To co-cleanse or double cleanse? We asked the experts…

The days of “wash ‘n’ go” are long gone. Now it’s all about reverse washing (conditioner before shampoo), double cleansing (shampooing twice) or simply no ‘poo at all (conditioner-only washing). But is there actually a right or wrong way to wash your hair? Are our locks lank because we’re not washing our hair enough? Is our frizz down to too much shampoo lathering (we just don’t feel it’s working unless the soap suds are there)? Confused much? So are we!

But enough is enough – we demand answers! Co-cleanse and double cleanse are the buzz terms of the moment, so we asked those in the know to tell it like it is and share with us which one works best for what hair type. So now you need never get in a lather when it comes to washing your hair again!

Sam Burnett, owner of London’s award-winning Hare & Bone, believes co-cleansing is the way to go…
“Co-cleansing, or conditioner-only washing, is what everyone is talking about in the world of hair innovation, as more and more people are choosing to ditch the styling tools and opt for a natural finish. Although it works on all hair types, this formula is most suitable for coloured, curly and coarse hair types that are prone to frizz and dryness. The biggest benefit of co-cleansing is that it doesn’t disturb or affect the placement and direction that the hair naturally falls. This is ideal for people wanting to achieve an undone finish with minimal-to-no styling. By gently cleansing the scalp, it creates less frizz overall, while thoroughly cleaning the hair follicles. Differing from traditional shampoos, co-cleansing shampoos, such as the KMS MoistRepair Cleansing Conditioner, do not disturb the cuticle as much, making it much smoother and softer. This particular formula has been created to ensure the hair is balanced and refreshed without stripping its natural oils and nutrients, which we need to keep hair looking shiny and strong. By minimising the detergent used (commonly found in traditional lathering shampoos), it keeps the hair more moisturised and conditioned.”

For the co-cleansers, try:


Kay McIntyre, owner of salon group McIntyres in Dundee, is all for double cleansing…
“It’s an urban myth that we shouldn’t wash our hair every day. Our scalp is an extension of the skin on our face so we need to look after it similarly. Double cleansing helps to promote scalp health, which means healthier, stronger hair. With the removal of all impurities on the scalp, the hair can easier penetrate the follicle so there’s no chance of weakening. In the salon, we always promote double cleansing for the most effective removal of residue on the scalp. The first wash removes the oils, letting the second cleanse deeply clean, unclogging the follicles. Many people believe that the sebum that builds up on the scalp (within only three hours of washing) helps to protect the skin. However, sebum provides no benefits. In fact, as the oily sebum creates a film over the scalp, it stops the promotion of healthy hair growth as each new strand must fight through a barrier, causing stress and weakening the hair. I’m an ambassador for Nioxin, which specialises in products for fuller-looking hair, so scalp and hair health is at the core of what I believe. This is why I promote double cleansing to anybody who wants stronger, thicker, fuller looking hair – and who doesn’t want that?”

For the double cleansers, try: