The 5 Best Co-Washes For Fine Hair

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Best co-washes for fine hair

Finding the right cleansing conditioner for fine hair can be a challenge. On one hand, you want a lightweight formula that won't strip the natural oils from your already fragile hair. On the other, you also want a substantial conditioning treatment to replenish moisture without leaving your hair looking flat. The best co-washes for fine hair can achieve both goals by combining gentle, sulfate-free cleansers with ingredients that leave hair soft, moisturized, and full of volume.

While "co-washing" is another way to refer to a method called "conditioner-only washing" — as in skipping shampoo and going straight to step two — it doesn't mean any old conditioner will be right for the job. What makes a co-wash stand out is its ability to still clean hair without the use of any harsh detergents or sulfates that can strip your hair of moisture. However, sulfate-free typically means lather-free (or low lather), so don't be surprised if your cleansing conditioner doesn't get as sudsy as you massage it into your hair. Rest assured, though, the creamier product is still working to remove impurities and product buildup from your scalp.

Beyond cleansing, co-washes should also condition your hair, so you'll often find ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, green tea, and keratin in these formulas. That said, to reap the most benefits for your fine hair, you may want to consider narrowing down your hair type even further to find the best co-wash for you — and you'll find options for curly, frizzy, and color-treated hair below.

To get you started, here are some of the best cleansing conditioners that have received high praise from Amazon shoppers with fine hair.

1. The Best Co-Wash Under $10

The As I Am cleansing conditioner has earned a 4.6-star rating across more than 4,500 Amazon reviews, making it one of the most popular co-washes on the site. Shoppers not only praise it for its extremely affordable price tag, but they also attest to its results on fine, limp hair. "Since I have switched to As I Am Coconut Cowash my hair has come to life," one person wrote. "Natural body with slight bounce - something I had been paying $$ to achieve." The sulfate- and silicone-free formula's star ingredient is coconut oil, which helps remove impurities without stripping away hair's natural oils. It'll also make it really easy to detangle your hair when it's combed through with a wide-tooth comb before rinsing. Users reported that the coconut fragrance is pleasant, however, a few did note that the jar can be tricky to open and close with wet hands.

Rave review: “Great smell, quality, feel for price. I was worried I wouldn’t like this because it’s thick for my fine hair. I was extremely (and happily) surprised! It’s easy to rinse, makes my hair smell good, and leaves my hair soft. It also doesn’t weigh my hair down..”

2. The Best For Managing Frizz

Amazon users rave about this UnWash conditioner because of how moisturizing it is and how well it helps to smooth. "My hair is definitely much shinier and less frizzy huge BONUS," one fan gushed. Added another, "This is the greatest cowash in the history of cowashing." It's sulfate-free but contains cationic emulsifiers, which are a type of surfactant that act like magnets to remove dirt and surface buildup without stripping hair of its natural oils, so your hair stays soft and smooth even after you rinse it out. It also contains hydrolyzed keratin, which helps strengthen hair, seal in moisture, smooth the hair cuticle, reduce frizz, and add shine. Rounding out the ingredients is organic evening primrose oil to further moisturize both the hair and scalp.

Rave review: “In love! I have fine hair and was concerned about this product weighing my hair down or making it feel greasy. Actually it's just the opposite. It makes my hair silky soft and clean feeling. The scent is awesome!”

3. The Best For Curly Hair

Though most co-washes are ideal for curly hair, this Pantene conditioner was specifically developed by scientists for curly or coily hair. The main ingredient is argan oil, which is gentle but still potent enough to leave hair incredibly hydrated, so your fine curls will be left nice and moisturized (and not weighed down). Reviewers across multiple hair types reported that it left their curls soft and tangle-free. "I am a black woman and this is one of the best products I have found," wrote one. "Trust me I went natural a decade ago and the struggle is real. This detangled and softened my hair. I will be trying more of this line soon." The formula is also free from sulfates, parabens, and dyes.

Rave review: “This stuff works wonders for my hair. I have very thin, fine curly hair and this doesn't weigh it down or leave it greasy. I use this every other day as my main shampoo/conditioner. LOVE IT.”

4. The Best For Oily Hair

Though it's sulfate-free, this cleansing foam conditioner by R+Co is unique in that it still has a more foamy, shampoo-like texture, which, according to Amazon reviewers, dispenses just like shaving cream. The weightless formula (which is also mineral oil-, gluten-, and paraben-free) is full of hair-loving ingredients, which, per the brand, are best for those with under-hydrated or coarse hair. The ingredient list includes horsetail extract for cleansing; green tea to add luster and shine, and argan oil to further soften hair. It's the priciest pick on this list, but fans mentioned it's "amazing" and "worth the price of admission" for those with fine hair — especially those who tend to get oily roots — because it will leave hair fluffy, clean, and grease-free.

Rave review: “I love this co wash! I have fine hair so I get oily roots and dry ends, usually conditioning washes are too heavy for my hair, but this one works great! Love the scent, hair is soft after use. Will def continue to buy it.”

5. The Best For Color-Treated Hair

While all of the co-washes on this list are safe for color-treated hair, what makes the Keracolor co-wash stand out is its proprietary "Krystal Water Complex," which helps neutralize hard water minerals and chlorine that can cause oxidation and color fading. The gentle cleanser is free of sulfates and parabens and is also cruelty-free. It's also infused with keratin to restore and strengthen hair that's become damaged from bleach and dye.

Rave review: “My fine, highlighted, colored, heat damaged, straw-like hair hasn't been this healthy looking in years. Seriously. I'm 36 with some premature gray and heavily damaged hair. My hair feels and looks like it did when I was in my teens before I started coloring, highlighting, etc. I've been using it for several weeks now and my color still looks fresh, healthy, and is super soft and shiny.”