I LOVE talking about hair and it’s something I don’t do nearly as much as I want to on my blog.
I’m here to talk about the trend and phenomenon that is: Co-Washing.
The term is short for Conditioner-wash. Meaning: a conditioner, with cleansing qualities.
I don’t get to really talk hair with someone else who’s educated and enlightened, except for when I’m getting my hair done. (Shoutout to my soulmate @Stephnienohell- ILY), and then with one of my other coworkers that has her hairdresser’s license as well (Shoutout to my Senior Floor leader Melanie, thanks for always hair-nerding out with me.)
As many of you may already know – I studied Cosmetology in high school and it quickly became a huge part in my life. I was really involved, grasping everything and the hair/beauty industry took over me. I had never understood something so good like that ever in my life – it just made sense to me. Never English, nor math, nor history. But this shit stuck with me so well. I’m so thankful for the knowledge that I’ve obtained from the exposure to the industry.
Working at LUSH, I do get to talk about hair sometimes – and it’s really cool when a customer is into it, and enjoys hearing me talk about it, and actually understands it.
I know the hair types, tones, depths, textures, habits, techniques, etc, etc.
One of my most favorite things to do is talk hair color. I’ve played with hair colors since I was about 12 or 13. I’ve heard, seen, listened, tested and observed how color works ever since. Even with color in general, I was always was interested in colors and painting in art class.
Since recently having Steph put red in my hair, I’ve been really trying to wash as little as possible. So I want to share my current experience with Co-washing, with you guys!
Let’s talk about the big bad S word: SULFATES. (SLS)
Sulfates are a chemical reaction of negatively charged ions. All sciency and shit. Be lucky I didn’t include the actual chemical reaction formula.
So basically, it breaks down dirt, oil, gets rid of that “ugh, my hair is so dirty” feeling.
Anything that produces bubbles and suds, or creates a lather when you use it, contains a sulfate.
*Good to know: Just because a product is labeled as “sulfate free”, it may still contain a sulfate. *
Why are people afraid of sulfates?
Is the commonly asked question. Why does my hairdresser tell me to avoid shampoo? Shampoo that has sulfates is bad for me?!?!
There are no traces of sulfates causing any harm. They just do what they’re supposed to – break down dirt, residue and oils. That means it will pull natural sebum (oils) from the hair. It will break down the chemical composure and integrity of the hair – but that is exactly what that chemical is made to do. So therefore if you have colored, dry, fragile or damaged hair, it is not exactly in your best interest to use something with a sulfate.
It is most common among avid color-users to use a co-wash, because avoiding sulfates helps keep color vibrant.
The co-wash I looooove and swear by, is Avocado Co-Wash from LUSH.
I only thoroughly wash my hair every now and then. When I want to feel clean but try to avoid stripping my color, I was wish (cold) water and Avocado Co wash! (I nicknamed it Avo Co).
How to use Avo Co:
The bar is sold in sliced chunks that we cut in-store. It gets shipped in big pieces, or molds. We call it “bulk”. So Avo Co gets hand-made with love, mashed avocados, and an infusion of lavender, rosemary and nettle infusion, and then shipped over to us in wheels of wax that look like cheese.
We slice em up and weigh any size chunk, making this one super easy to try out before you get a ton (which will…. guaranteed…. happen.)
When you take home your specially selected slice, hop into the shower and give him a whirl. Melt the slice within your hands underneath the hot water. Feel free to rub the bar onto your hair and glide it down the ends. It will get creamy and soft!
Rinse shortly after running your hands through and combing as you go, and hop out and lightly towel-dry. Thattttttt’s all, folks.
*Good to know: Don’t leave the bar sitting in water somewhere – it’ll melt, disintegrate and get stuck. Also don’t leave it somewhere warm or in the sun. *
Avocado Co-wash tames the dirt and oily scalp, but moisturizes my ends. It’s a beautiful blend of cleansing and moisturizing – which what the ideal Co-Wash consists of.
The cider vinegar infusion blends with naturally cleansing florals such as lavender, rosemary and nettle to simply remove excess and unwanted oils – leaving the natural and beneficial ones right where they are.
If you’re still feeling dirty after co-washing, top off with some dry shampoo. If you are going to use a dry shampoo, try to avoid getting one that comes in an aerosol spray bottle. They’re so harmful to our environment! LUSH has an awesome one called No Drought. Using dry shampoo on my dirtier days and consistently washing with Avocado Co wash is a really great routine that works for me, personally.
My thorough routine is as follows:
- Every 2 weeks: Touch up red! I use the direct dyes and let it sit on dry hair for an hour or less.
- To rinse out my color, I use a regular shampoo to get super squeaky clean.
- Every shower within those 2 weeks, I use Avocado Co wash and top off with just a touch of color/conditioner after.
That’s how I keep my color vibrant and healthy! I had my red done in early November and have yet needed to go back for a touch up.
First day with color:
A few weeks ago:
Today (January 10):
While cleansing, adding shine, nourishment, and a delightful Bergamot scent to keep you cheery, all while keeping color and hair healthy- Avo Co has it all. If you haven’t tried co-washing yet, definitely give it a shot! It’s not for everyone, but it’s still great to try at least for a little bit!
Hope you guys enjoy co-washing and if you try Avo Co, be sure to let me know!!
– Laura the Leo