Co-washing is a great way to retain moisture and strengthen natural hair texture, not to mention the amount of time it saves on wash day. But like most things, there are pros and cons to it. For instance, sticking to a co-wash only hair regimen can be detrimental to afro hair and scalps in the long run, say the experts at London-based black-owned hair care brand Afrocenchix.
“The #CurlyGirlMethod is sweeping the internet and convincing people with kinks and coils to avoid shampoo like the plague. But in truth, washing your afro hair is just as important as moisturising and protecting it,” the experts at Afrocenchix explain, suggesting that hair should be washed with shampoo at least once every ten days to ensure both your strands and scalp are healthy.
However, that is not to say co-washing isn’t effective. In fact, it is a great alternative for days where you’re short on time and need a good wash and go product to make styling easier and maintain moisture. Especially as there are plenty of co-wash products that cleanse the hair whilst hydrating. But with so many afro hair products on the market right now, it can be hard to find the right one for you.
To help make the process easier, here are eight wash and go co-washes to try between shampoo days.
AS I AM Naturally, Classic Collection, Coconut Cowash
Not to any surprise, this sulfate-free cleanser and conditioner has over a thousand tried-and-tested five star reviews on Amazon. Designed to use on an intermittent basis with Cleansing Pudding+Sulfate-free Moisturizing Cleanser, the co wash does a great job of removing product buildup while restoring moisture and de-tangling hair. It is also very gentle on the hair and easy to rinse out.
Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner
This deeply nourishing co wash quickly de-tangles curls, kinks, coils or waves thanks to the infused Agave Nectar that moisturises from root to tip. It also contains pro-vitamin B5 and Biotin to strengthen the hair and is both colour-safe and sulfate-free. It works wonders for both hydrating and fuss-free styling as it leaves the hair soft and shiny. It also gently cleans without stripping moisture out of your hair.
Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Comp Conditioning Co Wash
One of the best on the market, Cantu’s conditioning co wash is a gentle cleanser that removes impurities without leaving build up as it is free from sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, and mineral oils. Instead, it leaves your hair soft and moisturised thanks to its formula which is made up of 15 natural butters and oils blended together, including shea butter, avocado oil, castor seed oil and coconut oil to name a few.
KeraCare CurlEssence Moisturizing Co Wash
Made with Jamaican black castor oil and coconut oil, this co wash by KeraCare CurlEssence cleanses the hair whilst moisturising and has been praised for strengthening strands as well as promoting a healthy scalp and protecting against breakage, all whilst leaving your hair soft and silky.
Bb.Curl Custom Conditioner
This award-winning cleansing conditioner can be washed out, left in or used for co washing. Designed for curly hair, it is packed with Brazilian oils that will make your locks look and feel soft and bouncy. The formula also consists of polymer which helps to de-frizz, smooth and de-tangle the hair.
Pantene Gold Series Hydrating Co-Wash
Pantene’s Gold Series was created especially for afro and curly hair in need of intense moisture and the collection’s deep hydrating co wash helps achieve just that. The product cleans the hair whilst protecting the scalp’s natural oils and moisturising each strand. It has been designed to strengthen natural hair and the formula is free from sulfates and parabens. Instead, it is rich in argan oil and leaves the hair soft and super easy to de-tangle. It is so popular that it is almost sold out everywhere, which is only ever a good sign.
Shea Moisture Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Co Wash
Targeting moisture-resistant curls and coils prone to breakage, this co wash by Shea Moisture formulated with mongongo and hemp seed oils is a low lather gentle cleanser that leaves your hair nourished and frizz-free. Its natural ingredients seal moisture in the hair cuticles and is great for de-tangling even the most over-processed hair. Plus, the baobab protein in the formula means this co wash is packed with vitamin A, C, D, E and F to fortify hair.
Black-owned beauty brand Holy Curls is known for its 100 percent vegan and sulphate free products. This specific one can be used either as a regular conditioner, a leave-in treatment or a co wash. For the latter, it works wonders as it cleanses the hair thanks to the yucca extracts in the formula and locks in moisture even after being rinsed out as it is full of Cupuacu butter, an Amazonian superfruit that acts as a powerful natural moisturiser. It also gives the hair a healthy shine and a soft tangle-free texture.
There’s a reason why the AS I AM Naturally Classic Collection Coconut co-wash has received so many rave reviews and five-star ratings on Amazon, it works wonders. The cleansing and conditioning hybrid leaves your hair feeling light, healthy and incredibly hydrated. If you’ve got curls, then expect them to be extra bouncy and defined. Another standout is Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner - great for de-tangling and locking moisture in.