Cleansing conditioners: You’ve probably heard of them at one point or another, as they’ve gained mass popularity over the past couple of years. What started as a process mainly embraced by those with curly or textured hair is expanding to a wider range of strand types.
But, what is a cleansing conditioner, exactly? Well, as Ms. Spears might say, it’s not a shampoo, not yet a conditioner. It’s made for cleansing (obviously), just like shampoo, but without the harsh sulfates, detergents, or chemicals typically found in one. It’s formulated in a way that leaves the hair and scalp feeling clean, but not stripped, and with an added moisturizing element.
As fascinating as it may seem, this new method causes some pause for those with hair on the straight and fine side, and understandably. According to Howard McLaren, cofounder and creative director of R+Co, the main hesitation comes from the idea that it’ll leave hair feeling greasy and heavy. This makes sense when you consider that cleansing conditioners are typically formulated for thick, curly, or natural hair types that need more moisture than others. Those with fine or oil-prone strands run the risk of looking like their manes are dirtier due to the heavy moisturizing agents.
That’s what the new batch of co-washing products is here to combat — like, R+Co’s new Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner, which has a lighter formula, making it ideal for both coarse and fine strands. But, can these products convert even the most dedicated of shampooers? And, are they truly good for all hair types
I wanted try R+Co’s Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner for one week. I was already intrigued by the shape of the bottle and dispenser — it looked exactly like a can of mousse — not to mention the texture was light and fluffy, also like mousse. And, it smelled delicious. Game on.
The first wash was magical. It may sound strange, but the texture felt like putting shaving cream on my hair. It went on smooth like butter; I could feel my hair getting more velvety by the second. You see, my hair is complicated: It’s very fine, but I have a lot of it; it’s dry and easily damaged (due to coloring and hot tools), but my scalp is on the oilier side; it tends to lay flat and lack volume, but it’s naturally curly. So, when I find products that are moisturizing but not heavy, and can tame all my mane’s unflattering quirks, I (and my split ends) rejoice.
I absolutely love this product, so now my mission is to try different brands to see which one does better on my hair. Wish me Luck!
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