View Full Version : Horrible Shedding from CO?

March 16th, 2011, 02:52 AM
I've tried a bunch of the washing methods on this lovely forum, but the one that I had a lot of hope for regrettably turned out to be a disaster :(
I really liked the idea of co-washing, I had tried it out before just intuitively on my bleached hair on my shampooing off days (it was a long time ago, however, so I'm not sure exactly what the results were) and I can't seem to remember major shedding :confused:
I love CO, it's cost-efficent, gentle, conditioning, and effective at removing grease. I don't understand why my scalp hates it so much.
The first time I tried to CO and noticed all of the shedding hair I just assumed that it was either the normal amount of shedding "slipping" out of my hair or that my scalp was just adjusting to the more gentle way of cleansing. I gave it a month or soľample time for my scalp to adjust, but I was still shedding a lotľevery single time >: (
So I thought that perhaps I needed a good clarifying treatment, so I took out my old SLS shampoo and sure enough when I used it I shed maybe 1 or 2 hairs and that's all. I kept up with the shampoo for a while because I was afraid of loosing too much hair, but whenever I try CO again, I always shed a lot :(
I have also tried switching to a gentler shampoo sans the SLS. This also makes me shed, but less than COing. I've tried ACV rinses, which make my hair nice and shiny, but don't seem to have an effect on my scalp. Maybe my scalp just hates being treated nicely????
So does anyone else have any experience with this kind of situation? Is there anyone out there who loves to use SLS shampoos? Does my scalp just need more time to adjust? Has anyone else had massive shedding increasing from CO and had to give it up?

March 16th, 2011, 03:33 AM
I have noticed that I lose more hair with conditioner on the scalp too. I found a method here, conditioner, wash conditioner, that has helped me! First, condition your length, none on sclap. Then with it still in, shampoo your scalp and rinse it all. The conditioner protects the length. Then conditioner the length again, avoiding your roots. Hope that helps! I never thought it could be the conditioner but I lose so much less hair this way. Sometimes, I like to loosely braid before I do this too, and a few less strands get lost. Sounds like you are used to your old shampoo! I say to go with what works for you. I'm new tho, and definitely still learning!

March 16th, 2011, 06:03 AM
I lost tons of hair trying to CO wash too. :nono: I "tried" CO for a year and a half and my scalp never adjusted. I'm just now getting my thickness back. It's good in theory but doesn't work for everyone. :shrug:

I now do what Tigermama does and both my hair and scalp are happy.

Best of luck to you in your hair growth. :flower:

March 16th, 2011, 07:29 AM
Shedding, for me, usually is like this: shampoo&condition < CWC < CO
It can vary a bit, depending on the products, but CO caused the most shedding by far! I agree with the above posters, CO isn't for everyone. Either try CWC for some time or look into a different conditioner if you want to give CO another chance.

March 16th, 2011, 02:44 PM
Thank you for all of these suggestions :)
It's a pity that this didn't work out for me, but I guess I'll go back to my old shampoo, I really can't afford to be shedding a clump of hair every time I wash my hair. I'm going to try to get my hands on a shampoo bar sans the SLS and see how that works out for me, in the meantime I think I'll try CWC :)

March 16th, 2011, 02:51 PM
me too - I tried CO a few times, and I noticed a bigger amount of hair loss!! So I decided I will use that washing method only occasionally, when doing sports or during the Summertime, when my hair need to be washed more often...

March 16th, 2011, 04:35 PM
Didn't work for me either, nor did SLS free shampoos containing detergents (some 'organic') that are allegedly gentler than SLS such as Decyl Glucoside which caused loads of shedding and dry crispy hair for some reason.

My hair seemed to fair better with a 'gentle' SLS shampoo (Aveda Shampure) which seemed to suit my hair and keep my scalp reasonably happy, well not make it worse at any rate - I get eczema on my scalp :( ).

I am now using Southland Soaps Radiant Shampoo bar, the only shampoo bar I have got to work for me as our water is REALLY hard (ACV was a must!) as its 'hard water' formulated. But I have less shedding than ever before and my scalp is great! It takes some trial and error to find a 'Poo bar that works for you and the transition phase can be 'interesting' but its well worth it.

March 16th, 2011, 07:17 PM
Another one it didn't 'work' for. I call the time period when I tried CO the "bad hair era"

March 16th, 2011, 07:37 PM
Same here, it's why I stopped. I switched to CWC and kept on with the sulfate shampoo and my scalp was happy again.

March 16th, 2011, 07:53 PM
CO stops my shedding.
Shampoo causes shedding for me.
Shampoo is EVIL for me. I will never use it again!

March 16th, 2011, 10:50 PM
My scalp hates conditioner.

Some scalps love it, but conditioner is not made to "be nice" to skin. It is made to "be nice" to hair. It is a wonderful wash method for some. But there is nothing "wrong" with you or your head if it doesn't work for you.

March 16th, 2011, 11:54 PM
When I read the OP, I thought she was just in a telogen phase. But there seem to be lots of others. What in the heck could cause this?

March 17th, 2011, 12:04 AM
What a coincidence that you are posting about this right now. I started CO in December and have horrible shedding since January. It's now at a point where I'm getting seriously worried. I have also wondered if it might be because of CO....
I guess I will buy shampoo today and hope for the best ^^

March 17th, 2011, 12:21 AM
Whew, It's good to know that I'm not the only one who's suffered from this. All I read about is how bad SLS is for your hair and scalp, and how much better off people are when they switch to a gentler cleansing method. I guess this does not hold true for everyone. I'd still like to be able to cut out the chemicals though, so I can't wait to get my hands on an all-natural shampoo bar to see if that bodes well for me :D

March 17th, 2011, 12:32 AM
COing caused massive, massive shedding for me too. Like, can't-get-all-the-hair-off-your-hands, plug-the-drain SHED! I've always had pretty greasy roots (can stretch to every third day washings ONLY with a pretty greasy third day!) and here's my theory on why (completely unscientific, culled from multiple unreliable sources around the 'net, by the way.):

With us oily scalp people, all that extra sebum mixes in with whatever cheap chemicals are in conditioner and chokes hair follicles to form a not-quite-clean-rinsing goo, which damages follicles and makes the hair release. The magic is that co-wash doesn't strip all of your oils and dirt, but I think for those of us that are already prone to greasy scalps...perhaps compounded by poor water, environmental pollution, and leave-ins that end up sticking to this...this just doesn't cut the grease, so to speak.

I also have fine hair and wonder if my follicles are fine too, and therefor more easily clogged? All this LHC stuff really makes me wish I had more science chops.

I was going to present another theory wherein people quit 'cones to try co-washing, and maybe cones were what was holding their hair together, and the shedding is actually breakage, but anecdotally, I don't think that's true, here's why:

After months of mostly co-washing (with some breaks) and shedding like none other, I've been using a clarifying or chelating shampoo for the past 3 washes (long story) and my shedding is down by a good 80%. It's pretty amazing, really.

In my short time on LHC I've gone as far as baking soda no-poo and vinegar conditioner, but I'm slowly coming full circle, returning ever closer to the kinds of products I've used all along, albeit with some much better combing, drying, and care habits!

March 17th, 2011, 12:36 AM
I love shampoo bars. I also love Aubrey Organics but shampoo bars last longer and seem to clean better while leaving my scalp happy. I've only tried Chagrin Valley but its pretty good especially with an ACV rinse. I wonder if the extra shedding is because when you CO you have to massage it into your scalp much more then you have to with shampoo. Perhaps you are massaging out hairs that were going to fall out but just hadn't yet.

March 17th, 2011, 04:21 AM
I am a shedder anyway, I lose bunches of hair everyday and have done so for as long as I can remember. I don't worry about it as it never effects my thickness. However, sometimes I notice more shedding than usual and sometimes it's not much at all. For me, shedding is such a complex thing with so many variables involved that it would be impossible to put it down to just one thing (such as my washing method at the time). Hormones, diet, stress, natural stages of hair growth.....so many factors!

Anyway, CO has never caused any excess shedding for me. During times of exclusively COing, I may experience lots of shedding or hardly any at all....there seems to be no connection. What I'm trying to say is that perhaps there are other factors at play which could be causing this. In the end though, do what causes you the least problems. Everyone is different and what may be the "dream routine" for somebody may be a disaster for someone else (like oil shampoo was for me!).

Hope you sort it out :flowers:

March 17th, 2011, 04:40 AM
I tried CO exclusively last August and definitely experienced a decrease in ponytail circumferance. I do not feel I had what I would call a HUGE amount of shedding, however. I do have an extra oily scalp and fine hair., in case someone is looking into a connection.

Right now I predominately CWC using a bit of SLS shampoo and a touch of coney conditioner on the length and ends only for the final C. I will go back to using my beloved shampoo bars once the weather warms up a bit, though. My hair just needs the "C" part of CWC right now due to the cold weather.

My hair also looked lank and dark with CO. It is not for everyone! All that gorgeous CO hair, though... I understand the appeal!

March 17th, 2011, 11:03 AM
I've been having what seems like a lot more shedding lately...nothing health related, just oodles and oodles of shedding. I'm seriously considering going to CWC for a while and seeing what happens. Just coating my ends in Condish, washing my scalp and conditioning.
Guess I've gotta go buy some more SLS free shampoo. *sigh*

March 17th, 2011, 11:14 AM
I shed more with shampoo, but the hair doesn't always rinse out in the shower without conditioner, so it comes out later when I'm combing. But my scalp likes being a bit on the dirty side (I barely shed at all when doing WO), while there are people who have all sorts of scalp issues that flare up if they don't keep their scalps incredibly clean. It's entirely possible that your scalp simply doesn't like conditioner, or doesn't like an ingredient in the conditioner you're using. If that's the case, you might try a different conditioner, or just go to CWC. What matters is that you find what works for you, not that you keep messing with something that doesn't work because it seems to work for someone else.

I wouldn't recommend going by ponytail circumference completely, though. For many folks, CO washing reduces the frizz and overall volume of hair a bit, so a slightly smaller ponytail with CO washing isn't surprising.