hair. It’s long, wavy/curly and SUPER dry and frizzy, and my scalp gets a little oily after 2 days. So here is what my hair looked like air dried after doing Co-Washing for about 3 weeks now.

As you could see, it’s wavier with the Herbal Essence,  As I Am really weighs down my hair, it does not feel as clean as with the Herbal Essence. Here is what it looks like after I flat iron it, it looks the same with both products.

Here is my second day hair at the scalp. Both brands left me with an oily scalp, but it was much worse with the As I Am.

So what did I learn from this experience? Co-washing is definitely better for my hair than constant shampooing, maybe I need to rinse it in between Co-Washing because of my oily scalp issue. I will say it’s not for everyone. I think my hair is going through an oily transition phase of only using shampoo every 10 days, well, at least that is what I am hoping. My hair is shinier, and my split ends are less apparent. So overall I would highly recommend Co-Washing, even if you replace one wash with it a week. It’s good to give your hair a break from the detergents in shampoo. So what do you think, will you try it?

Do you co-wash? Sound off below with your favorite co-wash or on social media by using the hashtag #nerdandlace.

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