Pantene Co-Wash Review: Is Co-Washing Dangerous For Your Hair?

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If you’ve never heard of co-washing you’ve been missing out. Have you ever skipped your shampoo and jumped straight to conditioner? If you’re nodding to yourself then you’ve officially co-washed. Co-washing is short for conditioner-washing and is a method used mainly for those with extreme curls or dry and damaged hair.

Your hair will be able to maintain its natural moisture level with this process.  All while still being nervous. Since unshampooed hair retains its natural oils, your conditioners moisturizing agents are able to better coat the hair strands.

The tricky part is finding a conditioner that not only moisturizes your hair but cleans it to some extent too. While you don’t want to strip your hair, cleaning it is a necessity for healthy tresses. That being said, it’s also important to watch out for silicones in your conditioner. They have the potential to build up in your hair over time. You want ingredients that are going to nourish your locks from within.

The main thing to look out for is conditioners that contain natural emollients and humectants to trap in moisture and add shine. When it comes to finding the perfect co-washing shampoo Pantene might just have found the equilibrium between clean hair, and conditioned locks.  

Pantene Co-Wash Explained

Pantene Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Wash

Pantene Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Wash

Traditionally we all wash our hair too often. There’s something to be said, especially for those of us with dry or damaged hair, for giving our locks the space they need to nourish themselves. By using a conditioner specifically made to allow our natural oils to be produced, while still maintaining the cleanliness and shine in our hair, Pantene is changing the hair game.

A no-poo hair routine that instead consists of regular co-washing can nourish your coils from the inside out. With this in mind, Pantene’s co-wash options are a good place to start. Whether you want a natural option or something that’s really going to bring out your shine, Pantene’s Co-Washing products have got you covered.

Before we go any further, let’s talk logistics. Fully eliminating the shampoo from your routine is something that takes adjusting to. The balance is between finding a product that’s not a heavy conditioner but that can still soften and clean the hair. An 80:20 ratio between conditioner and shampoo would be the happy medium for co-washing. The way you use this product is also different from a regular conditioner or shampoo on their own.

Fully wet your hair before massaging the conditioner into the scalp and distribute it evenly throughout the hair. If you have particularly dry or damaged hair, you’ll want to leave it in for a little longer so that it acts kind of like a mask. Keep in mind that because of the cream-like quality of conditioners you’ll need to use a clarifying shampoo regularly to remove any build up. Now that we know what to watch out for, let’s take a look at exactly what Pantene has on offer.

Pantene Gold Series Co-Wash Review

The Pantene Gold Series Hydrating Co-Wash shampoo is the ideal place to start when you’re just beginning your co-washing journey. It boosts your hairs moisture levels relieving any dryness not just from your strands, but also from the top of your head. Unlike regular conditioners, you can really massage it into the scalp to gently cleanse your hair as best as possible.

The first thing that I noticed was that it’s not perfume-scented. It’s just super fresh which is exactly what I’m looking for when I’m skipping my usual cleansing shampoo. You may not like that product contains silicones. I know I didn’t. While silicones provide the slip and shine you want in a good conditioner, they’re basically a plastic that coats the hair shaft. Instead of truly moisturizing and hydrating your hair to achieve that shine, you’re just coating the strands giving an illusion of silky, healthy hair.

This means that it actually prevents moisture from penetrating the shaft. Due to the lack of real moisture, your hair is likely to become brittle and dry over time. As if that wasn’t enough, they also lead to a heavy buildup in the hair. Nevertheless, using the Pantene Gold Series Co-Wash leaves hair temporarily less dry and damaged so if you’re looking for a quick-fix this could be the place to start. I would be wary to use a clarifying shampoo every once in a while, in my hair care routine if I was to continually use this co-wash though.

Pantene Truly Natural Co-Wash Review

curly hair

Pantene Truly Natural Co-Wash is a low lather shampoo and is very natural.

If you’re looking for a more natural approach to your co-washing, then Pantene’s Truly Natural co-wash has got you covered. It’s a low lather shampoo-conditioner hybrid that’s perfect for cleansing and moisturizing your dry or dull locks. As far as being natural goes this Truly Natural Co-Wash left me feeling a little confused. A few truly unnatural ingredients caught my attention on the ingredients label. Synthetic substances like EDTA and Bis-aminopropyl Dimethicone can be found in this product, as well as harsh preservatives like Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone.

You may be surprised to see the word “fragrance” on the ingredients label. This is a loophole in ingredients descriptions to subtly label anything from scent or color to how it stays on your skin. When I see “fragrance” on an ingredients label, I see a red flag.

That being said, the presence of Jojoba Oil and Coconut Oil redeemed this product somewhat. Jojoba oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to keep the scalp clean and healthy. It has the ability to remove build-up in the hair – which is exactly what you’re going to need if you’re using silicones. It also conditions the hair and adds that coveted shine. Meanwhile, coconuts are known for their ability to reduce protein loss and moisturize the hair from within.    

The lather itself wasn’t a full lather you get from your regular shampoo. That’s to be expected from a co-wash product. Nevertheless, your hair is left feeling clean which is what you don’t get from a pure conditioner. The consistency of the Pantene Truly Natural Co-Wash is kind of like a moisturizer. It’s thick but spreadable and easy to apply evenly to the hair. With dry and damaged hair, this is a feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. You will have nourished and manageable hair. Win-win.


If you have dry or damaged hair, this could be a sign that your scalp isn’t producing its own natural oils to maximum capacity. By switching to a co-wash routine, you allow your hair to produce those oils whilst still being able to nourish the hair. It’s the perfect balance between no-poo and a regular shampoo routine.

Bearing this in mind, Pantene’s Co-Wash has got the harmony down pat. If you need an extra hydrating shine, or just something that’s a little more stripped back, the Gold Series and Truly Natural co-wash options are a good place to start.

Nevertheless, it’s important to mention that the Pantene Truly Natural Co-Wash is a prime example of what we call greenwashing. There is little regulation over who can use eco-friendly or enviro-friendly words and in what context.  Labels that include words like “toxin-free”, “clean” or “natural” are usually not so. If I see a ‘natural’ product with more words that I can’t pronounce than can, I know something’s up.

This means that personally, the Truly Natural co-wash wouldn’t be my first option. But as far as ingredients go both the Gold Series and the Truly Natural promise results. Either way, if you want to give your hair some TLC then why not give co-washing a try? Your hair just might thank you for it!

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