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Conditioner Washing - No Shampoo

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  • Conditioner Washing - No Shampoo

    I came across this Conditioner Washing method, which is a new way to clean your hair and scalp without shampoo during a time when I was suffering from itchy scalp and hair loss despite using shampoos specially meant for oily and itchy scalp.

    I know you think I might be crazy but apparantly this concept is not new, a lot of people do this every single day. Wash hair with conditioner instead of shampoo!

    What I got from the web:
    What is the art of washing with conditioner?

    Conditioner washing is referred to by several names including: Co-washing, conditioner-only washing, conditioner rinse. Simply put, it means washing hair with conditioner. Just as you take shampoo and massage it into your roots and hair, you do the same with conditioner. Amazingly, it cleanses your hair - but gently.

    Why on earth would I only use conditioner?
    There are many reasons why you can choose to do a conditioner only wash:

    •You like to wet your hair daily but shampooing strips it.
    •Shampooing makes your hair frizzy and dry.
    •You don't use a lot of styling products and just need a light wash.
    •Your scalp is allergic to shampoo. ( Like mine)
    •You experience a lot of tangles when you shampoo and just don't have time for that every day.
    Co-washes keep your hair moisturized and super conditioned. Many naturally curly women do co-washes daily to help them maintain frizz free moisturized curls. Conditioner washes help your hair hold on to moisture because you are constantly opening the hair cuticle and putting vital moisture (water and conditioner) into your hair. The more often you conditioner wash, the better your results will be.

    How do you do a conditioner wash?
    It's pretty simple to do a co wash:

    1.Rinse your hair thoroughly in the shower. At this time you can divide it into two sections if your hair is long and curly.
    2.Get a cheap conditioner like Suave or V05. You don't want to use anything expensive because you will use a lot of it and you want something somewhat thin to penetrate your hair quickly. Take the conditioner and apply a dollop to your hair over and over again until you have thoroughly saturated your hair.
    3.Massage the conditioner into your hair and rub your scalp with your fingertips to cleanse it.
    4.Next, take your shower comb and gently comb through your hair.
    5.Pin it up and finish your shower.
    6.Rinse. You can rinse 100% but some prefer rinsing about 90-95% when co-washing especially with curls to avoid frizz.

    Is there anything else I should know?
    Yes, just a couple of things.
    Never, ever use a protein conditioner to do a conditioner only wash! Protein conditioners are made to be used only occasionally to add strength to hair. Protein can lead to hard, brittle, and fragile hair if not used correctly. Always use a light conditioner for a co-wash.

    Also, you will need to occasionally wash your hair with shampoo. My recommendation would be every other week if you're doing conditioner rinses daily. This will remove all remnants of styling products and any conditioner build-up so that you are ready to style your hair straight or start over with conditioner washes.

    I was skeptical too, but after a conditioner wash, my scalp no longer feels itchy and I just use the shampoo once every 3 days of conditioner wash!
    Anyone has tried it before?

  • #2
    This is something new to me. My scalp is oily and been dropping loads of hair since giving birth to my boy. I thought conditioner should not touch our scalp at all. It will make our scalp even oilier. Is this information wrong?


    • #3
      Sounds like something I came across in the States.

      It was advertising on the TV everyday.
      I was so tempted to try, I even checked out the website and googled reviews too.

      I did not buy and try in the end, was hesitating and procastinating

      Jewel, similar to the method you mentioned?


      • #4
        these are my opinions.

        from what we are taught, conditioner is not better off not to touch the scalp.
        if you are having itchy scalp or hair loss, preferably should go for medicial check and get an appropriate shampoo instead of doing self-analysing and buy shampoos off the shelf. most shampoos have chemicals that may not be advisable for the scalp condition, thus no improvement.

        conditioner may not have sufficient power to rid the dirt of the head.


        • #5

          A more in depth article on co-washing, hope it helps those who want to try this method (:


          • #6
            I tried but it did not work for me.

            Recently I bought a hair mask that is meant for use on the scalp to get rid of the build up, dandruff, itch. Its texture looks exactly the same as normal conditioner except that when I wash it off, my scalps feels very clean. I'm glad I bought this product.


            • #7
              I just started this for a couple of weeks, my thoughts on how it's going so far:

              I started because I was tired of blowing my hair straight everyday. I have wavy/curly hair, never did rebonding because super flat look won't suit me. The blow drying was damaging my hair & most of the time, my efforts were in vain cos the humidity would send my hair curling like crazy anyway.

              Did some research online and started off using products I bought during a recent trip to the US. It's a lot less hassle than I thought and still seems to clean well. My curls are more defined and less flyaway, in terms of how my hair looks & feels, I really like it.

              2 problems so far... I have very sensitive skin & I'm breaking out at the hair line at the back of my neck. I've been using a few different products so I'm not sure if it's one of them (or all of them) that is causing the problem or I'm not rinsing well enough or it's washing with conditioners.

              Other problem is that it's seriously hard to find inexpensive drugstore conditioners in Singapore without any kind of silicone. I still haven't found any at all, the only options available seem to be conditioners from health food shops which are not exactly cheap. If I stick with this, I might have to end up buying conditioners from

              I'm going to persist with it, I've decided to learn to live with my curls & I just need to find a routine that works for me & my hair.

              Hope this helps someone!


              • #8
                en-q : I've been co washing for around 2 to 3 weeks and its great..
                maybe you can try rinsing more so that you don't break out ?

                I still use a conditioner with cones to wash my hair, cheapest is herbal essences $4.30 at chinatown. Good and cheaper than other brands. Just need to clarify once a week

                the only type of conditioner with no cones we can get in singapore will be the organic , natural ones like nature's gate , giovanni etc .

                I've ordered some cheap cone free conditioners from .. waiting for them to arrive ! :D


                • #9
                  Chococandy, what conditioner did you order from If you don't mind sharing, wow much does the shipping cost?

                  I'm currently using stuff that I bought in the US & something that I bought from a health food shop here, definitely can see a difference in my hair compared to when I shampoo and when I co wash. Also the more days I co wash, the easier my hair is to manage & the curl definition gets better. I guess I need to persist & make sure I rinse better.


                  • #10
                    en-q : oh i joined a spree :D i'm still waiting for the items to arrive though, so not too sure how much it would total up with shipping
                    I ordered cheap ones like vo5, which is about 1.99 usd.. another brand called suave is also cheap when there's offer .. Some type from garnier fructis is cone free so i did order one as well to try , but it's not as cheap as vo5.

                    I can see a great difference too, much more managable and smotth (:


                    • #11
                      does this method works for oily scalp?


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by chococandy View Post
                        en-q : oh i joined a spree :D i'm still waiting for the items to arrive though, so not too sure how much it would total up with shipping
                        I ordered cheap ones like vo5, which is about 1.99 usd.. another brand called suave is also cheap when there's offer .. Some type from garnier fructis is cone free so i did order one as well to try , but it's not as cheap as vo5.

                        I can see a great difference too, much more managable and smotth (:
                        Chococandy: I found huge 1 litre bottle of Giovanni shampoos & conditioners in a small shop this afternoon, they were all S$38 each and also found another brand of conditioners at this shop that look like they are cone free as well. Since this shop was at Suntec, I'm hoping I'll find something similar for less in locations away from town area. Otherwise, I'm going to for sure!

                        I saw 6 pack of both Suave & VO5 on amazon if your purchases from work out.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pinky_girli_me View Post
                          does this method works for oily scalp?
                          Sorry, I've no idea... my scalp is not particularly oily, mine is normal & occasionally dry.


                          • #14
                            i tried this method before, works pretty good for me.


                            • #15
                              pinky_girli_me : i've oily scalp and prone to drandruff easily but it doesn't case any problems for me (:

                              en-q : Ooh i have tried giovanni before, didn't really use it much since it has proteins and i heard using proteins in haircare too long isn't good . Did you buy it?
                              If you like giovanni, sasa have it too, though it probably be more expensive ? not too sure !

                              Another brand you could look out for is nature's gate.. they have this 500ml bottle for 9.90- $12.90
                              Last edited by chococandy; 17-08-2010, 06:19 PM.