Co Wash: What is it and why is it good for your hair?

Co Wash: What is it and why is it good for your hair?

by Lotte Lindgren on May 30, 2023

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on May 19, 2024.

Table of contents

Is your hair fragile and dry after repeated shampooing? Thinking of changing up your routine to give your hair a break from harsh chemical treatment? Then maybe co wash is just the thing for you! Read on to learn more about this popular natural hair care method.

    What is co-wash?

    Co wash is a method of washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. Co-wash is an abbreviation of conditioner-only wash. A Co Wash Balsam is often also called a washing balm. It has become popular because it helps to condition and retain moisture in the hair better than traditional shampoo. With co wash, a conditioner or balm is used to clean the hair, while at the same time providing nourishment and care. The method is especially popular with those who use the Curly Girl method to promote their natural curls.

    What is the idea behind co-wash?

    The idea behind co-wash, or conditioner wash, is to gently cleanse hair using conditioner instead of shampoo. Traditional shampoos often contain sulphates and other harsh detergents that can strip hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and damaged. Co-washing uses conditioners that contain mild detergents and moisturising ingredients that cleanse the hair without drying it out. Co-washing is especially beneficial for those with dry, curly or damaged hair, but can be used by anyone who wants a more gentle and moisturising hair wash.

    When choosing a conditioner for co wash, find a formulation that suits your hair type and condition. It is important to avoid products with silicone or parabens in order not to damage your hair further. Start slowly with this method, using it only a few times a week and gradually increase the number of applications over time.

    How does co wash work?

    Co wash is a method where you only use conditioner to clean the hair instead of shampoo. The mild formula in the conditioner removes dirt and excess oil without stripping the hair of its natural oils. The balm works as a conditioner at the same time as it cleans the hair.

    When you use co wash in your care routine, you will experience many benefits such as less dry hair and more definition of the curls. Using this method, your hair can become healthy and strong in the long term. Here are a few things that are important to remember about co-wash:

    • Do not forget to rinse thoroughly
    • Start by washing your hair every other day or less
    • Adjust the amount of conditioner according to your hair length and type
    Kvinde vasker håret med Co Wash balsam

      How do you do?

      Start with wet hair just like you would regular shampoo. Massage an appropriate amount of co wash conditioner into the scalp and pull it down through the lengths of your hair. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

      Follow this method to care for your hair and give it the break from regular shampoo it deserves:

      • Start with wet hair
      • Massage co wash conditioner into your scalp
      • Pull the conditioner down through the lengths of your hair
      • Leave conditioner on for 2 to 3 minutes
      • Rinse thoroughly

      What are the benefits of co wash?

      Co wash is a method of washing your hair that can have many benefits. One of the biggest benefits of co wash is that it leaves your hair clean without stripping the natural oils or drying it out in the same way that traditional shampoo can. This means your scalp and hair will feel more hydrated and less irritated.

      Co wash is a gentle way of washing your hair that leaves it hydrated and less irritated than traditional shampoo. It is particularly good for curly or dry hair as it helps retain moisture and can be combined with a leave-in conditioner for extra care.

      If you have curly or dry hair, this care method will help you retain moisture in your hair. Instead of just using shampoo to wash your hair, you can also use a conditioner (balm) to clean and gently care for your hair. Also consider a leave-in conditioner afterwards for extra moisture care - this is how you get healthier and stronger hair with co-washing!

      How do you choose the right conditioner for co wash?

      When choosing a conditioner for co wash, it is important to check the ingredient list. Avoid sulfates and silicones, as these substances can damage your hair. Instead, choose a conditioner with natural oils and ingredients such as jojoba oil or argan oil for extra moisture for the hair. Here you can take a look at our Repair and Care conditioner, which is a moisturizing conditioner without silicone and sulfate.

      To find the best co wash conditioner for you and your hair type, it is also a good idea to read reviews from others with the same hair type as yourself. This is how you can ensure the best care and washing of your hair without using shampoo every time.

      Good silicone-free conditioner

      Is co wash for you?

      Co wash is a hair care method that involves washing the hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. It can be a good solution for women with dry and frizzy hair or those who have colored or chemically treated hair. Co wash helps preserve natural oils in the hair and avoid excessive drying of the hair.

      But if you have an oily scalp or very fine hair, co wash may not be the best option for you. It's also important to remember that different products work differently for different people – it's all about finding what works best for your own unique hair type.

      Who can benefit from co wash?

      At Yuaia Haircare, we understand that different hair types have different needs. Co-washing, also known as conditioner washing, can be an ideal solution for many looking for a gentle way to care for their hair. This method involves using conditioner instead of shampoo to cleanse the hair, which can have significant benefits for certain hair types and conditions.

      Wavy, curly or fallen hair: Curly and wavy hair is naturally drier and tends to frizz because the natural oils from the scalp have a harder time travelling down the hair shaft. Traditional shampoo can often be too drying for these hair types, making co-washing an excellent alternative. By using conditioner instead of shampoo, you can retain moisture and achieve healthier, more defined curls.

      Dry and frizzy hair: If your hair feels coarse, dry and brittle, co-washing can add the necessary moisture that prevents hair from breaking. This is especially beneficial for those who often subject their hair to heat or chemical treatments that can further dry it out.

      Porous hair: Hair that is very porous loses moisture very quickly and can appear brittle and damaged. Co-washing can help seal in moisture and improve hair health with regular use.

      Frequent hair washing: For people who wash their hair daily or several times a week, like athletes or those with an active lifestyle, co-washing can be a gentle way to keep hair clean without drying it out. Traditional shampoos can strip the natural oils, which co-washing avoids.

      Dry, itchy scalp: A dry and itchy scalp can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Co-washing with a good conditioner can moisturise the scalp and reduce dryness and dandruff, leaving the scalp soothed and healthy.

      At Yuaia Haircare, we recommend co-washing as part of your hair care routine if you have one of these hair types or conditions. However, it's important to note that co-washing may not be ideal for everyone. For example, those with fine, thin or very oily hair may find that co-washing can cause hair to clump together. Additionally, it's less effective at removing product residue from the scalp.

      For best results, you should choose a conditioner that is specially formulated for co-washing and that suits your specific hair type and needs. With regular use, co-washing can help you achieve healthy, shiny and well-groomed hair.

      Flot hår

      Who should avoid co wash?

      Oily hair may find it difficult to tolerate co-wash, as this method is not always effective in removing excess oil and product residue. People with sensitive scalp problems such as eczema or psoriasis should also be careful with co wash, as some of the ingredients in the conditioner can aggravate these conditions. Finally, people who need to remove product residue from their hair should consider methods other than co-wash, as this does not always remove all build-up in the same way that a shampoo does.

      How do you introduce co wash into your hair care routine?

      Co wash is a great way to give your hair a break from the harsh treatment that comes with shampoo. To introduce co wash into your hair care routine, you must start by choosing the right conditioner - make sure it does not contain harmful ingredients such as sulfates and parabens. After shampooing, apply the conditioner instead of traditional conditioner and massage it thoroughly into the hair and scalp. Then rinse the conditioner out of the hair with cold water for a shiny result.

      Once you have mastered the co wash technique, you can supplement your routine by combining it with other hair products such as leave-in conditioners or styling products. Use only the products that best suit your specific needs and avoid overuse of various chemicals for healthy and natural-looking hair.

      Kvinde der laver sin hårplejerutine

      How often should you co-wash your hair?

      What are your hair type's needs? It depends on how much oil your hair produces. If you have dry hair or curls, co-washing can be a good option to add moisture without removing the natural oils from your hair. If you have oily hair, it will probably benefit from more frequent traditional hair washing.

      You can always start by co-washing once a week and see how your hair reacts to it. Co washing should not replace traditional hair washing completely, but rather be used as a supplement to provide more moisture and nourishment to your hair.

      Also avoid overwashing your hair with co-wash as this can lead to product build-up in the hair. Finding the right balance between traditional wash and co wash will help you achieve healthy and strong hair.

      How do you combine co wash with other hair products?

      When you have co-washed your hair, it is a good idea to use a conditioner afterwards. In this way, you ensure that the cuticle layer is closed and the hair's natural moisture balance is restored. If you want extra moisture and care, you can also try using a leave-in conditioner afterwards.

      Another option is to introduce an oil-based product into your routine. This can help add additional nourishment and moisture to your hair while protecting it from harmful external influences. Experiment with different products to find out what works best for your particular hair type and needs.

      The difference between Low-poo Shampoo and Co-wash: What you need to know

      When it comes to gentle hair washing, there are two popular methods: low-poo shampoo and co-washing. Here's a comparison to help you understand the differences and choose the right method for your hair.

      Low-poo shampoo:

      Low-poo shampoo uses mild, sulfate-free detergents that cleanse the hair without stripping its natural oils. This method is ideal for those who want a gentler form of shampoo that still cleanses hair effectively. Low-poo shampoo is suitable for most hair types, especially if you tend to experience dryness or irritation from traditional shampoos.

      Co-wash (conditioner wash):

      Co-washing involves using conditioner instead of shampoo to cleanse the hair. Conditioners contain moisturising ingredients that help retain the hair's natural moisture. This method is particularly beneficial for those with dry, curly or frizzy hair as it minimises frizz and adds extra moisture. Co-washing is less cleansing than low-poo shampoo, making it perfect for hair types that need more moisture than cleaning.


      Cleaning performance: Low-poo shampoo cleans more effectively than co-wash, which is more moisturising.
      Hair type: Low-poo is ideal for people who want gentle cleaning, while co-wash is best for those with dry, curly or frizzy hair that requires extra moisture.
      By choosing the right method, you can achieve healthier and more well-groomed hair. For more information about hair care and products, visit Yuaia Haircare.

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