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Battle of the Co-Washes: My Holy Grail vs. The "Popular" Brand

4:41 PM

Battle of the Co-Washes
You already knew who the HG was!
This blog post and video has been a few years in the making. Let's not dwell on why it took me so long - but rather, let's bask in the fact that its finally here! 😂 For a while now, I've been marinating on pitting some of my personal favorites/holy grail products up against the "leading" favorites that seem to get all the buzz, PR, and have all the popular YouTubers and Instagrammers talking about them.

I present to you the first of many holy grail head-to-head comparisons - co-wash style.

If you've followed me for any length of time, checked out any of my Christina's Choice posts, or simply asked me which co-wash I adore forever and ever, then you probably know the holy grail. And if you're at least mildly active on social media, then you know what the "leading" brand co-wash is.

But for the sake of avoiding bias on your end, I covered the labels with white paper, simply referencing them as Co-Wash #1 and Co-Wash #2. How do they stack up against each other? Let's start with the easy comparison points - price and ingredients.

Want to know why I only discuss the top 5-7 ingredients after water? Here's why.

Price & Active Ingredients
Co-Wash #1
Price: $16 for 8oz ($2 per oz)
Active Ingredients:
  • Water
  • Cetyl Alcohol: Considered "fatty alcohol" -- NOT to be confused with drying alcohols such as ethyl. Acts as a lubricant, thickener, and emollient. Also give conditioner its velvety feel without making hair greasy. Is additionally used to keep product ingredients from separating.
  • Glycerin: Generally vegetable-based humectant that absorbs and retains moisture from the air.
  • Isopropyl Palmitate: Palm oil-based emollient derived from coconut oil, used as a thickening agent, lubricant, and softener. It works to improve the luster, silkiness, and softness of the hair, helping the hair to become softer, healthier, and more manageable over time.
  • Cyclopentasiloxane: Emollient and hair conditioning silicone-based compound. It is water-thin and evaporates easily, so it does not weigh the hair down. It gives your hair a wet, slippery, soft feel without greasiness or making it dry and crunchy. As soon as it is done conditioning the hair, it evaporates.
  • Behentrimonium Chloride: Quaternary ammonium compound and close cousin of cetrimonium chloride. Also penetrates the hair, conditions, and acts as an anti-static and anti-microbial agent.
Co-Wash #2
Price: $22 for 12oz ($1.83 per oz)
Active Ingredients:
  • Water
  • Cetyl Alcohol: Considered "fatty alcohol" -- NOT to be confused with drying alcohols such as ethyl. Acts as a lubricant, thickener, and emollient. Also give conditioner its velvety feel without making hair greasy. Is additionally used to keep product ingredients from separating.
  • Gylcerin: Generally vegetable-based humectant that absorbs and retains moisture from the air.
  • Isopropyl Palmitate: Palm oil-based emollient derived from coconut oil, used as a thickening agent, lubricant, and softener. It works to improve the luster, silkiness, and softness of the hair, helping the hair to become softer, healthier, and more manageable over time.
  • Behentrimonium Chloride: Quaternary ammonium compound and close cousin of cetrimonium chloride. Also penetrates the hair, conditions, and acts as an anti-static and anti-microbial agent
  • Laureth-4: Lauryl alcohol derivative used as a cleansing agent and texture enhancer. It also acts as an emulsifier, keeping ingredients from separating. While gentle, it is also mildly comdeogenic (causes breakouts on skin).
(For what it's worth, the "more moisturizing" version of Co-Wash #2 has an identical active ingredient list. #themoreyouknow)


The major difference between the two (I don't consider 17 cents major) boils down to cyclopentasiloxane vs. Laureth-4. Cyclopentasiloxane is one of personal preference. If you're a staunch "Curly Girl" supporter, then this will likely turn you off - no matter how many times I explain that we've basically been brainwashed into thinking silicones are bad. That aside, both ingredient lists are essentially the same with regard to active ingredients after water.

To be honest, it made me laugh - thinking especially of Co-Wash #2. But as I'll later discover, one active ingredient switch can make all the difference...

Performance
Detangling
Given that I was working with my holy grail, I knew exactly what to expect. As soon as I applied the product and wet it down to start detangling, it was smooth sailing. That's one of the reasons I live for Co-Wash #1 - it helps me save SO much time on wash day thanks to the creamy slip. It detangled flawlessly, and in less time than Co-Wash #2.

I gotta be honest - I expected way more out of Co-Wash #2. With all the hype online, I was expecting a botanical revolution on my hair and scalp. Unfortunately, Co-Wash #2 can't hold a candle to #1 in the slip and detangling department. Where I was able to just start moving the comb through the side of my head with Co-Wash #1, I had to stop and pull certain sections with Co-Wash #2. Not exactly the smooth sailing I had expected.

Buildup Removal
To be fair, I found the cleaning abilities of both products to be on par with each other. They both equally removed buildup from the hair and scalp. No news to report here.

After Rinsing
Talk about where the rubber meets the road! One of the perks of co-washing is getting those silky, soft, moisturized strands that you don't typically find with shampoo. Co-Wash #1 delivered that effortlessly (one of the many reasons I love it), while Co-Wash #2 struggled in that department.

I'll mince no words here - I hated the way my hair felt after using Co-Wash #2. It felt rough. A lil' crunchy. Not smooth in the slightest. I remember saying to myself repeatedly, "why do people buy this?!" 😂 But in all seriousness, I'm never putting this stuff in my hair again. And there's nothing you can do to convince me otherwise. I learned a looooong time ago, that if a product doesn't work the first time, stop trying to force it.

The Winner
Co-Wash #1, by leaps and bounds. From ease of detangling to appearance and feel, Co-Wash #1 over and outperformed Co-Wash #2. In fact, I got my receipt ready to return Co-Wash #2 and get my schmoney back. 😂

The Reveal
Co-Wash #1 - Be Kekoa Be Clean Cleansing Conditioner
Co-Wash #2 - DevaCurl No Poo Original

Battle of the Co-Washes: My Holy Grail vs. The "Popular" Brand
How many of you knew which was which?
Aiight y'all - let's hear it! How shocked are you? Lets chat in the comments below!

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1 comments

  1. Christina, I love your blog and how you breakdown product reviews! There is also hype on the Internet for the DevaCurl No-Poo Decadence. The Decadence line is more moisturizing than the other DevaCurl products. I haven't used the No-Poo original, but I have used the No-Poo Decadence. For my hair (very kinky 4a) it is moisturizing and I can do some detangling. Be-Kekoa has not worked for me. Looking forward to other brand battles!

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