This post may contain affiliate links and/or items sent for consideration. Please view my full disclosure policy for more information.

What Is This Co-Washing Thing?

Is CO-Washing for YOU?

Am I the last person in the world to seriously try co-washing before?  I had sort of heard of co-washing, but became extremely intrigued when it popped in my email in-box last week. Needless to say, I opened the email and became obsessed, started googling everything about it in order to check it out this past week. Apparently the idea of co-washing is to basically riding the hair of shampoo and solely relying on conditioner to cleanse and clarify the hair. I thought to myself can it be true? I for one wish I could pay someone to wash, massage and dry my hair. Simple and plain, I be L-A-Z-Y! Interesting concept, huh? Well lets dive into the details to see if co-washing is something for you!

What is Co-Washing? Co-Washing is a concept that was originally intended for all ladies with curly hair. A practice that is supposed to help soothe, calm and relax the frizz with a light textured conditioner. Co-washing is supposed to help those of us ladies with color treated, dry or damaged hair keep the hair more moisturized without stripping it of the needed oils. Co-washing is supposed to be gentler than using harsh shampoos that have a tendency to strip the hair. And if you are like me and suffer from dry/damaged hair or style daily with heat- then you know that too much washing can also cause-BREAKAGE. Since with co-washing you’re technically washing your hair with a cleansing conditioner, it also helps soften the hair and keep the scalp and hair moisturized longer. Ummmmm- yeah that sounds amazing. So here is a breakdown of the test drive…

DAY ONE {WEDNESDAY}: The first wash felt a bit weird. I am not going to lie something about not having bubbles or lather was a bit strange. But at the same time nice. No squeaky clean feeling or the feeling of pulling my hair out when I brushed through it with a wide toothed comb. As weird as it felt, I can honestly say that when brushing or shall I say combing through my hair prepping for blow dry it was easier, and required wayyyyy less products to help. Then the blow drying magic happened and OMG did I have some Pantene Pro-V like celebrity hair moment with the shine- dammmmmnnnn.  It was dreamy to be honest.

DAY THREE {FRIDAY}: The second wash. Well I started to get ready to wash my hair again because I thought the shine was slightly turning into greasy hair territory. However a quick spritz or two of my trusty dry shampoo and that feeling of greasy territory was gone. Soooo… needless to say the second wash didn’t happen.

DAY FIVE {SUNDAY}:Finally the second wash takes place. Into the shower I go, and cleanse the hair with a cleansing conditioner- and voila the same results. Soft, manageable hair that blow dried like a dream. I can honestly say I am a bit impressed with this whole co-washing thing. All and all co-washing is pretty positive experience and I can safely say that it is probably going to become a go-to, and maybe ever 2 times a co-wash; I’ll throw in a normal cleanse. All and all, my hair is seriously softer and very much more manageable- pretty sure that is a serious score!

WEN-Pantene-L'OREAL-SheaMoisture-CarolDaughter- CO-Washing-Cleansing-Conditioner-HAIR-Summer-Haircare


No co-washing with a deep conditioner. I almost grabbed my trusty deep conditioner until reading that a deep conditioner would stick to hair more  and alude to ending in some serious greasy territory.

If you are an avid sweater, exerciser or anything that may cause a sweaty scalp- dry shampoo will be a MUST have. A dry shampoo can help cleanse the scalp temporarily, and absorb any excessive oil. My favorite right now is the Herbal Essence Naked Dry Shampoo, it smells AMAZING!

Just because you are washing your hair with a cleansing conditioner and your hair is feeling softer; does NOT mean to co-wash your hair everyday or every other day. This is especially true for those of us ladies who have relaxed, permed or color treated hair- it can for sure cause MAJOR breakage if you over wash. And who wants to have breakage? Not I!

So there you have it. A overall positive experience with the co-washing routine. I can honestly say I am thinking of swapping my usual hair shampooing routine, into 3 co-washing and though in a clarifying shampoo into the mix. Dry shampoo will for sure be a solid staple, and right now my hair is starting to thank me. Curly hair, dry hair, damaged or permed hair- you should venture to the co-washing crew. For all of you beauties who practice it often, I get it now…. Considered myself initiated into the co-washing crew!









**Please note this post includes an embedded Affiliate link. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Makeup Life and Love at times reviews products provided by PR companies. This is disclosed at the bottom of those posts and product is marked with a "*". Regardless if the product was received, I only recommend products and services that I personally use and believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are my own. For more information please visit the Disclosure Page**

Follow along for beauty exclusives, tips and tricks as well as MLL updates + giveaways when you sign up for the Makeup Life and Love newsletter.
Please know that your email address will NEVER be sold or shared with anyone else.
  • Christine C.

    Which one did you try? I tried the L’Oreal one and hated the way it made my hair feel afterwards. It felt very oily and not normal. Even when I used a small amount. I have thought about trying Wen before, but haven’t. Maybe I need to give this another try!

    • I tried the Pantene Co Washing. I was surprised I liked how it felt. But I have super dry, chemically treated hair so my hair LOVE moisture. I want to pick up the WEN one for sure. I heard a million great things about it. Ojon also has a great one that is blended with their hair oils almost. Lol.. the not so squeeky clean feeling took a minute to get used to.

  • I only cowash my hair. I use As I am Coconut Cowash

    • OMG Kim. How is that? That’s on my list of things to try, I read TONS of great thing about it. Looks like I will be needing it sooner than later. I am totally digging the co-washing thing for sure.

  • Aleya Bamdad

    I’ve never heard of co washing before but am up for anything that softens hair

  • Norah Salazar

    I have a Keratin treatment done on my hair to smooth it out, fight frizz and add to injury an oily scalp after 2/3 days, this might not be for me.

  • Noelle

    Interesting! I’d be so afraid to wash my hair with just conditioner since it’s so thin! It looks greasy by the end of the day with regular shampoo :(

  • I need to try co-washing. While my hair is straight, since I dye it I always feel like it can use more moisture

  • I have heard about it, but I still haven´t tried it.

  • What I want to know is how “no poo” became “co washing”!

    • People probably became very concerned if you told them you follow a “no poo” regimen HA

  • I thought co-washing was going to be getting into the shower with someone! Hee hee! I will, occasionally, just use my conditioner and skip shampooing. But I can’t imagine going over two days without washing my hair.

  • Cindy Ingalls

    I love Wen but it makes my fine hair SO soft I can’t style it!

  • I actually can’t stand Wen. It makes my hair feel weird.

  • Anastasia

    I went through a cowashing phase, and it definitely helped my hair feel stronger and softer, but right now I switched back to sulfate-free shampoos. It really helps return life to dry hair!

  • FabZilla_Kath

    I still have to try more cowash brands. I’m not convinced w/ the brand I’m using…. I can’t even recall the name!!!! I’ll check out your suggestions!

  • I use Deva Curl sometimes, and it’s about the closest I’ve gotten to co-washing. Right now, I’m in a hair masque phase, but when I move through this, I may try true co-washing. Also, I want hair pix! (Pix, or it didn’t happen! lol)

  • Girl… I’m not even going to front… I hate Wen. I tried it on so many different occasions and it has never worked for me or if I wasn’t breaking out – I had serious breakage. I do love to Cowash though – it helps to keep my curls in check.

  • Shelley Polarbelle

    I had no idea there were cleansing conditioners. I thought you just did the whole thing with a regular conditioner. I think this is an important post to teach people how to do it.

  • It sounds cool but I have such fine hair I just think it will be too oily. As it is my hair only makes it two or three days before it’s so greasy that dry shampoo does absolutely nothing.

  • My hair is such a grease ball. Though I need to try co-washing… just to say I did lol

  • Betzy Carmona

    I try to do cowashes but with this heat i have to wash it or else i go insane

  • I don’t do co washing. It’s become super trendy but I find it really doesn’t help me at all.

  • I have never done co-washing. This is the first time I have heard of it..sounds interesting.