It's the beauty buzzword of the year, but if you're still confused about co-wash, Katie Wright has the answers
Every so often a buzzword crops up in the beauty world, a technique or product that devotees will tell you is miraculous, nothing short of life-changing.
This year's most-hyped? It's got to be 'co-wash'. The hair-cleansing holy grail converts swear will make you ditch shampoo forever.
Detractors, however, claim it's impossible to make it to that promised land, unless you're willing to put up with a solid week of greasy, dirty hair.
Confused? So were we, so we spoke to the experts to find out what the deal with co-wash really is.
Short for conditioner-only wash, co-wash is a "low-foaming cleanser that helps to detoxify the hair without stripping colour," says Danielle Llewellyn, UK hair ambassador for eSalon. Schwarzkopf Professional ambassador Gary Taylor says co-wash allows you to have "clean, shiny and healthy hair by not stripping it of its natural oils".
"The benefit of a cleansing cream is it functions as an all-in-one product. It is strong enough to cleanse, balance natural oils and pump up moisture without weighing hair down," Danielle explains.
Gary adds: "They offer everything we need and want from a shampoo and conditioner but with less hassle, and essentially the hair is much more manageable as the condition of the hair is better."
Any hair type can use co-wash, but Sacha Mitic, co-founder of Sachajuan hair care, says: "The Sachajuan Hair Cleansing Cream has more advantages the more damaged the hair is."
Danielle agrees, insisting that "curly-haired ladies will love the added bounce and improved manageability".
"In the shower, use an ample amount, massage from roots to ends and work the cream into a lather. Don't worry if there is not a heavy foam," Danielle advises. "The major trick in the shower is adding water to increase the lather, rather than using more product, and letting it set for two to three minutes."
Here's what they don't tell you on the back of the bottle. "On average, it takes about a week for the hair and scalp to adjust to this new way of cleaning," Sacha warns, during which time you may miss that feeling of squeaky-clean hair.
But if you apply the product correctly and persevere, you'll be rewarded with shiny, healthy-looking hair. As Sacha puts it: "It gives the customer a different feeling and touch to the hair. Co-washing is ideal for anyone that loves that 'second-day hair' feeling."