Did you know that washing your tresses with shampoo can actually be damaging to your hair? I didn’t! I started reading up on the ‘co-washing’ and ‘no-poo’ movements (using conditioner instead of shampoo to gently get rid of dirt) a little while ago and was fascinated by the idea of ditching the conventional cycle of shampoo, condition, style, repeat. A part of me always knew that shampoos contained all sorts of weird and wacky chemicals but I never really considered that those chemicals were stripping my hair of all the good stuff it needed. I was desperate to try it but the idea of ditching my shampoo completely was a little bit daunting. But then, as if by fate, the lovelies from the Unwash South Africa team contacted me to try South Africa’s very first co-wash product! I jumped at the chance to try it and share my co-wash journey with all of you. Here’s why you need to ditch the ‘poo’ and get onboard the Unwash train.
The beauty of Unwash is that you’re not ditching the idea of cleansing your locks altogether – the product gently cleanses your hair without stripping it of all the good stuff and instead just removes dirt and surface build-up while locking in moisture, extending the life of hair color, and upholding your hair’s natural integrity. The idea is that over time co-washing will help balance your scalp’s oil production to its ideal state and leave your hair more vibrant, more manageable, and more beautiful. Co-washing is great for people who struggle with a flaky scalp and brittle strands as well as those with curly hair because it doesn’t dry the hair out and keeps all those good oils locked in. Of course, it goes without saying that co-washing isn’t ideal for people who have oily hair as it helps lock in oils.
I have very curly hair and suffer from a psoriasis on my scalp so I have always been weary about what shampoos were doing to my locks. Curly hair has a natural tendency to be drier than straighter hair types and I’ve always had incredibly dry hair but what I didn’t realise is that I was washing away all the oils that were there to protect my hair and scalp! Since using the Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner I have noticed that my curls are more defined and less frizzy (that’s thanks to the fact that my hair is more moisturised with natural oils).
I’ve been using Unwash for about a month now and love that it keeps my curls hydrated and looking healthy. But what about my scalp? Psoriasis is the devil (no really) so it’s very difficult to find products that agree with my super sensitive scalp but I have noticed that Unwash has been helping with my breakouts. It’s a slow process, but my flakes are getting better with each wash and for now I’m chalking it up to to the fact that it’s a more gentle cleansing process.
Don’t get me wrong, after using shampoo my whole life it is quite an adjustment switching to the co-washing method but I am loving the changes in my hair. I can see the difference in the quality of my hair and seeing my curls defined into lovely waves and ringlets has been amazing. One the other hand Unwash has also helped me reduce blow-drying time when I want straight hair – win!
One of the biggest things to get used to with Unwash is the fact that it doesn’t foam – which is actually a good thing! Conventional shampoos are packed with foaming agents to give you the bubbly effect you’re used to but these chemicals are super drying. Contrary to popular belief, foaming doesn’t mean that it’s doing a better job at cleaning! The trick is to use quite a lot of product when washing (about a palm full) and then give your hair a good scrub (no really, get in there and work those arm muscles). This will ensure that your scalp gets a good clean and will get those blood cells working.
There are three products in the Unwash range – the Bio-Cleansing Conditioner (R585), Anti-Residue Rinse (for when your hair is very dirty – R525) and Hydrating Masque (R545) and all three of the products gluten-free, and sulfate-free. The Bio-Cleansing Conditioner and Anti-Residue Rinse are completely vegan while the Hydrating Masque is totally animal-friendly but does contain a protein derived from sheep’s wool (no sheep are hurt in the making of the product).
Unwash is available from Fugo Hair salon in Parktown North, Karo hair in Craighall Park Johannesburg and Mop Cape Town. For more information on stockists and salons in your area visit the Unwash South Africa Facebook page to say Hi and contact them directly.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.