By Fran of

I’ve explained in oth­er posts that although I’m a prod­uct junkie, when it comes to apply­ing prod­uct I pre­fer tak­ing a more min­i­mal­ist approach. I’ve come to under­stand that my scalp is at it’s health­i­est when there’s less prod­uct on my hair and my strands seem to thrive with more sim­pli­fied tech­niques. I even com­plete­ly removed sham­poo from my beau­ty reg­i­men over a year ago because it seemed an unnec­es­sary step (and pur­chase). Those deter­gents were way too dry­ing for my hair. Even the healthy, all nat­ur­al ones still left my hair feel­ing squeaky clean. Prob­lem was, I wasn’t a fan of that squeak because it meant my hair had been stripped of much need­ed nat­ur­al oils. That com­plete­ly defeat­ed the pur­pose of a healthy hair reg­i­men, didn’t it? Los­ing mois­ture? Now I sim­ply cleanse with all nat­ur­al con­di­tion­ers that are nutri­ent-rich, aid­ing in scalp and hair health as well as mois­ture. The best part of healthy ingre­di­ents is that pret­ty much all of them con­tain nutri­ents that are nat­ur­al cleans­ing agents, so they def­i­nite­ly get the job done! If you’ve tried co-wash­ing and didn’t feel “clean”, I would sug­gest giv­ing it anoth­er shot with a health­i­er prod­uct.

My two absolute favorite con­di­tion­ers for co-wash­ing are the Raw Shea But­ter Restora­tive Con­di­tion­er by Shea Mois­ture and the White Camel­lia by Aubrey Organ­ics. I have a few oth­ers but these two are my holy grail. I always come back! They’re easy to find (Whole Foods and Duane Reade), afford­able and loaded with healthy, all nat­ur­al ingre­di­ents. I always start off my wash process by fin­ger-detan­gling my hair with organ­ic vir­gin coconut oil (Spec­trum is my fav brand) in small sec­tions. If I jump into the show­er and detan­gle my hair while it’s wet (even if loaded with con­di­tion­er) I end up los­ing a lot of it. How­ev­er, with the coconut oil pre-wash fin­ger-detan­gle, I end up retain­ing a lot more hair dur­ing the wash process. Once detan­gled, I twist my hair in four super chunky twists. I jump into the show­er, cleanse my scalp with one of the con­di­tion­ers men­tioned above, and then gen­tly fin­ger comb through each twist, with con­di­tion­er, to make sure my strands are cleansed as well. The process takes me no more than 5–10 min­utes! Pre-detan­gling is a true time and hair saver.

Since I don’t use sham­poo, I clar­i­fy my hair once a month with all nat­ur­al prod­ucts. Con­sid­er­ing I use oils and heavy mois­tur­iz­ers through­out the month, it’s impor­tant to imple­ment a deep cleanse at some point in my reg­i­men. My two favorite go-to nat­ur­al reme­dies are fill­ing a spray bot­tle with Apple Cider Vine­gar or using Clay mixed with dis­tilled water. Most peo­ple dilute their ACV but I use the raw-unfil­tered kind made by Brag­gs and have found it to be per­fect for clar­i­fy­ing. Unfil­tered means it car­ries all of the full health ben­e­fits, no pro­cess­ing, so I nev­er dilute it. I want those nutri­ents! I sim­ply wet my hair with warm water then spray it all over. Includ­ing a nice scalp mas­sage for buildup main­te­nance! Once my hair and scalp are ful­ly sat­u­rat­ed, I let it sit for 20 min. Then I rinse with cold water to remove the ACV and close the cuti­cles. This process rids my strands and scalp of all prod­uct buildup so I can start the new month with a fresh (hair) slate.

The sec­ond option I men­tioned was using all nat­ur­al clay. My favorite brand is the Aztec Heal­ing Clay sold at Whole Foods and Ama­zon. I mix 5–6 spoon­fuls into a bowl and pour dis­tilled water until it turns into a soft, mud­dy clay. I then sat­u­rate my hair from root to tip, scalp mas­sage includ­ed, and let it sit for 30 min. Then I rinse it off with cold water. A few of my read­ers have men­tioned mix­ing both the ACV (instead of dis­tilled water) with the Clay as their clar­i­fy­ing mix­tures. I watched a few YouTube videos and have seen awe­some reviews on that com­bi­na­tion, as well. All options are afford­able, effec­tive and best of all, com­plete­ly nat­ur­al!

The only debate I’ve yet to fig­ure out is whether one should co-wash before or after clar­i­fy­ing. I’ve read that co-wash­ing after­wards is point­less because the cuti­cles are closed due to the pH lev­els and cold rinse. But I’ve also read that because the process strips your hair, you need to re-apply mois­ture by con­di­tion­ing. I’ve tried both meth­ods and haven’t felt much of a dif­fer­ence. Either way works for me!

What’s your order and why?

Fran is the author of Fol­low her on Twit­ter @heyfranhey.

I’m a nat­ur­al hair, nutri­tion and fit­ness blog­ger from New York City. Bat­tling a kid­ney relat­ed ill­ness that doc­tors couldn’t seem to fix, I became obsessed with alter­na­tive med­i­cine. After months of research­ing and final­ly cur­ing myself, it became quite evi­dent that healthy resources in our urban com­mu­ni­ties were lack­ing. I began my health & well­ness tum­blr in Dec of 2010 as some­what of a jour­nal, hop­ing to shed some light on my jour­ney to health as well as our dis­con­nec­tion with healthy liv­ing. It’s been my goal to cre­ate a safe haven where our well­ness con­cerns could be shared and hope­ful­ly cured, as nat­u­ral­ly as pos­si­ble.

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17 Comments on "Fran’s 3B/3C Cleansing Regimen"

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Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

I don’t typ­i­cal­ly co-wash. I just use SLS free sham­poo and it works pret­ty well so I fig­ure why change any­thing.

I agree with what you said about the coconut oil pre-poo help­ing you retain more hair dur­ing the wash. I use the Vati­ka coconut oil and love the stuff!

Ben­tonite clay is alka­line in nature and adding ACV to it helps bring the pH lev­el to an acidic one. How­ev­er, I sus­pect adding AVJ (aloe vera juice) may be the most ben­e­fi­cial as its pH lev­el is clos­er to that of hair’s. I watched a video on it not that long ago as I was research­ing how to make my own mud wash that might mim­ic the Ter­ressen­tials Mud Wash. Here is the video I watched. As you like AVJ to seal Fran, you might like mix­ing it with your ben­tonite clay! The pic­ture below are my results with… Read more »
Lillian Mae

That Aztec Clay is the Truth! I use it once month­ly to clar­i­fy.

Bi-Week­ly, I use raw, unfil­tered ACV on my scalp, mas­sage it in and rinse it out. I do dilute it slight­ly, but it does an excel­lent job cleans­ing my scalp!
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Lillian Mae

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I have been using the clay with ACV the co wash­ing daugh­ters 4c hair for a cou­ple of weeks now and I can’t describe the love I feel. Her hair is very porous and since I start­ed using the clay her hair is retain­ing mois­ture for the first time. I would high­ly rec­om­mend it to any­one with poros­i­ty issues.


Her hair is GORGEOUS, though I, per­son­al­ly, pre­fer to wash my hair with sham­poo-Aubrey Organ­ics, to be exact, and once every 7–10 days. Cer­tain sham­poos CAN dry out your hair, but a great con­di­tion­er, fol­lowed by seal­ing is an easy fix. It’s the same as rins­ing with ACV and then con­di­tion­ing and seal­ing, right? Lol

But what­ev­er works! Her hair is clear­ly ben­e­fit­ing from her method.


Keyana, which AO sham­poo do you use? I just pur­chased the Green Tea Clar­i­fy­ing because I used the AO Hon­ey­suck­le Rose to deep con­di­tion on dry hair before wash­ing and it is THE TRUTH!! I also ordered the AO GPB Con­di­tion­er and used it to DC overnight (I mixed it with Vati­ka oil) and think it is amaz­ing as well!! So, I can’t wait to try the sham­poo. I think my PJ ways may be over if every­thing in the AO line works as well as those two con­di­tion­ers!!

I co-wash first then clar­i­fy with the ACV. Co wash­ing with White Camel­lia by Aubrey Organ­ics (a tip I got from Fran!) gets my hair very clean. Squeaky even. But by the end of the month I know I must clar­i­fy cause even with squeaky clean hair I can feel build up on my scalp. After I rince the ACV out (which I dilute with fil­tered water) I seal with deep con­di­tion­er (Giovanni’s) and some kind of oil. Start­ing to notice that my hair (which is on the fine side) LOVES avo­ca­do oil over lighter oils like jojo­ba … so… Read more »

Wow! Your brave for using straight, undi­lut­ed ACV! I would be con­cerned that it would dry by hair out, not to men­tion the smell. But what­ev­er works for you is work­ing, your hair is gor­geous!

Mrs. Ebonee
when I do my daughter’s hair I pre­poo and detan­gle with coconut and olive oil mix. Wash with either Kinky-Curly’s Come Clean or Curls Curly Q ‘poo, depends on how dirty her hair is. I put in Curls Curly Q coconut dream condish (love that stuff) and let sit for 5–20 mins…however long she is in the tub. Rinse then do a dilut­ed acv rinse. Apply KC Knot Today and style. I do the acv rinse last because it helps seals in all the mois­ture and good­ness of the condish because her hair is high poros­i­ty. Fol­low­ing this rou­tine has… Read more »

I’m not sure where you are get­ting your info, but great top­ic. I needs to spend some time lennriag more or under­stand­ing more. Thanks for mag­nif­i­cent info I was look­ing for this HEED OF ENDEARING AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL | Style Blog | The Trendy Style for my mis­sion.