Product Review: As I Am – Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner

Product Review: As I Am – Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
Product Review:  As I Am – Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner

As mentioned in my January 2013 CurlKit Unboxing post, one of the items I received was a whopping 16oz jar of As I Am – Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner.  Many of you guys responded to my video saying how much you liked this product.  I already have a tub of their gel and have fallen in love with that, so you KNOW I couldn’t wait to try the Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner.

Full disclosure: I must admit that I’m a bad natural for a number of reasons.  Reason number #284 is that I very rarely cowash.  I’m hopelessly addicted to the suds.  I’ve always felt that cowashing just added to the gunky product build-up on my hair instead of eliminating it.  I couldn’t wrap my mind around using a conditioner to wash my hair!  It just didn’t seem possible.  However, it’s a new year, and I vowed to clean up my act when it comes to my hair.  One of the things that’s been on my to-do list is to give cowashing another shot.  So receiving this product was right on time.  Surely a product that has “cowash” in the name must be the best place to start.

So anyways… Here are the specs:

Company:  As I Am
Product:  Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
Price:  $8 for a 16oz jar

Ingredients:  Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) and Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine)¹, Cetyl Alcohol², Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol², PEG-40 Castor Oil, Stearlkonium chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil², Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil¹, Phytosterols¹, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract¹, Quaternium-18, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene, Methylisothiazolinone.

Benefits Claimed (per their website):

    1. Spreads easily throughout hair
    2. Gently cleanses hair and scalp
    3. Maintains moisture, adds more moisture and helps hair retain moisture until your next cleanse.
    4. Makes detangling a breeze
    5. Rinses easily from hair.
    6. Helps promote a healthy environment for hair growth
    7. Gentle enough for daily use. Safe for color-treated hair


My thoughts:

This product makes some pretty lofty claims, so here is what I thought about each one:


Claim #1:  Spreads easily through hair

The consistency is very smooth and fairly thick for a conditioner.  It reminds me of the consistency of greek yogurt or sour cream (sorry, I’m hungry right now and I couldn’t think of a comparison that wasn’t food related).  It distributed very nicely and was easy to apply to my hair and scalp.

Claim #2:  Gently cleanses hair and scalp

One of my biggest pet peeves with cowashing in the past is that my scalp never felt clean afterward.  It would just feel like I was mashing extra product into my already dirty scalp.  Not a good feeling.  A couple of days after washing my hair, my scalp would start to itch and feel… gross!   Well, I must say, I’ve used the Coconut Cowash twice and so far I feel like it actually did get my scalp fairly clean.  I think this is due to the Tangerine Fruit Oil (Citrus Reticulata) in the product.  Tangerine Fruit Oil is a conditioner, but it is also also used to help remove oil from the scalp or as a facial cleanser.

Of course a cowash can’t compare with the squeaky-clean lathery goodness of shampoo, but as far as cowashes go, this is better than any other conditioner I’ve tried at cleaning my scalp and hair.

Claim #3:  Maintains Moisture

Coconut Cowash definitely helped make my hair feel thoroughly moisturized until my next wash, however, per instructions on their site, you should still condition afterward with a separate conditioner, so this won’t substitute for both your shampoo and conditioner.  I have read reviews of this product where the users attempted to use it as a leave-in conditioner, and it made their hair feel stiff and unpleasant.  I used this product in place of my shampoo, then I rinsed it out and conditioned with my U R Curly Quinoa Conditioner as I usually do.  I didn’t feel any stiffness and my hair felt very moistuized; much more moisturized than when I use shampoo.  I definitely notice a huge difference here… and I like it!  :)

Claim #4:  Makes Detangling a Breeze

Overall, I’d say I agree… somewhat.  While it was a bit easier to detangle my hair after using this product, it was far from a “breeze.”  The instructions tell you to detangle while this product is in your hair.  I tried that, and it didn’t work all that well.  However, when I detangled with my usual conditioner (after using the Coconut Cowash), it was much easier than it usually is.

Claim #5:  Rinses Easily from Hair

Yep.  Pretty much!  No problem there!

Claim #6:  Helps Promote Hair Growth

Of course I won’t be able to tell after two washes whether it helps with hair growth (although  I would have loved it if I woke up this morning and my hair was tailbone length, but needless to say it didn’t happen).  This was the claim I was most interested in yet skeptical about.  They don’t say exactly how it promotes growth, but I believe it may be from the following:

  1. The moisture-enhancing properties described above (less breakage);
  2. The ease in detangling described above (less breakage); and
  3. The addition of Saw Palmetto (Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract), which is believed by some to prevent hormonal hair loss.

If this stuff actually does promote growth, it will be my new favorite product.  But only time will tell.

Claim #7:  Gentle Enough for Daily Use

I’ll have to take their word for it, but just looking at the ingredients, there’s nothing alarming in there.  There’s no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), or other super-harsh ingredients so I suppose it is most likely safe for every day use.  It’s definitely gentler than shampoo, that’s for sure.


Additional Notes:


The cowash doesn’t really smell like much, slightly like cocoabutter, but not enough to really make a difference.  I love heavily scented products, but since this stuff is going to get washed out of my hair anyway, I really don’t care.


A 16 oz jar of this product will run you $8 on their website.  That’s very reasonable in my opinion.  It costs a little more than most drugstore conditioners, and definitely more than most shampoos, but a little goes a long way.  I’ve used it twice and I’ve barely made a dent in the jar.  Plus, so many of the ingredients are quality, natural ingredients, so I can stand to pay a bit more.


Here is where I have my major gripe about the product.  Although the packaging is very attractive, I hate that they put it in a tub instead of a tube or pump-bottle.  First of all, a tub takes up too much space on my shower caddy, and being the product junkie that I am, shower caddy space is at a premium.  Second, I hate having to leave the jar open while I’m applying the product.  I have to figure out where I’m going to put it where I won’t accidentally knock it into the tub or splash too much water in it.  Plus, scooping it out, I’m afraid the product is going to ooze out of my hand and down the drain (hence wasting valuable product).  Maybe I’m being picky, but I know what I like.


Overall, I’m quite fond of this product.  I will still probably shampoo every other week or so (I will have to play around with the frequency), but this product is definitely making its way into my rotation.  Although the packaging is a little inconvenient, the product is great!  Thanks so much for those of you who recommended it to me!  :)


6 Responses »

  1. I have the same issues with this Cowash. I really like it and have been using it for quite a while now. I already had 2 jars when Curlkit sent me another one and I was happy to get it. But the reason I don’t love it is because I can’t detangle with it. Well, I guess I could if I took my time but honesty I want something that takes no time so.. after I Cowash I go for tresemme naturals and it takes me less than 2 minutes. Then there’s that jar… Omg. What a bad idea. I use their cleansing pudding also and I’ve actually dropped it in the shower and wasted half the jar. I was not happy!

    • Yes! That’s my fear! I would hate to knock it over and lose all that product.

      I once had a jar of some other product and I must have not put the lid on properly and all this water got inside so instead of a creamy conditioner, I had a watery soup. It was too runny to apply to my hair and I had to throw it out. Hopefully As I Am decides to change their packaging soon.

  2. I can’t wait to try this stuff! I pretty much alternate between shampooing and cowashing. I like it but it’s nothing I can do constantly. I just love the clean feeling that shampoo gives my hair and scalp.

    I wouldn’t say that you’re a bad natural bc you don’t cowash. Cowashing is not for everyone. I think that people with highly textured, kinky hair are more into the cowashing. Our hair is just a lot dryer and constant shampooing increases the dryness. Looser textured naturals don’t seem to have the same issues with dryness. From what I read, natural oils travel easily down the hair strands of naturals with looser textured hair so their hair isn’t as dry. It’s the total opposite for us kinky haired naturals.

    Do you have major issues with dryness?

    • My hair’s not super dry, but it’s definitely on the dry side. I usually put a lot of moisturizer on my hair when I get out of the shower, and that usually helps. But still sometimes I feel like my hair isn’t as moisturized and healthy as it should be.

      Back in the day, I used to rinse my hair every day in the shower and apply conditioner. I didn’t “cowash” per se, just applied additional conditioner to the ends and top of my hair. I would only shampoo maybe once every week or two and my hair grew like a weed. I want that growth back without having to get my hair wet every day.

      I probably won’t cowash EVERY time I wash. I need that clean feeling of shampoo sometimes, especially when I’m working out a lot.

  3. I justify walgreens and they have a few new products by as I am, I checked their website and the products aren’t even on there yet. I bought the leave in detangling conditioner (I usually is their other leave in but I wanted to try this one since it has a pump) and they also have a pudding for braid and twist outs. These products must be new b/c I tried to google them and came up empty. Hopefully the new leave in is good.