15 Best Co-Washes For Natural African Hair To Try In 2023

Hydrate hair without stripping natural oils with effective and affordable products.

By Shiboli ChakrabortiShiboli Chakraborti, 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.

Unlike the traditional cycle of shampooing and conditioning, co-washing is a conditioner-only washing. Instead of shampooing, it follows the concept of using a cleansing conditioner to provide moisture to the scalp and hair and clean them. In this article, we have curated the 15 best co-washes for natural hair that you should consider purchasing. It retains the natural oil and gently hydrates your hair. It also rejuvenates the hair, allows it to recover from any hair dryness or damage, and gives you soft, smooth, and clean hair. So, go ahead and check the list!

Top Picks
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Best Overall:Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner
Price on Amazon
Best For Coily Hair:Head & Shoulders Moisturizing Co-Wash
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Best For Shiny Hair:Renpure Professional Coconut Creme Co-Wash
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Best Fast-Rinsing Conditioner:Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner
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Best For Color-Treated Hair:As I Am Coconut Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
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Best Hydrating Formula:Flawless By Gabrielle Union Hydrating Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
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Best Low-Lather Formula:Pantene Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Wash
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Best Tangle-Free Option:SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Moisture Co-Wash
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Best Frizzy Curls:Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash
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Best For Kinky Curls:Ouidad Curl Immersion Low-Lather Coconut Conditioner
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Benefits Of Using Co-Wash For African Hair

Here’s how co-washing can benefit your Afro hair:

  • Reduces frizz
  • Smoothes curls
  • Enhances curl structure
  • Softens hair
  • Makes curls manageable and tamable
  • Leaves the hair fresh
  • Keeps the hair hydrated
  • Keeps the hair clean

Let’s now check out the top 15 co-washes for kinky and coily hair.

15 Best Co-Washes For Natural African Hair

1. Best Overall:Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner

4.2
Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner Hair Cleanser: Co-Wash Cleansing & Conditioning For Curly and Color-Treated Hair, Adds Moisture, Color-Protectant, Reduces Frizz 13.5 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Unwash

The Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner has a unique non-lather formula that attracts and removes dirt and surface buildup. It does not strip any natural oils from the hair and makes it frizz-free and full of bounce. The nourishing oils and organic extracts, like evening primrose oil and hydrolyzed keratin, keep your hair soft. The emulsion method effectively cleans your hair and even helps it dry faster. It also moisturizes while it cleanses, leaving your locks smooth, silky, and easy to manage. This video will help you make an informed decision about your purchase.

Pros

  • Reduces frizz
  • Strengthens hair
  • Moisturizes hair
  • Softens hair
  • Adds shine
  • Safe for color-treated hair

Cons

  • May make the hair greasy.
  • May irritate the scalp.
Price at the time of publication: $49.0

2. Best For Coily Hair:Head & Shoulders Moisturizing Co-Wash

4.4
Head and Shoulders Moisturizing CoWash, Anti Dandruff Treatment and Scalp Care, Royal Oils Collection with Coconut Oil, for Natural and Curly Hair, 15.2 fl oz Co-Wash Image: Head & Shoulders

The Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Moisturizing Co-wash balances and restores scalp health with regular use. It is a rich, cleansing conditioner that gently cleanses hair and relieves the scalp from dryness and itch. It also leaves the hair soft and moisturized. This shampoo is expertly designed to provide scalp relief for kinky and coily hair. The low-lather coconut oil formula moisturizes your hair and helps refresh your scalp and hair in between washes.

Pros

  • Moisturizes hair
  • Reduces frizz
  • Softens hair
  • Enhances curls
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Luxurious coconut scent

Cons

  • Does not come with a pump.
  • Might weigh the hair down.
  • Might not suit all hair types.
Price at the time of publication: $16.93

3. Best For Shiny Hair:Renpure Professional Coconut Creme Co-Wash

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

The Renpure Professional Coconut Creme Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner helps restore hair strength. It makes curly hair healthy, smooth, and shiny. The coconut oil protects the hair by lubricating each hair strand, while the coconut cleansers remove impurities like dirt, grime, and buildup. The hydrating keratin, amino acids, and protein repair and rejuvenate damaged hair. This co-wash doesn’t contain any sodium chloride, sulfates, dyes, harsh salts, parabens and gluten. Watch this video to get a detailed review of the product.

Pros

  • Reduces frizz
  • Strengthens hair
  • Moisturizes hair
  • Adds shine
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Sodium chloride-free

Cons

  • Thin consistency
  • Might make hair rough.
  • Might cause allergic reactions like burning.
Price at the time of publication: $9.0

4. Best Fast-Rinsing Conditioner:Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner

3.9
BIOLAGE Cleansing Conditioner For Curly Hair 16.9 Fl Oz Image: Biolage

The Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner is made for curly hair. It is a low-lathering and fast-rinsing conditioner. This soap-free conditioner is formulated with pomegranate that preserves the curls’ natural bounce. It gently cleanses and defines your curls without stripping your hair of its natural oils.

Pros

  • Refreshes hair
  • Hydrates hair
  • Reduces frizz
  • Defines curls
  • Makes the hair soft and smooth

Cons

  • Might make the hair stiff.
  • Might make the hair greasy and scrunchy.

5. Best For Color-Treated Hair:As I Am Coconut Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner

4.5
As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner - 16 ounce - Gentle Daily Cleanser for Hair and Scalp - Removes Residue - Adds and Preserves Moisture - Detangles and Rinses Easily Image: As I Am

The As I Am Coconut Co-Wash contains a special blend of natural ingredients that stimulate healthy hair growth from the follicular level. This cleansing conditioner removes impurities like dirt and product residue from the hair and scalp. It not only preserves moisture but also adds more moisture to keep your hair hydrated until the next cleanse. This conditioner spreads easily through the hair and can be rinsed off easily. It  is safe for color-treated hair and gentle enough for daily use. Here’s a video to help you know more about this product.

Pros

  • Detangles hair
  • Hydrates hair
  • Adds shine
  • Softens curls
  • Reduces frizz
  • Safe for color-treated hair

Cons

  • Unhygienic jar packaging
  • Makes hair drier.
  • May cause allergic reactions.
Price at the time of publication: $7.97

6. Best Hydrating Formula:Flawless By Gabrielle Union Hydrating Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner

The Flawless By Gabrielle Union Hydrating Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner is enriched with Coconut oil, Castor Seed Oil, Passionfruit Seed Oil, Rice Oil Complex, Shea Butter, and Marshmallow Extract. It detangles hair, removes dirt and build-up, leaving hair hydrated and well-conditioned. It works great for curly, coily, textured hair types. It is also free from sulfates, parabens, and silicones.

Pros

  • Hydrates hair
  • Softens hair
  • Makes hair manageable
  • Detangles hair
  • Conditions hair
  • Removes product buildup
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Great for coily and curly hair types

Cons

  • Might make hair feel sticky
Price at the time of publication: $9.97

7. Best Low-Lather Formula:Pantene Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Wash

4.5
Gold Series from Pantene Sulfate-Free Deep Hydrating Co-Wash with Argan Oil for Curly, Coily Hair, 15.2 fl oz (Packaging May Vary) Image: Pantene

This ultra-rich cleansing conditioner provides your hair with a moisturized feel, softness, and manageability. The argan oil formula protects your hair’s natural oils and hydrates it deeply. The low-lather formula is not only gentle on new hair growth but also strengthens, conditions, and moisturizes fragile ends. This co-wash is specifically designed to nourish and strengthen the hair and make it manageable.

Pros

  • Softens hair
  • Detangles hair
  • Restores strength against damage
  • Reduces frizz
  • Conditions hair
  • Cleanses hair
  • Hydrates hair

Cons

  • May weigh the hair down.
Price at the time of publication: $5.99

8. Best Tangle-Free Option:SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Moisture Co-Wash

The SheaMoisture Co-Wash is made from natural and hand-picked ingredients that gently cleanse the hair while deeply nourishing and hydrating it. The raw shea butter nourishes your hair and locks in essential oils and moisturizes your curls. The coconut oil strengthens curls and protects them from breakage. The neem oil imparts a natural shine and keeps curls smooth and frizz-free. This gentle co-wash smoothes your curls and keeps your hair tangle-free.

Pros

  • Refreshed hair
  • Hydrated hair
  • Reduced frizz
  • Curls defined
  • Cleanses hair
  • Softens hair
  • Smoothes hair

Cons

  • Thin consistency
  • May leave the hair greasy and limp.
Price at the time of publication: $10.49

9. Best Frizzy Curls:Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash

4.4
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash 16.9 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: Paul Mitchell

The Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Co-Wash is a creamy, no-lather rinse. It contains lavender, mint, and tea tree that calm and cleanse the scalp and nourish dry, coarse hair, and natural curls, making them manageable. The monoi, pequi, and jojoba oils help replenish moisture, fight frizz, and add shine. This co-wash helps detangle your hair while locking in natural oils.

Pros

  • Reduces frizz
  • Strengthens hair
  • Moisturizes hair
  • Softens hair
  • Adds shine
  • Cleanses hair

Cons

  • Thick consistency
Price at the time of publication: $55.5

10. Best For Kinky Curls:Ouidad Curl Immersion Low-Lather Coconut Cleansing Conditioner

The Ouidad Curl Immersion Cleansing Conditioner is a rich, low-foaming cleanser that nourishes curls without stripping away moisture or natural oils. This co-washing conditioner is made specifically for kinky curls. It detangles, cleanses, and conditions curls. It removes impurities that dull hair (like buildup) and cleanses the hair and scalp without drying them. It intensely moisturizes the hair and scalp to help strengthen curls.

Pros

  • Deeply moisturizes hair
  • Reduces frizz
  • Enhances curls
  • Reduces frizz
  • Helps in styling
  • Sulfate-free

Cons

  • Might cause hair shedding in sensitive scalps.
Price at the time of publication: $36.0

11. Best For Hair Growth:EDEN BodyWorks Natural Cleansing Cowash

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

The EDEN BodyWorks Natural Cleansing Co-Wash retains the hair’s natural moisture and prevents it from drying due to styling tools. It breaks down any residue and cleans the scalp and hair thoroughly, maintaining a healthy environment for hair growth. It contains coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, and avocado oil, which seep into the hair and hydrate it from within. The ingredients also seal the moisture in, keeping the hair from drying out. It helps detangle hair and makes it healthier and softer.

Pros

  • Refreshes hair
  • Hydrates hair
  • Reduces frizz and split ends
  • Defines curls
  • Makes the hair soft and smooth
  • Imparts shine

Cons

  • Might not suit sensitive skin.
Price at the time of publication: $8.47

12. Best Anti-Dandruff Solution:LuxeOrganix CoWash Cleansing Conditioner

4.2
Cleansing Conditioner Cowash: Sulfate-Free and Keratin Safe, Won?t Strip Hair or Cause Dryness. Soothing and Refreshing Mint, Safe for Natural, Curly, Colored, Dry or Damaged Hair. - LuxeOrganix (USA) Image: Luxeorganix

This co-wash leaves the hair feeling soft, smooth, and manageable. It provides relief from dandruff and helps the scalp recover and heal. It washes the scalp and hair clean, removing all residue and leaves hair feeling fresh, soft, and frizz-free. This conditioner is suitable for hair that has undergone chemical or keratin hair treatments or color-treated.

Pros

  • Reduces frizz
  • Strengthens hair
  • Moisturizes hair
  • Adds shine
  • Detangles kinky curls
  • Maintains pH balance

Cons

  • May make the hair greasy.
  • Might cause allergic reactions.
Price at the time of publication: $32.47

13. Best For Hair Styling:Cantu Shea Butter Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Co-Wash

4.2
Cantu Refresh Dry Co-wash with Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree Oil, 5 Ounce Image: Cantu

The Cantu Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Co-Wash is part dry shampoo and part conditioner. It contains apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and shea butter, which provide deep cleansing and nourishment. It absorbs any excess oil and adds natural shine without leaving behind any white powder residue.

Pros

  • Moisturizes hair
  • Reduces frizz
  • Softens hair
  • Enhances curls
  • Helps in styling

Cons

  • Does not work on fine oily hair.

14. Best Lightweight Formula:Creme Of Nature Creamy Hydration Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner

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

The Creme Of Nature Creamy Hydration Co-Wash contains a special butter blend of argan oil to revitalize curls. It helps cleanse the hair and the scalp without removing any natural moisture. The argan oil protects the hair and helps it retain moisture. This co-wash removes any product residue and keeps the hair hydrated and  frizz-free. The color-safe formula retains 90% of hair color after 10 washes.

Pros

  • Tames curls
  • Detangles hair
  • Adds shine
  • Softens curls
  • Reduces frizz
  • Color-safe
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May make the hair rough.
  • May cause allergic reactions and shedding.
Price at the time of publication: $7.52

15. Best For Unmanageable Curls:Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural Hair Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner

The Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural Hair Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner is an advanced thickening tonic that makes hair two times fuller and thicker. It helps cleanse, condition, and detangle your hair without stripping it of any moisture. It cleanses the scalp and hair, removing any product buildup and residue. It is a low-lathering formula that refreshes and tames unmanageable curls and reduces frizz. The oil-rich formula instantly moisturizes natural kinky hair, making it shiny and soft.

Pros

  • Makes the hair soft
  • Detangles hair
  • Reduced hair shedding
  • Reduces frizz

Cons

  • Contains silicone
  • May weigh the hair down.
Price at the time of publication: $19.99

If you have natural African hair, you know that it can be difficult to find products that work well for your hair type. Co-washing is a great way to keep your hair hydrated and healthy, but finding the right co-wash for your hair can be tricky. Here are a few things to look for in a good co-wash for natural African hair.

Things To Look For In Co-Washes For Natural African Hair

  • Ingredients: Choose co-washes with ingredients like aloe vera, honey, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin to keep your tresses nourished and hydrated. Make sure the co-wash is free of sulfates and harsh chemicals. These can strip the natural oils from your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. Instead, opt for a co-wash that is made with gentle, natural ingredients.
  • Gentle Cleansing: Natural African hair can be delicate, so it is important to find a co-wash that has gentle cleansing properties. Look for one that is designed specifically for natural African hair, as these will usually be the most gentle. Look for a co-wash that contains proteins. Proteins help strengthen and repair damaged hair.
  • Moisturizing Properties: You want to look for a co-wash that will add moisture to your hair. Natural African hair can be prone to dryness, so it is important to find a product that will help to hydrate and nourish your strands. Look for products that contain hydrating ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil.

Don’t forget to pay attention to how your hair feels after using the co-wash. If it feels dry or brittle, that is a sign that the product isn’t right for you. However, if your hair feels soft and manageable, you’ve found a winner!

  • Budget: Finally, you want to find a co-wash that is affordable. There are many high-quality products on the market, but not all of them have to be expensive. By taking the time to compare prices and reviews, you should be able to find a great option that fits into your budget.

For African hair, co-washes can help eliminate frizz while smoothing curls and making the strands manageable. Co-washes can add more power to your hair care regime. Some co-washes also soften the hair while helping in hydrating your strands. The emulsion method in these co-washes helps in cleaning your scalp and deeply nourishes your locks. If you want natural shine, bounce, and volume in your hair, co-washes can be very effective. However, steer clear of co-washes that can make your hair rough.

Why Trust Stylecraze

Shiboli Chakraborti, the author, is a certified skin care coach and loves to write articles about hair care products. In this article, she talks about co-washes for natural African hair. The products mentioned in the list have been chosen after thorough research and based on positive user feedback. According to her, co-washing is one of the best methods because it retains the natural oil and gently hydrates your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is co-wash good for African-American hair?

Yes, co-washing has multiple benefits for African-American hair like enhanced curl structure, reduced frizz, and improved hair health.

How often should you co-wash natural black hair?

Co-wash natural black hair every 10 days. If you have an active lifestyle, use a co-wash maybe once weekly.

How often should I co-wash my 4C hair?

Co-wash your 4C hair once weekly.

Do you co-wash on wet or dry hair?

Co-wash on wet hair for the best results.

Do you use co-wash before or after shampoo?

Co-washing is cleansing your hair with a conditioner, which does not require using shampoo. After co-washing, follow up with a second round of conditioner.

How often do Black people wash their hair?

Natural Hair should be washed once or twice weekly to prevent excessive dryness.

Does co-washing help hair grow?

Yes, co-washing helps maintain healthy curls, which promotes hair growth.

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