One of the ways those with curly hair cleanse their scalp is the idea of co-washing. Co-washing is using conditioner to cleanse your hair instead of shampoo. This way the hair isn’t stripped of its natural oils, but instead adds moisture to the hair.
Many people who used the Curly Girl Method claim co-washing makes their hair feel a lot softer and moisturized. For some, this method works great, while for others they are experiencing some difficulties.
A woman who co-washes her hair most of the time told me she had been experiencing lots of buildup and an itchy scalp lately. She wants to know if it is directly related to co-washing.
I co-wash every now and then (only in the summer) if I feel that my hair seems a bit dry. I love the results that I get, but I also experience an itchy scalp from time-to-time.
Q: Does Co-washing really lead to buildup and an itchy scalp?
A: I believe everyone’s hair is different, but I also believe if hair is co-washed for an extended period of time before it is thoroughly cleansed with shampoo, it will cause buildup and an irritated scalp.
If you love to co-wash, but are having a bit of trouble, try alternating between shampooing and co-washing. That way, at least the scalp will be completely clean on one wash and the other wash can be dedicated to co-washing (adding moisture).
Conditioners do have mild cleansing agents, but they do not remove buildup the way shampoo does. The irritated scalp is probably due to buildup.
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