Learn All About Washing Your Hair With Conditioner

What is Co-Washing and Why Should I Do It?

Most people have a similar shower routine for washing their hair — they wash their hair with shampoo, follow with a conditioner, make sure it’s all rinsed out and they’re done. However, just because this is the most common hair care routine doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Some people will benefit much more from co-washing than from any other hair care method.

What is Co-Washing?

Co-washing is short for conditioner washing. You might also hear it called “no-poo” (no shampoo). There is a simple theory behind this process. If you look at the back of your shampoo and conditioner bottles, you’ll notice that the ingredients are more or less the same. Shampoos will contain an ingredient called ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate or another ingredient with a similar name. This ingredient, also found in dish soap, is what causes shampoo to strip out excess oil and soap up.

However, if you have dry hair shampoo can dry out your hair even more, causing damage and frizz. Co-washing skips the shampoo step, pumping dry hair full of the moisture that it craves. After co-washing for several weeks you’ll likely notice that your hair is softer, shinier and much easier to style.

Who Should Co-Wash?

Anyone can co-wash, although those with dry or coarse hair will likely benefit the most. People of all hair types choose to co-wash though, whether you have stick-straight hair or coarse curly hair.

That doesn’t mean that everyone will get the same benefits though. Everyone’s hair is different. Some people’s hair takes to co-washing almost immediately, others see results after 2-4 weeks, some never get good results from it. Pay attention to your hair, be patient and if it doesn’t work for you, switch back to something else.

What Do I Use for Co-Washing?

There are plenty of products out on the market for co-washers, and they range from $5 to $40. Here are a few of the most popular co-washing products.

ConditionerTop IngredientsPriceRating
Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Conditioning Co-Wash
Shea butter, pro-vitamin B5, Agave Nectar$18.004.7
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser
Coconut Oil, Silk Protein, Neem Oil$15.704.2
As I Am Coconut CoWash
Tangerine, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil$14.994.1
Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural Hair Co-Wash Conditioner
Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine$19.954
EO Conditioner (Sulfate-Free)
Purified Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride$8.993.5

Everyone’s hair reacts differently to different conditioners. Some hair can use pretty much any conditioner, others are more finicky. Play around with it until you find a conditioner that your hair likes.

How to Co-Wash Hair

Co-Washing hair is very straightforward, and the basic process is easy to follow. Read our tutorial to learn how to co-wash hair.

In addition, many people like to wash their hair with a clarifying shampoo before they start the co-washing journey, as well as maybe once a week on a regular basis. Conditioner alone often doesn’t remove hair products, so if you use hair products or have particularly greasy hair a weekly shampooing is helpful.

If you want to steer clear of shampoo, you can use an apple cider vinegar rinse to strip excess product out of your hair.

How Can This Site Help Me?

The goal of is to teach you the basics, guide you along the way and give experts some helpful tips that might make their hair even healthier. You’ll find reviews of products from people who have actually used them and instructions on different methods you can use on your own hair.

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