13 Best Cleansing Conditioners For Co-Washing Natural Hair – 2023

Switch to these gentle co-washes to keep your kinky hair oil- and dirt-free.

By Oyendrila KanjilalOyendrila Kanjilal, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Shampooing your hair every day is not the only solution if your scalp becomes oily and uncomfortable too frequently. You need the best co-wash for natural hair to keep your scalp squeaky clean. Co-washing, also known as conditioner-only washing, involves washing your hair using only a conditioner. Co-washing has become popular, especially with those who have curly hair. If you are someone with type 4 hair, you probably know this method already.

Curly hair might turn dry and brittle too frequently, so co-washing will be the best remedy. It helps tame frizzy hair and retain moisture while gentle on textured hair. Here, we have listed the best co-wash conditioners that you can try if you want to moisturize your hair without making it greasy. Scroll down!

Top Picks
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Best For High Porosity Hair:Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Hair ConditionerPrice on Amazon
Best For Detangling:Renpure Coconut Creme Cowash – Best Hydrating Co-Wash For Natural HairPrice on Amazon
Best For Frizz Control:Aunt Jackies Flaxseed Recipes Purify Me – Best Cleansing Conditioner For All Hair TypesPrice on Amazon
Best For Color-Treated Hair:As I Am Coconut CowashPrice on Amazon
Best For Deep Moisturization:Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Cleansing ConditionerPrice on Amazon
Best For Low Porosity Hair:EDEN BodyWorks Natural Cleansing Cowash – Best Co-Wash For 4C HairPrice on Amazon
Best Paraben-Free Formula:Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-WashPrice on Amazon
Best For Gentle Cleanse:Creme of Nature Cleansing Conditioner For Natural HairPrice on Amazon
Best Sulfate-Free Formula:Alikay Naturals Cowash Me CleaPrice on Amazon
Best For Scalp Nourishment:Paula Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing CowashPrice on Amazon

13 Best Co-Washes For Natural Hair – 2023

1. Best For High Porosity Hair:Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Hair Conditioner

4
Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Hair Conditioner - 12 oz Image: Curl Junkie

This is a concentrated and creamy cleansing conditioner that is extremely lightweight. It gently cleanses your hair and scalp and removes dirt, impurities, oil, waxes, silicones, and mineral deposits left on your scalp by styling products and hard water. It preps your hair without over-drying it. This product is good for even color-treated hair.

Pros

  • Contains 97% natural and naturally derived ingredients
  • Doesn’t weigh the hair down
  • Works well on high porosity hair

Cons

  • May not work for all hair types/textures.
  • The fragrance may be overpowering for some users.
Price at the time of publication: $29.99

2. Best For Detangling:Renpure Coconut Creme Cowash – Best Hydrating Co-Wash For Natural Hair

4.3
RENPURE Creme Cowash Cleansing Conditioner, Coconut, 16 Fl Oz Coconut 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Renpure

This product contains coconut oil that lubricates your hair and protects it from damage. The co-washing conditioner gently removes all impurities. The formula is infused with keratin, amino acids, and protein that help repair any damage, restore strength, and make your hair smooth and shiny. It also contains shea butter that conditions the damaged areas and provides protective lipids to your hair. It does not contain parabens, sulfates, or harsh salts.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Dye-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No sodium chloride
  • No harsh salts
  • Makes hair soft and bouncy
  • Prevents tangles
  • Keeps hair super soft

Cons

  • The pump might malfunction.

Price at the time of publication: $9.0
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3. Best For Frizz Control:Aunt Jackies Flaxseed Recipes Purify Me – Best Cleansing Conditioner For All Hair Types

4.3
Aunt Jackie's Flaxseed Recipes Purify Me Frizz-Fighting Moisturizing Co-Wash Hair Cleanser for Chronically Dry Hair and Protective Styling, 12 oz Image: Aunt Jackie's

This is an ultra-rich, triple-action conditioner that helps replenish moisture and remove dust, build-up, and impurities from your hair. It contains flaxseed, which is a source of omega fatty acids. It helps prevent hair thinning and shedding. This cleansing conditioner also contains avocado and coconut oils that help improve overall hair health. It is gentle enough to be used daily and is suitable for all types and textures of hair. Before buying, have a look at this video for more details.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Also suits type 4 hair
  • Non-sticky
  • Prevents frizz

Cons

  • Thick
Price at the time of publication: $8.99

4. Best For Color-Treated Hair:As I Am Coconut Cowash

4.4
peter namrongput As I Am Coconut Cowash, 16 Ounce (Pack of 1) Image: Peter Namrongput

This is a lightweight and no-suds conditioning cream. It gently removes all dirt, build-up, and residue from your hair and scalp and helps maintain your curls/coils. It is formulated with a blend of natural ingredients that work at the follicular level to keep your hair healthy and promote hair growth. It keeps the hair moisturized and maintains the moisture until your next wash. Check out this video to know more about this product.

Pros

  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Gentle for everyday use
  • Spreads easily
  • Detangles the hair
  • Deep conditioning
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • The container packaging causes product wastage.
Price at the time of publication: $135.4

5. Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Cleansing Conditioner

4.4
Curly Hair Products by Carol's Daughter, Hair Milk Sulfate Free Cleansing Conditioner For Curls, Coils and Waves, with Agave and Shea Butter, Sulfate Free Co Wash, 12 Fl Oz (Packaging May Vary) Image: Carol's Daughter

This cleansing conditioner is meant for curls, coils, kinks, and waves. It is a no lather cleansing conditioner that washes away all impurities and deeply moisturizes your hair. It detangles your hair and defines your curls, so it is easy for you to run your fingers through them. It is made with agave nectar that moisturizes and conditions hair from root to tip and contains pro-vitamin B5 and biotin that strengthen your hair.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • No artificial color
  • Prevents frizz

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $11.98

6. Best For Low Porosity Hair:EDEN BodyWorks Natural Cleansing Cowash – Best Co-Wash For 4C Hair

4.4
EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing Cowash | 16 oz | Remove Build Up, Cleanse, Control Frizz & Soften Hair - Packaging May Vary Coconut Shea 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Eden Bodyworks

If you are looking for a suds-free co-wash for natural hair, you can try this product. It is a silky conditioning cream that helps remove residue from your hair and scalp and keep it fresh in between regular washes. This cleansing conditioner for curly hair contains coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera extracts, and avocado oil that work together to keep your hair hydrated and lock in moisture to prevent dryness.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • No artificial dyes
  • Cruelty-free
  • Suitable for transitioning hair
  • Suits 4C low-porosity hair
  • Detangles hair easily
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • Expensive
Price at the time of publication: $8.47

7. Best Paraben-Free Formula:Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash

4
Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash (16 0Z.) 16 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Briogeo

This cleansing conditioner is for textured, dry, thick, and/or color or chemical treated hair. This co-wash is a 4-in-1 formula that cleanses and conditions your hair effectively. It helps detangle the hair, making it easy to comb, and deeply nourishes it. This ultra-hydrating cleanser contains shea butter, avocado oil, and quinoa extracts and helps remove impurities without stripping the natural oils. It also contains aloe vera extracts that improve manageability and make your hair healthy. This conditioner does not contain any harmful chemicals and preservatives.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • DEA-free
  • No artificial dyes
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • Less quantity for the price.
Price at the time of publication: $59.99

8. Best For Gentle Cleanse:Creme of Nature Cleansing Conditioner For Natural Hair

4.4
Argon Oil Hair Conditioner by Creme of Nature, Creamy Hydration Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, 12 Fl Oz Image: Creme Of Nature

This is a lightweight co-washing conditioner for natural hair. It has a color-safe formula that is infused with argan oil. It gently cleanses your hair and removes dirt and product residue from your scalp and hair. The argan oil hydrates your natural hair and keeps it frizz-free and defines your curls, coils, kinks, and waves. This product does not contain any parabens and sulfates (both SLS and SLES).

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Some users may not like the fragrance.
Price at the time of publication: $7.52

9. Best Sulfate-Free Formula:Alikay Naturals Cowash Me Cleansing Conditioner – Best Clean Co-Wash For Natural Hair

4.1
Alikay Naturals Cowash Me Clnsng Cond, 8 Ounce Image: Alikay Naturals

The co-wash cleansing conditioner has a sulfate-free formula and is gentle enough for daily use. It does not strip the natural oils of your hair. The formula is fortified with jojoba oil and peppermint oil that hydrate the hair, protect it, and make it soft while ensuring your scalp feels clean and refreshed. It has a pleasant fresh peach scent, so you can be sure that your hair will keep smelling good.

Pros

  • Contains botanical extracts
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Contains silk amino proteins
  • Contains food-grade preservative
  • No harmful chemicals

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $14.97

10. Best For Scalp Nourishment:Paula Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash

4.4
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash 2.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Paul Mitchell

This is a creamy and no-lather cleansing conditioner. It gently cleanses the scalp and keeps it nourished. It makes dry, coarse, and natural hair more manageable. This product helps replenish the hair moisture with its blend of pequi, monoi, and jojoba oils. It controls frizz, detangles the hair, and adds shine to it. Moreover, it has an extremely soothing lavender-mint fragrance that invigorates your senses and helps relax your mind and spirit.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • Safe for color-treated hair

Cons

  • Expensive
Price at the time of publication: $55.5

11. Best Lightweight Formula:Taliah Waajid Shea-Coco 2-in-1 Conditioning Co-Wash

This co-wash conditioner is perfect for 3C and 4C hair types. It gently cleanses and detangles your hair without making it excessively dry. It is so gentle that you can also use it as a leave-in conditioner after you have shampooed your hair. It is enriched with nourishing oils, like sesame and coconut oils, and shea butter that help eliminate frizz and make your hair soft to touch.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Lightweight

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $12.38

12. Best For Scalp Buildup:Tigi Bed Head Calma Sutra Cleansing Conditioner

This no-foam co-washing conditioner is suitable for those with curly and wavy hair. This product contains babassu and Brazil nut oils that help nourish your hair and reduce frizz. It cleanses and removes all residue build-up from your scalp thoroughly, leaving it refreshed. It cleans your hair without causing any dryness and helps detangle your curls/waves so that you always have a good hair day.

Pros

  • Sulfate-free
  • Makes hair smooth
  • Minimizes frizz and dryness
  • Paraben-free

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $45.09

13. Best Dye-Free Formula:Aussie Miracle Curls Co-Wash

4.9

This product is enriched with coconut and Australian jojoba oil. If your hair is curly and kinky, this product is the best choice for the in-between days before you wash your hair. It nourishes your hair from root to tip and cleanses your scalp and hair thoroughly to keep you feeling refreshed even when you do not shampoo your hair. It keeps your hair smooth and bouncy and is extremely gentle on your kinks and coils.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Dye-free
  • Doesn’t weigh down hair
  • Prevents frizz
  • Makes hair smooth and soft

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $39.98

Whatever your hair type, you must know how to choose the best co-wash product for the perfect result. Below are some guidelines for you to follow while buying the best cleansing conditioners for co-washing your tresses.

Things To Consider While Buying The Best Cleansing Conditioner For Co-Washing Natural Hair

  • Hair Porosity

Porosity of the hair refers to how much water your hair can repel or absorb. If you have low porosity hair, you require a lightweight cleansing conditioner. A heavy product will weigh the hair down with build up. High porosity hair will require a conditioner enriched with proteins, natural oils and butter that will keep them nourished.

  • Ingredients

Whether you have dry or normal hair, you need a rich conditioning formula infused with moisturizers like shea butter and natural oils like olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil. If your hair is oily, look for more lightweight oils like almond and argan oil which will not weigh the hair down.

Pick a natural product which is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and devoid of parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, and petroleum. These chemical ingredients are bad for hair health.

  • Detangler

If you have type 4 hair, you know how tangled your hair can get! Pick a detangling condition with lubricating ingredients like coconut oil that free-up your curls, while amino acids, keratin, and protein restore strength in the brittle strands.

  • Other Benefits

Natural hair is prone to frizz and flyaways. Pick a co-wash that moisturizes the hair and keeps it smooth and in control. Formulas with coconut and avocado oil condition the hair and balance the oil and moisture level to reduce frizz.

If you suffer from hair loss and split ends, look for flaxseed in the formula. Flaxseed is rich in omega fatty acids which prevents hair shedding and thinning. Shea butter offers lipids that condition the damaged areas.

Co-washing your hair can be beneficial in the long run if you use the right product and do it the right way. Here are a few tips to follow to co-wash curly and coily hair.

How To Co-Wash Your Curls: Best Practices

When you are not using shampoo for cleaning your hair, you need to adjust your methods of rinsing and cleaning. Here is how you can properly co-wash your hair:

  1. Wet Your Hair Properly: Soak each strand of your hair to the point that water drips from each of them. Water helps to loosen the dirt and debris from your hair and makes it easy to clean. It also helps spread the product evenly.
  1. Take A Good Amount Of The Product: You will need a dollop of the cleansing conditioner to coat each strand of your hair from root to tip. If your hair is dense, you may need more of the conditioner, but make sure it is enough to cover your hair.
  1. Massage The Conditioner Thoroughly: Massage it well on the scalp and your hair. This helps break down oil and dirt. Leave it for 3-5 minutes and let your hair soak it. After that, wash your hair with water and rinse as usual.
  1. Use A Clarifying Shampoo Once In Two Weeks: Product build-up is inevitable, and you need to shampoo once in a while to avoid it. Usually, shampooing once or twice in a month is fine. If you feel your hair is weighed down, you can shampoo and co-wash alternatively.

Remember, if you are co-washing for the first time, your hair and your scalp need time to adjust to this new washing routine. You might experience greasiness and no difference in the beginning. However, after a month of following this new routine, you may start noticing results.

If you want to keep your curls well-defined and bouncy, you need to ditch your drying shampoos and start co-washing. This cleansing technique helps you to keep your hair free of frizz and locks in its natural moisture. The products mentioned in this article are made of naturally derived ingredients and are mostly free of chemicals. Their gentle, non-sticky formulas leave your hair feeling soft and bouncy with every wash. However, some of these best co-washes and cleansing conditioners may have an overwhelming fragrance and it is better to avoid such formulas.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Oyendrila Kanjilal, is a haircare enthusiast. She is driven by her keen interest to find and review the best of haircare products. She has prepared this list of the best co-wash conditioners after thoroughly checking numerous online reviews and closely examing product specifications of multiple products from different brands. The products shortlisted here help tame frizzy hair, retain moisture, and leave natural hair non-greasy and manageable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I co-wash with any conditioner?

AnsYes, you can. However, a cleansing conditioner has a better formula and is specially meant for co-washing. You will get better results with cleansing conditioners.wer

Will co-washing make the hair greasy?

It depends on your hair type. If you have curly hair and your scalp is not used to co-washing, it might become greasy initially. However, with time, your scalp will adjust to it and produce less oil.

How often should I co-wash?

Whenever you normally shampoo your hair, instead of shampooing, just co-wash it.

When to use co-wash?

Use a co-wash if you have dry, coarse, and damaged hair. It cleanses the dirt from your hair and moisturizes it from the roots. Skip using two different hair cleansing products and opt for a co-wash and save your time.

Does co-washing cause hair loss?

No. Co-washing does not cause hair loss. However, if you do not rinse the hair properly after using a co-wash, the accumulated product may dry out the strands and cause hair loss.

Is co-washing better than shampoo?

Co-washing cleanses and moisturizes the scalp, while shampoo only removes the dirt. Therefore, co-washing is better than shampooing.

Is co-washing good for 4c hair?

Yes. 4c hair gets dry and brittle as it traps more product, dirt, and oil inside the locks. Therefore, co-washing is highly effective in cleansing product buildup, smoothening rough curls, and adding moisture.

Is co-washing good for low porosity hair?

No. Low-porous hair has closed pores. Therefore, co-washing causes more product buildup and turns the hair dry and brittle. Instead, wash your low-porous hair with a clarifying shampoo to open the flat pores, then use a deep conditioner.

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