Beauty
Fact Checked

What is a Cleansing Conditioner?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Cleansing conditioner is a hair-care product that is often used as a two-in-one product, meaning that it can be used as a treatment following a shampoo. In other cases, a cleansing conditioner is used along with a shampoo to help reduce a build-up of product in the hair and to rinse cleanly from the hair without leaving any residue. Some moisturizing conditioners leave a certain amount of emollient in the hair in order to keep it smooth and manageable. Cleansing conditioner leaves very little emollient in the hair, especially as compared to moisturizing conditioners.

Conditioning shampoo is a product that is very similar, if not nearly identical in its formulation, to cleansing conditioner. These two products are often used by people who are traveling and want to cut down on the number of toiletry products that they have to take with them. Also, it is common for hotels to offer cleansing conditioner or conditioning shampoo as their complementary hair care product. As such, hotels can cut down on the cost of the toiletries that they supply to their guests.

Cleansing conditioner is used following a shampoo treatment to reduce the buildup of styling products in hair.
Cleansing conditioner is used following a shampoo treatment to reduce the buildup of styling products in hair.

People with fine hair as well as people with curly hair often benefit from cleansing conditioner. Fine hair can easily become weighed down by oils that occur naturally on the scalp as well as oils and buildup from hair-care products. This can cause the hair to look lifeless and even dirty. Curly hair can also become lank if it is too weighed down with product buildup. As such, people with both of these types of hair can benefit from using cleansing conditioner.

People who have thick or curly hair should opt for cleansing conditioners that do not contain sulfites.
People who have thick or curly hair should opt for cleansing conditioners that do not contain sulfites.

For people who use numerous hair care products on a daily basis or use a large quantity of hair-care products on a daily basis, cleansing conditioner can help to remove all of the product while also nourishing the hair and keeping it healthy. For some hair styles, a great deal of gel, mousse, hair spray, and other products must be used. In order to keep the hair healthy, these products must be thoroughly washed out of the hair on a regular basis. Cleansing conditioner can do exactly this job.

A cleansing conditioner can moisturize a person's face so it isn't dry after shaving.
A cleansing conditioner can moisturize a person's face so it isn't dry after shaving.

Cleansing conditioner is not as common as shampoo or regular conditioner. It can be found in some drug stores and in online hair care stores. There are a variety of companies that sell the product and price points range from $4 USD (US Dollars) to nearly $30 USD.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

anon997503

This definition of a cleansing conditioner is actually quite off. As a hairstylist, I can tell you that a cleansing conditioner is definitely nothing like a 2in1 shampoo, as CC's have very little to no surfactant in them, whereas 2in1 shampoos are surfactants with increased polymer and silicone levels to increase hair slip.

Cleansing conditioners are a great addition to anyone's hair washing routine who has color-treated, dry scalp or damaged hair as it lightly cleanses the oils and build up without stripping the hair or scalp. Some women are even able to completely replace their shampoo and conditioner regimen with a cleansing conditioner, however it is more common to use in place of your shampoo and conditioner one or two times per week.

ZipLine

@bear78-- Cleansing conditioner is actually a great product, especially for dry and damaged hair.

Regular shampoos strip hair of all the beneficial, natural oils which conditioners cannot replace. A cleansing conditioner cleanses hair gently while leaving hair soft and moisturized. You can think of it as a cleansing hair mask.

I use a cleansing conditioner and I'm very happy with it. I apply it to wet hair thoroughly and let it sit in my hair for at least five minutes. Then, I rinse it off. My hair feels clean but it's not dry.

bear78

@fBoyle-- Basically, yes.

I don't really understand the idea behind cleansing conditioners. A shampoo cleanses, a conditioner conditions. How can a product do both? I think that a cleansing conditioner just conditions and doesn't cleanse.

I asked my stylist about these types of products and he didn't recommend them either. It's best to use a shampoo and conditioner separately.

fBoyle

So a cleansing conditioner is a shampoo and conditioner in one?

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    • Cleansing conditioner is used following a shampoo treatment to reduce the buildup of styling products in hair.
      By: Piotr Marcinski
      Cleansing conditioner is used following a shampoo treatment to reduce the buildup of styling products in hair.
    • People who have thick or curly hair should opt for cleansing conditioners that do not contain sulfites.
      By: indiraswork
      People who have thick or curly hair should opt for cleansing conditioners that do not contain sulfites.
    • A cleansing conditioner can moisturize a person's face so it isn't dry after shaving.
      By: dmitrimaruta
      A cleansing conditioner can moisturize a person's face so it isn't dry after shaving.
    • Cleansing conditioner can be found in some drug stores and in online hair care stores.
      By: monticellllo
      Cleansing conditioner can be found in some drug stores and in online hair care stores.