What is Co-Washing and Why It Could Save Your Hair

Give 'em the slip.

Each and every day, it seems like there’s a new big thing to try. From different buns and haircuts to the very way we wash and apply products on our hair, it feels like we’re chasing our tails when it comes to new trends. However, this means that there’s always something new to learn as well! In today’s dose of trendy news, we’re here to discuss co-wash conditioners. Maybe you haven’t heard of them, maybe you have. Either way, we’re here to give you the skinny on this washing method that you’ll deff want to give a whirl. Read on:

Co-washing, or “conditioner-only” washing, is when you skip the shampoo and only use conditioners to cleanse your hair. Sounds pretty obvious, right? It can be tough to wrap your head around ridding your hair routine of a product you’ve thought to be essential your entire life. But it can really be worth the shot, especially during the colder months when hair tends to get drier. When you opt to co-wash, hair can feel softer than ever, not to mention more tangle-free.

How do co-wash conditioners work their magic?

Cleansing conditioners clean hair without the lathering effect of most shampoos, which results in less friction on the strand, and more overall slip. This makes them a great choice for drier hair types, as well as natural/super curly hair, as it gives a highly moisturized feel.

What’s in co-wash conditioners?

Most hair products, including co-wash conditioners, are jam-packed with nutrients, botanicals and even healthy hair extracts to make the absolute most of your locks. However, there are some co-wash conditioners that can contain silicone and can be harder to rinse out. If you have a normal hair type, it is better to alternate with a regular clarifying shampoo and conditioner at least twice a week to rid the hair of any product buildup.

How often should I use co-wash conditioners?

It depends. Truthfully, you could make this your new hair routine if you so choose. But depending on how much time you have in the mornings, you may choose to co-wash less. This is because it takes longer to dry. Also keep in mind that over-conditioning is a thing too, and can lead to limp locks.

That said, be sure to pay close attention after every co-wash. If you find your hair is getting limp, revive your hair with a cleansing system, like Suave Professionals Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo and Suave Professionals Moisturizing Curl Conditioner. These have the ability to rid locks of buildup. Every once in awhile, your hair really can benefit from a solid cleansing.

Can anyone use co-wash conditioners?

Anyone can benefit from the occasional co-washing experience. The frequency at which you do so however depends on your hair type and scalp conditions. Natural curly hair tends to benefit the most from co-washing because it has a tendency to get dry, whereas frequent co-washing on straight hair can sometimes lead to an unwanted greasy appearance. When it comes to scalp conditions, if you suffer from eczema or severe dermatitis, it’s best to use co-washing conditioners less frequently.

If you feel ready to give co-wash conditioners a try, consider Love Beauty and Planet Purposeful Hydration Shea Butter & Sandalwood Gentle Cleansing Conditioner. This cleansing conditioner does the job of your shampoo and conditioner to cleanse your scalp and strands and deliver major moisture.

Stay inspired

Sign up to the newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks.
Hair Quiz
All Things Hair
All Things Hair US
Hey! I'm Athena, your personal Hair Assistant. Got a question about your hair?
Chat with All Things Hair in Messenger