Midweek Refresh in 15 Minutes!

Posted on 04 August 2015
Author:Emilia Obiekea

Midweek cleansing can be a hassle especially if it is done in a long drawn out process of pre-pooing, shampooing, deep conditioning, detangling, moisturizing, sealing and then styling...whew get tired just reading that regimen right? We're too busy to waste the evening washing our hair. This is where cowashing comes into play. 


(courtesy: getty images)


What is cowashing?

Cowashing is also known as cleansing conditioning. It is a method of lightly cleansing the hair and scalp by using a conditioner formulated with mild surfactants. 


What is so great about this?

It is a gentle alternative to harsh traditional shampoos. Cowashing maintains the hair's natural oils for strand lubrication. Cleansing conditioners are very effective for reducing frizz that occurs by over manipulation, friction between the strands and elevates moisture retention. 


Is cowashing enough?

If you use only water soluble ingredients then it is fine in most cases. When silicones and non water soluble ingredients are used a clarifying or sulfate free cleanser should be used to prevent build up from accumulating.

Shampoos are created with a low pH. This formulation enables the shampoo to raise the cuticle layer of the hair. When it is raised the hair is able to be cleansed very thoroughly. Then traditional conditioners are used to smooth the cuticle and lock in moisture. It is still a very good idea to clarify the hair on biweekly or monthly basis.


Can I cowash too often?

Yes. The risk of over-conditioning your hair is greatly increased by cowashing too frequently. Leaving conditioner on the hair too long can cause this as well. The hair is very fragile while wet. Wetting it too often increases the likelihood of increased elasticity. This results in the hair feeling mushy, too soft and too much elasticity. The propensity for the hair to stretch and break happens at this point. For these reasons, cowashing should only be done as needed.

Water rinsing is a good alternative to daily cowashing. If you workout daily the salt from sweat deposited onto your hair isn't good but is easily removable by running water through your hair.


Can everyone cowash?

Yes but not everyone should. If you have any scalp issues like psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, etc...this isn't something you would want to make your only method of cleansing. Cowashing can make these issues significantly worst if done too frequently. Also, if your hair is very oily naturally due to overproduction of sebum then you will not want to cowash only either.


Are all cleansing conditioners the same?

Not at all....'cause there's levels to this -ish lol.

Regular conditioners are not cleansing conditioners. Many assume they will perform in the same manner but that is not the case. Actual cleansing conditioners are able to lightly cleanse and condition or they will mildly cleanse without leaving the hair feeling stripped of moisture. Traditional conditioners do not have enough cleanser in them to actually clean the hair. Cleansing conditioners contain enough detergents to moderately cleans the hair and scalp.

For a quick rinse and condition it is fine to only use a regular conditioner. If the hair needs a fresh start then I suggest using a conditioner formulated for that purpose.


Name Dropping

(courtesy: istock)


Very cleansing conditioner: L'oreal evercurl cleansing conditioner (love it)

Lightly cleansing conditioner: Bliss lemon + sage conditioning rinse

Now let's get down to what you came for...



How to cowash midweek in 15 mins start to finish

  • Mist hair with warm water. This is a key step. It opens the cuticle for cleansing.

  • Secret Weapon: Apply room temp flaxseed gel, with vinyl gloves, in a smoothing motion from root to ends. Do not use cold gel. It makes the hair to seize up...no bueno. For my flaxseed gel recipe click here.

  • In the shower, let the water run down your hair. It should be luke warm. This will remove the flaxseed gel and some of the product you have in your hair.

  • Apply your cleansing conditioner, comb through with a shower comb to ensure no tangles were missed. 

  • Rinse the hair throughly. Do your final rinse with cool water to close the cuticle layer of the hair.

  • Lastly, moisturize and seal as normal. 15 minutes tops!





(courtesy: istock) 


The flaxseed gel is my secret weapon to a fast wash day!

I easily detangle, remove shed hairs and lubricant the strands all in one step without needing to be in the shower. If you apply it with vinyl gloves it makes it 10 x easier and no snagging the hair.

Try it out and it will quickly become part of your regimen.


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