Thursday, January 12, 2012

Alternative ways to wash hair. Today: Conditioner Only Washes

Advantages (why should you care):
- Conditioner only washes are really popular on hair forums because a lot of people have success with it
- it works especially well for curly, wavy and dry hair
- it's best thing to ever happen to my length (washing wise), nothing makes it look better
- gentle on the hair, won’t strip it of moisture or protein
- eliminates frizz for me
- I have greasy scalp and this method allowed me to stretch washing because it’s less stripping than shampoo and my scalp doesn’t rebel by producing too much sebum anymore
- cheap because you only need conditioner and you can use really cheap ones (V05 is less than $1 and Suave is less than $2)
- it can help relieve dry, itchy scalp
Does co-washing really clean your hair? A scientific experiment!

How to?
- use a light conditioner (preferably something that says “clarifying” or "volumizing"), something runny, not thick
- try using a conditioner without protein or silicone
- if you’re experiencing issues you can also add water like 1-1, 2-1, 3-1 or more to dilute it further
- my favorite conditioners for washing (I combine them 50% water, 50% conditioner): Suave (Naturals: Juicy Green Apple conditioner), Yes To (Volumizing Conditioner, Tomatoes)

Method 1
- wet the hair
- apply conditioner on the hair AND scalp, make sure it is slathered on well, use as much as it takes to truly cover all your hair (add conditioner until all of your hair feels slimy with it)
- massage your scalp
- run your fingers through your hair to distribute the conditioner
- put your hair up for a few minutes (2-5)
- rinse out the conditioner thoroughly (at least 3-5 minutes)
- repeat if your hair feels greasy
- follow up with a heavy conditioner on the length if it doesn't feel well conditioned
- my favorite heavy conditioners: Suave (Naturals Ocean Breeze), Aubrey Organics (Honeysuckle Rose)

Method 2
- apply conditioner on dry hair, make sure it is slathered on well, use as much as it takes to truly cover all your hair (add conditioner until all of your hair feels slimy with it)
- leave it on for 15 minutes to one hour under a shower cap or grocery bag
- wet your hair and then massage your scalp and length well
- rinse it out properly, this might take 10 minutes or more
- you may follow this up (I usually do) with a heavy conditioner on the length, use this as you would normally use a conditioner, you can leave it on for 3 minutes then rinse as usual

Disadvantages:
- doesn’t work for everyone
- it takes some experimenting with different products and methods (time, massaging techniques, etc)
- some people need an adjustment period of a few weeks/months before it starts working with their scalp better
- some people experience shedding if they don’t periodically use a separate method to cleanse their scalp from build up (oil+granulated salt [or sugar] scrubs, and sulfate shampoos work well)
- clarifying might be necessary every now and then if you use conditioners with silicone or other ingredients that build-up (just use a shampoo that says “clarifying”; or add a tea spoon of baking soda to your washing conditioner and follow up with a apple cider or white vinegar rinse - one tea spoon of vinegar to one cup of water)

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