The Difference Between Cleansing, Co-Washing & Clarifying

Curly Hair TLC-C-C
Clarify, C0-Wash, Cleanse! 


How you wash your hair... Yes, it really does matter! Since you are now embracing your natural curly tresses you may be feeling a little unclear about the whole Shampoo / No-Poo movements and maybe you have heard a word or two about clarifying or mid-week co-Washing routines... so today we are going to clear up the confusion and give you a clear distinction of each.


Many people that are just learning to embrace their natural curls, often think shampoo is no longer necessary... well this is so far from the truth. We have previously discussed the importance of a clean scalp. Along with a clean scalp, healthy curly hair benefits from Clarifying, Cleansing and Co-Washing they all promote healthy curly hair.  The question we are often asked is when to do which. Experts say there's no single answer and we say it's a combination of personal preference as well as learning to understand your hair's love language. Let's look at each of these 3 ways to keep your locks looking and feeling fresh then we will give you some guidance, on a routine that can benefit every curly head.


Clarifying strips away product buildup and is usually done using a variety DIY home remedies. A simple home remedy to use is an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. The acidity in Apple Cider Vinegar balances your hair's natural pH levels, reduce hair-loss, itchy scalp and dandruff. This clarifying treatment gently removes dead skin cells known as dandruff. After Clarifying, your curls are less weighed down, follicles and strands are able to absorb nutrients from your deep treatments easier and styling becomes more manageable. When hair follicles are able to absorb maximum nutrients this means an increase in hair growth, density, and elasticity. We recommend clarifying 1-3 times a month depending on your hair type.



Co-wash is short for conditioner washing and is usually done with a lighter conditioner. Co-washing is the act of washing your hair solely with conditioner. Our very own Lavender Purity Co-Wash Conditioner can be used in between shampoos, you can wet the hair, apply conditioner,  comb through and rinse with cool water to lock in moisture. While every curl type can benefit from conditioner washes, women who exercise frequently will find co-washes helpful as they will rinse away sweat, perspiration buildup throughout the week without stripping the hair of its natural oils. If your curls are extremely dry, there’s a good chance that your hair care routine could benefit from co-washing.  And for our curly naturals who wish to go at least 7 days between a complete wash day routine, co-washing is great for a mid-week curl refresh.

Our co-wash conditioning formula is luxuriously hydrating with emollient-rich rose-hip oil, pure organic aloe, plus fortifying hydrolyzed wheat protein to keep strands strong and nourished with pro-vitamin B5, all working together to leave hair looking beautifully soft. This product will give your hair some added slip. 


Lavender Purity Co-Wash Conditioner 



Having a quality cleansing shampoo in your hair care arsenal of products is a must. Our very own Embrace the Curl Lavender Purity Cleansing Shampoo contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate which is an organic salt that replaces sulfate/cleansing agent and also adds texture. This ingredient is gentle enough not to remove your natural sebum yet powerful enough to cleanse buildup. Bursting with an array of herbal ingredients such as:

  • Organic Aloe Leaf Juice
  • Organic Lavender Flower Water
  • Roman Chamomile Flower Water
  • Lavender Flower Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Seed Oil
  • Rosehip Seed Oil
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
  • Provitamin B5
  • Vitamin E
  • Sunflower Seed Oil

The combination of these ingredients aims to keep your locks revived and renewed from roots to tips. Naturally scented with Lavender and just the right amount of foam, it's the perfect combination to promote the moisture protein balance. 


Calendar Routine
Everyone has a different threshold for how oily or texturized they want their hair to feel and now that you know how the difference between Clarify, Cleanse & Co-Wash here is our monthly recommended routine using Embrace The Curl's Lavender Purity Cleansing Shampoo and the Lavender Purity Co-Wash Conditioner with a DIY Clarifying treatment of choice. 

Fine 2A-2C, Wavy Hair: 

Cleanse: 1x a week

Clarify: 3-4 times a month

Co-Wash: 1x a week


Curly 3A-3C Hair:

Cleanse: 3x times a month

Clarify: 1x a week

Co-Wash: 3x a month


Coily 4A-4C:

Cleanse: 2 x a month

Clarify: 3 times a month

Co-Wash: 3-4 times a month


As always thank you in advance for your support and your commitment to the health of your curls. 

You know what makes our day? Seeing your results..

Follow us on IG, tag us in your results #embracethecurl @embracethecurl_

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