As much as I love a good sudsing (pretty sure that's a verb), shampooing hair constantly can leave it dry and stripped. By just using a conditioner for cleansing (known as co-washing) your hair can be refreshed and retain moisture better.
I've definitely spoken about co-washing a few times on my blog before but now my hair is completely curly I co-wash more than ever. For so long I've relied on at least 3 products almost every wash day (pre-shampoo treatment, shampoo and deep conditioner) to ensure my hair has enough moisture throughout the week. Whilst it is a lot of steps, I honestly felt it was necessary for me as I'm so lazy with moisturising daily. Only occasionally would I ever use just a conditioner (usually on very late, sleep-deprived nights). The good news is now I'm washing more often with just one product my hair hasn't felt like it's lacking moisture. You could call me a co-wash convert...
Not sure how to co-wash? It's not much different to using a shampoo - dampen your hair first, apply working into the scalp and rinse. With conditioner you can apply the product from root to tip and leave on for a few minutes to soften and moisturise your strands.
Finding the right product for co-washing your hair may take a bit of trial and error. Product choice is huge and a few haircare companies now also make 'conditioning cleansers' adding more options into the mix. Not all conditioners are created equal, though with any luck you can use whichever products you have on hand already.
In general I prefer to use conditioners which are silicone-free to prevent build-up and those that are fairly cheap as I get through so much product each wash. My co-wash hero is the TRESemmé Vibrant Naturals Nourish & Replenish Conditioner which I think is known simply as TRESemmé Naturals across the pond in the US. Other products I've tried and loved for co-washing are Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner (they also have a co-wash conditioner in this range), Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex Conditioner*, KeraCare Honey Shea Co-Wash* and KeraCare Natural Textures Cleansing Cream*.
Conditioner has a tendency to build-up on the hair and scalp so remember it needs to be rinsed off properly post-cleanse. I usually notice my hair starts to get dull and limp after a few co-washes and it's at this point I turn to shampoo again. Some curly-haired beauties have a strict 'no-poo' (shampoo) hair routine but I can't personally rely solely on conditioner for all of my cleansing. Depending on the types of products you use and how dirty/oily your scalp gets it's good to also clarify with a shampoo monthly or bi-monthly.
It's not for everyone, but if your hair is naturally dry, try swapping out your shampoo for your conditioner.
*Products mentioned were received as samples. You can read my disclaimer here.
Have you tried co-washing?