I have a different routine for each kind of wash that I do: Co-wash (conditioner wash), shampoo, or a clay wash. This post will focus on my co-wash routine.
A co-wash is a conditioner wash that I, and many naturals, do to help with product build-up and the sweat that accumulates from my weekly runs. The co-wash is a necessary go to for me in-between my shampoo and clay wash. I co-wash my hair every week (sometimes every other if I get lazy or if I have a protective style) because I run at least 3 times a week. My co-wash consists of a pre-poo (pre-shampoo even though it’s conditioner), co-wash, and the L.O.C method.
I have a mix of apple cider vinegar with water pulled from Nappy Headed Jojoba’s YouTube channel to help with detangling. I always finger detangle my hair during this step.
My delicate 4c hair prefers that I finger detangle. Finger detangling means exactly what it sounds like: I use my fingers to detangle my hair instead of a comb.
Once I’ve finger detangled, I then add coconut oil to further help with detangling and stretching. I put my hair in twists and top with a shower cap (or plastic bag because sometimes I forget to buy shower caps…) for about 15 minutes. This is a rough estimate; sometimes, I’ll let it sit longer if I want to eat.
After that it’s scrub-a-dub-dub and I’m in the tub to rinse out my pre-poo.
I live for Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner. I’ve been using this since I went natural and I refuse to quit it. When I put the conditioner in my hair, I further detangle my hair and then rinse it out.
I use a t-shirt to dry my hair because it absorbs the water without pulling moisture from my hair and it reduces frizz. The next/final step of my co-wash routine consists of applying the L.O.C method: leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream.
The leave-in conditioner that I am currently in love with is Karen Body Beautiful’s Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner. It smells like sunshine and heaven. It’s also very lightweight which is what I want when I’m using leave-in because my whipped shea butter is a bit heavy.
The oil I use is olive oil because: yes! Olive Oil is the true MVP. I use it in every part of my life: hair, cooking, body, etc. I don’t use a lot because, again, my whipped shea butter has oils in it (including olive oil) and it’s heavy.
Last step is my infamous whipped shea butter that I can’t stop talking about. This is raw shea butter that I actually get when family go to visit Liberia. I always ask for them to bring it back so I don’t have to pay for it.
If you don’t have the luxury of mooching off of relatives, I would definitely recommend purchasing raw shea butter from Better Shea Butter. The one time that I ran out of shea butter before family came back, I ordered from this company and I loved it! There was no difference from the raw shea butter that I usually get from back home. Also, it comes with a free e-book with a bunch of different recipes to try, including a recipe for whipped shea butter.*
I usually put my hair in a twist when this is done because I’m usually tired at this point and also because I am tender-headed. If I manipulate my hair too much at once, I get a headache- Team Tenderheaded.
If I plan to do another style (i.e., flat twist style, updo, protective style, etc.), I usually reserve it for the next day. This is why I usually try to wash my hair Friday and style on Saturday.
However, during this wash, I put my hair into smaller twists because I’m doing a twist out for the week.
Dassit! This is my process for my co-washes. I usually do these once a week because I run a lot. Next week I’ll cover my shampoo routine.
Do you co-wash your hair? If so, how often? How long does it take?
As always, thanks for stopping by!
*I was not compensated from Better Shea Butter to advertise for them. I truly enjoyed their product and wanted to share another place that I get my shea butter that would be accessible for all*