How to Co-Wash

I have yet to try the co-wash but according to the interwebs, too much shampooing can be bad for the hair, so here’s a brief tutorial on the alternative that many naturalistas have adopted- the co-wash.

The co-wash, also know as the no-poo wash, is where instead of using shampoo, a conditioner is used to cleans the hair. According to, it is good and benefitial to co-wash because, “Cleansing the hair with conditioner can loosen dirt, dead skin and any other residue while not stripping oil and other nutrients from hair.” Many naturals co-wash regularly and then shampoo more sporadically. Some shampoo every week or every couple of weeks while co-washing more regularly.

Anyway, here’s how to co-wash your hair properly,

1. Wet hair with warm water

2. Separate hair into four sections and saturate each section with conditioner.

3. Using your fingertips massage the conditioner into your scalp and work it from root to tip. Focus on covering the ends of your hair.

4. Let conditioner sit for a few minutes.

5. Rinse thoroughly.

6. Apply leave-in conditioner and style as usual.


Finding your own personal routine can take time, but after a few consistent no-poo washes (another term for a co-wash meaning no shampoo), you’ll feel a difference in the softness and strength of your hair.

Do you co-wash? Let us know how it has worked for you!


3 responses to “How to Co-Wash

  1. "Too much shampooing?" I flushed shampoos months ago. Permanently.I actually just use any cheap 'frequent use' conditioner in the same way that I used to use shampoo. Bulk sizes are good. The reason I don't buy expensive conditioners is because washing with a conditioner only, means you use a lot more than you would shampoo…but it's soooo worth it!Shampoo hasn't been anywhere near my hair for several months now, and it doesn't miss it. Conditioners tend to have cleansing agents in them anyway, so shampooing is overkill, imo.After 'washing' with conditioner, and while my hair is still soaking wet, I rub TEENSY WEENSY amounts of shea butter between the tips of my fingers, and rub it through the ends of my hair (what used to be the driest part of my hair), then I sort of 'pluck' it through the lengths of my hair with my fingertips, to about half way up the hair shaft (my hair is below my waist in length), but never anywhere near the scalp. Shea butter is naturally absorbed and travels up the shaft as your wet hair dries, which is why you don't want to apply it close to your scalp, or it will end up greasy.Then I use a wide tooth comb, which now glides through my wet hair, and then I leave it to dry naturally. Provided you haven't applied too much shea butter, it will be completely absorbed by your hair.Mine has never been more silky soft, bouncy, shiny or healthy looking in my entire life. It feels like a child's hair in softness, thickness and strength – something I never thought I'd experience ever again.I've also stopped needing to use 'cones' (silicons, for those who aren't aware of the term) in my hair since starting this routine, because I found it became naturally relaxed instead of having a 'screaming-frizz-fit', as it always did back when I used shampoos of any kind (even 'baby' shampoos).This is the simplest, most 'fuss-free' hair routine I think I've ever used, and the results still impress me. My hair is as silky soft and bouncy after a night of being squashed on a pillow, as it is the day I co-wash it.I use raw, unrefined shea butter, which can be purchased from soap-making suppliers, health food stores or online suppliers.


  2. Pingback: Dear ZedHair, Is wearing a wig bad for my hair? | ZedHair·

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