Hair care without the lather

It’s the beauty buzzword of 2017, but if you’re still confused about co-wash, we have the answers, says Katie Wright

EVERY so often a buzzword crops up in the beauty world, a technique or product that devotees will tell you is miraculous, nothing short of life-changing.

This year’s most-hyped? It’s got to be ‘co-wash’, the hair-cleansing holy grail converts swear will make you ditch shampoo forever.

Detractors, however, claim it’s impossible to make it to that promised land — unless you’re willing to put up with a solid week of greasy, dirty hair.

Confused? So were we, so we spoke to the experts to find out what the deal with co-wash really is.

What is co-wash?

Short for ‘conditioner only wash’, co-wash is a “low-foaming cleanser that helps to detoxify the hair without stripping colour” according to Danielle Llewellyn, hair ambassador for eSalon. Schwarzkopf Professional ambassador Gary Taylor says co-wash allows you to have “clean, shiny and healthy hair by not stripping it of its natural oils”.

What are the benefits of co-wash?

“The benefit of a cleansing cream is it functions as an all-in-one product. It is strong enough to cleanse, balance natural oils, and pump up moisture without weighing hair down,” Danielle explains.

Gary adds: “They offer everything we need and want from a shampoo and conditioner but with less hassle, and essentially the hair is much more manageable as the condition of the hair is better.”

What hair type is co-wash best for?

Any hair type can use co-wash, but Sacha Mitic, above, co-founder of Sachajuan hair care, says: “The Sachajuan Hair Cleansing Cream has more advantages the more damaged the hair is.”

Danielle agrees, insisting that “curly-haired ladies will love the added bounce and improved manageability”.

How do you use co-wash?

“In the shower, use an ample amount, massage from roots to ends and work the cream into a lather. Don’t worry if there is not a heavy foam,” Danielle advises. “The major trick in the shower is adding water to increase the lather, rather than using more product, and letting it set for two to three minutes.”

Does it take time to get used to co-wash?

Here’s what they don’t tell you on the back of the bottle.

“On average, it takes about a week for the hair and scalp to adjust to this new way of cleaning,” Sacha warns, during which time you may miss that feeling of squeaky clean hair. But if you apply the product correctly and persevere, you’ll be rewarded with shiny, healthy-looking hair.

As Sacha puts it: “It gives the customer a different feeling and touch to the hair. Co-washing is ideal for anyone that loves that ‘second day hair’ feeling.”


1. For co-wash beginners:

Grow Gorgeous Cleansing Conditioner Colour Protect, €23.73, Escentual (

2. For very dry or damaged hair:

Sachajuan Hair Cleansing Cream, €33.60, (

3. For curly hair:

Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Cleanse & Nourish, €24 (

4. For coloured hair:

Schwarzkopf Moisture Kick Micellar Cleansing Conditioner, €19.68, Schwarzkopf salons

5. For sensitive scalps:

ESalon Duo It All Color Care Cleansing Cream, €15 (


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