She SAID: Co-Wash Goes Commercial

Shahada Karim

Look up ‘co-wash’ on Youtube, and you’ll find thousands of videos dedicated to the subject. The act of washing your hair with conditioner (to retain moisture) is a common practice among those interestedunwash4 in preserving the natural texture and curl pattern of their hair. There have been some attempts to take the practice mainstream… most notably by Wen, but even a slew of celebrity endorsements, infomercials, and an independent salon haven’t really translated in to household recognition and usage.

Plus, there’s a lovely little side-effect of co-washing that seems rarely shared: if you’re going to wash your hair with conditioner, you have to clarify once in a while. Otherwise you eventually end up with a mushy, stinky mess. And funky hair is no fun for anyone.

Enter Unwash, a product line designed to de-mystify the practice of co-washing, and share the benefits of clarifying between washes. The cozy collection offers only three products: A Cleansing Conditioner, A Hydratunwash1ing Mask, and a Clarifying shampoo for those in-between times.

Unwash touts itself as a more ‘civilized’ way to clean and care for hair. The potentially inflammatory choice of words are likely little more than a marketing ploy, since the reality looks more like a sulfate-free creamy cleanser, a standard clarifying shampoo, and a conditioner that goes on thick and full of promise… but rinses a little too clean to qualify for ‘masque’ status.

Most of the ingredients are standard enough. The company goes out of its way to break down every major ingredient in the products. What we found is that there is no magic formula (see Phylia de M) to getting clean and conditoned hair.

One of the most attractive features of the Unwash line is the price point. It hovers firmly in mid range, making it more likely to appeal to textured types of all ages and tax brackets. It’s also fairly easy to use. The lack of extra ‘hair helpers’ makes this line a better choice for low-maintenance wash n’ go types.

It’s also pretty easy to find. We were disappointed to learn that you cannot purchase the products through the website, but there are dozens of locations throughout the United States, according to a handy map on the company site.


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