Curly hair routines require more moisture than other hair types. So much so that it’s recommended for those with curly and natural hair to shampoo their hair less to avoid the harsh, irritating, drying and stripping side effects that come with over-washing. That’s where co-washes and cleansing conditioners come into play.
Created with curls, coils, kinks and waves in mind, these innovative hair care treatments combine the cleansing benefits of shampoo with the hydrating benefits of conditioner, ensuring that low-porosity curly hair retains its moisture and doesn’t undergo any damage or breakage. Great for sensitive scalps, dry, coarse hair types and protective styling, the best co-washes for curly hair perform a delicate-yet-effective sweep of the scalp to remove impurities, oil and buildup without disrupting its natural oils.
Great for tackling frizz, sealing split ends and detangling, the best co-washes for curly hair infuse lasting hydration into each strand courtesy of their deep-conditioning formulas, which are typically fortified with ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil, argan oil and other nourishing emollients, helping them enhance the softness and smoothness of your curls while protecting and adding definition to your natural curl pattern. These rich hydrators also give cleansing conditioners their signature slip, which prevents tugging and pulling at your strands and the product from weighing down your hair.
To ensure the optimal health of your scalp and strands, the best co-washes for curly hair won’t contain known curly hair irritants like sulfates, silicones and parabens. Instead, they’ll treat your scalp and coils to blends of scalp-nourishing and strand-strengthening botanicals to restore your hair’s bounce and shine.
Below, explore the best co-washes for curly hair that will make excellent additions to your hair care routine.
Eden BodyWorks All Natural Cleansing CoWash
Free of sulfates and fortified with natural shea butter, the Eden BodyWorks Natural Cleansing CoWash strategically preserves your hair’s natural proteins while offering a light, moisturizing and reparative cleanse. Not only does it help keep frizz and damage at bay, but its suds-free formula also increases your curls’ bounce, softness and manageability.
As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner
A cult-favorite product, the As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner helps reset your natural curl pattern and remove residue without causing disruption or damage. Formulated with a nourishing blend of castor oil and coconut oil, this top-rated co-wash helps your curls retain moisture, aiding in everything from detangling and manageability to hair strength and regrowth.
Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Cleansing Conditioner
Created with coils, kinks and waves in mind, the Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Cleansing Conditioner immerses your tresses in an ultra-hydrating and hair-healthy blend of agave, shea butter and vitamin B5 to quench dryness and promote manageability, shine and definition. Doubling as a gentle cleanser, it also removes impurities, oils and product buildup from the scalp while taming frizz and detangling knots.
Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Complete Conditioning Co-Wash
Anchored with nourishing shea butter, the Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Complete Conditioning Co-Wash offers a creamy formula that effortlessly melts away impurities and buildup while infusing rich hydration into your curls. Formulated without silicones, sulfates, parabens and mineral oil, this top-rated co-wash repairs damaged hair while preventing future breakage.
Ouidad Curl Immersion No-Lather Coconut Cream Cleansing Conditioner
Helping you extend your wash days with its no-foam and style-refreshing formula, the Ouidad Curl Immersion No-Lather Coconut Cream Cleansing Conditioner rids the scalp of grease-inducing and bounce-hindering impurities and buildup while infusing each strand with a heaping wave of moisture that feels virtually weightless. Best suited for dry and coarse curly hair types, this top-rated co-wash combines hydrating coconut and Abyssinian oils with scalp-stimulating rosemary and sage oils for stronger, healthier and softer curls.
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash
Carefully crafted to suit textured hair types and color-treated strands, the Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash has the perfect amount of slip to efficiently cleanse away impurities and buildup while ensuring the nourishment and hydration of your hair using a blend of avocado oil, quinoa extract and shea butter. Designed to protect the integrity of your hair while defending it from environmental-related damage, this naturally derived formula also helps soften and detangle your tresses.
Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Recipes Purify Me Frizz-Fighting Moisturizing Co-Wash Cleanser
Perfect for those with extremely dry hair, Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Recipes Purify Me Frizz-Fighting Moisturizing Co-Wash Cleanser creates healthier and more manageable strands in rough, brittle hair types that are lacking in moisture. Gentle enough for daily use and protective styling, this fan-favorite co-wash rinses away impurities and product buildup in all curly, coily and kinky textures with its apple cider vinegar, flax seed, avocado oil and coconut oil-enriched formula.
Renpure Creme Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
Harnessing the nourishing and conditioning benefits of extra virgin coconut oil, the Renpure Creme Cowash Cleansing Conditioner protects curly hair textures from damage, breakage and frizz by lubricating every coil and kink in strengthening moisture. Hair is left cleaner, softer, shinier, bouncier and overall healthier after every usage.
Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash
Fortified with naturally cleansing and invigorating essential oils such as lavender, mint and tea tree oil, the Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Cowash performs a gentle-yet-effective sweep of the scalp to remove buildup, oil and impurities. After clarifying, it then envelops your strands in rich, lasting moisture, allowing it to transform dry, coarse hair and enhance your natural curls’ manageability, softness and definition.
Jane Carter Solutions Curl Drench Cleansing Co-Wash
Free of sulfates and offering a healthy formula for all curl types, the Jane Carter Solution Curl Drench Cleansing Co-Wash accentuates and elongates your natural curls by helping your tresses retain moisture until your next wash day. Boasting an intensely conditioning formula that’s comprised of jojoba oil and a blend of scalp-nurturing botanicals, this fan-favorite co-wash removes impurities while preventing frizz, tangles and breakage.
Wella Nutricurls Waves & Curls Cleansing Conditioner
Expertly designed to give curly and wavy hair types more definition without disrupting their natural curl pattern, the Wella Nutricurls Waves & Curls Cleansing Conditioner tackles frizz and tangles with ease while replenishing your hair’s moisture levels. Free of silicones and enriched with the brand’s wheat bran extract and jojoba oil-fortified Nourish-In Complex, this top-rated cleansing conditioner restores your hair’s softness and bounciness without weighing it down or causing breakage.
Curlsmith Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash
Gentle enough for daily usage but powerful enough to remove all traces of oil, buildup and impurities, the Curlsmith Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash cleanses, conditions and detangles curly strands while ensuring that it receives the moisture and nourishment it needs for healthy, bouncy tresses. Formulated without sulfates and designed to create a light lather for optimal slip, this top-rated co-wash doesn’t strip away at your scalp’s natural oils and leaves your hair feeling softer, shinier and healthier.