I found the Best Drugstore Conditioner for Cowashing!

Posted by Elizabeth Alex on

It's Giovanni Cosmetics and here's why!
I've advised not using regular conditioners to cowash in my cowashing guide. I rather you use conditioners with cleansing agents to cowash. But proper cowashes like that in the market are not so affordable for us all. So after watching woke stylists like Evan Joseph, Cheyenne who use regular conditioner for cowashing I decided to open my mind to a fact-based way of thinking like them also. (Instead of blindly following bloggers that is :P) Evan has been in the haircare industry for more than a decade and I trust his judgement. He advises using any conditioner with the ingredient Ceterly/Cetyl Alcohol for cowashing.

What is Cetyl Alcohol

According to this Healthline article, Cetyl alcohol is an emulsifier and increases the product’s ability to foam. It is a gentle cleanser and helps soften hair and skin too. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel says this is a safe and non-toxic ingredient. Phew

Other names

  • (C16-C18) alkyl alcohol
  • alcohols, C1618
  • C16-18 alcohols
  • cetostearyl alcohol
  • cetyl/stearyl alcohol
  • 1-octadecanol, mixed with 1-hexadecanol
I don’t know about you but I’ve always wondered why Giovanni conditioners lathered. So when I turned over the bottle, lo behold, Cetyl alcohol is present in all Eco Chic Giovanni conditioners! See here, I used Giovanni Direct Leavein as a cowash and got these amazing results! And my hair is 3 months postpartum here too.

The Degree of Cetyl Alcohol

Whether you decide to use Giovanni or any other conditioner for cowashing? It is very important you see where this ingredient is listed on the bottle. If  Cetyl Alcohol is listed in the top 5 ingredients, then we presume it has a high concentration of it in the bottle. If it is listed towards the bottom, then the concentration is less. If it’s listed in the middle then you get the idea?
A quick disclaimer, keep cowashing to a minimum and remember to clarify as often as you cowash to maintain a healthy balance. Learn how to set a curly hair routine here.  Anyway, I requested my curl friends Dr. Sayali and Swati Arora to help compile some of the following information for us. Thank you ladies!
Cetyl Alcohol is listed as the second ingredient. Other ingredients like Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract and *Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract are clarifying ingredients.  These ingredients are not as harsh as sulfates, but should be used sparingly (average of two times/month) making it perfect for cowashing if you cowash once in a while like me! This has protein so those with protein-senstive hair or low porosity hair may avoid it. See my tutorial review for this shampoo conditioner here. 

TEA TREE TRIPLE TREAT INVIGORATING CONDITIONER

While it doesn't contain Cetyl Alcohol, it contains Sodium cocoamphoacetate. This a mild surfactant (cleansing and foaming agent) and a little stronger than  Cetyl Alcohol. This Giovanni conditioner is protein-free! Clarifying Ingredients like Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil and Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, makes this conditioner the best bet for low porosity hair but not great for those with any coconut sensitivity though. Buy in India here

ROOT 66 MAX VOLUME CONDITIONER

DIRECT LEAVE-IN WEIGHTLESS MOISTURE CONDITIONER

Cetyl Alcohol is listed as the second ingredient so lots of foaming! Unlike the other Giovanni conditioners listed above, this does not contain any clarifying agents. It is protein free and has helpful botanical ingredients. Considering my low-porosity-postpartum hair does not appreciate protein and I don't like minty scents nor heavy moisture products, I appreciated cowashing with this conditioner the most! Buy Now in India here

Isn't this great?! We can all cowash with affordable and easily available cowashes now! Let me know if you try

Thank you for watching & reading!

Need more Help? Ask Liz here

4 comments


  • Thanks . Interesting read !
    I have recently started the CGM, i have wavy hair, no chemical treatments and no color. But i do feel its pretty dry and the frizz!!! Arrgh ! Anyhoo, i am still experimenting with techniques and wanted to know if i could use the TTTT conditioner as a leave-in as well ? I am not too keen as of now to go on and my more products. I had to calm myself down from becoming a product hoader !

    Would really like to know this.
    Thanks :)

    Pooja on

  • This is such an excellent review! Thank you! Would you consider doing something similar with their shampoos?

    xiomara on

  • Thanks so much Liz for this blog! Like you, I too have wondered why Giovanni products tend to foam. I currently have in my arsenal Giovannis 50/50 Clarifying shampoo (it was very hydrating for my hair at first and was able to finger detangle with it, but now it feels pretty stripping and I don’t know why 😔), 50/50 Conditioner, and I also have the Direct Weightless Leave In Conditioner. I might experiment cowashing with one of their conditioners and see how my hair likes it 💕.

    Mrs. P. on

  • Thanks so much Liz for this blog! Like you, I too have wondered why Giovanni products tend to foam. I currently have in my arsenal Giovannis 50/50 Clarifying shampoo (it was very hydrating for my hair at first and was able to finger detangle with it, but now it feels pretty stripping and I don’t know why 😔), 50/50 Conditioner, and I also have the Direct Weightless Leave In Conditioner. I might experiment cowashing with one of their conditioners and see how my hair likes it 💕.

    Mrs. P. on

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