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So you want to try co-washing your hair –– Briogeo's founder, Nancy Twine, breaks it down

So you want to try co-washing your hair –– Briogeo's founder, Nancy Twine, breaks it down

Otherwise known as 'conditioner washing'

Text: Guan Tan


Image: @chloesmartprint | @existingelsewhere | @kapericciosa | @lilboywiththebighair

If the ongoing circuit breaker had you browsing the World Wide Web for all things beauty under the sun –– cue hair root touch up products, new eyeliners, best moisturisers, and the imminent launch of Fenty Skin –– chances are, you may have stumbled upon the term 'co-wash' too.

Short for "conditioner washing", the co-wash trend made waves in the global beauty industry some two years ago but has barely trickled down to our little sunny island of Singapore. Quite literal as its name suggests, a co-wash comes in a conditioner-like formula (think detangling, nourishing, and hydrating) albeit it gently cleanses your tresses simultaneously. So, if you're someone with dry, brittle hair –– whether it be from the over-styling, colouring, or genetics –– who is averse to shampooing daily lest the harsh surfacants strip the moisture of your hair, a co-wash might just be right for you.

And if you're thinking what we are... yes it's a one-step hair regimen. Lazy girls, hurray!

We dropped our beloved New York City girl, Nancy Twine, founder of the clean, vegan, and cruelty-free haircare label, Briogeo, a couple of questions about co-washing and here's her ultimate guide for you:

1. Now, now, what is a co-wash exactly?

Co-wash stands for ‘conditioner washing'. It is an all-in-one formulation that cleanses, conditions, detangles and treats/nourishes hair. It is most suitable for those with thick, textured and dry hair because it gently cleanses without stripping natural oils keeping hair hydrated.

2. When did this trend surface?

Men and women have been co-washing for decades! Some may have been doing it without even knowing. Understanding what your hair needs and responding to it organically is the best way to treat your hair. Evaluating whether or not your hair is too dry and needs more moisture is the first step in deciding if a co-wash product is right for you.

3. Regular shampooing or co-washing? What do you say?

Incorporating a co-wash into a haircare regimen is important and can save you an extra step in the shower. It can be used to alternate between shampoo days especially for those with extra dry hair. You can use a co-wash once or twice a week depending on your hair type and what you use to style your hair. It is a nourishing alternative for a traditional shampoo since it contains more oils and butters.

4. Does a co-wash remove all that icky residual hairstyling products stuck on the surface of our hair?

Co-wash products are formulated without surfactants and foaming agents that are the key ingredients to creating a lather-experience in the shower. If you use a lot of styling product, particularly oil based products, a co-wash might not be able to break down those products and wash away clean, you may require a double-co-wash. The residue on the surface may need a traditional shampoo to completely remove, that is why we recommend alternating shampoo days with a co-wash –– best of both worlds!

5. A co-wash is best suited for... ?

A co-wash is best suited for those with thick, textured and dry hair. Since our co-wash does not contain harsh surfactants or drying detergents, it is the perfect solution for those who need to keep hair moisturized and hydrated.

6. Let's hear it from the founder herself –– have you tried co-washing, Nancy? How did that go?

My hair tends to be on the drier side and requires more moisture to hydrate to hydrate the dry strands. It was a game changer to incorporate it into my routine by alternating shampoo days with a co-wash day. It is a simple solution for anyone who experiences ultra-dry, brittle hair.

7. Finally, is a co-wash suitable for us tropical peeps living in a sunny and humid Singapore?

Of course! Humidity can lead to frizz in hair. When you incorporate a co-wash into your hair care routine, you are taking the time to give a little extra TLC and moisture to your hair that ultimately fights frizz.

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