When I was in middle school, like most girls, I went through my tomboy stage. I climbed trees, wore basketball shorts, and – lord help me – used 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner. When I got a little older, I realized that I was not doing my hair any favors and quickly switched to the normal shampoo and conditioners, separated. A couple of months ago, I heard an editor RAVING about “Cleansing Conditioners” (sometimes also called “Co-Wash,” but that kind of sounds like taking a shower with someone else, so I won’t go there). I just brushed it off, memories of my middle school days secretly haunting me, but lately, I have been thinking of these mystical cleansing conditioners more and more. So how about a chance to ditch your shampoo?
Why? Well it’s Spring, and that implies working out and sweating more, which means my hair has been terribly over-washed. So, I’ve taken the leap, done the deed, jumped on the bandwagon and got myself a cleansing conditioner. Cleansing conditioners are extremely gentle and moisturizing, and it’s what they lack that makes them so appealing. They do not contain sulfate like traditional shampoos, which are the main culprits when your hair becomes over-stripped. My only worries were that the cleansing conditioner would not be enough to completely wash my hair free of the chemicals found in hair products like texturing sprays or volumizing mousse. I stand corrected. I’ve been using my cleansing conditioner for about two weeks now, and I’ve noticed that my hair is softer, shinier, and just as clean from a good shampooing. I use Wen’s Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner ($32). I wish I could say I chose this because I did extensive research on its ingredients, but to be honest, it just smells so darn minty fresh – I couldn’t resist. There’s no magic way to using cleansing conditioners. I lather a good amount (4-5ish pumps for my collarbone length and thick, somewhat brittle, hair) working close to the scalp. It won’t bubble up like shampoos, but give yourself a good little massage and get all up in there. I like to let it sit while I wash my face, and then I rinse and repeat, this time focusing on the bottom half of my strands. I let that marinate (I’m never using this word again, promise!) while I grab my body wash, and then I rinse out the rest of the conditioner. Voila! Welcome to the land of soft, detangled, and healthy hair! There’s actually plenty of cleansing conditioners to choose from – let me know what you pick!L’Oréal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner, $6.99, ulta.com Pantene Cleansing Conditioner Color Preserve, $6.99, walgreens.com Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Nourishing & Conditioning Cleansing Conditioner, $12, target.com EDEN BodyWorks All Natural Coconut Shea CoWash, $8.49, sallybeauty.com