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Co-Washing Natural Hair – What Is It? How Often and Best

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When people decide to go natural on their hair, one important step as well is to opt for co-washing natural hair. What is co-washing natural hair? This is the process of washing hair with conditioner and skipping shampooing. How often and how to do it are important aspects to consider to succeed in it.

What Is a Co-Washing for Natural Hair?

What is co-washing for natural hair? Co-washing refers to the act of skipping the use of shampoo while washing hair and instead using conditioner. This is mostly preferred by people with natural hair as it is gentler and does not strip off hair its natural oils. Co-washing with conditioners gets rid of the unwanted oils and dirt without it getting overly dry. This is farther enabled by the fact that conditioners contain cleansing agents in their formulation.

While co-washing, it is possible to wash your hair more frequently as conditioners are gentler than shampoos. One can make this part of their weekly natural hair care routine. It also leaves hair soft which can be a great benefit to hair that is persistently dry. In general, there are both pros and cons in co-washing. These are as discussed below

Advantages of co-washing

  • It is gentle on your hair
  • It has the ability to lift out product build up and dirt.
  • With conditioners, the hair’s charge is corrected
  • They also help in flattening the cuticles, increasing the hair’s strength and glow as well as aid in moisture retention.
  • With curly natural hair, the curls become more defined.
  • Since hair becomes soft, it becomes easy to comb and lessens its breakage.
  • It lessens amount of chemicals used in managing hair which is great for hair.


  • Since conditioners are not as strong as shampoos, they may not be in a position to get rid of heavy buildup. They may not also clarify the scalp.
  • There is a possibility for co-washing to cause more product build up than it removes since conditioners contain cationic surfactants.
  • It is not favorable for hair that is over processed or weak. Since co-washing softens hair, weak natural hair may end up thinning.

Before settling on co-washing, it is important to first weigh the pros and cons and decide if it is what you want. Done in the right way and if accompanied by other healthy hair maintenance practices, this is a hair care routine that is beneficial. It will leave it looking strong and healthy.

Is Co-washing Good for Natural Hair

Co-washing is good for natural hair as it helps in retention of natural oils. It also plays a great part in keeping hair soft. In addition to these, it also reduces the number of chemicals being used on hair since the shampoos are eliminated. We can therefore conclude that co-washing hair is good when the right products and procedures are used.

How Often To Co Wash Natural Hair or When to Co Wash?

How often one does a co-wash for natural hair is all a personal preference. One can decide to do this as their regular hair wash routine. This means that if they wash their hair daily, it will be a co-wash. For others this will be weekly. When to do it depends on need.  The only precaution to take is to ensure that in case you notice product build up, a shampoo or apple cider vinegar is used to clarify. This can be done once a month.

Co-Washing Natural Hair Everyday

For some people, hair washing is a daily routine. In case one is switching to co-washing, it is possible to co-wash hair that is natural daily. One though has to learn how to tell when there is product build up so they can use other products to get rid of it.

Best Co-wash for Natural Hair

While co-washing natural hair, one can settle for regular conditioners or co-washing conditioners. The best co-wash conditioners are those containing water soluble silicones as opposed to those that are not. These tend not to have a product build up. As I Am Coconut Co-wash is a great one.

Co Wash Products for Natural Hair

Co-wash products include conditioners. These are readily available in beauty shops at affordable prices. Some of the brands available in the market include:

  • Aussie Moist Conditioner
  • Tresemme Split Remedy

Best Co Wash Conditioner for Natural Hair

The best co-wash conditioners to use will contain silicones that are water soluble in nature. These are easy to wash off hair as opposed to those that are not which will require stronger cleansers like those found in shampoos to be washed off. With these, the issue on product build up that is mostly a disadvantage is solved.

To make out the best, check out the ingredients for silicones such as PEG Modified Dimethicone and Dimethicone Copolyl. These are water soluble. Some highly rated conditioners in the market include:

  • Giovanni Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil Ultra Sleek Conditioner
  • Shea Moistures Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner.

How to Co Wash Natural Black Hair or How Do You or Co Washing Tutorial

Co-washing natural black hair involves the process of washing hair without shampoo. One makes use of a conditioner and skips the shampoo. This is great in keeping natural black hair moisturized. It also ensures that the hair remains soft and shiny. How do you do it?

The process is no different from normal hair washing. However, to achieve maximum benefits from the procedure, one can watch some co-washing video tutorials to get a grasp of how it is done. You Tube videos can be a great resource for such tutorials.

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