Whenever I think of two-in-one hair products, I have terrible flashbacks to the cheap silicone-filled formulas of years gone by. You know the ones—they were marketed as real time-savers but usually left your hair dry, matted and actually quite limp. That’s because before anything else, they were more of a shampoo. They lathered and foamed to give hair that squeaky-clean feeling that we all love, but our strands do not.
Enter a new form of all-in-one hair products that is set to make your hair-washing routine a whole lot easier. Cleansing conditioners (or co-washes, as they are also commonly known) work to cleanse the hair and deliver deep nourishment. Essentially, they ensure that hair isn’t subjected to the most drying, damaging aspects of shampoo.
So how do they work? Besides the fact they save time in the shower, as they only require one step, there are a few other things you should know about co-washes. Whereas shampoo usually contains a bunch of moisture-stripping ingredients that create lather and squeak, cleansing conditioners don’t lather at all. It can seem odd at first, but I like to think of it as breaking an addiction to hair-damaging foam. Just because they don’t work up into a lather does not mean they don’t offer your hair and scalp a really deep cleanse. You simply massage into wet hair, leave for a minute or two, and rinse off.
Of course, cleansing conditioners are the perfect hair-wash option for those with coarse, curly hair types that require constant moisture. It makes sense, therefore, that a huge amount of co-washes are targeted for those with curly locks. However, that’s not to say that those with different hair types can’t benefit either. Take me, for example. My limp, bleached hair is loving my new co-wash routine, as it works to maintain colour and offer hydration to my bleach-damaged ends—the area I need it the most.
Sound like something you could benefit from? Keep scrolling for the very best all-in-one hair products out there.
Moroccanoil Curl Cleansing Conditioner (£27)
For curly hair, this two-in-one shampoo and conditioner works to add serious definition. Plus, it’s full of proteins and vitamins to really treat hair and give extra bounce.
Oribe Cleansing Crème for Moisture and Control (£41)
If your hair is prone to unwanted flyaways, here’s one for your radar. Super rich and nourishing, this crème is definitely more suited for more textured hair, working to untangle and smooth as it hydrates. Plus, it smells just as wonderful as every other Oribe product out there.
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash (£27)
I love this one for when your hair is experiencing colour-related damage. Excess colour and bleach almost guarantee hair will feel strained, dry and brittle. To lock in moisture, this co-wash uses avocado oil and quinoa extracts. It also contains aloe to soothe irritated, dry scalps. It’s a real all-rounder.
Kérastase Discipline Curl Ideal Cleansing Conditioner (£33)
Ideal for tight curls, this particular cleansing conditioner is dedicated to nourishing strands and defining each individual coil. Plus, it’s formulated with elastin to help strengthen and improve manageability.
Grow Gorgeous 11-in-1 Cleansing Conditioner (£18)
This was one of the first multitasking hair products that I tried, and it was actually the one that got me thinking about cleansing conditioners seriously. Unlike other, heavier-duty cleansing conditioners, this one worked wonders on my thin, limp hair and didn’t weigh it down.
Aveda Be Curly Co-Wash (£23)
Another one for curly hair, this formula is unique in its dedication to caring for the scalp. Specially formulated with babassu oil, it works to calm irritation and soothe dry, flaky scalps.
Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Cleanse & Nourish (£20)
For those who like to keep their beauty regimen as natural as possible, this cleansing conditioner is 97% natural but also helps protect your colour. Expect smooth, glossy locks after just one use.
Amika Nice Cream Cleansing Conditioner (£15)
Perfect for those with wavy or curly hair, this cream really works to hydrate without weighing down hair in any way. Again, perhaps slightly too heavy for thin, straight hair but absolutely ideal for those who need to give hair a shot of moisture.
R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner (£25)
Whereas the majority of cleansing conditioners are formulated as thick, heavy creams, this cleansing foam offers a more lightweight approach to co-washing. But don’t be fooled: This light foam still packs a deeply hydrating punch.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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