image of wavy hair

Published 11th October 2021

What Is Co-Washing And How Does It Work?

Heard a lot of talk about co-washing in different groups, yet have no idea what it is? Essentially, co-washing means switching your shampoo to one product that washes your hair and conditions it, making it an all-in-one solution.

Personally, I don’t advocate co-washing for wavy hair. Reason why is because it results in a build up of product on your scalp which can cause irritation as well as an oily appearance that just doesn’t look great. I therefore prefer to only wash my hair twice a week and let nature do its thing in between.

That being said, if co-washing works for you, then do it! Just give it a try and see what happens.

why should you co-wash instead of using shampoo?

Co-washing is also known as conditioner washing. It involves using a specialist conditioner that cleanses and conditions. To some, this is considered to be the better option than shampooing and conditioning because it cleans the hair yet ensures it remains hydrated. 

how regularly should you co-wash?

This is down to personal preference. Some opt to co-wash every time they wash their hair, while others might alternate it with their regular shampoo. Some people choose to use their regular shampoo once or twice a month, so it all depends on you and the needs of your hair. 

It could work better for you to co-wash if you wash your hair more than twice a week. However, if you use a lot of products on your hair, regular shampoo can be used to help remove all of those products. It's worth noting that co-washing won't fully clean your hair. It can miss things such as sweat, dead skin cells, hair product, dirt and dust. 

enhance hydration and improve definition

If you have curly or wavy hair then co-washing will improve hydration, which is something this kind of hair can lack. This will give your curly or wavy hair better definition and shine as well as less frizz.

If you add colour to your hair, co-washing can help to maintain colour too, leaving it looking vibrant.

repair conditioner treatment

does my hair type matter?

In some instances, yes. For those who suffer from dry, coarse and medium-textured hair, co-washing can have an amazing impact. People who have these types of hair can often experience difficulties when it comes to styling their hair after washing it with shampoo.

Therefore, co-washing can make it more manageable. But those who have oily or fine hair should avoid it as it will only weigh your hair down and give it a flat appearance.


First you'll need to use a good quality conditioner that doesn't contain silicones, like the Merwave Repair Conditioner. The reason you want to avoid silicones is because it can cause buildup within your hair, which results in dull, lacklustre waves. 

Everytime you would normally wash your hair, you will now co-wash it instead using the conditioner treatment. It’s crucial that you use enough product when co-washing. With regular shampoo, it’s important that you focus on the scalp as you want to prevent the lengths from drying out. So it's recommended to co-wash both your scalp and your hair as it will clean the hair and condition it at the same time.

The aim is to make sure that you spend time massaging the co-wash onto the scalp using your fingertips (not your nails as this can scratch the scalp and cause hair breakage). This will ensure that any dirt and oil on your scalp will be removed, leaving your scalp and your hair healthy.

1. Wet hair.

2. Massage Merwave Repair Conditioner onto your scalp in the same way you'd normally shampoo.

3. Throughly rinse out all of the conditioner to prevent product build up.

4. Apply Merwave Feed leave in treatment as normal.

Like I said, I'm personally not a fan of it. I much prefer to wash my hair properly once or twice a week to ensure it gets a deep clean before applying my styling products to awaken my waves. I then just refresh once a week inbetween washes to keep my waves defined and in tact. 

But what works for me may not work for you. Everyone's hair is different. So give co-washing a try. You never know, it may be the key to unlocking your greatest hair ever! 



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