View Full Version : What is your favorite conditioner for the CO washing method?

April 21st, 2013, 12:58 PM
I plan on starting CO washing very soon, if not tonight. I was wondering what kind of conditioner everyone uses. Any CO tips for a beginner?

April 21st, 2013, 02:48 PM
Suave and VO5 conditioners are very popular for their cheapness. Cheap is usually most practical for co-washing -- they tend to be light, and since most co-washers use a lot of conditioner, the price is an advantage. Different people like different things, though. I know curlies who co-wash with heavy conditioners that would just make my hair fall flat and limp and ick.
I personally chose my conditioner (Snady Home Institute) because it comes in a 750mL bottle, which is three times as much as the regular bottles around here... :p Gotta have priorities.

For a first co-wash, I do think choosing the lightest conditioner you have would be best, but you can experiment. If one doesn't work for you, another might do the trick.

Tips? Scrub your scalp well with your fingerpads, rinse it out well (it doesn't always matter if you leave some in, but for a first dry, you should probably rinse it very well so the results you get are as "clean" as possible and you can see whether you like it), let the conditioner sit for a little while before rinsing out if you want to.
I apply a lot of it, but some people use very little -- a quarter-size amout for the scalp, and the same thing for the length. This is something you'll want to experiment with.

Um... Have fun? :p

Miss Maisie
April 21st, 2013, 03:00 PM
V05 (the Kiwi clarifying one!!), or Trader Joe's Tea Tree one. Suave did NOT work for my hair, at all. I also use a ton of conditioner when I wash. The more, the better. Using only a little never got my hair clean.

For me, the best thing was to realize that I would need to do a regular shampoo every few washes. It's ok to need to do that! Not everyone does, but it's not the end of the world if you do.

April 21st, 2013, 03:05 PM
I also love V05. I like to scalp wash with the V05 and then put a heavier conditioner like Pantene conditioner on the length. I make sure my hair is nice and wet, that I use enough (a lot) of conditioner, I work it in really well, let it sit for a while, then rinse out very thoroughly. Have fun experimenting! Lately I've been CO washing with SMTs and it's working out well.

April 21st, 2013, 03:24 PM
I use the Vo5 kiwi lime the clarifying one. I also use a regular shampoo at least once a week or my scalp acts up. Good luck! :)

April 21st, 2013, 05:53 PM
I used to love Alberto Balsam and Suave Naturals, but I'm having a hard time finding them in Toronto these days - Out of desperation, I tried the "Exact" brand from Loblaws and I am super pleased with it! It's thin and watery, so it works well for CO for my hair type.

April 21st, 2013, 07:56 PM
Suave Wild Cherry is my go to conditioner. It is light enough that I can scalp wash with it.

April 21st, 2013, 08:46 PM
Suave Naturals is all I've ever used for it. Been going over 18 months now, and it still works like a charm. I figure if it works, there's no use in shopping around. I always oil my hair before every wash, apply conditioner to dry oiled hair, and let it simmer for 30-60 minutes before hopping in the shower.

April 21st, 2013, 08:57 PM
I tried a lot of conditioners before I found one that worked for me. Some of the Suave Naturals straightened my wurls, due to the conditioning agent they used. One conditioner used a preservative that made my scalp itch. A lot of other conditioners worked OK but not wonderful. Eventually, by comparing ingredient lists, I found that some of the Suave Naturals (with stearamidopropyl dimethylamine) worked the best, and I needed regular protein treatments as well to make my hair strong enough to handle the conditioner buildup. I settled on two routines:

Suave Naturals Coconut, which has both stearamidopropyl dimethylamine and a little protein


Any Suave Naturals with stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, and GVP Hair Reconstructor, a stronger protein treatment

I don't use a lot of conditioner on my hair - about a tablespoon for washing and another teaspoon as a leave in, but it is nice that my hair likes a cheap conditioner. ;)

April 21st, 2013, 09:11 PM
I like Suave and V05. White Rain worked well too but their conditioners have cones in them now. I lean towards Suave because of the less runny texture and because it feels more slippery to me, which helps me use less because I like to drench every inch of my scalp in conditioner. :) My favorite is probably Suave strawberry but I've used tons of both and tbh I don't notice a difference between the different scents besides, well, the scent. :P

The other day I found a family size V05 kiwi lime with a pump :inlove:

April 21st, 2013, 09:46 PM
I'm currently using Trader Joe's Tea Tree, but I have to be careful as I get over-moisturized quickly it seems. But I think that's been a long time coming. I use a protein-heavy shampoo occasionally also.

For those who use Suave, do you find the scents to be very strong? I know the fragrances in V05 are some tenacious stuff! I'm prejudiced against Suave for some reason. :lol: but I might give it another shot sometime.

April 22nd, 2013, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the tips Dark Curls and Earthnut!

Miss Maisie, Crazycatlady, anitacs9101 (love your avatar!) - It seems like VO5ís Kiwi Lime has a good following! I already have VO5ís Kiwi Lime Clarifying Shampoo and love it. I plan on trying their Vanilla Mint Clarifying Conditioner as soon as I make it to the store. Have any of you tried the Vanilla Mint?

dwell_in_safety - I might have to try your method. I put a little oil in my hair a few hours before I clarified it last night and smothered it with conditioner in the shower. It seemed to work well. I can see that my hair needed moisture more than I thought it did.

April 22nd, 2013, 12:48 PM
For those who use Suave, do you find the scents to be very strong? I know the fragrances in V05 are some tenacious stuff! I'm prejudiced against Suave for some reason. :lol: but I might give it another shot sometime.
In general, yes. Some of them are, some of them aren't. Of the ones I've used, Mango Mandarin doesn't stick around for very long, and Tropical Coconut is relatively mild. But Everlasting Sunshine, Waterfall Mist, Ocean Breeze, and Lavender Lilac are quite strong and stick around for a long time. Especially Everlasting Sunshine...

Miss Maisie
April 22nd, 2013, 04:52 PM
V05 Vanilla Mint is another good one!!

I find the Suave ones to be overpowering, smell wise.

April 22nd, 2013, 05:02 PM
I use Whole Foods brand conditioner, the kind in the big bottle. I scrub my scalp and let it sit in my hair for at least 5 minutes before rinsing it out. Every couple of washes, I will wash with diluted shampoo as well, and baking soda if it's feeling weird.