The Doctor is In: Co-Washing and Children’s Products

Bridget Jelks writes: I’ve heard both good and bad things about co-washing and wanted to ask your opinion of it especially for children. I am also curious if, when maintaining my children’s hair, I should stick with children’s products.”


Dr. Kari Writes:

I am a big believer in the use of shampoo. I also think that co-washing or cleansing conditioners are great as a temporary solution for removing build up, but not as a permanent practice for cleaning the hair and scalp. You must include a shampoo as a part of your regular hair care regimen. Co-washing alone will not remove the dirt, sweat and product residue that can build up on the scalp. When the scalp is not clean it becomes a breeding ground for yeast, bacteria and fungus to grow and lead to itching, flaking and sometimes hair loss.

Using a cleansing conditioner on occasion or for special circumstances is okay. I describe these occasions and circumstances as times when:
• You are exercising on a consistent basis
• Use a lot of product on the hair daily
• Swimming on a regular basis

When it comes to children’s hair, the practice of using a cleansing conditioner is okay for the same circumstances I described above. If your child is 5 years of age or younger, I advise sticking primarily to products formulated for children. This is because your child’s first anagen (or growing phase) lasts 5-7 years. During these first years of your child’s life the hair is still maturing. Products formulated for adults may be too heavy for the hair. If you are not sure, you can always test the product on a small section of the hair to see how it works.

To get more information about caring for your children’s hair Download my EBook “Mini Tresses.” It is a guide for parents that is full of information about hair care for children.

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  1. Can I translate this text to my language: Portuguese?
    I will give all the credits and I’ll put the link here site.
    I want to put this up on my blog

    Good weekend for all!!

  2. Great article! Interestingly enough, I was reading something on another site that was written by a professional hairstylist and it strongly advocated AGAINST cowashing. However, it works FOR ME to keep my hair well-moisturized. I do clarify or use a shampoo to remove buildup in conjunction with all of the conditioner I use.

    Thank you for the advice, Dr. Kari!

    With love,

  3. Great information about children’s hair!

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