So many of you have written in and begging me to review co-washing products – “What exactly is co-washing? How does it work? Which are the best brands on the market?”, you asked over and over. So with all of the queries (and my own self fear of it), I ventured out to put together a hair-what-is-it and-how-to…yes, a mouthful indeed, but you will walk away with a good amount of knowledge (and some rocking clean hair!)

Co-washing – in simple terms: Instead of using shampoo to clean your hair, use a cleansing conditioner. Also known as conditioner-only washing, co-shampooing or conditioner rinsing.

STEP ONE: The strand test
No matter the brand you choose – you need to figure out the proper formula for your hair.  That is easily done by executing “the strand test”. Take a small piece of hair in between your thumb and forefinger and run the test. The density and texture of the strand will dictate what kind of hair you have and which formula is best for you. In my case, I have thick hair that has a slight wave, so I chose Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Medium Hair.

STEP TWO: Find the brand that is right for you
I tested 10 different Co-Washing hair products for this article and the leader of the pack (though all had positive attributes and benefits) was Biolage Cleansing Conditioners by Matrix (which launched earlier this year).

STEP THREE: Wash, massage, comb…wait
Washing your hair with a cleansing conditioner (i.e. co-washing) is not like regular shampooing. First and foremost – this is two steps in one (washing and conditioning); given the unique formula this is also NO SUDS washing. Please don’t stand in your shower endlessly waiting for bubbles to appear- you will be pruned beyond recognition in the process. “No lather?!”, you exclaim as you read this. I know, I know – that makes me nervous too. How can my hair get clean without the presence of suds. Trust me when I exclaim enthusiastically “IT CAN!”. Not only are you getting clean hair from this process, but you are also gaining beautifully conditioned hair. Some key pointers to make sure you are co-washing correctly and maximizing your shower efforts.

  • Apply the product like you would a hair styler, a couple of pumps at the top on your scalp, a couple of pumps on the sides, and a couple at the back of your head
  • The number of pumps you will need will depend on your hair length, for shorter hair use 4-5 and longer hair 6-8.  If you have a bit thicker hair (like myself) you might want to assess each section and add another pump as necessary. The same goes for fine hair – you might want to start on the smaller end of the recommended usage.
  • Distribute from the root to the end of the hair shafts; massaging into the scalp and strands from top to bottom. I also like to take a wide tooth comb to ensure proper disbursement of the product.  This is the key.  For maximum conditioning, and the ultimate result, you want the product to work its magic along the whole strand.
  • Wait at least 5 minutes while the product does its magic – this might seem like a short period of time, but can be hard to assess in the shower. Be certain you do not rinse your hair before the suggested processing time – you will not get the full results if you do so. I let two songs on Pandora play in full as my “shower stopwatch”.
  • Once rinsed, wrap your hair in a t-shirt rather than a traditional towel. Towels are very absorbent and this can often result in electric-outlet-shock hair. A t-shirt will pull away just the top layer of water, helping to reduce the appearance of frizz. Apply a leave-in treatment product to help attack additional fuzz for the perfect end result (Matrix Biolage Leave In Anti-Frizz Lotion for Medium Hair).

STEP FOUR: Easy and eco-friendly hair setting
When I was a little girl, my mom would take empty Tropicana juice containers and roll them into sections my hair as non-heat curlers. I took this concept and modernized it a bit, by utilizing my product “empties”, for an eco-friendly way to create the perfect waves. Roll in as you would normal curlers, clip into place and then blast with your blow dryer. I collected my Matrix Style Link Booster series empties and used them to create the perfect barrel curls.

Co-washing is the new trend and for good reason – IT WORKS! Ditch your old-school mentality that you need bubbles to rid the dirt and grease (at least when it comes to your tresses). With this revolutionary technology, the end result is clean, fresh smelling, moisturized, frizz free hair (which you achieved in half the time in the shower – think 5+ gallons of water saved because you removed one step in the shower – you get an environmental gold star). With no sulfates, parabens or silicones to speak of – your keratin treatment and costly highlights/color processing are safe and sound. Your hair will hand you a gold star, as well.

Click below to watch the video!

Click HERE for more information about Biolage Cleansing Conditioners and Leave-In Treatments by Matrix.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think… – I would love to hear all about your co-washing adventures!

Cheers to beautiful you,


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Products Reviewed in this Video:
Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Medium Hair

Matrix Biolage Leave In Anti-Frizz Lotion for Medium Hair

Matrix Style Link Booster Series

Makeup worn in video:
Make Up For Ever – Ultra HD Foundation

Clinique Cheek Pop in Berry Pop

Lancôme HYPNÔSE Mascara in black

Dior Rouge Dior in Rouge Favori

Video and Photography: Mister Lynch

Styling: Colleen McCann

At times product samples/gratis are sent for review, color matching and/or photography purposes

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