I seen the question presented on a hair forum whether co-washing causes damage. Many responded with a solid no and professed their love for it. Of course, your girl here is always the difficult one and I took a different approach, sort of.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows that I am low porosity, thus co-washing isn’t the healthiest option for my hair. Co-washing tends to leave my hair feeling great at first but dry in the days thereafter. That dryness then leads to breakage and split ends which leads to damage!
Over time I’ve learned a better option for me is to apply a deep conditioner to dry hair and allow it sit for about 30 mins (preferably, with heat) before rinsing with tepid water. I sometimes will follow-up with a rinse out conditioner before proceeding with applying my leave-ins.
Dry deep conditioning has definitely worked better for me than co-washing alone. The heat opens up the cuticles and hydrates the hair properly. The actual co-wash step can be skipped to be honest although I sometimes do it to use up conditioner.
As a general rule, co-washing is not damaging but it can be damaging for some based on the hair’s response to co-washing. You just have to know what works for your hair and follow that path.
Are you a co-washer, dry DCner or both?