By Fran of HeyFranHey.com
I’ve explained in other posts that although I’m a product junkie, when it comes to applying product I prefer taking a more minimalist approach. I’ve come to understand that my scalp is at it’s healthiest when there’s less product on my hair and my strands seem to thrive with more simplified techniques. I even completely removed shampoo from my beauty regimen over a year ago because it seemed an unnecessary step (and purchase). Those detergents were way too drying for my hair. Even the healthy, all natural ones still left my hair feeling squeaky clean. Problem was, I wasn’t a fan of that squeak because it meant my hair had been stripped of much needed natural oils. That completely defeated the purpose of a healthy hair regimen, didn’t it? Losing moisture? Now I simply cleanse with all natural conditioners that are nutrient-rich, aiding in scalp and hair health as well as moisture. The best part of healthy ingredients is that pretty much all of them contain nutrients that are natural cleansing agents, so they definitely get the job done! If you’ve tried co-washing and didn’t feel “clean”, I would suggest giving it another shot with a healthier product.
My two absolute favorite conditioners for co-washing are the Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner by Shea Moisture and the White Camellia by Aubrey Organics. I have a few others but these two are my holy grail. I always come back! They’re easy to find (Whole Foods and Duane Reade), affordable and loaded with healthy, all natural ingredients. I always start off my wash process by finger-detangling my hair with organic virgin coconut oil (Spectrum is my fav brand) in small sections. If I jump into the shower and detangle my hair while it’s wet (even if loaded with conditioner) I end up losing a lot of it. However, with the coconut oil pre-wash finger-detangle, I end up retaining a lot more hair during the wash process. Once detangled, I twist my hair in four super chunky twists. I jump into the shower, cleanse my scalp with one of the conditioners mentioned above, and then gently finger comb through each twist, with conditioner, to make sure my strands are cleansed as well. The process takes me no more than 5–10 minutes! Pre-detangling is a true time and hair saver.
Since I don’t use shampoo, I clarify my hair once a month with all natural products. Considering I use oils and heavy moisturizers throughout the month, it’s important to implement a deep cleanse at some point in my regimen. My two favorite go-to natural remedies are filling a spray bottle with Apple Cider Vinegar or using Clay mixed with distilled water. Most people dilute their ACV but I use the raw-unfiltered kind made by Braggs and have found it to be perfect for clarifying. Unfiltered means it carries all of the full health benefits, no processing, so I never dilute it. I want those nutrients! I simply wet my hair with warm water then spray it all over. Including a nice scalp massage for buildup maintenance! Once my hair and scalp are fully saturated, I let it sit for 20 min. Then I rinse with cold water to remove the ACV and close the cuticles. This process rids my strands and scalp of all product buildup so I can start the new month with a fresh (hair) slate.
The second option I mentioned was using all natural clay. My favorite brand is the Aztec Healing Clay sold at Whole Foods and Amazon. I mix 5–6 spoonfuls into a bowl and pour distilled water until it turns into a soft, muddy clay. I then saturate my hair from root to tip, scalp massage included, and let it sit for 30 min. Then I rinse it off with cold water. A few of my readers have mentioned mixing both the ACV (instead of distilled water) with the Clay as their clarifying mixtures. I watched a few YouTube videos and have seen awesome reviews on that combination, as well. All options are affordable, effective and best of all, completely natural!
The only debate I’ve yet to figure out is whether one should co-wash before or after clarifying. I’ve read that co-washing afterwards is pointless because the cuticles are closed due to the pH levels and cold rinse. But I’ve also read that because the process strips your hair, you need to re-apply moisture by conditioning. I’ve tried both methods and haven’t felt much of a difference. Either way works for me!
What’s your order and why?