#CurlyHairTalk: Washing Curly Hair: Co-washing, Clarifying, & Conditioning

For washing your curly locks conditioner is your best friend, harsh chemical-filled shampoos are the enemy. The best way to show a little TLC (tender, love and care) to your curls is by co-washing during the week, and washing with a sulfate-free shampoo and using deep conditioning treatment once a week.



~ Curly hair flourishes when moisturized. Cleansing conditioners is one of my staple products. I co-wash during the week, around every two-three days, sometimes everyday. Co-wash as often as you like but keep in mind that your hair is the most fragile when it’s wet. Allow your hair time to dry completely before washing again. P.S. there is also a such thing as over-conditioning, so if you’re co-washing everyday and your hair starts to feel spongy or even mushy, you’re overdoing it.

~ I use a No-Poo Shampoo (conditioning shampoo) as my weekly wash to cleanse a bit more. However this is NOT the same thing as co-washing. If it says shampoo it’s a shampoo, so it’s a little harsher on your curly hair.

~ Because I added a cleansing no-poo shampoo to my regimen I only clarify about once a month (sometimes I clarify every 3 weeks depends on how my hair feels). Product buildup can weigh down curls and make them lose definition.

My routine works for me. It’s is important to have a routine that works for you and your hair type. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you have the right products for your personal curly hair routine.



 Here are some of the products I use:


1. As I Am Naturally Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner 

I love the smell. I love how my hair feels after: soft and tangle-free. It’s also a pretty big jar for around $8. Available at Target, CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and most beauty supply stores. Ingredients include coconut oil and castor oil. 


2. EO Conditioner:

Yes this is a regular all-natural conditioner that has no silicone, thus it is alright to use as a co-wash. This product was introduced to me by another curly hair chick. Available at Walgreens, Whole Foods, and Amazon.com. Ingredients include coconut oil, quinoa protein, olive oil, essential oil blend, rosemary oil, fruit oil, aloe, vitamin E, etc.


Co-Washing Tips

Tip #1: Smother your hair in the co-wash product. Seriously, be generous. I do around two hand scoops on my hair. Then massage your scalp with your fingertips. The best way is downward to not disrupt your curls too much

Tip #2: Some brands will put co-wash on their label but they are not actually a cleansing conditioner. Look at the labels and ingredients carefully to make sure.

Tip #3: Yes you can use regular conditioners to co-wash but make sure the conditioner you use to co-wash is silicone-free. Look at the labels!! Many of these ingredients are easy to identify, look for ingredients ending in -cone. Many silicones are synthetic (not natural) additives to make the hair “soft”. Therefore, these silicones are not water-solubleand require regular shampooing to wash out. If you co-wash with any regular conditioner, the end result can be yucky build-up on your hair and scalp.

A good conditioner you can use to co-wash is Tresemme Naturals Conditioner.300



I use a no-poo shampoo once a week, it cleanses more and is stronger than most co-washing products. It doesn’t sud up like a co-wash but it is better at removing product build up. Unlike co-washing I use a light Shea Moisture conditioner after the no-poo shampoo.

1. Hair Rules No-Poo Shampoo Available at the Hair Rules Salons, Ricky’s NYC, or online.




1. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo w/ Shea Butter & Apple Cider Vinegar (adding any deep conditioning treatment is a must after clarifying)


More Clarifying Methods… 

-Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse: 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 cups of water. I usually do this after I wash my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, I do the pour the rinse over my hair, massage my scalp, then rinse under the water briefly then apply my deep conditioner.

-Baking Soda: Instead of shampoo, I’ve heard baking soda is good to clarify buildup on the scalp. 

-Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps 18-in-1 Cleanser in Peppermint (all natural ingredients)

-Tea Tree Oil Shampoo from Trader Joe’s




1. Dominican Magic Nourishing Deep Fortifying Conditioner (has coconut oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil). This leaves your hair incredibly soft.

2. Deva Curl Heaven In Hair – I use this usually after Dominican Magic to add much needed moisture to my hair, but doesn’t leave my hair as soft as I like if I use it by itself.

3. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque – I LOVE this line of Shea Moisture products! The masque has shea butter, Jamaican black castor oil and peppermint (it also has coconut oil and avocado oil). I use this with the shampoo Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo.


Next up…. my favorite styling products 💆. Look out for that post!

**Always check out the blog for more products. Any new cleansing, treatment or styling products I try (and love) I will post on the blog in the future!** 

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