To co-wash (short for “conditioning wash”) is the act of cleansing the hair using a moisture based lather free cleanser. Many skipped the harsh shampoos and skipped ahead to the conditioner. Now there are non-lathering cleansers available that give you the same conditioning effects in addition to cleansing your hair.
I have a few favorite commercial co-washes I use when I don’t make my own. Here are some that I can recommend in no particular order:
- Cantu Co-Wash ($5 for 12oz, Wal-mart, Target, and Sally’s.)- Lowest priced but works just as great. Also got the Cantu leave-in conditioner due to the great pricing. They work well together and I recommend them!!
- Deva Curl No-Poo cleanser ($20 for 12oz, Regis and Smart Style) – Pricey, but it is my #1 favorite commercial co-wash! It’s a professional brand that I used on clients in the salon as well. It is free of parabens, sulfates and dyes. It’s light but it spreads well and produces a gentle foam to carry away impurities. Contains methols with leave the scalp feeling great!
- L’Oreal Ever Curl Cleansing Conditioner ($6 for 8 oz) – I picked this up on clearance at Target. I have not been able to find anymore. Perhaps it was on clearance because it was being discontinued? It worked really well! I would have definitely continued to use this product if I could still find it. It works closely to the Deva Curl. Only thing I didn’t like was the small bottle.
- As I Am Coconut Co-wash ($8 for 16oz, Wal-Mart, Sally’s, Target)- cost effective alternative for home use. Smells great and makes hair soft! Thick viscosity makes it spread well in my hair so I don’t need as much. I like that I can scoop the product out although I can get a little messy.
- Naturally Silk Elements co-wash ($9 for 12oz, Sally’s) – Decent product. Not my most favorite of all the co-washes I’ve tried. I don’t think it works well with my hair chemistry, but it may work well for others. I feel like it left my hair feeling a little dry after. I will give it another try before I give a final judgment.
I really like to use natural products as often as possible but I also like to try some commercial products as well as long as they’re not full of crazy ingredients! Hope these suggestions are helpful in your co-wash selection!
On a final note, don’t forget to clarify occasionally if you co-wash often to avoid conditioner build-up on your hair. The frequency of co-washing and clarifying vary for every individual which is why I believe it is important to pay attention to the needs of your hair and it the character with different products.