Shampoo is how most of us were taught to cleanse the scalp and hair of buildup and residue. Shampoo allows a thorough clean, while clarifying the scalp and hair. Since the nature and make-up of afro-textured, kinky, curly hair naturally tends to be on the dry side even sulfate free shampoos can cause major problems for some naturals.
Now, Co-washing is using conditioner only to cleanse your scalp since it simultaneously adding moisture to your hair strands. There are actually a few co-washing products on the market that has both cleansing and moisturizing properties unlike conditioner, which its primarily goal is to hydrate. Luckily, more brands are creating and marketing products to specifically meet the purpose of co-washing.
"Co-washing allows for more hydrated, manageable, softer, and smoother hair during and after the cleansing process. So that sounds great right? Well consider this, although co-washing has great benefits it also has disadvantages. Co-washing in excess can cause more buildup than it actually removes and may lead to limp, over conditioned hair"
So how do you choose? Listen to your hair and do what's best. Both shampoo and co-washing has its pros and cons. Know your hair and think about what it needs for your overall hair health.