12/15/2015 UPDATE: While Persad tried Wen Cleansing Conditioner and didn't experience any negative side effects, some women have since come forward reporting hair loss while using this product. Stay informed, friends!
A few weeks ago, the fashion site The Coveteur challenged me to give up shampoo for two whole weeks in favor of cleansing conditioners. As a person who has always been told to lather, rinse and repeat, I was hesitant to ditch shampoo for co-washing.
Before I describe what happened to my strands, let me back up and break down this co-washing business. Co-washing is the abbreviated term for conditioner washing, which is a method of cleansing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. Initially, I was excited, albeit nervous to give up shampoo for so long. I had no idea what to expect, so before I embarked on my road test, I decided to reach out to the famous Los Angeles hair stylist (and co-washing guru) Chaz Dean, whose line of cleansing conditioners, "Wen,” debuted way back in 1993.
Dean gave up shampoo 21 years ago and has never looked back. When I asked him why he made the change to co-washing, his reply was simple: "You are eliminating all those harsh detergents, polymers, fillers and binders—basically all the things that strip you hair and remove all the good things." He continued, "[By co-washing] you're cleansing with natural essential oils, botanicals and extracts, so it never strips your hair or your scalp." I was also interested to find out whether co-washing works on all hair types, from baby fine locks, to thick, wavy hair, to African American textures. Dean's definitive answer gave me some relief: "Yes, it absolutely does."