Question of the Day: Conditioners vs. Cowashes

Q: What would make a pre-formulated co-wash conditioner any better than just using regular conditioner?

A: I love this question, mainly because my regimen says that I don’t cowash my hair, but I also mainly use cleansing conditioners and rarely use shampoo. To a lot of people, this is confusing, yet totally understandable. In my opinion, cowashing means to wash your hair with conditioner, and it’s often used as a buzz/marketing word to sell products. Once I was in the drugstore (can’t remember the brand) and they had a new cowash product, and it looked all new fangled and purdy, begging me to buy it. However, I decided to read the ingredients, and I thought they looked familiar…turns out, they were the same ingredients as their conditioner!! Smh. Your QFTPC PSA: Don’t listen to jargon and marketing buzz! They want you to buy their products. READ INGREDIENTS!!

Anywho, when I see a product marketed as a cleansing conditioner or cowash, I ALWAYS read the ingredients. I look for cleansing surfactants that can cleanse some cones (because I use cones sometimes), such as coco betaine. Naturally Curly and The Beauty Brains both have a lot of good information about silicones and how to cleanse them from the hair. also has a lot of information about ingredients and how they are used in products. For instance, the cleansing conditioners that I use are Curl Junkie Daily Fix (contains Cocamidopropyl Betaine) and Ouidad Curl Co-Wash (contains Sodium Lauroamphoacetate). Both of these have mild cleansers, but they have a bit more cleansing power than using JUST conditioner (which does NOT work for me at all).

And so, the moral of the story is that all products marketed as cowashes are not created equal. Some ARE the same as regular conditioner, and others are not. Read ingredients! It’s good for you. xoxo

One thought on “Question of the Day: Conditioners vs. Cowashes

  1. Carla Rose says:

    I too have read a few bottles of “co-washing conditioner” and didn’t see anything listed in the ingredients that would actually cleanse the hair. Thanks for the PSA!

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