The Health Reporter Is In: Nov. 2, 2016

The Health Reporter Is In: Nov. 2, 2016

Questions for our Health Reporter? Ask here 

Q: Is the “no shampoo” trend harmful or helpful? Also called “co-washing.”

A: There are some rave reviews written by people who have tried co-washing, but a local hair professional said it’s not for all hair types and also not for every wash.

Co-washing refers to using a conditioner-only product to clean your hair, and there are a bunch of cleansing conditioners out there that are said to gently clean either without suds or with a low-lather, and without stripping hair of its natural oils. They usually need to be left on your hair for several minutes before they’re rinsed off.

Taylor Williams, an instructor at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture-Urbana, said how well co-washing is going to work really depends on your hair type.

“It’s going to be better for coarse and curly hair,” she said.

That’s because this type of hair tends to be drier. Daily sudsing with traditional shampoos with sulfates tends to leave hair even driver.

But for those with fine, medium, straight or wavy hair, co-washing can make hair look greasy because the conditioner will weigh it down, Williams said.

“I wouldn’t suggest it,” she said.

Williams makes one exception for people with those hair types, and that’s people with chemically-damaged hair, she said. Shampooing over-processed hair every day is never a good idea anyway, she said.

Even those with coarse and curly hair who try co-washing will likely need to also wash with shampoo at least sometimes, she said. Others who want to give co-washing a try might consider alternating between the separate shampoo-and-conditioner routine and some days of co-washing and seeing what works for them.

In the suggestions I read from cleasning conditioner product makers, some of them also advise alternating between cleansing conditioner and regular shampoo.

You’re probably heard or read that one line, WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner products, has been under investigation by the Food and Drug administration for consumer reports of hair loss, hair breakage, balding, itching and rash associated with the use those products. Anyone who experiences an adverse reaction is being advised to stop using these products and consult with a dermatologist or other health care provider.

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