What’s the Deal with Co-Washing? Part 2

The first part of What’s the Deal with Co-Washing? explained what this thing actually is, and if you should do it depending on the type of hair you have. Going on that topic, this part is actually going to explain how to start co-washing and what supplies you need to do it.

To give a re-cap, co-washing is basically replacing shampoo with conditioner every once in a while to give your hair moisture. This is really only recommended for people that have thick or dry hair.


  • Moisturizing/cleansing conditioner or co-wash conditioning cleanser
  • Wide-tooth comb

Some hair brands sell conditioner made specifically for co-washing. For example, Cantu’s Complete Conditioning Co-Wash. By the way, Cantu is a really popular label for natural hair. It’s like the holy grail of hair products and it won’t make a dent in your wallet. So…yeah, you should buy that.

Anyway, if you don’t have a co-wash conditioner, a moisturizing conditioner would work just as well. If you’re not sure what that is, imagine a watery, thin type of product. Not the type of conditioner with several different types of oil or the overnight hair mask. Right now is not the time to bring out the big guns.

How to Co-Wash Your Hair

  1. Completely wet your hair with water. If your hair is rather thick, separate it into different parts and make sure each sections is completely saturated with water. Once it’s wet, squeeze the excess water out.
  2. Apply the conditioner to the sections, making sure each part is thoroughly covered with conditioner.
  3. Massage the co-wash conditioner down your hair, paying special attention to your ends. Remember that the ends of your hair is the oldest, so they tend to be especially dry and need more protection. Remember to massage your scalp as well, to get rid of sweat and dirt clinging onto your hair.
  4. Comb through your hair using a wide tooth comb, starting from the bottom then going up. Carefully detangling can avoid unnecessary hair loss.
  5. Rinse your hair thoroughly, in sections if necessary.

Tips for Co-Washing

  1. The conditioner you use doesn’t need to be expensive, it just needs to be moisturizing.
  2. Conditioner washing in the shower is probably the easiest way to cleanse your hair, unless you have access to a sink bowl.
  3. While you can conditioner wash daily, make sure you shampoo your hair as well. You may find a weekly or biweekly shampoo works well by alternating with co-washing.

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