The 10 Best Cleansing Conditioners For Your Hair In 2021

Best Cleansing Conditioners

The cleansing conditioner is a great addition to your hair wash routine, you will be able to wash your hair without locking out moisture as a regular shampoo would do, a cleansing conditioner is the perfect choice of conditioner to go for to avoid using harsh shampoo and eliminate dry and brittle hair.

Curly and coily hair tends to be naturally dry and brittle and shampooing too often will only make it insanely drier and frizzy, however, co-washing and cleansing conditioner can help to keep it moisturized and hydrated without stripping it of its natural oil or making it appear greasy.

Regular shampoo is filled with sulfates and detergents that can strip your hair of its natural oil while a cleansing conditioner contains mild cleansing agents and hydrating ingredients like argan oil and shea butter to gently cleanse your scalp without stripping or causing any damages to your hair strand.

From fine to natural hair, cleansing conditioner is the best way to keep your hair healthy and hydrated, there is a cleansing conditioner for every hair type and here is a buying guide and a list of the best cleansing conditioner for you to buy.

What’s a cleansing conditioner?

Cleansing conditioners are a great alternative to the use of shampoo in washing your hair, cleansing conditioner is formulated with gentle ingredients and it’s detergent-free, it’s an all in one formula that hydrate, condition and clean your hair and scalp in one step.

The cleansing conditioner contains little to no sulfate and they don’t lather hence it is referred to as a non-foaming agent. It leaves your hair nourished, soft, and frizz-free without stripping it of its natural oil or drying it out.

best cleansing conditioners
Using a cleansing shampoo // Image: Envato Elements

What are the benefits of using a cleansing conditioner?

A cleansing conditioner is a more natural remedy to your hair and a perfect substitute for shampoo, it will also save you lot’s of time cause it’s washable.

The cleansing conditioner has become a thing for much natural and curly hair’s given that these hair textures are more prone to dryness.

If your scalp can’t take the harsh ingredients from your shampoo then a co-wash with a cleansing conditioner can come in quite handy, there are great benefits to be derived from using a cleansing conditioner, and below are some of the benefits of cleansing conditioner.

  • Hair is better hydrated and it restores a damaged hair by locking in moisture and it really strengthens hair, all you need to do is to analyze the specific problem with your hair and choose the cleansing conditioner which is specifically designed for that.
  • The cleansing conditioner does not foam much and this means it is sulfate-free and other harsh chemicals that can damage your hair are not in it, the less chemical you use on your hair, the healthy and natural your hair and scalp is which is why cleansing conditioner is highly beneficial.
  • The cleansing conditioner is less harmful to dyed hair compared to regular shampoo
  • You save time and money by using a single cleansing conditioner as co-wash.
  • Your hair becomes easier to style and it will hold better even when it’s not freshly washed.

The best cleansing conditioners of 2021

What is the best cleansing conditioner to buy in 2021? Cleansing conditioner and co-washing is not a new concept and there has been an increase in popularity for co-washing for all hair types and textures hence if you are on the lookout for the best cleansing conditioner that is right for your hair type, we have compiled some cleansing conditioner from Amazon that stands out and is sure to keep your mane healthy.

  1. UnWash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner– Best Cleansing Conditioner For All Hair Types
  2. Amika Nice Cleansing Condition– Best Cleansing Conditioner For Dry Hair
  3. Renpure Vanilla Mint Cleansing Conditioner– Best cleansing conditioner For Fine Hair
  4. Renpure Solutions Cleansing Conditioner– Best Cleansing Conditioner For Curly Hair
  5. Nexxus Hair Colour Assure Cleansing Conditioner– Best Cleansing Conditioner For Colour-Treated Hair
  6. Pantene Gold Series Hydrating Co-wash- Best Drugstore
  7. Mizani True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner- Best Cleansing Conditioner For Natural Hair
  8. Carol’s Daughter Cleansing Conditioner- Best Cleansing Conditioner For Flyaways
  9. Nioxin Scalp Therapy Cleansing Conditioner- Best Cleansing Conditioner For Medium And Coarse Hair
  10. As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner– Best Budget.

1. UnWash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner

Unwash Llc Unwash Bio-cleansing Conditioner Hair Cleanser, Co-wash Cleansing & Conditioning

If you are getting rid of your shampoo and looking for a healthier way to keep your hair healthy and free from breakage, this cleansing conditioner is highly recommended.

This cleansing conditioner works amazingly well for all hair types without weighing your hair down, it has been designed to care for and cleanse hair that has been heavily styled and plagued by a build-up. This is a mild cleansing conditioner that won’t strip your hair of its natural oil.


  • It removes unwanted dirt and oil without disrupting the hair cuticle
  • Works to nourish the hair and scalp by increasing hydration
  • For all hair type
  • It is super hydrating and strengthening.


  • A bit expensive
  • Not for regular use
  • Too heavy for thin hair

Promising Review: don’t review products very often but the results I received from this one merited some praise. I received a travel size portion of this product in one of my Birchbox monthly shipments. I’ve tried cleansing conditioners before, particularly WEN, but they always left my hair oily after a day or so and with little or nobody. I am a middle-aged, white female and I color my hair every 4 to 6 weeks. Lisa Lee via Amazon.

2. Amika Nice Cleansing Condition

amika Nice Cream Cleansing Conditioner, 8.45 Fl oz

Amika nice cleansing solution is great for soft shiny and manageable dry hair, it has been formulated with grapeseed oil and an oat peptide which work together to moisturize super dry hair. It not only helps to restore moisture to dry hair but all kinds of protective hairstyles are made more possible with Amika cleansing solution.


  • Keeps free radicals at bay
  • Infuses hair with essential nutrients and antioxidants
  • Restore and revitalize dry and damaged hair.


  • Not for all hair types.

Promising Review: The smell is magnificent. I love that I can use it between my shampoo days. It can possibly make your hair a little oily if you use too much. But a great product. It really helps moisturize my hair and also look shiny and healthy! Meagan Taylor via Amazon.

3. Renpure Vanilla Mint Cleansing Conditioner

Renpure Vanilla Mint Cleansing Conditioner with Pump, 16 Ounce

Co-washing fine hair is basically for more benefits and one of the best cleansing conditioner for this is Renpure vanilla mint cleansing conditioner, it restores hair damaged hair health and locks in moisture as well.

It has been formulated with 98% natural ingredients that makes it easy to cleanse and condition your hair.

This conditioner restores damaged hair without weighing your hair down or leaving it flat. This is a hair cleansing conditioner with suitable natural ingredients to improve your hair manageability by leaving it soft and silk.


  • Renew dry damaged hair
  • Does not weigh the hair down.


  • None that we can find.

Promising Review: I have used WEH for 10+ years.. this product is a bit thinner then WEN but just as fantastic. I was cautious buying this product.. but so glad I did!. Update I finally have to order another bottle. it’s May 1st 2019. I have really long hair… this product rocks ? Jenn via Amazon.

4. Renpure Solutions Cleansing Conditioner

RENPURE Renpure solutions cleansing conditioner, rosemary mint, 16 fluid ounce

This has been formulated with natural ingredients to enable you to ditch your shampoo and embrace this cleansing conditioner for your curls. This product contains coconut oil that lubricates your hair and scalp to protect it from dryness and damages.

Renpure solutions cleansing conditioner removes impurities while restoring natural oils and contains protein-rich keratin which repairs damaged hair and restores growth.


  • Sulfate-free
  • Dye-free
  • Makes hair soft and bouncy
  • Prevent tangles.


  • The pump is likely to malfunction.

Promising Review: I was a Wen girl having used their product for over 7 yrs but it was so expensive at around $32 a bottle. Then I found Renpure and I am hooked! It is a great product a 1/4 the price. Yes, it is thinner, but my hair still feels great and it doesn’t wash out the pink stain I use on half my hair. Victoria via Amazon.

5. Nexxus Hair Colour Assure Cleansing Conditioner

Nexxus Hair Color Assure Cleansing Conditioner For Hair Color with ProteinFusion, Color Conditioner 8.5 oz

Maintaining coloured hair can be a bit of a hassle especially on natural hair which is why Nexxus hair colour cleansing conditioner has been recommended, it is safe for all colour treated hair and can be a great alternative to regular shampoo and conditioner.

This cleansing conditioner has been formulated with elastin protein and quinoa which help moisturize all color-treated hair.


  • Cleanses and moisturizes color-treated hair
  • Sulfate-free
  • Contains a special blend of protein that helps to strengthen color-treated hair.


  • Not for all hair types.

Promising Review: I really love this two in one cleansing/conditioner!! There are no sulfates so be aware that it will not suds up on your hair that much but this helps to keep it from becoming dry. I also leave it on for five minutes before washing it off. I am a swimmer and I love how this keeps my hair healthy and shiny because the chemicals in the pool are so very harsh on my hair. Great product for the money! laura_loves_laidback_looks via Amazon.

6. Pantene Gold Series Hydrating Co-wash

Gold Series from Pantene Sulfate-Free Deep Hydrating Co-Wash with Argan Oil for Curly, Coily Hair, 15.2 fl oz (Packaging May Vary)

Pantene gold series cleansing conditioner has been specifically designed to nourish and hydrate your hair which in turn reveals healthier and stronger hair strands, it moisturizes each strand, leaving you with soft manageable hair.

This extra gentle, low lather formula is packed with argan oil to strengthen and add softness to your hair while preventing damages.


  • Can be used on any thicker or coarser strands
  • Prevents hair condition like dandruff
  • Gentle on any hair type
  • Leaves no grease or build-up behind.


  • None that we can find.

Promising Review: I was very pleasantly surprised how well this worked for my (Caucasian, medium-textured but very chemically damaged) hair. I was looking for a more affordable alternative to Wen and this seems to be a great substitute. The scent is not nearly as strong as Wen, but this rinses clean and leaves no buildup or grease behind. My hair feels so soft and healthy after just one use.

7. Mizani True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner

MIZANI True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner | With Coconut Oil | Paraben & Sulfate-Free | For Curly Hair| 16.9 Fl. Oz.

This is a great cleansing conditioner for all-natural hair type, it doesn’t matter if your natural hair texture is wavy, kinky, crazed coiled, or a little curly, it locks in moisture easily as it contains three different oils which are marula, coconut and olive oil which all work together to add plenty of moisture, shine and softness to your natural hair.

This cleansing conditioner is rich in antioxidants which retain moisture and maintain the natural curl pattern for touchable and frizz-free hair.


  • Locks in moisture and enhance any natural hair hairstyle
  • For all hair types
  • Enhance and defines curls.


  • Not for everyday use to prevent drying out hair.

Promising Review:  Works Amazing! Made My Hair So Soft and Manageable! ?? T via Amazon.

8. Carol’s Daugther Cleansing Conditioner

Curly Hair Products by Carol's Daughter, Hair Milk Sulfate Free Cleansing Conditioner For Curls, Coils and Waves, with Agave and Shea Butter, Sulfate Free Co Wash, 12 Fl Oz (Packaging May Vary)

Here is another cleansing conditioner for curly hair and perfect for taming flyways, this is designed for curls, coils and waves. It rinses away impurities as it deeply moisturizes from root to tip and quickly detangles curls, waves and coils without causing any breakages.

This co-wash has been carefully selected to give you your dream hair and you can get rid of your shampoo and rather make use of this sulfate-free cleanser to restore your hair health.


  • Mineral oil-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Prevents frizz
  • No artificial colors added
  • Petrolatum free.


  • None that we can find.

Promising Review: I have 3c-4a hair and I love this! The weird thing is you have to twist it to open it, which I did not expect. It also has a very strong and fresh lavender smell, which I absolutely loved, it does fade as soon as you wash it out of your hair though, and leaves your hair smelling amazing! It also wasn’t too thick for me, just a tad, but it was fine. G via Amazon.

9. Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-wash

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado Co-Wash,16 oz

This ultra-hydrating cleanser is suitable for gentle detangling and washing of your hair without stripping it of its natural oil, designed for textured, dry, thick and/or colour or chemical treated hair.

It works effectively in removing dirt, buildups, and impurities from hair while keeping it nourished and locking moisture.

This cleansing conditioner is packed with natural ingredients such as avocado oil to enhance manageability and healthiness of the hair and quinoa extract which forms a barrier to protect the hair from environmental impurities and other beneficial natural ingredients.


  • Silicone free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gentle on processed hair.


  • Less quantity for the price.

Promising Review: This co-wash is perfect for me. It’s gentle to my hair and scalp; keeping my scalp clean and my curls from frizzing. I use this year-round. I had an issue with some hair thinning, but this has kept that from being noticeable just by keeping my hair in good health; my dermatologist told me to never stop using this. I strongly recommend this. JJ via Amazon.

10. As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner

As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner - 16 ounce - Gentle Daily Cleanser for Hair and Scalp - Removes Residue - Adds and Preserves Moisture - Detangles and Rinses Easily

As I coconut co-wash contains a special blend of natural ingredients that work to promote healthy hair growth and prevent breakages from the follicle level.

This is lightweight and a no suds conditioning cream for all hair types, it removes product residue and causes no buildups. You can maintain any kind of hairstyle with the use of this cleansing conditioner.

This cleansing conditioner makes detangling easy for coils/curls and it helps keep the hair healthy, moisturized, and maintains the moisture until your next wash. It can be used for color-treated hair.


  • Gently cleanses hair and scalp
  • Safe for colour treated hair
  • Safe for everyday use
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • It offers deep conditioning.


  • The container causes product wastage.

Promising Review: This is easy to use. The texture of the product is almost a gelatin/custard-like mixture that is easily applied to wet hair. It has a decent smell to it, coconut-like but nothing that is strong or overpowering. This product is not harmful to hair – and it’s “CGM” approved for a great price. I purchased this as an “add on” item so the price was under $7 I believe. This did not leave my hair feeling dirty or grimmer, my hair feels clean after using. Cyndal S. via Amazon.

How often should I co-wash my hair?

Conditioning cleanser should be used at least once or twice a week and this should be depending on your hair texture, most hair texture is naturally dry hence can be washed once every week without stripping it of its natural oil.

The amount of product used in styling your hair would also decide how often you should co-wash. It is recommended by dermatologists to use as frequently as you would shampoo to maintain healthy hydrated curls.

Do cleansing conditioners really work?

If you are considering using a conditioner, you should know it is highly beneficial to curls because they do not strip it of moisture or sebum which is the natural oil from the hair.

The cleansing agents in cleansing conditioners are not as effective but they are effective conditioners and the cleansing process is less damaging to the scalp compared to shampoo.

How do you use a cleansing conditioner?

Cleansing conditioners are great for saving money and keeping your hair healthy and all you have to do is apply the amount you would usually use for normal shampoo and work it into your scalp, ensure to work into the entire length of your scalp, and leave for three minutes and rinse thoroughly.

You can continue to massage your scalp while you wait.

Final Thoughts

The cleansing conditioner is special cleansing agent that gently cleanse and remove product build-up from your hair and leave you with soft clean hair.

There is no special way to use a cleansing conditioner but there is actually a cleansing conditioner for every hair type which has been illustrated with the products listed above to help you choose the right cleansing conditioner for your hair.

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