Go into the product stash off any woman with natural hair, and you're likely to find a co-wash (short for conditioner wash). While many women with curls and coils can't live without the mid-week cleansing savior, there are lots of others that still shy away from using them, mainly because there is still a lot of confusion surrounding co-washes and cleansing conditioners. The primary question: Will it really clean my hair?
To set the record straight, co-wash should not and will not replace your regular shampoo. Yes, you still have to routinely wash your hair folks. A co-wash is simply a moisturizing cleanser that you can use in between clarifying shampoos to give your hair relief from built-up residue without completely stripping it with the harsh detergents that are usually found in heavy-duty shampoos.
Hairstylist Michael Dueñas previously explained to Refinery29, “People with coarse, curly hair should co-wash because it's important to leave as much moisture in your hair as possible in order to have perfect, frizz-free curls.” He continued, "Coarse hair tends to be on the drier side, and co-washing is a simple solution."
Just in case you aren’t sure where to start with selecting the best co-washes, we've pulled together a few picks to look for on your next beauty supply shopping run.