December was the month where any new changes to the shampoo part of washday occurred. It was in this month, I looked into the deal with Sulfate in Shampoo. “Sulfate is stripping and could be why your hair and scalp are dry and itchy!” Is that so? So it seemed, and so it was proven. I did find my way into buying a sulfate free shampoo to use with my hair. It was the second of my Cantu Hair Products buys (my first being the Coconut Curling Cream). I did know before buying that introducing too many products to your hair isn’t the best. Thus, I waited just a bit after buying before using; this was due to what I just stated but also being conscious of if it would clean as well as I’d like it to. I do understand shampoos with sulfate are necessary for removing buildup if there is a lot, but I also wash my hair weekly. This reasoning for myself was why the wait wasn’t very long.
I was comfortable with this new shampoo after the first trial. The only thing that bugged me was the uncomfortable inelastic feeling it gave my hair before I conditioned. After I applied my deep conditioner, however, I didn’t really think much of it. A few uses and some spare time later, I came across my new point of interest, a new term I had never heard until mentioned in an article or blogpost: Co-washing. “Co-washing?” It was time to refer to google again. What does co-washing mean? Co-washing is washing your hair with only conditioner, hence the name: conditioner washing, co-washing. It was foreign and irrational to me. Conditioner doesn’t cleanse, it conditions your hair: makes it slip, sleek, and softer… Well, that is unless you have a cleansing conditioner. Luckily, my favorite product line had just that. Cantu Cleansing Conditioner. I was left amazed and confused but it was only alluring to me because of the occasional clump-of-product feeling I felt on my hair and head during the week. I desperately wanted an alternative to shampooing more often than once a week and it was just presented to me.
My next visit to the hair store was to buy a refill of Castor Oil as well as this “co-wash” thing that was still alien to me, to my hair. When I bought my items, the oil was definitely put to immediate use; it was a wonderfully scented Mango & Papaya this time. The co-wash sat on my dresser next to the rest of my hair trinkets for about two weeks; I refused to use it because it still made no sense. But on a lucky Tuesday, my scalp was irritated by something, still unknown to me. Perhaps it was because flat twists were still a new style to my hair; for some reason new styles that cause tension create hair bumps and irritate my scalp. So I untwisted my hair, grabbed this “co-wash” and went to the shower with it and my night clothes. I went in disgusted with my decision to even buy the item and left happy with the results. Co-washing felt like a combination of sulfate-free shampooing and deep conditioning at the same time. It’s not something I would be comfortable with doing in place of shampooing weekly, but it would be a midweek cleanse as needed. In fact, this same bottle would have had only two uses two months after its purchase.
Forgive me. I did mention flat twisting, and I have a lovely anecdote on the task:
I often saw pictures of the lovely style and wanted to try it for myself and when I did, it replaced single-strand twists and finger coiling for me almost completely and immediately. It was how I achieved my twist outs, it was my moisture-locking method for washday, it is my favorite. Finger coiling became my trim-day routine. In fact, I was so proud of my flat twists, a friend who tagged along with me and my family on our Christmas vacation asked me to twist her hair for her. They came out well and showed her the length of her hair that she rarely saw (I was subtly jealous).
But it is now January; It is a new year. By this time, I would be going into my third month of being completely natural. From here forth, the goal is hair health and, consequently, length.