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What is Co Washing for Curly Hair?

What is co washing for curly hair? Co washing is a hair care technique in which you use conditioner to cleanse your hair instead of shampoo. It’s a popular alternative to shampooing because it moisturises and conditions the hair and scalp whilst gently cleansing at the same time.

Co washing is particularly beneficial for curly or coily hair which can be drier and more prone to breakage compared to other hair types. If you have curly hair that is prone to frizz, a good co-wash can help to lock in moisture and define your hair’s natural curl pattern.

What is Co Washing for Curly Hair?

What is Co Washing for Curly Hair?

How does Co Washing Work?

Co washing involves scrubbing your hair and scalp with conditioner to dissolve and remove any excess sebum, oil and dead skin cells. Since conditioner is an emulsifier, it pulls away oil and sebum from the scalp and hair but doesn’t strip it of too much moisture.

What are the Benefits of Co-Washing for Curly Hair?

Co-washing is becoming more popular for curly hair since regularly cleansing the hair with co-wash instead of shampoo can leave hair healthier and stronger.

The main benefits of co-washing include:

  • A more manageable curly or coily texture that resists frizz and tangles
  • Reduced dullness in hair color and less fading over time
  • Less dryness or itching since conditioners help to regulate oil production rather dry the scalp out
  • Fewer dandruff flakes as conditioners are less likely than shampoos to cause scalp irritation
  • Shinier, healthier hair that is better hydrated

Which hair types should try co-washing?

Co-washing works best for curly, coily, coarse or fragile hair. If your hair is prone to split ends and breakage, co-washing can help to make the hair stronger.

If you have extremely oily or greasy hair then co-washing might not be for you. Co-wash can leave greasy hair looking unwashed and lank. If you have greasy but fragile hair it may be worth shampooing once a week and using co-wash on the days in between.

Good Co Washes for Curly Hair

As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner

As I am coconut cowash

The As I Am Coconut CoWash is one of my favourite co washes for curly hair. It’s a light conditioning cream that cleanses the hair and promotes growth. If you have a coily or curly hair type this cleansing conditioner gently removes product build up, detangles the hair and enhances your natural curls.

The formula contains tangerine, coconut oil, castor oil, and saw palmetto which are all great for hydrating dry hair and leaving locks bouncy and fresh. If you want to replace your regular shampoo with this co-wash I advise you to add a clarifying shampoo to your hair care routine at least once a month. This is to ensure the conditioner doesn’t build up on your hair.

Good purifying shampoos are sometimes labelled as hard water shampoos.

Curlsmith – Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash

Curlsmith’s Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash is a sulfate-free, paraben-free cleansing conditioner that gently removes product buildup and residue from the hair whilst restoring moisture. This lightweight formula leaves hair soft, shiny and moisturized without weighing it down. It is safe for color treated hair and is recommended to be used with other products in the Curlsmith line of curl care products.

The formula contains rosemary oil, smashed avocado, aloe vera and apricot. This moisturising cocktail helps to hydrate dry scalps and remove excess oil without stripping the hair of its natural oils. This is a great choice for curly girls of any curl type!

Umberto Giannini Banana Butter Nourishing Superfood Co-Wash

The Umberto Giannini Banana Butter Nourishing Superfood Co-Wash is a rich, creamy and nourishing co-wash that moisturises the hair and scalp. It contains natural oils and vitamins to restore shine, and improve manageability in dry, frizzy or textured hair. This product also helps eliminate dandruff and itching. It has a deliciously fruity banana fragrance that makes wash day more fun!

Compared with traditional shampoos this co-wash is more gentle and moisturising. It contains shea butter and coconut oil to lock moisture into the strands and soften coarse hair. It’s a great washing product for natural hair and helps to improve scalp health.

Cantu Shea Butter Conditioning Co-Wash

The Cantu Shea Butter Co wash is a unique blend of natural butters and oils including shea butter, olive oil, jojoba oil, Argan oil, castor seed oil, avocado oil and coconut oil. It helps to cleanse and moisturise curls and coily and leave the hair bouncy and clean.

This moisturising co wash coats the hair shaft and locks in hydration. It’s recommended that you follow with your regular conditioner to help retain the moisture for longer. It helps to soothe scalp issues and promote healthy hair.

Bed Head by Tigi Calma Sutra Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair

The Bed Head by Tigi Calma Sutra Cleansing Conditioner is a sulphate free co-wash that moisturises, cleanses and conditions all in one go. The rich formula of nourishes curls and waves leaving them smooth and frizz free. The formula contains natural oils that leave your hair conditioned, shiny and vibrant.

This is a great choice for adding moisture back into tired wavy or curly hair. It not only adds moisture but also detangles the hair and hydrates the scalp. The Babassu and Brazil nut oils in the formula nourish the hair follicles and leave hair smooth and shiny.

Aunt Jackies Curls and Coils Moisturising Co-Wash Cleanser

Aunt Jackies Curls and Coils Moisturising Co-Wash Cleanser is specially formulated for curly hair types. It thoroughly cleans the hair and scalp without stripping the hair of natural oils. It strengths and conditions the hair strands and moisturises the scalp.

The formula is enriched with natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar, avocado, flaxseed and coconut, and is free from mineral oil, parabens, sulfate and petroleum. It helps to condition chronically dry hair and hair that’s in protective styles.

Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Co-Wash

The Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Co-Wash helps to moisturise and define thick, curly hair. The lightweight formula leaves curly vibrant and bouncy. It contains rich coconut oil and shea butter which penetrate the hair and scalp and restore moisture.

This co wash leaves your hair with less frizz and less breakage. It is gentle enough for daily use and helps to prevent scalp build up whilst promoting shiny hair.

Creme Of Nature Argan Oil Co Wash

The Creme Of Nature Argan Oil Co Wash is a cleansing conditioner that leaves you with clean hair and a healthy scalp. The formula is rich in Argan oil, and helps to cleanse an oily scalp without stripping the hair of moisture. The product is designed to be left on wet hair for 3-5 minutes in order for the formula to deeply nourish the strands, and prevent frizz, dryness and shrinkage.

Which Products Are Curly Girl Approved?

Check out the following posts to find out whether your favourite hair care brand is CG approved.


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This post was all about co washing for curly hair

Thank you for reading my post about co-washing for curly hair. If you have tried any of the co-washes recommended please leave me a comment below and let me know how you got on. Using a co-wash is great for washing hair without stripping the scalp’s natural oils. It’s also recommended in the curly girl method as the best way to clean curly and coily hair.