Cleansing conditioners have taken a firm foothold in the hair care regimens of tons of people. The reality is that for some people, especially those with thick, kinky or curly hair, shampoo can do more harm than good, and there are other ways to cleanse your hair and scalp, like co-washing hair or the no poo method. Below, we present the best cleansing conditioners for you to switch to this hair washing method.
In this article:
Our Picks for the Best Cleansing Conditioners
1. DevaCurl No-Poo
Designed specifically for curly hair, DevaCurl’s No Poo conditioning cleanser boosts shine and moisture while cleansing the scalp and hair. The formula includes grapeseed oil in the non-lathering formula to provide optimal levels of moisture and protection while stimulating the scalp. Order yours from Sephora!
2. Bumble and Bumble Bb. Curl (Care) Conditioner
Bumble and Bumble’s cleansing conditioner is designed to be a hydrating conditioner that also provides UV protection for hair. The conditioner formula is considered to be a three-in-one co-wash that can be used alone to detangle, cleanse and moisturize hair. Order a bottle of one of the best cleansing conditioners from Sephora!
3. Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner
All hair types and textures can benefit from the use of this cleansing conditioner, as it is designed to be used regularly without drying out hair the way shampoo often can. The natural benefits included in the formula don’t strip the hair of its natural oils and work to restore balance. Pick up your bottle from Ulta!
4. Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash
Briogeo uses the popular benefits of avocado and quinoa in a high slip formula that helps to detangle without creating knots or tension on the hair. The suds-free formula is creamy and luxurious and can even help to extend the life of your hair color, repair dry damaged hair and soften coarse hair. To try co-washing your hair with this cleansing conditioner and increase the manageability of your hair, get yourself a bottle from Sephora.
5. Living Proof Curl Conditioning Wash
The Living Proof cleansing conditioner utilizes the patented Healthy Hair Molecule (OFPMA) to provide frizz protection that will repel humidity with time-released conditions and cuticle-smoothing elements. The specially designed formula is known to keep hair bouncy, moisturized, soft and frizz-free for twice as long as normal. You can order a bottle from Sephora.
6. Drybar Double Standard Cleansing + Conditioning Foam
Drybar’s cleansing and conditioning foam is gel-based and designed to work on all hair types. The gel foam formula helps remove build-up and impurities while conditioning hair. After rinsing hair clean, the results are smooth, soft and shiny hair. You can order your cleansing conditioner from Drybar from Sephora.
7. R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner
The R+Co cleansing conditioner is designed to lightly cleanse your hair and scalp. The foam is easy to work through hair and moisturizes without weighing your hair down. The smell is incredible, and the cleansing is undeniable. You can get yours from Nordstrom.
8. Amika Nice Cream Cleansing Conditioner
Amika’s cleansing conditioner is designed specifically to cleanse gently with a single step. The formula is designed to work for all hair types indiscriminately, and to cleanse without lather. The desired soft and moisturized hair is easily achievable with this cleaning conditioner that works for dry hair, color-treated hair and even stressed hair. A bottle of this no-poo shampoo can be ordered from Sephora.
9. Vernon Francois Co-wash Shampoo
Vernon Francois’ co-wash shampoo is formulated for all hair types to benefit from use. This co-wash is gentle and smoothing and designed to easily rinse out for clean soft hair. It hydrates and moisturizes with ubuntu marula and jojoba oils while cleansing and eliminating the need for an additional step. You can order a bottle from Sephora.
10. AG Hair Cleansing Cream
If you have dry curly or wavy hair, this no-poo shampoo is specially formulated to address your hair woes. The combination of seaberry oil and natural seaweed extracts nourishes and conditions your strands while removing any residue to softly cleanse at the same time. The combination of ingredients is known as AG’s exclusive Sea Complex. Get yours from Ulta!
11. Moroccanoil Curl Cleansing Conditioner
The Moroccanoil cleansing conditioner uses argan oil and tea tree oil to carefully cleanse and moisturize hair simultaneously while caring for the scalp. The formula is gentle on the scalp and the hair equally, preventing uncomfortable dryness and maintaining curls. The end result is smooth, shiny and soft hair. You can order your no-poo shampoo from this brand from Sephora.
12. TIGI Bed Head Calma Sutra Cleaning Cleanser
TIGI’s co-wash shampoo is a conditioner that cleanses without foam or sulfates to minimize damage and tangles. The formula is weighted to easily be worked through your hair from root to tip, removing any build-up and residue and allowing for a beautiful head of hair post cleanse. You can order a bottle of this cleansing conditioner from Ulta.
13. Ouidad Curl Immersion Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
Ouidad’s co-wash cleansing conditioner is designed specifically to remove residue gently and refresh curls without sulfates, phthalates or parabens. The formula is low foam so it still feels like a conditioner and doesn’t lead you to feel like you should be scrubbing your hair and scalp like you would with shampoo. No swirling is required to get any build-up, dirt or residue off your scalp and hair, and your hair will be left soft, shiny and clean. Order your own bottle of this no-poo shampoo from Sephora!
What to Look for in the Best Cleansing Conditioner for You?
The best way to choose a cleansing conditioner for your hair is to fully assess what you want out of co-washing and checking out other people’s successes or failures with the same method. There are plenty of ways to cleanse your hair, but would you prefer to go the DIY method and make your own cleansing conditioner?
If DIY is not your route of choice, then a store-bought cleansing conditioner is fine! No-poo shampoos are traditional conditioners that work to benefit your hair in different ways, but they include mild detergents to cleanse your tresses. The detergents exist in the formula in more minute amounts than shampoo and skip all the heavy stripping ingredients.
If you decide to purchase a cleansing conditioner, check out the reviews for a few – and look at the best cleansing conditioners we have included above! Look for cleansing conditioners free from sulfates, soaps, parabens, heavy petrolatum or mineral oils, as well as silicones, all of which harm hair while removing any impurities from your hair harshly.
If you want to go the DIY route, we have also included a few options in our guide to co-washing for you to peruse and choose from. Many of the DIY no-poo shampoos are household items that you can use whenever you need to, or items that are very easy to pick up. The DIY options also save a lot of money and last a good amount of time.
Once you know what issues you need to address, what type of conditioner you want to use and how to use it, take pictures of your hair. This is the best way, besides just paying attention to how your hair feels, to judge the effect of the conditioner method you chose over a period of time. As time goes on, you can tweak and adjust your no-poo method to suit your hair grooming method.
Photos via @hairbykirrajade, Sephora, Ulta