CurlTalk

Telogen Effluvium and hair loss

6/26/13 EDIT:

I went to the dermatologist finally and he studied my scalp. He said that most likely the thinning was caused by a stressful event from a project I underwent 3 months prior to the start of the thinning. This can happen and is called telogen effluvium. For whatever reason the cowashing may have been exacerbating the shedding, which decreased radically after I stopped cowashing.

Bottom line is if you think your hair is shedding excessively or thinning, you should get yourself to the derm ASAP. If you think you're getting a negative reaction from anything you're doing or using, stop right away and consult your derm and/or your family doctor.



Below is a link to the thread I posted in General Discussion. I wanted to give you a heads up here in case you were starting to cowash and missed it. I'd appreciate it if you left comments on the original thread, so we don't have too many threads on the same thing.

Please please if you're starting to cowash keep an eye out on the density of your hair. Measure your ponytail before you start and keep measuring weekly. If the density decreases, please stop cowashing. I didn't really keep an eye out on the density and when I finally figured out the flatness of my hair wasn't only from styling and products but also from my hair THINNING, I had already lost a pretty good amount of hair. It's very noticeable now and I'm very sad about it. I wish I would have stopped earlier.

Please be careful. Though I realize this doesn't happen to everyone, it happened to me. If you search for "thinning, thin, cowashing" or other combinations you'll see other threads from other curlies experiencing the same thing. Please learn from my mistake.

Based on my experience I couldn't recommend co-washing. (Low-poos on the other hand have given me no problem). If you proceed to cowash, please proceed with caution. Take good care of your hair.

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/158211-bad-news-cowashing-thinning-my-hair.html
«13

Comments

  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Posts: 3,750Registered Users
    Sorry to read this. Same thing is known to happen to susceptible individuals with sulphate surfactant shampoos, experts believe that is due to inflammation at the follicular level and I do wonder if you are experiencing a similar effect as you admit to being rather enthusiastic. Of the people I have read about experiencing this phenomena, a good number have pre-existing scalp and/ or other inflammatory health conditions.
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect
  • curlicious13curlicious13 Posts: 1,632Registered Users
    Wow. I read that co washing can thin the hair if you don't thoroughly clean your scalp by starting out by vigorously massaging your scalp in the first wash. Then rinse that out the cleanse again with a slower scalp massage & rinse again. By doing this you keep the hair follicles stimulated. But if not, you can experience hair loss. I read this on live curly live free.
  • juanabjuanab Posts: 4,037Registered Users
    I am sorry this happened to you as well. However, co-washing has allowed my hair to thrive. My hair actually looks denser. I hope you what works for you.

    texture - medium/fine, porosity - low/normal, elasticity - normal
    co-wash - NaturelleGrow Coconut Water or Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm Bark & Blue Malva Cleansing Conditioners
    LI - KCKT mixed w/ SM C & H Curl & Style Milk
    DC - NG Mango & Coconut H2O or Chamomile/Brdck Root
    Gel - SM souffle (winter), KCCC (summer) or CR Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel (year round)
    Sealers - Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado butter, Aloe butter
    Ayurvedic treatments - Jamila Henna, Sukesh, Aloe Vera Powder, Hibiscus Powder
    .


    event.png
  • CrazyCatLadyCrazyCatLady Posts: 63Registered Users
    This sucks, sorry you've lost hair!

    this makes me paranoid. Just started co-washing 19 days ago and i have been measuring my ponytail diameter and its stayed consistant - but the amount of shedding in the shower is ridiculous. Even when i only have a day between detangles. It's just hard for me to think of any logical reason why omitting shampoo or moisturizing your hair cuticle would cause hair loss. I'll keep measuring my ponytail weekly.
    CURLS
    2B/C

    HOLY GRAILS
    LO-POO Shea Moisture: Restorative Shampoo (2x/mnth)
    CW V05
    RO GVP Conditioning Balm
    LI Suave Naturals: Tropical Coconut
    PROD Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper and LA Looks: Anti-Frizz
    T's Shea Moisture: Deep Treatment Masque or Shea Moisture: Anti-Breakage Hair Masque, Coconut Oil (1x/wk)
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Posts: 19,238Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    Sorry you are having issues with thinning hair. It doesn't seem logical that washing with conditioner and massaging one's scalp would cause hair to fall out, but hey anything is possible!
    I've been conditioner washing for many years now and it's made my hair so much healthier and happier. I have to fight hair thinning and dryness due to thyroid but my hair is still healthy thanks to CG.
    --I'm located in Western PA.
    --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, started going grey in late 2005.
    --My hair is 3B with some 3A, texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
    --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
    --My CG and grey hair progress -- http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/going-gray/179328-jeepys-grey-hair-progress.html
  • YoshimiYoshimi Posts: 237Registered Users
    I think it's important that anyone reading this knows that this is a very unusual situation, most people who co wash have no issues at all, and the op has not yet identified what it is about co washing that is causing this problem. It could therefore be something as simple as an ingredient in the product being used, rather than the fault of the process.

    Of course, anyone changing any part of their routine should be aware and keep an eye on changes to their hair, but please don't let this put you off trying something that has such good effects for most.

    Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App
    2C, Medium thickness, Low posity
    Recovering from a year of keratin and bleach with CG

    Routine

    Low Poo, Condition, Leave in, Curl cream, Supersoak, Gel, Diffuse on high heat, with minimal lift to encourage waves and reduce frizz, Dry on cool with nozzle down to smooth hair and finish drying,Shine Serum

    Weekly gelatin protien treatments.
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    Wow. I read that co washing can thin the hair if you don't thoroughly clean your scalp by starting out by vigorously massaging your scalp in the first wash. Then rinse that out the cleanse again with a slower scalp massage & rinse again. By doing this you keep the hair follicles stimulated. But if not, you can experience hair loss. I read this on live curly live free.

    Hi there. I think vigorous massaging may actually have been part of the problem. I was well aware that I had to massage vigorously in order to keep my scalp clean.

    In the original thread I posted a link to a poster with a similar experience. Excessive Shedding: Could Co-Washing Be the Culprit? | hairscapades Basically the writer has deducted that cowashing softened her follicles too much, leading to excessive shedding in the cleansing and detangling process which led to thinner hair.

    There's a high chance this is what is happening to me.

    I've also been doing some research on waxing preparation. Though I've never waxed my (body) hair before, many sites suggest exfoliating and moisturizing before waxing.

    "Softer hair follicles release hair more easily; to make your waxing experience both pleasant and productive try exfoliating and then moisturizing prior to the event. First, exfoliate the area you want to remove hair from, then smooth on some type of non-comedogenic (non-clogging) moisturizer to soften hair follicles and the surrounding skin."

    Discovery Health "What's the best way to prepare skin for waxing?"

    SO, it seems to fit in with Hairscapade's theory. I did have A LOT of shedding during cowashing but I didn't really think anything of it. I stopped cowashing and started low-pooing, and on my third low-poo I already noticed a SIGNIFICANT reduction in shedding during cleansing.

    So it's very possible that my follicles were softened too much, and then combined with my vigorous massages, it caused excess shedding thus thinning out my hair.
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    Yoshimi wrote: »
    I think it's important that anyone reading this knows that this is a very unusual situation

    My situation may not be in the majority but it is not singular. This is just a simple search on this site, not even going past page 3 of results:

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/thin-thinning-hair/138940-co-washing-thinning-hair.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/133126-cg-method-causing-hair-loss.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/thin-thinning-hair/134878-hair-falling-out-after-cg-2.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/147244-possible-thinner-hair-cg-method.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/thin-thinning-hair/134722-i-think-cg-made-my-hair-fall-out.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/13975-hair-feels-thinner.html

    Obviously other curlies are reporting the same problem. I'm not saying the problem is caused by the same things... some could be not massaging enough, others massaging too much, others could have ingredient sensitivities, but thinning is being reported with a certain frequency.

    I think of it like medications. If let's say 5% of people report a certain side effect of a medication, then that side effect must be included in the "possible side effects of this medication include" part of the information packet. Sure, 5% isn't the majority, and it may not happen to you, but 5% means it has been reported enough to be relevant.

    I really wish I would have read a "possible side effect of cowashing is thinning hair" warning somewhere, anywhere before I started cowashing. Then I would have been keeping a closer eye on the density of my hair, and probably stopped before I lost as much as I did.

    That's why I've started these threads. But honestly I think that these warnings should be in the CG Handbook itself, as well as the "Introduction to the no-poo method" sticky as well as all the Newbie stickies. It's easy to miss a thread if you don't know what you should be looking for.



    As a side note: yes I know other curlies love co-washing and have done it without problems and :laughing5: yay happy I'm glad. But your good experience doesn't invalidate my bad experience. Though I may be in the minority, trust me, you don't want to be the one to end up with thinner hair. We're all here to make the best out of our hair and help it be the healthiest that it can be.

    I've noticed that in a lot of the above threads commenters aren't always willing to listen to the OP or even believe that they could be having a bad experience, or immediately assume that the OP is doing something wrong. Just because co-washing has worked really well for the commenters doesn't mean the OPs aren't having problems with the cowashing method itself without user error.

    Trust me, I'm not here on a tirade against CG. I've been sulfate-free and cone-free for at least 3 years without even knowing what CG was. I started getting into natural skin/hair as I thought it was a healthier alternative. Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | Environmental Working Group When I discovered the CG method and co-washing, it seemed like a natural step ahead. And I loved how my hair and scalp felt while co-washing, soft, moisturized, no buildup, no itchies. But then I realized my hair was thinning and it all went down the drain... metaphorically and literally I guess.
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Posts: 3,750Registered Users
    My situation may not be in the majority but it is not singular. This is just a simple search on this site, not even going past page 3 of results:

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/thin-thinning-hair/138940-co-washing-thinning-hair.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/133126-cg-method-causing-hair-loss.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/thin-thinning-hair/134878-hair-falling-out-after-cg-2.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/147244-possible-thinner-hair-cg-method.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/thin-thinning-hair/134722-i-think-cg-made-my-hair-fall-out.html

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/general-discussion-about-curly-hair/13975-hair-feels-thinner.html

    Obviously other curlies are reporting the same problem. I'm not saying the problem is caused by the same things... some could be not massaging enough, others massaging too much, others could have ingredient sensitivities, but thinning is being reported with a certain frequency.

    I think of it like medications. If let's say 5% of people report a certain side effect of a medication, then that side effect must be included in the "possible side effects of this medication include" part of the information packet. Sure, 5% isn't the majority, and it may not happen to you, but 5% means it has been reported enough to be relevant.

    I really wish I would have read a "possible side effect of cowashing is thinning hair" warning somewhere, anywhere before I started cowashing. Then I would have been keeping a closer eye on the density of my hair, and probably stopped before I lost as much as I did.

    That's why I've started these threads. But honestly I think that these warnings should be in the CG Handbook itself, as well as the "Introduction to the no-poo method" sticky as well as all the Newbie stickies. It's easy to miss a thread if you don't know what you should be looking for.

    Side effects of specific drugs are reported and end up in the leaflets when there is causation not merely correlation or coincidence. They don't count all deaths or all digestive disturbances regardless of the cause within that 5%, they pick their 'subjects' for the initial studies carefully to weed out other reasons (eg. alcohol, other medications, comorbidities), studies are double blind and there is a control group using a placebo. None of that is being done here.

    You are wanting a report of something in the handbook that has not been studied, could be down to either technique or anyone one of numerous ingredients. It's like putting frightening health warnings on ALL foodstuffs about food allergies and sensitivities regardless of the ingredients, anyone can react to anything at any time it's up to us to be mindful. Most of us are shoving numerous chemicals onto and into our bodies on a daily basis with no understanding of what they are or how they interact.

    I do think it's very valuable to have threads like your other one so the issue can be discussed, but the title of this one is scaremongering rather than informative. If you later discover you have a completely unrelated reason for your hair loss OR an allergy to a protein or plant extract in the conditioner you selected then how are you going to take back your WARNING about co-washing?
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    I do think it's very valuable to have threads like your other one so the issue can be discussed, but the title of this one is scaremongering rather than informative. If you later discover you have a completely unrelated reason for your hair loss OR an allergy to a protein or plant extract in the conditioner you selected then how are you going to take back your WARNING about co-washing?

    If this were the case, I would be EXTREMELY happy to go back to my original post, edit it and write at the top: "NEVERMIND Problem NOT caused by co-washing." Honestly I'd be jumping up for joy because that means a. I'd have found a cause a (probably) a solution to my problem and b. I could co-wash again which I would be pleased to do.
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    You are wanting a report of something in the handbook that has not been studied

    Yes this is a problem. To my knowledge, co-washing has not been medically studied.
  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,270Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I just can't see how co-washing could cause hair thinning more than sulfate shampooing. I'd look at ingredients or health way before technique.
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    chupie wrote: »
    I just can't see how co-washing could cause hair thinning more than sulfate shampooing. I'd look at ingredients or health way before technique.

    Softened roots (from overconditioned scalp) + vigorous massaging and detangling. This is a very logical possibility.
  • GoldenBlazeGoldenBlaze Posts: 342Registered Users
    I'm so sorry this happened to you. When I first tried to cowash my hair with Tresemme Naturals I hated it. I went months without doing it and I was having issues with the frizzies (extreme). Well that's when I discovered As I Am cowash. I started using that and got a 100% difference. I moved on from As I Am to Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp. My hair got more and more curly and less frizz. Now I use Naturelle Grow Ma ngo & Berry and Everyday Shea conditioner (I alternate them). I'm telling u this because what I discovered is that the reason why my hair hated cowashing is because of what I was using. IMO, Tresemme Naturals is not a conditioner I can cowash with having fine, low porosity hair. I have to have a conditioner/cowash that is formulated thin with LOTS of slip. I now cowash almost everyday with no issues with hair loss. When I don't cowash I wet my hair in the shower and put conditioner on it, let it sit while I wash my body, then rinse it out as the last step before I get out the shower. I shampoo my hair once a week with Kinky Curly Come Clean or Giovanni Triple Tea Tree shampoo. My hair has to have a clean palate once a week.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using CurlTalk App
  • mermaidwavesmermaidwaves Posts: 41Registered Users
    I've experimented with co-washing quite a few times (and I am again) and have never experienced hair loss. However when I tried Wen I immediately noticed WAY too much hair shed and my scalp felt sore. I looked online and was told that I was just doing it wrong or simultaneously developed a medical condition like maybe a severe vitamin deficiency (right after my first wen use-lol) so I gave it maybe two or three more tries but I kept losing hair and by day 5 my scalp was red and very sore (it felt like when you have your hair in a tight pony all day and then take it down). Anyway, I stopped using it and all of this stopped almost instantly. I'm 99% sure it was an ingredient sensitivity/allergy. So to those saying you don't understand how co-washing can cause hair loss, it definitely can, but it might not be the method of co-washing that has anything to do with it but rather the actual conditioner. To the OP-have you only been using one co-wash throughout this ordeal? Did you carefully check over the ingredient list? I'm not saying that an ingredient sensitivity is what you have, but it's certainly something to look into. Also I can see how if you're sensitive to an ingredient it would be much worse with co-washing since it is directly on your scalp, for a while, and you're massaging it in. If the same ingredient were in something like a gel, you might never even notice it. Anyway just my 2 cents. Sorry this happened to you though OP, I know how awful it is.
    Just starting CG! 5-13

    2A, fine, dense, high porosity, highlighted

    low-poo: Leonor Greyl bain vitalisant b*
    co-wash: CJ smoothing*
    RO: ^, SS Caitlin's*
    DT: CJ rehab
    LI: CJ rehab
    stylers: CJ CCCC*
    oils: coconut


    *experimenting
    HG

    loves: aloe, oils, esp. coconut :love10:
    hates: acv, baking soda
    on the fence about polyquats
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    Hello there!

    I had indeed been using only one product to co-wash the whole time. It could very well be a sensitivity to one ingredient. The thing is my scalp was never sensitive, sore, red, itchy or anything unpleasant the whole time I was cowashing. My scalp was quite lovely in fact! This leads me to believe that it may not have been an allergy or sensitivity... as it probably would have lead to other symptoms as well. That's why I still think the over-conditioned follicle hypothesis is the most plausible explanation.

    And big hugs and thanks to above-posters for your kind words! It has been pretty disheartening. I was so excited to start being "intentionally CG" and take better care of my hair that I felt understandably "betrayed" when it started falling out. At the end of the day, what works for some doesn't work for all.

    Also, I remember dating some guys some years ago that started losing their hair. Back then they were all really upset but I never thought it was a big deal; it was just hair. Now that I started losing mine, I have much more compassion. It's pretty devastating. I have a lot of <3 for people who go through this.
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    chupie wrote: »
    I just can't see how co-washing could cause hair thinning more than sulfate shampooing.

    I've been sulfate-free for years and would never go back! This isn't a co-washing vs. sulfate-washing issue. For me it's low-poo vs. co-washing. I never had problems w/ excess shedding or thinning hair while using low-poos and I've used low-poos for years.
  • JLeighsJLeighs Posts: 904Registered Users
    I am one who loses a lot of hair when I cowash. Whether it's due to the extra manipulation or some other reason, the fact remains that when I cowash, there is a lot of hair in the drain. When I use shampoo, there is much, much less hair in the drain. I've used lots of different conditioners to cowash. I still lost a lot of hair. I even recently tried cowashing again for about a week. Lots of hair loss again.
    2C/3A, fine, higher porosity.
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Posts: 3,750Registered Users
    I had indeed been using only one product to co-wash the whole time. It could very well be a sensitivity to one ingredient. The thing is my scalp was never sensitive, sore, red, itchy or anything unpleasant the whole time I was cowashing. My scalp was quite lovely in fact! This leads me to believe that it may not have been an allergy or sensitivity... as it probably would have lead to other symptoms as well. That's why I still think the over-conditioned follicle hypothesis is the most plausible explanation.

    Overconditioned follicles sounds like pseudoscience to me - if that were the case people who uses a rich moisturiser (face or body) would be reporting hair loss in their droves and that is not the case.

    It's more than possible to be sensitive or reactive to an ingredient without other symptoms, you are muddling that up with allergies where you would generally expect itching or soreness or redness ('macro' inflammation). Clinically detectable signs do not always correlate with patients reported symptoms in many health disorders.

    Irritation, inflammation and damage can occur at the cellular level ('micro'), sulphate surfactants are a prime example - some get hair shedding or thinning but no other dermatological symptoms, I had an an elbow patch of atopic eczema from shampoo bubbles plus a slightly oilier face and scalp but no soreness, redness or suchlike on my head. Within a week of quitting sulphates, my eczema patch cleared never to return and my scalp and face were noticeably less oily which was totally unexpected.

    Furthermore a 2010 study found skin thinning and increased water loss from aqueous cream (1% SLS) yet the participants were not reporting obvious symptoms, in fact this product has been medically recommended for many years for patients with dry skin conditions and damaged skin barriers! Aqueous Cream : National Eczema Society
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect
  • SamanthascurlzSamanthascurlz Posts: 1,082Registered Users
    I am not going to lie, i am scared of co-washing now lol. I am going to make sure I take particular attention to how my hair is with co-washing!
    CG, High Porosity, Fine, Low Density, Medium Elasticity
    Suave, V05, GF Go clean gel, ACV rinses, CO, and Gelatine PT.
    [URL="[url=http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/members/samanthascurlz-albums-evolvement-my-hair.html]Curls[/url]"][/url]Curls
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    I had indeed been using only one product to co-wash the whole time. It could very well be a sensitivity to one ingredient. The thing is my scalp was never sensitive, sore, red, itchy or anything unpleasant the whole time I was cowashing. My scalp was quite lovely in fact! This leads me to believe that it may not have been an allergy or sensitivity... as it probably would have lead to other symptoms as well. That's why I still think the over-conditioned follicle hypothesis is the most plausible explanation.

    Overconditioned follicles sounds like pseudoscience to me - if that were the case people who uses a rich moisturiser (face or body) would be reporting hair loss in their droves and that is not the case.

    Your analogy is illogical. They're not reporting hair loss in droves because they're washing their skin with soap or bodywash/facewash and THEN adding moisturizer. I haven't heard of anyone try to wash their skin with a moisturizer for 4 months while vigorously massaging and pulling on their body hair by detangling. Lol! I'm pretty sure I would find my body hair thinning as well if I did that. :angel3:

    Futhermore I find your post unnecessarily condescending. This should be obvious but many aspects of CG are pseudo-scientific. "Overconditioned hair." Help, I think I'm "protein-sensitive." It's not like we all have some definitive way of measuring these things... these are all subjective qualifiers. They help us understand and narrow down what may be going on with our hair. All evidence of cowashing efficacy is anecdotal anyway, which is fine but let's be honest with what it is.

    If you can point me to any studies published in peer-reviewed medical/scientific journals that test co-washing efficacy and safety on a large random sample I would be happy to read.

    I realize "overconditioned follicle" is not a medical term. For me I used it as shorthand for the point that I think my hair loss is mechanical, and has to do with conditioning (hence softening) the follicle and then pulling it out during the massages/detangling session.

    Furthermore I never once said my hair loss could absolutely not come from a specific ingredient allergy or sensitivity, nor a sudden simultaneous onset of a medical condition that also suddenly simultaneously went away when I stopped cowashing. Hey, anything is possible. I'm not being facetious here, I will see my MD and possibly a derm as well about this problem out other variables.


    I realize saying anything negative about co-washing on this board is not making me the most well-liked member. Clearly co-washing has its loyal defendants, which is fine. But please understand that I'm not posting all this to be provocative nor to be contrarian. This is my experience. I really wish I could co-wash because my scalp and hair were nice but it had this very negative effect.

    Also, other members on the board have spoken up saying they've also experienced hair loss through co-washing. Please respect that our hair/scalp is different than yours and what works for many just isn't working for us and that's okay.
  • BlackAngelPlayahBlackAngelPlayah Posts: 1,419Registered Users
    The long and the short of this is if it works for you DO IT. If it doesn't DON'T. That is all. The end. I can't cowash exclusively. I can do it for a bit, then I have to shampoo.

    I don't care who says what.. I know what works. And no matter what hype people tell me.. I am SO immune.

    Thinning hair is NOT the business.
    :afro:FroZen:afro:
  • Corrina777Corrina777 Posts: 3,193Registered Users
    I had indeed been using only one product to co-wash the whole time. It could very well be a sensitivity to one ingredient. The thing is my scalp was never sensitive, sore, red, itchy or anything unpleasant the whole time I was cowashing. My scalp was quite lovely in fact! This leads me to believe that it may not have been an allergy or sensitivity... as it probably would have lead to other symptoms as well. That's why I still think the over-conditioned follicle hypothesis is the most plausible explanation.

    Overconditioned follicles sounds like pseudoscience to me - if that were the case people who uses a rich moisturiser (face or body) would be reporting hair loss in their droves and that is not the case.

    Your analogy is illogical. They're not reporting hair loss in droves because they're washing their skin with soap or bodywash/facewash and THEN adding moisturizer. I haven't heard of anyone try to wash their skin with a moisturizer for 4 months while vigorously massaging and pulling on their body hair by detangling. Lol! I'm pretty sure I would find my body hair thinning as well if I did that. :angel3:

    Futhermore I find your post unnecessarily condescending. This should be obvious but many aspects of CG are pseudo-scientific. "Overconditioned hair." Help, I think I'm "protein-sensitive." It's not like we all have some definitive way of measuring these things... these are all subjective qualifiers. They help us understand and narrow down what may be going on with our hair. All evidence of cowashing efficacy is anecdotal anyway, which is fine but let's be honest with what it is.

    If you can point me to any studies published in peer-reviewed medical/scientific journals that test co-washing efficacy and safety on a large random sample I would be happy to read.

    I realize "overconditioned follicle" is not a medical term. For me I used it as shorthand for the point that I think my hair loss is mechanical, and has to do with conditioning (hence softening) the follicle and then pulling it out during the massages/detangling session.

    Furthermore I never once said my hair loss could absolutely not come from a specific ingredient allergy or sensitivity, nor a sudden simultaneous onset of a medical condition that also suddenly simultaneously went away when I stopped cowashing. Hey, anything is possible. I'm not being facetious here, I will see my MD and possibly a derm as well about this problem out other variables.


    I realize saying anything negative about co-washing on this board is not making me the most well-liked member. Clearly co-washing has its loyal defendants, which is fine. But please understand that I'm not posting all this to be provocative nor to be contrarian. This is my experience. I really wish I could co-wash because my scalp and hair were nice but it had this very negative effect.

    Also, other members on the board have spoken up saying they've also experienced hair loss through co-washing. Please respect that our hair/scalp is different than yours and what works for many just isn't working for us and that's okay.

    +1. You beat me to this. If everyone's hair and scalp responded exactly the same way to exactly the same products and techniques, I think CurlMart might go out of business. When I first started here, there was a member whose curls I absolutely envied. When I read her blog the first thing she said was that she tried the Curly Girl method and it didn't work for her, so she doesn't follow it. That doesn't mean that it doesn't work for other people, just that it didn't work for her. This is no different, and while I never had this issue when co-washing, I appreciate the OP stepping up and saying something.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    3a/f/iii
    Modified CG since 11/5/11
    CLEANSE: CJ Daily Fix, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
    RO: SS Caitlin's Conditioner, CJ Beauticurls Strengthening
    LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
    STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier,Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
  • JulesonlineJulesonline Posts: 444Registered Users
    When I first started co-washing, I thought initially that my hair was thinning. But for me, it was the result of clumping and the scalp showing a bit between the individual clumps. I went as far as counting the hair in the drain (eeew, gross I know!) to determine if I was shedding more than what is considered normal.

    I agree with a lot of the other posters on this thread that you have to do what is good for YOU.

    I realize what works for me may not work for other curlies and vice versa. Personally, I rotate co-washing with a low-poo or cleansing condish and that works well for me.
    JulesOnline
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    3A/B? A corkicelli mix of ringlets, spirals, helixes & s-shaped curls
    Medium-fine texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity


    Summer: pink; Winter: Blue; Year Round: green
    Lo-Poo:Giovanni SAS sulfate free poo, L'Oreal Evercream CC
    Co-wash: TNRV, VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea, TNNM
    RO/LI:
    YTC, Nexxus Hydra-light w/ CNPF GVPCB, Biolage CB, TNNM, Giovanni SAS
    Styler: KCCC FSG, BRHG, LALSG



  • anonymous_133347anonymous_133347 Posts: 1,426Registered Users
    Wanted to take the time to thank Pomegranatecurl for bringing up this topic in the first place. It led me to do a one week experiment in which I low-poo'd straight. I found from my utterly subjective experience (and that's any of us curly girls can ever do--evaluate things subjectively) that even with a super gentle low poo, I do better with mostly co-washing/the occasional low poo. (I guess you can call it the Jules-CG-method. Go Jules!) However, it was really informative and helpful for P.C. to share her observations, and seeing as how she's lost a lot of density over the past four months and is frightened, I think it's great that she came on the forum to try to spare anybody else that particular brand of misfortune. It's opened my eyes a little, too. I noticed yesterday while low pooing that I tend to shed more hair on my left side so I'll be sure to keep an eye on that. And while I already massaged my scalp quite gently, but I'm going to heed those warnings about massaging too vigorously all the more so and be on the lookout!
    3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

    CG since Nov. 2012

    Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
    Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
    Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
    Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

    * = HG

  • JulesonlineJulesonline Posts: 444Registered Users
    Dusa!! buwahahaha you had me laughing! I just do what feels right for the hair that day. I am on 3rd day hair and plan on using cleansing condish tomorrow in the AM.
    JulesOnline
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    3A/B? A corkicelli mix of ringlets, spirals, helixes & s-shaped curls
    Medium-fine texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity


    Summer: pink; Winter: Blue; Year Round: green
    Lo-Poo:Giovanni SAS sulfate free poo, L'Oreal Evercream CC
    Co-wash: TNRV, VO5 Vanilla Mint Tea, TNNM
    RO/LI:
    YTC, Nexxus Hydra-light w/ CNPF GVPCB, Biolage CB, TNNM, Giovanni SAS
    Styler: KCCC FSG, BRHG, LALSG



  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Posts: 3,750Registered Users
    Your analogy is illogical. They're not reporting hair loss in droves because they're washing their skin with soap or bodywash/facewash and THEN adding moisturizer. I haven't heard of anyone try to wash their skin with a moisturizer for 4 months while vigorously massaging and pulling on their body hair by detangling. Lol! I'm pretty sure I would find my body hair thinning as well if I did that. :angel3:

    Futhermore I find your post unnecessarily condescending. This should be obvious but many aspects of CG are pseudo-scientific. "Overconditioned hair." Help, I think I'm "protein-sensitive." It's not like we all have some definitive way of measuring these things... these are all subjective qualifiers. They help us understand and narrow down what may be going on with our hair. All evidence of cowashing efficacy is anecdotal anyway, which is fine but let's be honest with what it is.

    If you can point me to any studies published in peer-reviewed medical/scientific journals that test co-washing efficacy and safety on a large random sample I would be happy to read.

    I realize "overconditioned follicle" is not a medical term. For me I used it as shorthand for the point that I think my hair loss is mechanical, and has to do with conditioning (hence softening) the follicle and then pulling it out during the massages/detangling session.

    Furthermore I never once said my hair loss could absolutely not come from a specific ingredient allergy or sensitivity, nor a sudden simultaneous onset of a medical condition that also suddenly simultaneously went away when I stopped cowashing. Hey, anything is possible. I'm not being facetious here, I will see my MD and possibly a derm as well about this problem out other variables.

    I realize saying anything negative about co-washing on this board is not making me the most well-liked member. Clearly co-washing has its loyal defendants, which is fine. But please understand that I'm not posting all this to be provocative nor to be contrarian. This is my experience. I really wish I could co-wash because my scalp and hair were nice but it had this very negative effect.

    Also, other members on the board have spoken up saying they've also experienced hair loss through co-washing. Please respect that our hair/scalp is different than yours and what works for many just isn't working for us and that's okay.

    If you were 'pulling' on your hair then again it's your technique that is at fault not co-washing itself. Haircare 'experts' advise us to be gentle with our hair especially when detangling or when hair is wet, curls or not co-washing or not. There is a huge difference between the amount of gliding massage required to cleanse and vigorous massage or 'pulling' (your words).

    I have not questioned your experience in fact I postulated there may be underlying inflammation, I have questioned your unscientific assessment of the root cause as being overly moisturising the follicles. I am hardly a blinkered advocate of co-washing for all, I have said in a number of threads that it doesn't suit those with all dermatological issues or with fine/ thin hair. What on earth a science-based discussion has to do with how 'well liked' you are I have no idea, what a strange comment.

    It's not illogical, you being ignorant of it doesn't mean it is not commonplace. Using foaming surfactant shower gels or traditional bar soap and foaming face washes is FAR from universal, spend some time working in pharmacy or dermatology or on skincare forums. There are studies demonstrating the negative effect of these on skin and/ or hair, especially those with pre-existing damage - be that genetic or due to chemical processes (hair).

    Plenty cleanse their skin with oils sometimes using lengthy massage and enthusiastic rubbing (see Oil Cleansing Method), which interestingly CAN cause problems with irritation and inflammation in the skin but not, AFAIK, hair loss. Plenty more use cleansing lotions or traditional cold cream on their face twice daily with very similar formulations to hair conditioner, others wash their entire body with products like aqueous cream or products like WEN body cleansing creme. Some who are seeking skin lightening undertake lengthy and complex daily 'exfoliating' routines with a series of chemical laden creams, professional athletes having regular deep tissue massages. THEN on top many of these groups pile on another layer of moisturiser or body lotion containing yet more fatty alcohols and cationic surfactants.

    I don't believe true 'overconditioning' of hair is pseudoscience, it refers to keeping the hair wetted for long periods which can partially unravel the structural proteins and loosen the bonds making hair feel soft and mushy, weakening the curl pattern. Some like that effect, for example ladies who 'baggy' overnight. The opposite effect is seen with magnesium sulphate which reduces the water in the core of the hair, tightens the bonds and curl patten.

    The possible benefits of CO-washing for dead hair is a different animal to the benefits or detriment for living skin (esp. follicles) which is what we are discussing in this thread. Certain groups of surfactants, especially from the anionic family, are proven to damage skin and hair: co-washing aims not so much to directly improve the health of hair (since unlike skin it is dead) but to maintain more of its natural protective and strengthening structure for longer after it comes out of the follicle. To see how that works you don't necessarily need one study you bring together the results of many, for example the effect of different pH on the position of the cuticle, which harsh ingredients can dissolve or attract structural lipids like 18-MEA and ceramides, the effects of cationics and fatty alcohols on combing friction.

    The effect of cream or lotion products containing a wide variety of ingredients that you will also see in hair conditioners has been studied extensively for both efficacy AND safety on the skin. As a result some are known allergens particularly proteins, fragrances and preservatives. Others can alter the skin's permeability with acute or chronic use, strengthening or weakening it. See the Journal of Cosmetic Science, papers on corneobiology or corneotherapy especially those by the late Albert Kligman and his associates, any of the reputable peer reviewed dermatology journals.
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    dusalocks wrote: »
    Wanted to take the time to thank Pomegranatecurl for bringing up this topic in the first place. It led me to do a one week experiment in which I low-poo'd straight. I found from my utterly subjective experience (and that's any of us curly girls can ever do--evaluate things subjectively) that even with a super gentle low poo, I do better with mostly co-washing/the occasional low poo. (I guess you can call it the Jules-CG-method. Go Jules!) However, it was really informative and helpful for P.C. to share her observations, and seeing as how she's lost a lot of density over the past four months and is frightened, I think it's great that she came on the forum to try to spare anybody else that particular brand of misfortune. It's opened my eyes a little, too. I noticed yesterday while low pooing that I tend to shed more hair on my left side so I'll be sure to keep an eye on that. And while I already massaged my scalp quite gently, but I'm going to heed those warnings about massaging too vigorously all the more so and be on the lookout!

    Thanks Dusa! I really appreciate the support. Really this is the only place I can come for true support. If I go to other people who have never heard of the CG method before and I tell them I've been co-washing and then my hair thinned.... they'll just look at me like I'm insane and say something like "of course your hair fell out what on earth would make you wash your hair with conditioner!!!!????" And I'm like... um the people on the internet? LOL.

    Massaging gently... yesss I could not recommend this enough! For the co-washers, there is a difference between thorough and vigorous. Make sure you're massaging thoroughly but not so hard you're yanking your hair out! Take your time in the shower if you need to.

    Also the detangling... my word of advice is to be gentle and definitely use a conditioner w/ good slip. There's lots of good conditioners out there that are moisturizing but don't necessarily give good slip. For example, the Nature's Gate Jojoba condish (which I love) has moisture but little slip, and hence is not good for detangling. If an RO that you love doesn't have the slip, you can always use a detangler in the shower as well, like KCKT. I've used it before my RO as well as after. Not saying that having a separate detangler and RO is the ideal situation for everyone, but it is an option. Just make sure whatever you are using to detangle whether it is your RO, your LI, your dentangler/LI, whatever, make sure it has good slip! :)
  • PomegranateCurlPomegranateCurl Posts: 212Registered Users
    Firefox, you gave a lengthy response about things we weren't really talking about.

    At the end of the day I don't think my hair/scalp can handle co-washing, even if I were to be the most gentle. Call me weak-ass follicles girl. That's fine.

    Low-pooing has worked well in the past and is working even better now since I've been on this board and I've started PTs and DTs and using leave-ins. I don't believe my hair really needs the extra moisture from co-washing. Since the shedding as well as the thinning has decreased and stabilized since I've stopped co-washing, I'm going to stick to my low-poo regimen.

    I hope that's ok with you.
  • anonymous_133347anonymous_133347 Posts: 1,426Registered Users
    Amen to the slip! I sort of mix my conditioners. I have TTT for uber slip, and Tresemme Naturals has decent slip as well + moisture and then I throw in some Shea Moisture for extra moisture and nutrients. I also condition in two sessions. I let it sit for a good long while. Detangle a teensy bit when rinsing. Then typically add a bunch of TN back in to my soaked and rinsed hair. At that point my hair is super slippy so it's detangle session #2. Anybody else find the longer they wear their hair curly the more tangled their hair gets? I suppose it's only natural. I used to comb my hair once a day now it's 2-3x a week. Also. . . don't judge me people, but I still haven't tried KCKT as a RO/detangler. I just love it so much as a leave in. Also, PC, have you tried boiling marshmallow root by itself though and using the serum for detangling? It is BOSS man. Absolutely boss. It cuts through those curls like nothing else.
    3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

    CG since Nov. 2012

    Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
    Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
    Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
    Sealers: Jojoba* or Grapeseed* oil

    * = HG

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