Caring for Curly, Dry and Damaged Hair with the 'Co-Wash' or 'No-Poo' Method

Perfect for dry, damaged and curly hair, today we spill the beans on the 'co-wash' method and why it offers a more nourishing, moisturising and restorative, deep conditioning method for washing your hair.

What is Co-Washing?

Co-washing, also known as the ‘no-poo’ method and ‘conditioner only’ method is a process of washing your hair using only conditioner, no shampoo.

It is suitable for curly or coily hair, or extremely dry hair which has been damaged from heat styling or colouring.

The goal of co-washing is to deeply hydrate and moisturise the hair. Most commercial shampoo and conditioners contain sulfates (detergents) which strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture, drying it out and leaving it prone to breakage. Omitting Shampoo omits the process of washing out the important natural oils, giving it a better chance to rejuvenate and strengthen. 

How often should I co-wash?

As often as you would normally conduct your shampoo/conditioner routine. However for the most part, leave out the shampoo. Instead, conditioning twice. We share with you the step by step method later on in this article.

Does this mean I should never, ever use shampoo?

Not at all. Shampoo plays an important role in cleaning the dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, sebum, hair product, dirt, dust and atmospheric pollutants from the scalp. For this reason, co-wash advocates recommend shampooing your hair every 7-10 days, to clean the scalp from these impurities.

Another way of introducing the co-wash method is to use shampoo on every second occasion of your hair wash routine (ie alternate shampoo and conditioner on the first wash with co-washing on the second wash). This idea is recommended if you are big on exercise, live in a humid climate or live or work in dusty and dirty environments.

If you’re looking for a sulfate free shampoo that doesn’t strip away the oils from the hair like many commercial shampoos do, try our NueBar Naturopath formulated shampoo range. NueBar pH balanced shampoo bars are made from gentle, botanical ingredients. Chosen to support your hair and scalp, rather than strip it of its natural oils using harsh chemicals and detergents.

Explore NueBar Shampoo Range Here

Does the type of conditioner matter when choosing the co-wash method?

Yes! Particularly if you have curly, coily or dry hair. It is important to choose a product which has absolutely no sulfates, remembering these are the ingredients that strip your hair.

It is also important to choose a product with no silicons, as these create build up, resulting in dull hair which lacks natural lusture and shine.


Our  best selling, multi-award winning Super Rich Conditioner is perfect for those who are using the co-wash method and are in need of a deeply moisturising conditioner for their curly, dry, treated or damaged hair.

Unlike most conventional conditioners Nuebar doesn't rely on silicones to coat the hair and create artificial shine. Instead, we add Organic Olive Oil fractions, and Vitamin B5, which are all easily absorbed by the hair shaft, highly nutritive, and leave the hair naturally shiny and healthy without extra weight.

 Just like our Award Winning Conditioner All Hair Types Bar, our main conditioning agent is derived from Rapeseed (Canola) Oil and offers a superior conditioning action, when compared to similar conditioning agents in its class*. The conditioning agents change the hair shaft from negative to positively charged, causing the cuticle to lie flat, reducing tangling and breakage.

One of the ingredients that sets our Super Rich Conditioner apart, is the addition of Organic Argan Oil, which helps to coat the hair shaft to deeply moisturise and condition the hair. Our Super Rich Conditioner is ideally suited to those that need a little more support with nourishing their hair, in particular those with dry, frizzy, curly or damaged hair from styling.

How do I co-wash?

  1. Wet hair and part down the centre, ideally.
  2. Using the bar directly onto your scalp, apply the conditioner by running the bar directly around your hairline and up and down the centre of your part.
  3. Next use your hands to further massage the conditioner into your hair and scalp.
  4. Rinse out the conditioner thoroughly. Spend twice as long rinsing as you did lathering.
  5. Apply the conditioner again, but this time lather with your hands and then run your hands back through your hair.
  6. Rinse again, thoroughly. Rinsing is important to prevent possible build up from the washing process.

Can anyone co-wash?

Co washing isn’t for everyone. We don’t recommend it for people prone to skin conditions throughout their scalp such as eczema or dandruff.

It is also not suitable for those with fine and wavy hair as the conditioner only approach may be too heavy for your hair.

Lastly, Good things take time

To finish, our advice is to give the method a try for at least a month to 6 weeks. You may find at first your hair is a little oiler, as your hair is used to over producing oil from compensating for the excess shampoo used previously. Your hair will adjust with time as it becomes more supported with a nourishing hair care method, designed to balance oil production rather than stripping away your hair’s natural oils.

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Cowashing is the answer for dry, damaged or curly hair