Aoibhinn’s co-washed mane; Ojon has a specific product for co-washing.

The whole co-washing phenomenon just feels plain wrong

I have to admit I’m slightly OCD at the best of times, and am a creature of habit when it comes to my daily routine. I won’t bore you with the somewhat intimate details but basically I have to put my clothes on in a certain order and any deviation from said order makes me feel out of sorts for the day.

So, as you can probably imagine, the whole co-washing phenomenon (washing hair with conditioner) just feels plain wrong.

We’ve been told since the dawn of time that conditioner helps smooth down and close the hair shaft after shampooing, thus protecting the inner cortex of the hair follicle (making hair smooth and shiny to you and me) so the idea that we should use conditioner instead of shampoo seems counter-productive. Surely all the hair brands and scientists holed up in swanky Swiss laboratories since the dawn of time couldn’t be wrong, could they? 

Every beauty blog I’ve read on the matter seems to be extolling the virtue of co-
washing, namely the way it makes hair feel light and full of volume. And some devoted wash-every-day gals even claim that co-washing helps reduce greasy rootage giving them an extra day out of their do.

But, y’know, I liked the sound of this a bit better: I’d read a piece on XO Jane about reverse washing, which is all about using shampoo afterwards, so I decided go with a hybrid version using conditioner first (Philip Kingsley Moisture Balance conditioner) and shampoo last (Philip Kingsley Body Building shampoo). Let’s call it co-poo. And let’s not think about that name for too long, eh?

My own mane hasn’t been playing ball lately (basically flat and lacklustre despite wrestling with curly brushes and applying volume boosting potions and lotions pre-blow-dry) so I decided the only way to know for sure if they were talking a load of shite was to try it out for myself. Yep, that’s right peeps. I’m a hard-hitting investigative journalist, me. 

I’m officially a co-washing convert!

So, how did I fare? Well apart from the obvious OCD issues, I attempted co-washing straight after an intensive spin class (I sound so smug and LA don’t I?) and applying conditioner to sweaty hair is just plain gross. But, I persevered and have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised by the results.

My hair felt light and voluminous and I managed to achieve the blow-dry above (please excuse the pouty selfie) with zero products or curly brush wrestling. My ends do feel a teeny bit straw-like so the next time, I’d definitely apply some of my usual serum (Kerstase Elixir Ultime in case you’re wondering) but overall, I’m happy with the results.

How beneficial it actually is long-term for my split ends is another matter but if I’m honest, I don’t really care. I’m officially a co-washing convert!