The 9 Best Cleansing Conditioners

by Jessica Thomas
Courtesy of Matrix

When I first heard about the world of cleansing conditioners, I had to admit I was skeptical. Skipping your regular shampoo and just conditioning your hair instead? Including your roots? It seemed like a shortcut to getting greasy, limp hair. But people swear by using cleansing conditioner (also called co-washing), claiming it made their once frizzy, unmanageable hair silky and smooth.

Cleansing conditioner is ideal for people whose hair is naturally drier, especially those who have coarse or curly textured hair. Using a cleansing conditioner quenches your dry hair's thirst, unlike a shampoo that can strip it of moisture. And the cleansing agents in the conditioner still help your hair feel clean — it's just softer and more manageable.

I've read enough success stories about people who had transformed their hair with the product that I trust cleansing conditioner actually works. And let's be real, I'm already pretty curious about cleansing conditioner after learning all about it during those ubiquitous WEN infomercials from late-night TV in the early-'00s. Although my fine hair isn't the ideal texture for using this system, people with my hair texture have had success using a co-washing system before.

So no matter your hair texture, if you're interested in trying cleansing conditioner, here are nine to try.

1. WEN

Courtesy of WEN

WEN Mandarin Italian Fig Cleansing Conditioner, $61, QVC

This is the cleansing conditioner that started the movement, and Chaz Dean has tons of loyal fans.

2. Matrix

Courtesy of Matrix

Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner, $27, Amazon

Matrix has four different cleansing conditioners to choose from, each designed for different hair textures.

3. R+Co

Courtesy of R+Co

R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner, $29, Amazon

This one is designed for dull, coarse or color-treated hair that needs the weightless boost of foam.

4. Herbal Essences

Courtesy of Herbal Essences

Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner, $4, Target

This super affordable version from Herbal Essences is a great trial cleansing conditioner.

5. Renpure

Courtesy of Renpure

Renpure Black Label Coconut Mint Curly Cleansing Conditioner, $10, Amazon

This coconut/mint combo sounds like it would smell amazing.

6. Briogeo

Courtesy of Briogeo

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado Plus Quinoa Co-Wash, $32, Amazon

This formula is designed to cleanse, condition, detangle and nourish hair. Sign me up.

7. As I Am

Courtesy of As I Am

As I Am Coconut Cleansing Conditioner, $12, Amazon

This ultra hydrating blend is formulated for natural hair.

8. Pantene

Courtesy of Pantene

Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural Hair Co-Wash, $7 Amazon

This affordable option is perfect for detangling hair while keeping it clean and hydrated.

9. The Roots Naturelle

Courtesy of the Roots Naturelle

The Roots Naturelle 2-in-1 Cleansing Conditioner, $8, The Roots Naturelle

This sulfate-free formula is ideal for color-treated hair.