Best Co-Washes for Natural Hair Reviewed and Compared
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Having naturally curly hair is a blessing and a curse. It can look gorgeous yet be massively frizzy at the same time. If you are a woman with curly hair, you have no need of heat styling products to curl your hair, yet you also cannot stop thinking about straightening your hair, which is an extremely tedious task. This is how we women with curly hair are in a love/hate relationship with our hair.
For women with naturally curly hair, maintaining their hair also tends to be very challenging. Both humidity and dry conditions are not their friends. As curly hair is naturally dry, women struggle a lot with keeping their parched locks hydrated and moisturized.
Winters prove to be even rougher for women with curly hair. Their hair is constantly in a dry and cold environment, worsening its condition. Ordinary shampoos usually do not prove to be very effective in retaining moisture in the case of curly hair. There is just one thing that can help women with naturally curly hair – co-washes.
- Hydrating & With Argan Oil
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- As I Am
- 100% Natural Ingredients
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- Eden BodyWorks
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A “co-wash” stands for “conditioner-only washing,” where the hair is washed using a conditioner only; the shampoo is excluded. Shampoos usually contain sulfates and other harmful ingredients that strip the hair of its natural oils. For curly hair, such shampoos prove to be even more damaging. A conditioner maintains your hair’s natural oil producing system as well as cleansing your hair of build-up without harming it. A co-wash is literally a lifesaver for women with curly hair.
It is important to know that some conditioners have silicones in them that temporarily make hair look shiny. However, these silicones can prove to be damaging to your hair over time. We have compiled a list of some of the best co-washes for naturally curly hair for you to choose from according to your hair type, texture, and needs.
10 Best Co-Washes for Natural Hair
1. Pantene PRO-V Gold Series Co-Wash
Pantene Gold Series Co-Wash secures the top position in our list because of its exceptional functionality and practicality. It is a deep-hydrating co-wash that leaves your naturally curly hair smooth and soft while being gentle on it.
The sulfate- and paraben-free formula of this co-wash makes the hair really soft and manageable. It is infused with argan oil that helps retain the natural oils in the hair, leaving it soft and silky. It also boosts moisture in extremely curly, dry, and damaged hair. This co-wash’s thick and smooth texture also detangles the hair.
The Pantene co-wash breathes life into dull, dry, and damaged hair. There is no build-up left on the hair after using this co-wash, as it works great as a cleanser as well and it does not leave your hair greasy and dirty. If you need an affordable yet an effective co-wash, Pantene Pro-V Gold Series is perfect for you.
- Infused with argan oil to ensure moisturized and hydrated hair
- Retains natural oils produced in hair
- Offers excellent cleansing, does not make your hair look greasy
- Does not cause colour-treated hair to fade
- Smoothens tangled hair
- Smells amazing
- Using every day can over-moisturize hair
2. As I Am Coconut Cleansing Co-Wash
This amazing conditioner disperses easily and evenly throughout the hair, ensuring moisture and hydration. It has a light coconut scent that leaves hair feeling clean and fresh.
As I Am is infused with ingredients like coconut, water, castor oil, tangerine, and fatty alcohol that ensure smoother, softer, and shinier tresses. It is not foamy on the hair like other shampoos with chemicals in them. It easily permeates the hair; making sure every strand is covered with the product for a flawless finish.
This coconut co-wash cleans the hair thoroughly without stripping it of its natural oils – leaving it hydrated. It has a creamy consistency that melts into every strand of hair without clumping. This co-wash also acts as a great detangler because of its creamy consistency.
- Does not strip hair of its natural oil
- Spreads easily throughout the hair and cleans it thoroughly
- Makes hair smoother while maintaining the moisture level
- Detangles hair
- Infused with water, coconut and castor oils that ensure smoother tresses as well as healthier hair growth
- Promotes elasticity
- Smells good
- Quite affordable
- Comes in a jar and not a pump bottle
3. Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing Co-Wash
This conditioner has a thin consistency and penetrates each hair shaft for improving texture and flexibility. It easily spreads throughout the hair and retains the moistures level in each strand.
Eden works gently on the hair, removing build-up and leaving it grease-free. Its sulfate-free formula does not damage or remove natural oils from the hair. It is infused with natural ingredients that nourish the hair to create a healthy environment for growth.
This conditioner leaves hair feeling smooth, shiny, and bouncy because of its natural ingredients. It does not create a foam while cleansing hair, which ensures hydration. Its formula is suitable for all types of curly hair including colour-treated.
- Removes build-up effectively, leaving hair grease-free
- Infused with natural ingredients like water and aloe vera
- Allows hair to grow in a natural healthy environment
- Spreads easily throughout the hair, penetrating each strand
- Does not strip hair of its natural oils
- Detangles hair effectively
- Sweet coconut scent
- Comes in a jar and not a pump bottle
4. Ouidad Coconut Cream Cleansing Conditioner
This conditioner creates a slight foam for cleansing your hair. It is formulated with ingredients that nourish hair and does not strip it of its natural oils, ensuring moisture and hydration in every strand.
Curl Immersion is extremely lightweight and spreads easily throughout the hair to ensure cleansing and hydrating. Infused with essential oils and fatty acids, this conditioner ensures smooth and manageable locks as well as healthy hair growth. It is extremely lightweight and does not feel greasy at all. It cleanses hair thoroughly, leaving it bouncy and nourished.
This conditioner also has additional oils like Abyssinian oil, sage oil, and rosemary oil for strength, detoxification and effective circulation in the scalp.
Ouidad Curl Immersion is a rich blend of natural ingredients and is sulfate-free as well.
- Perfect for curly, dry, and parched hair as it locks-in moisture
- Cleans hair thoroughly and removes build-up
- Infused with natural ingredients like essential oils, fatty acids, Abyssinian oil, rosemary oil, and sage oil
- Promotes healthy hair growth
- Does not leave hair feeling greasy or heavy
- Leaves hair squeaky clean and eliminates dryness
- Has a pleasant floral scent
- Quite expensive
5. Briogeo Avocado Co-Wash
This gentle cleanser features a non-lathering formula that cleanses hair efficiently for removing build-up – leaving hair fresh and grease-free. It removes impurities without stripping hair of its natural oils.
Its creamy consistency ensures moisture in every strand of hair. The natural ingredients like avocado oil and quinoa extract ensure better manageability and protect hair against impurities. The bamboo extracts improve overall hair health by improving shine and promoting elasticity.
Briogeo Avocado Co-wash is made of 98% natural ingredients and does not contain harsh chemicals like sulfates, silicones, and parabens. If you’re looking for a completely natural co-wash with effective results, then Briogeo co-wash is perfect for your needs.
- Derived 98% from natural ingredients like avocado oil, quinoa, and bamboo extracts
- Spreads easily throughout the hair and nourishes each strand
- Leaves hair hydrated and smooth
- Does not create foam on hair, minimizing damage
- Does not include harsh chemicals like sulfates, silicones, and parabens
- Perfect for salon-treated hair
- Contains a unique blend of oils to promote healthier hair
- Can over-moisturize hair if used daily
6. Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner
This conditioner contains natural ingredients for chemically-treated, dull, dry, and damaged hair. The formula is sulfate-, dye- and paraben-free, ensuring 100% natural treatment of hair.
Naked Cleansing Conditioner glides through each strand of hair smoothly, removing build-up and grease effectively. It creates a mild lather that cleans hair thoroughly. The natural ingredients like rosemary and mint give off a very pleasant herbal scent, leaving your hair fresh and clean.
The Herbal Essence Naked co-wash is perfect for colour-treated hair as it locks in moisture and nourishes hair effectively. If you want an affordable co-wash and also do not want to compromise on quality, then this conditioner is perfect for you.
- Cleanses hair effectively, removing build-up and grease
- Leaves hair super smooth and silky
- Natural ingredients like rosemary oil and mint leave hair fresh and clean
- Nourishes hair to promote healthy growth
- Leaves hair tangle-free and manageable
- Quite affordable
- Might over-hydrate hair and make it look limp and greasy if used daily
7. L’Oréal Paris EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner
This 2-in-1 formula ensures moisture retention as well as cleanses hair thoroughly. It gently cleanses and deeply moisturizes hair strands at the same time.
EverCreme creates a gentle lather to ensure effective removal of build-up and grease from the hair. Its thick and creamy consistency makes it glide smoothly throughout the hair and works gently to nourish and hydrate dull, dry, and damaged hair. This conditioner does not leave hair looking flat and weighted down.
Infused with pure and natural ingredients like apricot, grapeseed oil, and camelina, this conditioner leaves hair super clean and smooth. It also de-tangles unruly hair, leaving you with gorgeous and bouncy locks.
- 2-in-1 formula for better results
- Deep cleanses hair as well as moisturizes
- Does not weigh hair down
- Does not leave hair greasy and limp
- Retains hair’s natural oils
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Has a strong but pleasant scent
- Not suitable for oily hair
- Over-hydrates hair
8. Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner
This conditioner features a very lightweight formula that cleans hair efficiently without drying it out. The sulfate-free formula ensures healthier looking and shiny hair.
Its thin consistency penetrates each strand of hair, leaving it smooth and hydrated. This conditioner is made up of 97% naturally derived ingredients that works gently to ensure overall hair health.
The Curl Junkie cleansing conditioner gently removes build-up from hair without stripping its natural oils. It is especially formulated for colour-treated, dull, damaged, and extremely curly hair. It does not weigh hair down and makes naturally curly hair bouncy and light. This conditioner leaves hair super clean without drying it out – unlike most shampoos.
- Acts as a perfect cleanser for dry, damaged hair
- Retains moisture level in each strand of hair
- Penetrates deep into hair to enhance nourishment
- Made of 97% pure and natural ingredients
- Ensures overall hair health
- Leaves hair squeaky clean without drying it out
- Has a sweet scent
- Can leave hair over-moisturized
- Quite expensive
9. Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Cleansing Conditioner
This amazing conditioner cleans your hair just like a shampoo minus the drying and damaging and softens your hair just like a deep conditioner. It is unique because of its multipurpose functionality.
Clean Freak is infused with raspberry oil and quinoa extract that help maintain moisture and smoothness while providing strength to dull and damaged hair.
It cleans hair super effectively and leaves you with bouncy, clean. and gorgeous locks. It leaves no residue behind in the hair, hence eliminating grease as well as build-up.
This conditioner is perfect for colour-treated hair because its natural ingredients don’t fade colour.
- Cleanses hair just like a shampoo without stripping it of natural oils
- Retains moisture in every strand of hair
- Infused with natural ingredients like raspberry seed oil and quinoa extract to ensure smoothness as well as strength
- Effectively removes build-up and grease from hair
- Leaves coarse hair feeling soft and silky
- Smells amazing
- Quite affordable
- Can be drying to the ends of the hair
10. Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner
This versatile conditioner comes in different formulas for all types of hair (fine, medium, and thick). The sulfate-free formula ensures natural lift and cleansing of damaged and dry hair.
This conditioner is enriched with conditioning agents that leave hair smooth and nourished. Its formula is also lather-free and does not leave your hair dry and brittle, but noticeably smoother and shinier.
This conditioner has a thick and creamy white, consistency with a slight fruity and floral scent that leaves hair fresh and clean throughout the day.
- Sulfate-free formula offers gentle cleansing
- Enriched with conditioning agents that leave hair softer and smoother
- Lather-free formula does not leave hair dull, dry, and brittle
- Creamy consistency ensures extreme moisture and hydration
- Smells amazing
- Can over-hydrate hair
Choosing the Right Co-Wash
There are many co-wash options available out there. However, it is important to know that some co-washes can cause you more harm than good. If you are a woman with fine and straight hair, co-washing might not be the best option for you.
Before choosing a co-wash, it is important to know about the ingredients, so make sure to read the label. Look for co-washes that are made up of natural ingredients. Stay away from co-washes that include silicones, sulfates, and parabens. These ingredients are the prime culprit of stripping hair of its natural oils, leaving it dull and dry.
The texture of a co-wash also tells a lot about its efficiency. If it has a thin texture like a shampoo or creates foam while applying it to the hair, it is better to stay away from it. Effective and natural co-washes always have a creamy or thick consistency that makes it easy for them to penetrate deeper into the hair and scalp for perfect results.
The co-washes with natural oils like rosemary oil, avocado oil, aloe vera, and other essential oils are really beneficial for hair. The natural oils found in such co-washes work to strengthen and nourish hair and with their regular use, dry, parched, and curly hair could appear to be more healthy, hydrated, and shiny.
How to Co-Wash Natural Hair
Now that you know about which co-wash to use, let’s discuss the right way to use a co-wash for healthier looking and manageable hair.
- Start by getting your hair soaking wet. Every strand of hair should be wet as it helps distribute the product evenly. It also loosens build-up and grease for effective cleansing.
- Squeeze out the conditioner liberally in your palm, start massaging it into your roots, and work your way out towards the ends of your hair. You need to use a generous amount of product in order to cover all of your hair. This ensures better results. It is also important to know that applying the conditioner liberally will not harm your hair in any way because you are not just conditioning your hair; you are cleansing it as well.
- After covering and massaging your hair well with the conditioner, let the product sit in your hair for a few minutes. This will help break down build-up and residue. Leave it in the hair for longer if your hair is really dry and parched.
- Now, wash your hair thoroughly. Rinse well and make sure to remove the conditioner thoroughly from your hair so that it does not feel greasy or limp.
- Style your hair as you want now that you have less dry and more responsive hair.
Benefits of Co-Washing Natural Hair
If you have naturally curly hair, you must have an idea of how challenging it can be to manage it. Naturally curly hair tends become dull and dry over time because the natural oils fail to travel towards the end of the hair due to its texture and shape. Using shampoos with chemicals worsens the condition of such hair and its only salvation is a co-wash. A co-wash has numerous benefits. We have discussed below how it can prove to be a blessing for curly hair.
- 1. Hydrates and MoisturizesIt is a bitter pill to swallow that naturally curly hair tends to be dry. Shampooing curly hair strips hair of its natural moisture while cleansing it. However, a co-wash retains moisture in every strand of hair while cleansing it. The chemical-free formulas of co-washes add an extra layer of moisture to the hair, making it look more hydrated. These co-washes do not create lather or foam, which ensures natural and effective cleansing without making hair dry and dull.
- 2. DetanglesDetangling thick and curly hair can be such a pain, especially if you are running late. A co-wash with its creamy consistency slides easily through the hair and penetrates every single strand, ensuring complete nourishment. It also makes your tresses smooth and manageable for you to brush through easily. You can brush and detangle your hair smoothly and easily with a co-wash. This saves a lot of time as well as saves you from painful detangling.
- 3. Deep CleansingWomen with curly hair often end up with a lot of build-up and grease in their hair that cannot be washed away with a shampoo alone. This calls for deep cleansing. A co-wash allows deep cleansing of the hair because of its smooth and creamy consistency that allows it to spread through the hair from the roots to the ends. The build-up and grease in the scalp are effectively removed with the co-wash as it penetrates deep into each strand. The result is fluffy, fresh, and clean hair.
- 4. Strengthens HairIt is a well-known fact that dry hair is more prone to breakage. Women with curly hair face a lot of breakage while detangling their hair. A co-wash is often blended with ingredients that promote hair growth as well as strengthen hair. These ingredients are natural, therefore, they work effectively. Hair is moisturised and hydrated after using a co-wash and does not break easily because of the improved elasticity.
- 5. Improved Texture of the CurlsCurly hair often seems to be dull and damaged. The reason is the lack of moisture. Hair that lacks moisture lacks shine and lustre as well. A co-wash ensures moisture retention in each strand of hair and makes it look shinier and healthier. When hair is moisturized and hydrated, its texture becomes visibly better, smoother, and glossier.
Naturally curly hair needs more attention and care than any other type of hair. It takes a lot of effort to manage curly hair and maintain its texture and health. However, products like co-washes and conditioners are really helpful in the improving the vitality and appearance of naturally curly hair. They help improve the overall health and texture of hair while maintaining natural oils and retaining moisture. Co-washes are staples for curly, dry, damaged, and thirsty hair. This article has covered everything about the pros and cons of the top 10 best co-washes. Ready, set, co-wash, and go!
Your Questions Answered (FAQ)
Can Women with Fine Hair Use Co-Washes?
Women with fine as well as straight or oily hair should not use co-washes as they can make their hair even flatter and weighted down.
How Often Should I Co-Wash my Hair?
It depends on your hair condition and texture. If your hair is extremely dry, then you should use a co-wash every 2-3 days. If you have moderately dry hair, then it is better to use a co-wash once a week.
Do I Condition my Hair after Co-Washing?
It is not necessary to condition your hair after co-washing as co-washes include all the properties of a conditioner as well as a shampoo. If you still feel like your hair needs more moisture, then you may condition your hair after co-washing.
Does a Co-Wash Cleanse Hair?
A co-wash is a gentle cleanser that cleanses hair without the harsh detergents and chemicals that are found in shampoos. It does not create foam or lather and cleanses hair gently and effectively.