/  Grooming /  Hair Care

6 Best Co-Washes for Men in 2024: A Grooming Expert’s Picks

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Geologie and contains affiliate links. Learn more.

David has been covering men's style and grooming topics for The Adult Man as a writer and photographer since 2020. We asked David to sum himself up in four sentences, and here it is. Serial learner. Aspiring wordsmith. Bourbon enthusiast. Jack of some trades. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Mar 25, 2024
11 min read
Best Co Washes for Men Man Washing Hair Image from Behind

You’re tired of frizzy, dry, or flat hair, but you can’t seem to find a shampoo that’s gentle. Even worse, no matter how much conditioner you use, your hair never gets that healthy, well-moisturized shine. 

My friends, that’s where co-wash comes in, and I’ve found the six best that money can buy so you can unlock a new level of healthy, happy hair.

Finding hair products that actually do what you want is hard.

In an ideal world, my shampoo wouldn’t scour every last bit of natural oil from my hair and scalp. And as a result, my hair wouldn’t go from dry and frizzy to coated in oil overnight.

My ideal shampoo would regulate my scalp’s oil production so that my hair stays well-hydrated and manageable for a few days, but I have yet to find a shampoo that can do just that. 

We all have that one friend who has nicer than average hair. Tired of my hair getting ‘staticky’ and sticking straight to my forehead in the colder months, I approached my good-haired friend and asked for his secrets. 

His answer was simple: “Co-wash.”

At first, I thought he was recommending that I ditch my shampoo and wash with conditioner, but after a quick Google search, I found an entire new line of hair products. 

The best part? Co-wash does exactly what I’d been looking for in a shampoo.

In this article, I’ll unpack the six best co-washes that money can buy, so you can get frizz-free, strong, hydrated hair any time you want.

My Recommendations

Best Overall: Geologie Cooling Hair Co-Wash 

gNCR1pSRMjS67sSTJJSJ2g3qQmKn6SFHpY 0 iBE6Zt1pLeAqk5KW v8dN6aMH 58juMFzVAGGMkxG601hb 4ppZdp54oWKVVayxgUa77swKhOK wcArOJgwxYG3twZ33l fVHLG k7zQ 8FSkZ0NKw

Coming in as our top, all-around pick is Geologie’s Cooling Hair Co-Wash

Geologie is a 27x award-winning skincare company recognized in publications like Men’s Health, Hypebeast, Byrdie, and Esquire. They recently made their foray into shower and bath products with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and co-wash. 

Since Geologie is, first and foremost, a skincare company, they take a “skin up” approach to hair products, and their co-washes are a perfect example of this. These products are packed with skin-moisturizing and cleansing ingredients that nourish your scalp and create the right environment for healthy hair.

Man Holding Geologie Smoothing and Cooling Hair Co Washes

The Cooling Hair Co-Wash is formulated with Vitamin B5 and squalane to pack a hydrating one-two punch, and also uses menthol and tea tree oil to stimulate blood circulation to the scalp and unplug clogged hair follicles, which promotes healthy hair growth. 

Geologie also makes a Smoothing Hair Co-Wash, which is made with avocado and coconut oil to provide deep moisture and smooth coarse, dry hair.

These co-wash benefits aren’t exclusive to just the hair on top of your head, either. Use these co-washes as a beard cleanser and moisturize the hair follicles beneath for a beard that’s soft to the touch and flake-free.

What I Like

  • Geologie’s co-washes nourish your skin to create the right environment for healthy hair growth.
  • They remove product build-up in the hair and scalp that clogs pores and damages hair.
  • Both co-washes are great for beards and getting flake-free skin underneath.

What I Don’t Like

They’re not cheap products at first glance, but save money in the long run compared to premium shampoos and conditioners.

What Other Reviewers Say

The verdict is in, and reviewers love Geologie’s co-washes. 

Satisfied customers loved the cooling, gentle cleansing of the Cooling Co-Wash while many others commented on how hydrated and healthy their hair feels after use.

Regarding negative reviews, Geologie’s co-washes are so well-loved that I couldn’t find a single bad comment.

The Verdict

Geologie’s co-washes pack a wallop when it comes to nourishing your scalp and setting the stage for healthy, luscious hair. While the initial cost can seem steep, these products aren’t intended for daily use and will last a long time.

If you want to stop damaging your hair with harsh shampoos and get strong, vibrant hair, I recommend getting started with one of Geologie’s natural, powerful co-washes.

Best Overall
Geologie Cooling Hair Co-Wash
(Get 50% off after taking Geologie's quiz until 5/22)

I love the idea that I’m basically giving my scalp a face mask treatment every time I use this. After just one wash I noticed a lighter, stronger texture to my hair that made it easier to shape and make presentable.

Check Price

Best for Straight Hair: Kiehl’s Rice and Wheat Volumizing and Conditioning Rinse

Straight hair is prone to getting oily quickly since it’s much closer to your scalp than wavy or curly hair. Your scalp produces oil, and that oil has much less distance to travel to coat your individual strands of hair.

A co-wash can help slow down this process by cleansing your scalp and regulating its oil production, and my favorite co-wash for that very thing is Kiehl’s Rice and Wheat Volumizing and Conditioning Rinse.

It’s formulated with jojoba seed oil and rice bran for powerful scalp hydration that can regulate your scalp’s oil production and keep your hair from getting too oily too fast. 

Since straight hair is also prone to being flat and thin, Kiehl’s co-wash uses rice and wheat proteins to give hair a thicker, fuller appearance and feel. This can add body to your hair to make it more manageable, and will also increase its shine and luster.

What I Like

  • Potent ingredients like wheat and rice proteins give a healthy boost to flat, lifeless hair.
  • Jojoba seed oil hydrates and cleanses the scalp, which in turn regulates oil production and lets straight hair stay grease-free, longer.
  • It smoothes down split ends and flyaways, and the hydrating benefits help to detangle and maintain unruly hair.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s a small amount of product for the price, which may not last long if you have lots of hair.

What Other Reviewers Say

Customers with straight, fine hair swear by this stuff. Many mentioned that their hair was thicker and healthier after use and was less prone to getting tangled and looking flat.

I found one negative review that mentioned their split ends getting worse after using this product, but there were no bad reviews otherwise.

The Verdict

Guys with naturally thin, fine, or straight hair will get a hefty boost from Kiehl’s Volumizing and Conditioning Rinse. The natural wheat and rice proteins thicken hair and increase its shine, while jojoba seed oil and rice bran deeply hydrate the scalp.

Although it comes in a small package, a little can go a long way if you use it sparingly.

Best for Straight Hair
Kiehl’s Rice and Wheat Volumizing and Conditioning Rinse

Guys with naturally thin, fine, or straight hair will get a hefty boost from Kiehl’s Volumizing and Conditioning Rinse. The natural wheat and rice proteins thicken hair and increase its shine, while jojoba seed oil and rice bran deeply hydrate the scalp.

Check Price

Great Value: Jack Black Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner

Jack Black is a long-time player in the men’s self-care industry and brings their expertise in full force with their Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner

Sporting a large product size and wallet-friendly price, this co-wash gets our pick for great value. 

While it’s packed with ingredients that cleanse and moisturize your hair and scalp, two standouts are sea kelp and biotin. Sure, scrubbing a chunk of seaweed through your hair probably isn’t your idea of a good time, but sea kelp is actually loaded with vitamins and minerals to promote shine and strength.

Biotin can also boost your hair strength, and has been shown to promote hair growth in those who are biotin-deficient. 

Best of all, Jack Black’s co-washes are made without parabens, sulfates, or other harsh cleaning ingredients that damage hair and upset your scalp’s natural oil production.

What I Like

  • This co-wash offers serious bang for your buck when considering the amount of product, the friendly price, and the numerous hair and scalp benefits.
  • Natural, unique ingredients like sea kelp bring important vitamins and minerals to your hair environment that can increase strength and shine.
  • The formulation is free from the typical harsh ingredients found in cheap, off-the-shelf hair products.

What I Don’t Like

  • It can feel heavy for people with extremely light or fine hair.

What Other Reviewers Say

Most reviews for Jack Black’s Hair and Scalp Conditioner are positive, with happy customers noting improvements in the texture, moisture, and shine of their hair.

That said, there were quite a few negative reviews as well, where several customers reported that this product dried out their scalp and made their hair oily.

The Verdict

Overall, Jack Black’s Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner brings powerful hydration, luster, and strength to hair that’s tired from being overwashed by cheap shampoos. 

Despite the fact that several customers had negative experiences with this product, the vast majority noted huge improvements to their hair quality. This co-wash is a great place to start if you want to get in the game without denting your wallet.

Great Value
Jack Black Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner

Overall, Jack Black’s Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner brings powerful hydration, luster, and strength to hair that’s tired from being overwashed by cheap shampoos.

Check Price

Best for Curly Hair: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash

Curly hair is prone to being dry and brittle, due to how much longer it takes oil to travel down the length of coiled or curly hair. 

Thus, those with curly hair are likely in need of a moisture boost, and Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash is a great place to get it.

Like all of Shea Moisture’s products, this co-wash is formulated with organic shea butter that helps moisturize and detangle thick, curly hair. Coconut oil works hand-in-hand with the shea butter to strengthen curls and prevent hair from breaking easily, while also providing another boost of moisture.

As for your scalp, this co-wash uses silk protein and neem oil to hydrate the skin and hair follicles, which regulates oil production and also promotes new hair growth. Neem oil also helps to increase hair shine and smooths curls to keep your hair frizz-free.

Best of all, Shea Moisture’s co-wash won’t break the bank and comes in a product size that will last for more than two showers.

What I Like

  • This co-wash is a moisturizing powerhouse featuring organic shea butter, coconut oil, silk protein, and neem oil in it’s formula.
  • The neem oil helps to make dry, lifeless curls shiny and smooth.
  • The coconut and hibiscus scent is refreshing and subtle, and this co-wash is budget-friendly.

What I Don’t Like

  • It uses several synthetic cleaning chemicals like sulfates and parabens, which can be harsh on skin and dry hair.

What Other Reviewers Say

The vast majority of reviews for this co-wash are positive, with satisfied customers reporting more moisture and greater control of their hair. Many went on to make repeat purchases, and plenty mentioned loving the coconut and hibiscus scent..

This co-wash has a number of negative reviews as well, where several customers mentioned that the product left a greasy residue in their hair that didn’t smell good.

The Verdict

If you have thick, curly, or coiled hair that’s often dry, Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash is a great product to check out. Organic shea butter and coconut oil provide robust hydration, and neem oil boosts luster and keeps your hair frizz-free

Best for Curly Hair
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash

If you have thick, curly, or coiled hair that’s often dry, Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash is a great product to check out. Organic shea butter and coconut oil provide robust hydration, and neem oil boosts luster and keeps your hair frizz-free

Check Price

Best Lightweight: R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner

Some of us struggle with heavy, dense product build-up that makes our hair feel perpetually dirty or greasy. Whether you have very fine hair or fluctuate violently between dry and oily scalp conditions, a lightweight co-wash can help achieve balance.

My favorite lightweight co-wash is R+Co’s Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner.

Most co-washes have a thick, low-foam formulation, but R+Co made this lightweight and foamy to spread easily and won’t leave thick, impossible-to-remove gunk in your hair afterward. 

Argan oil, nettle leaf extract, and green tea help soften and condition the hair, which makes your hair more manageable and optimally hydrated. 

Best of all, the Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner is color-safe, which makes it perfect for color-treated, coarse, and under-hydrated hair.

What I Like

  • The lightweight formulation is unique among co-washes, easy to use, and leaves my hair feeling hydrated and strong.
  • Natural ingredients like green tea, argan oil, and nettle leaf extract help soften hair and make it easier to work with.
  • It’s a color-safe formulation.

What I Don’t Like

  • The product is only 5.75 ounces, and since it’s lightweight, you can use it more often, which means you may run out quickly.

What Other Reviewers Say

This co-wash has great reviews overall. Customers who struggled with dry, light, straw-like hair for years finally found relief when this co-wash helped moisturize and strengthen their hair. 

On the negative side, several customers found the scent to be too strong, but I didn’t find any negative comments regarding the co-wash’s function.

The Verdict

It’s hard to find a lightweight co-wash, but R+Co’s Analog Cleaning Foam Conditioner fits the bill. The light, foamy formulation spreads easily through the hair, hydrates and strengthens hair and follicles, and washes out completely. It’s also color-safe and great for coarse, dry hair.

Best Lightweight
R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner

It’s hard to find a lightweight co-wash, but R+Co’s Analog Cleaning Foam Conditioner fits the bill. The light, foamy formulation spreads easily through the hair, hydrates and strengthens hair and follicles, and washes out completely. It’s also color-safe and great for coarse, dry hair.

Check Price

Best Premium: New Wash Original Hair Cleanser

If you’ve got some free cash and want to invest in a heavy-hitting co-wash, I recommend New Wash’s Original Hair Cleanser

Although the price can be intimidating, the all-natural, non-toxic ingredients guarantee the maximum benefits of a well-hydrated scalp and strong, frizz-free hair. 

Jojoba and peppermint oil clean grease and environmental dirt away while increasing blood flow to the scalp, which promotes new hair growth. Since there are no harsh detergents or sulfates used in the formulation, the moisture stays on your scalp and at your roots and ends.

All of this combines for healthy, luscious, salon-quality hair that won’t be frizzy, dry, or tired from overwashing and harsh products. 

What I Like

  • This co-wash uses all-natural, non-toxic ingredients, which guarantees it will be gentle, yet potent.
  • Jojoba and peppermint oil in the formulation clean, hydrate, and stimulate blood flow to the scalp.
  • Made without synthetic fragrances that can irritate the scalp and damage hair.

What I Don’t Like

  • The formula is slightly thicker than other co-washes, which can feel too heavy if you have extremely fine hair.

What Other Reviewers Say

This co-wash has tons of great reviews, with many satisfied customers noting how it strips out excess oil but leaves behind the essential, natural ones. Other positive reviewers loved how shiny and strong this co-wash made their hair.

The most common complaint I saw was regarding the price, which is to be expected. This is a premium product, after all.

The Verdict

New Wash’s Original Hair Cleanser is a premium product that commands a premium price. Natural, non-toxic ingredients bring necessary moisture to tired, flat hair, smooth out frizz-prone hair, and help maintain a natural, healthy shine.

Best Premium
New Wash Original Hair Cleanser

New Wash’s Original Hair Cleanser is a premium product that commands a premium price. Natural, non-toxic ingredients bring necessary moisture to tired, flat hair, smooth out frizz-prone hair, and help maintain a natural, healthy shine.

Check Price

2 Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Co-Wash

Your Hair Type

Some co-washes are formulated to treat specific hair types, like curly, straight, or coarse. If you have a distinct hair type that makes for disagreeable hair conditions, choose a co-wash that can help.

Mens Hair Styles Male Model Smiling at Camera With Curly Fade Hair Style

For example, Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash is great for curly hair, while Kiehl’s Rice and Wheat Volumizing and Conditioning Rinse is great for straight hair. 

On the other hand, if you just want a great, all-around co-wash that works with all hair types, I recommend Geologie’s Cooling Co-Wash.

Your Budget

As you’d expect, some co-washes are wallet-friendly while others threaten financial ruin. Most guys need to dip the proverbial toe into a new hygiene product before diving in wholesale, so choose the co-wash you won’t regret purchasing if it’s not right for you.

How to Use Co-Wash the Right Way

Using co-wash the right way comes down to five simple steps.

Get Your Hair Thoroughly Wet

This lays the groundwork for a successful shower session, but it’s also easy to overlook. 

man taking a shower

I’ve been known to jump in the shower, get my head under the water for all of three seconds, and then get co-washing, but this limits any shower product’s effectiveness. 

Spend at least 30 seconds working the water through your hair and making sure every strand (and your scalp) is soaked.

Coat Your Hair With Co-Wash

Squirt a nickel or quarter-sized dollop of co-wash (our go-to is Geologie’s Cooling Hair Co-Wash) onto your fingertips, work it between your hands, and then apply the co-wash to your scalp. Work the co-wash across every surface of your scalp (even behind the ears), and then get the ends of your hair if you haven’t already.

Massage The Co-Wash For At Least One Minute

Closeup of man in shower with shampoo in hair
young bearded naked brunette man massaging his head in shower with shampoo foam or hair care product. Advertising for men’s hair cosmetics or conditioner or antihairloss remedy

Co-wash does its cleansing magic through the power of friction, so you have to scrub this through for a good long time. Using your fingertips, scrub in small circles across the top, sides, and back of your head, and feel free to make a few passes. 

Do this for at least a minute, and if you’re feeling bold, go for two.

Let The Co-Wash Sit For At Least One Minute

It’s as easy as it sounds—let it do its hydrating, nourishing goodness. 

In the meantime, feel free to soap up your body or whatever else you might enjoy doing in the shower.

Rinse Thoroughly

You guessed it—I recommend rinsing your hair for at least 30 seconds and ideally one minute. It’s important to not let product build up on your scalp or in your hair, as this can lead to clogged pores and damaged follicles.

African American Man Washing His Hair in Shower

Time For Better Hair

Now that you’ve got six of the best co-washes that money can buy at your fingertips, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right one for you.

If you’re after an all-around co-wash powerhouse that uses natural, potent ingredients, smells great, and also works on your beard, I recommend Geologie’s Cooling Hair Co-Wash.

Geologie Cooling Hair Co-Wash
(Get 50% off after taking Geologie's quiz until 5/22)

I love the idea that I’m basically giving my scalp a face mask treatment every time I use this. After just one wash I noticed a lighter, stronger texture to my hair that made it easier to shape and make presentable.

Check Price

Guys with straight hair that’s often oily will do well with Kiehl’s Rice and Wheat Volumizing and Conditioning Rinse.

If you’re after the value and don’t want buyer’s remorse, check out Jack Black’s Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner.

Curly hair can easily be dry, and if this sounds like your plight, Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash is right up your alley. 

If you’ve got superfine, thin hair that doesn’t do well with heavy products, I recommend R+Co’s Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner

Lastly, if you’ve got money to spend and want a premium co-wash with all-natural, non-toxic ingredients, get your hands on New Wash’s Original Hair Cleanser.

If you know a guy with less-than-optimal hair and could benefit from co-wash, share this article with him! He’ll thank you when he’s getting recruited for hair product commercials.

FAQs

Can men use Co-wash?

Yes, co-wash is great for men and women alike.

What are the best co-wash products?

Our favorite co-washes are Geologie’s Cooling Hair Co-Wash and their Soothing Hair Co-Wash.

What does a co-wash do for your hair?

Co-wash gently removes excess oil and environmental dirt from your hair and scalp, while also hydrating those areas and regulating your scalp’s oil production. It’s known to add shine and luster to flat, lifeless hair, smooth frizz-prone manes, and strengthen and promote new hair growth.