There has been a lot of press coverage on cleansing conditioners recently. Using a cleansing conditioner (or co washing) isn't a new thing in the curly world, curly girls all over the globe having been using this method to cleanse and hydrate their curls for a long time.
Cleansing conditioners provide a gentler way of cleansing hair as opposed to the harsh drying effect of sulphate shampoos. Sulphates are used in dishwashing/laundry detergents as well as engine degreasers. They strip away the natural protective oils, leaving hair and the scalp parched. Sulphates can cause irritation to the scalp leading to itching and flaking. In 1908 when the first foaming shampoo was launched the recommendation was to only wash hair once a month, then in the 1950's frequently (every 2 weeks) and eventually every day by the 1970's.
Bouclème's Curl Cleanser gently cleanses without upsetting the natural moisture balance of the scalp and hair. When dry skin is washed with a foaming cleanser it feels tight and stripped whereas with a cream cleanser skin feels cleansed and hydrated. It's the same for curly hair which tends to be dry naturally and needs moisture to combat frizz. Washing with this method improves moisture levels making curls softer and easier to style. If your hair is very dry cleansing and conditioning daily will help increase hair hydration.
Tips for use
Apply a generous amount to fingertips and massage vigorously onto the scalp in a circular motion.
Apply more to the length of hair and loosely detangle.
Continue to massage your scalp whilst rinsing to ensure all product and dirt is rinsed free.
Adding water to hands helps spread curl cleanser throughout the scalp.
Massaging the scalp lifts away dead skin cells and also increases blood flow which can help promote healthy hair growth.
Whilst we are all created equal we are also created unique so what works for one persons curls may not work for another. Here are some alternative ways you can incorporate this gentle form of cleansing into your washing routine and maintain optimum curl hydration.
For finely textured hair try alternating with a sulphate free shampoo. This can be done every other wash or once a week.
If you suffer from very greasy roots a sulphate free shampoo applied directly to your roots and Curl Cleanser raked from the mid section of your hair through to the ends will hydrate and protect whilst you rinse the shampoo.
I remember my Nana (originally from Jamaica) telling me how as a child her mother would cut leaves off their Aloe Vera plant and rub the gel directly onto her roots to clean her hair so cleansing conditioners may just be a return to nature.
*shampoo history taken from NPR reports