As a long time fan of cleansing conditioners, I have tried quite a few of the low-suds co-washing (aka: “conditioner washing) formulas from the super expensive WEN to the super affordable Pantene version. Unlike traditional shampoos, cleansing conditioners contain little to no detergents/sulfates and harsh chemicals that often leave hair dry, brittle or stripped. Co-washing is truly a must for anyone with curly hair, as curly hair naturally lacks moisture. But if you have dry, color-treated and frizzy hair like mine that often needs extra TLC in the moisture department, cleansing conditioner is the way to go!
Of course, I love WEN cleansing conditioner! It definitely lives up to all the hype but its way too much of a splurge (at $30+ for a 16oz bottle) for something I need to buy every few weeks for my long, thick hair. Thankfully, now there are lots of other budget-friendly options at the drugstores that are almost as good as WEN, minus the super high price tag!
So, today I have a roundup of my top 5 favorite drugstore cleansing conditioners – all under $10! Formulated to cleanse, condition and detangle in one easy step without stripping the hair’s natural moisture (and your hair color!), these 100% sulfate-free gentle cleansing conditioners leave my very dry hair feeling oh-so-smooth-and-soft! Here they are :
Pantene Truly Natural Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner ($4.99, 21 fl.oz) – This is actually the cheapest cleansing conditioner on the list, but don’t let its price tag fool you! The low lathering Co-wash formula is geared towards African American hair but I think anyone with dry, frizzy and damaged hair will love it as much as I do! It does a great job of cleansing hair without weighing it down and also helps control frizz while adding shine & softness.
Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner ($9.95, 16 fl.oz) – This is my latest discovery and it’s amazing! The gentle, no-lather creamy cleanser contains an exclusive blend of natural Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Vitamin E, Keratin Protein and natural herbal extracts to moisturize, soften and detangle hair. It rinses out easily and leaves my hair feeling perfectly clean and silky-smooth rather than ‘coated’. I love the scent too! You need to try it!
Salon Grafix Citrus Crème Conditioning Cleanser ($7.99, 12 fl.oz) – This is another wallet-friendly cleansing conditioner that gives me silky strands without the suds. And its delightful citrusy-floral scent makes me want to reach for it every day in the shower! My only little complaint is with the bottle’s small pump dispenser that yields such a little amount of product each time, so it becomes a hassle pumping again and again to get enough product to coat my thick, long hair. I wish it came in a bigger, sqeezable bottle.
Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner ($5, 16.9 fl.oz) – This is my favorite of the bunch! The rich, creamy formula leaves my hair thoroughly clean, soft and bouncy, not at all greasy, dull or weighed down. It has a refreshing mint-rosemary scent that’s nice! It’s truly a fantastic dupe for WEN that gets the job done for a fraction of the price!
L’Oreal EverCurl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner ($7) – I love all things coconut-scented, but that’s not the only reason I’m a fan of this product. Infused with hydrating botanicals, the ultra conditioning crème formula works like a charm and leaves my locks smooth, hydrated and healthy looking but not weighted down.
Have you tried cleansing conditioners? Any favorites? Would love to hear about your co-washing experiences (or fears!)