Co-washing for busy women

My last relaxer touchup stretch was 16 weeks and it is the longest I’ve ever gone. I would say that the thing that contributed most to my ability to stretch for that long was co-washing. I think that when I got to 10 weeks, I used to co-wash twice a week in addition to my regular washing and deep conditioning day.

For this stretch, my favorite co-wash conditioner was Salon Selectives Daily Treatment S, Smooth & Shine Conditioner. I’m sure some people would love to co-wash more frequently but have been wondering how they could do it when they have to go to work the next day.  What I do is as follows:

  • In the evening, I apply Tropic Isle Living Strong Roots Pimento oil to my scalp.
  • Next, I would apply my Salon Selectives Type S, Smooth & Straight conditioner to my hair in sections ensuring that I apply it to the new growth. When I got to 13 weeks and the new growth was getting too much, I would detangle my hair and then braid it in four sections. Please read How I co-wash in braids. If you want to do the Greenhouse effect instead, you can apply an oil of your choice in place of your conditioner. When you get into the shower, just apply your co-wash conditioner and leave it in for at least 3 minutes before rinsing it out.
  • Afterwards, I would pour a little water on my hair and massage in the conditioner. All this time, I’m standing in front of the mirror.
  • Next, I wear my  shower cap and then a heating cap on top for 15-30 minutes. When I take off my heating cap, I still leave my shower cap on till I’m ready to take my night shower. If I’m not going anywhere the next day, I sometimes leave the conditioner in my hair overnight and rinse it out in the morning.
  • I get into the shower and pour water on my hair, rubbing it gently like I’m shampooing. I detangle my hair in the shower with a wide tooth comb in at least 4 sections (sometimes 8 sections) and then rinse off the conditioner with warm water. I sometimes do a final rinse with cool/lukewarm water.
  • When I come out of the shower, I apply my leave-in conditioner and serum to my hair sections. I decide how I want my hair to look the next day: if I want a center or side part, I do this now. I smoothen the top of my hair with a medium-tooth comb. If you want it really smooth, you can use a boar bristle brush. I lightly detangle my hair one more time. If I want a straight look or just a simple bun, I can quickly blow dry my hair on a cool setting.
  • If I want a twist out, I do my ends into one big twist, tie my satin scarf and go to bed. I do a twist cos’ it’s the easiest way to keep my ends smooth when they’re dry.

Clipped up hair after co-wash

  • In the morning, the top of my hair and my roots are usually dry. I fold the twisted end into a bun or simply leave my hair clipped and that’s it. If you have the time, you can either blow dry your hair or sit under a standing dryer if you have one.
  • That night, I don’t undo the twist yet: I simply moisturize  and seal the top of my hair. I tie a scarf to keep the top smooth and go to bed.
  • The following morning, I undo the twist and I have a semi-twist out.

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