Wash or Co-Wash?

You may have heard of the term co-washing and for those of you who don’t know know what it is, it’s basically a term used for washing hair with conditioner only and not using any shampoo at all, regardless of whether you wash your hair every day or once a week. The reason for doing this is because it leaves your hair feeling softer and smooth and therefore it becomes easier to manage. An added bonus is that it means that you save time as well as money.

Should Everyone Co Wash?

If you have curly hair or hair that’s wavy or even dry then you will see that there are some advantages to co-washing. Washing with conditioner only is not a new thing and the reason why it is done is because conditioners only contain a small amount of a detergent known as cationic surfactants. When these come into contact with water, they pick up on small amounts of dirt and this means that your hair is left clean, but not squeakily clean. Additionally, women’s conditioners contain ingredients which condition your hair. As your hair is not washed to a squeaky-clean level, some of the hair’s natural oils stay in the hair and therefore the conditioner now adds even more moisturising agents to the hair, hence silkier, sleek hair than ever before!

If you colour your hair then you are also a good candidate for co-washing as this method doesn’t strip colour pigments like women’s shampoo would. This means you can go longer between visiting your hairdressing and colouring your hair.

If you have fine hair which is straight then co washing is probably not suitable for you as it could weigh your hair down. The same applies for anyone who suffers with dermatitis or an oily scalp. In these instances, you are better to stick with the normal shampoo – conditioner method.

How to Select a Conditioner

If you have thick hair then you can probably use the normal conditioner that you already use. What you need to make sure is that you don’t use a conditioner than contains silicones such as dimethicone. These are added to conditioners to smooth out the hair but if you aren’t regularly shampooing your hair, you may find that they cause a build-up in your hair which then weighs it down.

If you don’t have fine hair then consider purchasing a product that’s been specifically designed for co-washing. These are often called cleansing conditioners and they tend to contain more cleaners than a normal conditioner but these cleansers tend to contain natural ingredients which gently cleanse and remove any dirt i.e. Aloe Vera

How to Co-Wash- A Step by Step Guide:

If you have decided that you want to try co-washing your hair then you have to adjust the way that you rinse and condition your hair.

  • Wet your hair thoroughly as this helps to distribute the conditioner through the hair as well as loosen any dirt and therefore it becomes easier to rinse.
  • Take a generous amount of conditioner, it may be that you need the size of a golf ball as remember you are not just conditioning your hair, the conditioner will also gently cleanse your hair too.
  • Begin by massaging this conditioner into the scalp. Next you need to distribute the conditioner through the hair, up to the ends of the hair. The reason why you need to do this is so that any residue that has been left from styling products gets broken down.
  • Leave the conditioner in your hair for 3-5 minutes. If you have hair that’s especially dry or damaged, then leave it longer.
  • Rinse your hair and style as you normally would.
  • Every 2-4 weeks you may want to use a clarifying shampoo. You may need to keep an eye out on your hair to see how often you need to clarify it. On average once or twice a month will help to prevent your hair looking dull but won’t dry it out. If you find that your hair does feel weighed down, then you may need to alternate between shampooing and co-washing.

The Pros and Cons of Co-Washing


  • Natural oils are used to condition and cleans the scalp.
  • It helps when styling the hair as when hair is squeaky clean, it doesn’t always style as well.


  • The hair may feel heavy and look duller.
  • You may find that your hair doesn’t smell as fresh and clean as when you use shampoo it and you may be left with a musky smell to the hair.
  • Your hair follicle growth can be restricted as its not able to breathe as well as normal. If you are trying to grow your hair then this method may not suit you at this time.

Whatever solution you pick to wash your hair both Zac Von Sleek shampoo and conditioner are great solutions depending on your hair type.

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