MIRABELLA Magazine
The phenomenal women issue

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Co-washing... Have you heard?

 

BY NICOLE MANGRUM

 

Unless you are a big hair rockin’, kinky twist wearing, curly haired naturalista you probably aren’t unaware of the movement that’s happening right under your pretty little nose. Co-washing is blowing up on the Internet these days with over 74 million Google results and countless companies coming up with formulas to fill this growing niche.  As a celebrity hairstylist and constant professional I’m always experimenting and trying new products and techniques to keep up with trends and to satisfy my savvy clients.   So when the concept of co-washing was brought to me during a conversation, I was intrigued.  No-poo (no shampoo), hum…I must admit I was a little skeptical at first.  I asked myself, “Would the hair actually get clean without the lather of traditional shampoo? Is this new way of cleansing the hair just for curly girls or can everyone use it?”

 

So this is what I found out.    Co-washing is a method of cleansing the hair with conditioner instead of shampoo.  Conditioners are formulated with small amounts of surfactants (detergents) that aid in removing dirt but not stripping the hair of its natural oils.   This is why conditioners are so gentle yet effective in co-washing. Co-washing is not a new concept but rather a road less traveled by forward thinking naturalist that wanted to save their drying hair from the harsh effects of shampoos; in exchange for healthier, hydrated and more manageable tresses.

 

It has now been six months since I began co-washing.   After about a month of just co-washing twice a week, my hair felt a little heavy.  To get a squeakier clean, I decided to reset my tresses with a gentle moisturizing sulfate–free shampoo.   I missed my lather!  The method of resetting the strands with a shampoo to remove the excess oil and buildup is also a great addition to co-washing for thinner and oily hair types. Textured hair is typically dryer because it’s harder for the natural oils to navigate down to the ends because of its coils.  With that being said, people with textured curly or dry damaged hair reap the most benefits from co-washing.  You can also do too much of a good thing.  Co-washing can have amazing results but beware of over-conditioning and products that contain silicone that will coat the hair and eventually cause unwanted buildup.

 

My advice is to personalize a regime that works best for your hair.  Consistent practice in this method will have big payoffs!

 

More tips: 

 

  • When co-washing, remember to manipulate the conditioner into the scalp and through to the ends otherwise you are not really removing the surface dirt and buildup from the hair shaft.  Don’t be afraid to really get in there. 

 

 

  • Make sure to rinse, rinse, rinse or hair may feel weighed down and appear dull.

 

  • Keep your current shampoo regimen and gradually eliminate your shampoo step to allow your scalp to adjust.

 
 
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SHINE ON

Hair looking lackluster? With these gloss-enhancing tricks, you’ll never have a dull moment again.  

 

Keep  Your Cool

Consider turning down the temp in your shower. “It’s best to use slightly lukewarm water when rinsing out conditioner,” Nicole says. Anything hotter may strip away light-reflecting natural oils.  

 

Start from  the Top

Before you shampoo, Nicole suggests massaging your scalp with pure vitamin E oil. It can help promote healthy hair growth and lead to more reflective locks.  

 

Brush Up Switching your hair  
tool can make a big difference. “A natural boar bristle brush helps condition hair by facilitating the distribution of your scalp’s sebum,” says Nicole. “As a bonus, it can help reduce frizz.”  

 

Quench Thirsty Spirals

There’s a reason why curly-haired women have a more difficult time in the shine department. “Coily hair is drier by nature,” notes Nicole. “Your hair’s natural oils have a harder time making  it down all those  twists and turns.” She recommends a  leave-in conditioner like DevaCurl B’Leave-In Miracle  Curl Plumper ($20; sephora.com) to help them stay glistening.

3. CHICK UPDO

Voluminous Curls

 

Rub a dollop of a frizz fighter like Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Finish & Shine Cream ($8; amazon.com) between your hands and pull hair into a high ponytail, with the base near the crown  of your head. If your hair  is extra thick, make two side-by-side ponies as close together as possible. Gently pull upward to tighten the ponytail, and fluff your curls outward so they cover the elastic. Go wild with clips, barrettes, and combs (see “Just Add Bling!,” right, for some options)! 

1. TOP KNOT

Wondrous Waves

 

Prep with a product like Virtue Labs Create Texturizing Spray ($36; virtuelabs.com). Lean forward, flipping your hair upside down; gather all  of it at the crown of your  head and secure it with a tie. Grab the pony and tightly twist it clockwise around the base. Tuck your ends into the tie and  secure the rest with bobby pins. (Don’t stress about flyaways—wispy pieces lend an air of undone elegance.) Attach a jeweled clip to the base. 

2. EASY BRAID

Straight ’n’ Sleek

 

Create a side part and comb to thoroughly detangle. Make a low ponytail, letting it hang over one shoulder. Divide it into two equal sections and begin weaving into a fishtail braid by taking one small piece from the underside of one section and bringing it  over to the opposite side. Repeat, alternating sides, until the braid is finished. Secure with a tie and  lock hair in place with a hairspray like Nicole’s fave: Redken Control Addict 28 ($21; ulta.com).

TressesHairAny age1.jpg

3. CHICK UPDO

Voluminous Curls

 

Rub a dollop of a frizz fighter like Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Finish & Shine Cream ($8; amazon.com) between your hands and pull hair into a high ponytail, with the base near the crown  of your head. If your hair  is extra thick, make two side-by-side ponies as close together as possible. Gently pull upward to tighten the ponytail, and fluff your curls outward so they cover the elastic. Go wild with clips, barrettes, and combs (see “Just Add Bling!,” right, for some options)! 

1. TOP KNOT

Wondrous Waves

 

Prep with a product like Virtue Labs Create Texturizing Spray ($36; virtuelabs.com). Lean forward, flipping your hair upside down; gather all  of it at the crown of your  head and secure it with a tie. Grab the pony and tightly twist it clockwise around the base. Tuck your ends into the tie and  secure the rest with bobby pins. (Don’t stress about flyaways—wispy pieces lend an air of undone elegance.) Attach a jeweled clip to the base. 

2. EASY BRAID

Straight ’n’ Sleek

 

Create a side part and comb to thoroughly detangle. Make a low ponytail, letting it hang over one shoulder. Divide it into two equal sections and begin weaving into a fishtail braid by taking one small piece from the underside of one section and bringing it  over to the opposite side. Repeat, alternating sides, until the braid is finished. Secure with a tie and  lock hair in place with a hairspray like Nicole’s fave: Redken Control Addict 28 ($21; ulta.com).

TressesHairAny age2.jpg

3. CHICK UPDO

Voluminous Curls

 

Rub a dollop of a frizz fighter like Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Finish & Shine Cream ($8; amazon.com) between your hands and pull hair into a high ponytail, with the base near the crown  of your head. If your hair  is extra thick, make two side-by-side ponies as close together as possible. Gently pull upward to tighten the ponytail, and fluff your curls outward so they cover the elastic. Go wild with clips, barrettes, and combs (see “Just Add Bling!,” right, for some options)! 

1. TOP KNOT

Wondrous Waves

 

Prep with a product like Virtue Labs Create Texturizing Spray ($36; virtuelabs.com). Lean forward, flipping your hair upside down; gather all  of it at the crown of your  head and secure it with a tie. Grab the pony and tightly twist it clockwise around the base. Tuck your ends into the tie and  secure the rest with bobby pins. (Don’t stress about flyaways—wispy pieces lend an air of undone elegance.) Attach a jeweled clip to the base. 

2. EASY BRAID

Straight ’n’ Sleek

 

Create a side part and comb to thoroughly detangle. Make a low ponytail, letting it hang over one shoulder. Divide it into two equal sections and begin weaving into a fishtail braid by taking one small piece from the underside of one section and bringing it  over to the opposite side. Repeat, alternating sides, until the braid is finished. Secure with a tie and  lock hair in place with a hairspray like Nicole’s fave: Redken Control Addict 28 ($21; ulta.com).