Can you shampoo with conditioner?

    A growing number of women are attempting to treat their curls extra-special by eliminating shampoo from their beauty routines and washing thier hair with conditioner.


    According to the book Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey and Deborah Chiel, shampoos can contain harsh, drying ingredients, like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, which are not so great for prone-to-dryness curls. What to use instead? Conditioner! You’d use only conditioner to wash, also known as “co-washing,” because it’s believed that most conditioners contain mild surfactants that–with the physical friction of your hands–are able to lift dirt, debris and excess oil from the scalp and hair.


    Dr. Melanye Maclin warned against just using conditioner, explaining that it’s akin to using lotion on your body as a cleanser. As another option, some brands formulate low-lather cleansing shampoos, or ‘low poos,’ especially for curlicues.

    When searching for a good conditioner, look for ingredients like emollient vegetable oils and nut butters, proteins like soy and wheat, and humectants like panthenol, aloe vera and honey.


    For tips on shampooing your hair, pick up the May 2011 issue of Sister 2 Sister.


    -Jan F. Lee



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