Co-washing has become a mis-understood fad for cleaning hair. The myth is that using conditioner to cleanse the hair is a safe way to retain the hair's natural oil. The hair's natural oil is produced in the sebaceous glands, and is activated when your scalp is massaged, brushed or stimulated. This encourages the secretion of natural oil from your sebaceous gland to secret and lubricate your scalp and travel down your hair shaft. This is your bodies natural process of moisturizing and lubricating the hair. Your natural oils are the best moisturizer that can ever be used to nourish your hair. Although this oil does great things for your scalp and hair it is not one to remain on the scalp or hair shaft . Once your natural oil has completed its natural path of lubrication, it is now time to cleanse it away and allow the process to happen all over again. This is only be done with proper cleansing which entail a clarifying shampoo to lift the heavy products, residual debris and sweat off the hair leaving a slightly raised cuticle that would allow a deep penetration of nutrients added through treatments. The clarifying cleanser could be followed by a sulfate free cleanser to allow for a gentler cleanse and finish up with a moisturizing conditioner. Co-washing can be beneficial when it is used in-between cleansing but not as the only method of cleansing. An analogy that give you a picture of the effects of co-washing is the thought of going to the gym, having a great, sweaty workout and going home to shower with lotion. How clean would you feel? You may not be clean, but you sure will be soft. *Something to think about*
How excited were you when you began your natural hair journey? Do you remember when you made the decision to go natural? Or was that decision made for you after some extreme hair disaster? Some of us gradually transitioned our way to chemically free hair while the rest of us just took the plunge into the natural world and did the BIG CHOP.
Oh, we did our homework. We tried to identify our curl type and number (which never did match our whole curl pattern, because if you are anything like me, I had one type in the front and another in the back). We became product junkies, watched YouTube for hours and then began the mad hunt for a professional hairstylist, who specialized in natural hair.
What a journey we've faced! We loved the freedom natural hair afforded us in our daily routine, so much so that began looking for other ways to live a healthier lifestyle. We joined the gym, found better ways to eat and even ran a couple of marathons.
Who knew our hair was so connected to every part of our lives? How many times have you found comfort in starting a hair conversation with a perfect stranger just because she was “curly and cute”? As women, our curls connect us. Now that we have gone through the highs of our new hair freedom, what is the other side of being natural?
The first aspect of the other side is exploring more styling options that would make us fall in love with our hair all over again. Next, is re-educating ourselves on some rumors and myths that could have hindered the progression of our hair growth and manageability. Lastly, it involves answering the ultimate question many natural girls need answered… how do I wear a wet and go style without worrying about my hair looking like a dry bush by noon?
These and many other questions will be answered within the Be Strong Salon Community as we explore “The Other Side of Natural”.
Post your questions below. Let’s talk…..
Erica Strong is a celebrity stylist, who is on a personal mission to help women of all walks discover their beauty within. She has begun the "Be Strong Hair Community", a movement for anyone who is trying to grow and strengthen their hair and their spirit.