April 15, 2014

Cleansing Conditioners at the Drugstore

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drugstore cleansing conditioner

Wen has cornered the cleansing conditioner market for quite a while now but cleansing conditioners are starting the pop up at the drugstore causing what will likely be a major trend for Spring/Summer 2014 haircare.

One of the nicest things about cleansing conditioner is the lack of nonsense and the quick, easy way you can clean and conditioner your hair in a single step! These thick, creamy hair mask-like conditioners act to cleanse your hair as they detangle, soften, and give your hair a smooth finish without parabens or sulfate in many cases!

As a Wen lover I’m actually quite happy to see cleansing conditioners at the drugstore because they are SUPER cheap at around $4-$8 dollars for a generous size bottle. Wen, as you might know, is considerably more expensive.

Here are some new cleansing conditioners to keep your eye out for at your local drugstore!

Bet you didn’t even know about one or two of ’em!

1. Pantene Color Preserve Cleansing Conditioner $6.99
According to Pantene there new low lather Color Preserve Cleansing Conditioning is perfect for drier, color treated hair for one step cleansing. This thick, creamy cleanser acts to wash your hair as well as conditioner it in a single step.

2. Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Cleansing Conditioner $4.67
A deep conditioning cleanser perfect that rinses unwanted oil and residue away while detangling hair and being perfect for gentle cleansing on color treated hair with a sulfate free formula.

3. Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Cleansing Conditioner $7
Leave your shampoo behind and grab up this gorgeous cleansing conditioner with a luscious rose scent a sulfate free formula that according to Herbal Essences is perfect for color treated hair!

4. Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner $7 (Review)
Cleanse your hair in one simple step with a sulfate, paraben, and colorant-free naked formula that adds moisture to hair while it cleanses in one simple step!

5. L’Oreal Paris EverCurl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner $7 (Review)
Curl, wavy hair? This formula helps preserve your hair’s natural moisture to reduce frizz curls soft and manageable.

6. L’Oreal Paris EverCreme Conditioning Cleanser $7
This low lather, sulfate-free formula contains omega 3 and 6 to leave hair super soft but not weighted down. It’s perfect for all hair types but the combination shampoo and conditioner is perfect for drier hair types!

7. Pantene Cleansing Conditioner Damage Repair $6.99 (Review)
Infused with Sweet Almond Oil this one step wonder cleanses and deeply conditioners drier, damaged hair.

These one step wonder cleansing conditioners are popping up at drugstores now but expect more as we head deeper into Summer as I see a cleansing conditioner trend that will be happening soon!

What’s your fav cleansing conditioner?

Tried any of the ones above?

Do share!

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About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • kimkats

    I got a monster sized bottle of Pantene’s Truly Natural co-wash – and I like it a lot! It’s almost a light shampoo as it foams just a bit, but it leaves my hair soft and shiny. It’s dirt cheap, and I think when I empty one of my grossly overpriced Wen shampoos, I’m gonna pour a bunch of the Pantene into there and use the pump. I would never in a thousand years have tried the co-wash method had I not seen so many people champion it; I figured it would just be a means to a massive break out on my face, but so far so good!

  • Becca

    I’ve tried to use cleansing conditioner but it always seems to leave my hair weighted down and then it gets greasy earlier than usual. Is this just a phase? Or am I using too much? Or more likely, it’s my long thin hair not reacting right. Hmm so should I stick it out?

    • Isabella Muse

      it depends becca! When I use wen I don’t have a ton of build up but some of these newer drugstore cleansing conditioners I seem to get buildup! I would suggest using it daily if you like but go ahead and clarify weekly to remove excess build up πŸ™‚ I imagine it varies from hair type to hair type but this is what works for me! You really aren’t doing anything wrong, just sees like your hair might be prone to build up!

    • Gillie

      If you’ve been using shampoo with a good deal of sulfates for a while, there does seem to be a transition phase when switching to something more gentle. Essentially, sulfates strip all the natural oils off your hair and scalp, so your scalp works overtime to replenish. It takes a few washings for your body to realize that it doesn’t need to continue over-producing.

      If you’re really intent on breaking the sulfate cycle, stick it out. A decent quality boar bristle brush will help distribute the natural oils down the hair shaft, and strategically placed hair toy or two will help hide the limpness until your scalp regulates itself.

    • Danielle

      I think there is definitely a period where your hair just sucks after switching to a cleansing conditioner. I had been sulfate-free for many years but my hair went through a really greasy phase followed by a really dry phase after starting to use cleansing conditioners. It took maybe 6 weeks for it to level out and now my hair is in the best condition ever! For the record I have fine, thin, wavy hair.

    • Danielle

      I want to add that it might take a few tries to find the right cleansing conditioner formula for your hair. I tried 5 or 6 over the course of a year before falling in love with the Herbal Essences Naked one.

      • Becca C.

        Thanks for all the advice. Muse, you’re right, my hair is really prone to buildup. So I think that part of my issue with trying out this cleansing conditioner. I do wash my hair at least every other day and once a day if I work out regularly. So it probably does have something to do with excessive use of sulfates too.

        I’m a teacher and have the summer’s off, so I’ll probably give it a shot then. That way, I don’t have to worry about who sees my transitioning hair on any given day. Maybe I’ll give a few different ones a shot if I don’t like the results. There seem to be plenty of options now.

        • Isabella Muse

          And just silicones in general they have a tendency to build and build and build ugh! My hair is super long and wavy/curly and Wen is great but it does build up like crazy if I am not careful! Oh you lucky girl! the entire Summer off πŸ˜€ I hate you! haha!

    • Heather

      You will go through a detox phase where your scalp produces oil as it is used to you stripping out the oil with regular shampoo. As soon as your head realizes it is overcompensating it will stop. A couple weeks at the most. You can Google for more info. Google “shampoo detox phase” or some thing like that. Good luck!

    • Michele

      I have been using Wen for several years now and will NEVER shampoo my hair again! Before switching ti Wen I had to wash my hair everyday because if I didn’t it was an oily mess. From day one of switching to Wen my hair felt and looked so much different and I no longer have to wash it everyday, I can actually go three or four days before having to cleanse my hair. I haven’t tried any of the drugstore Brands yet but that’s because I still have 10+ bottles of Wen in my hord. I purchase Wen from QVC and it is much cheaper than purchasing it through the actual Wen website. Typically on QVC I get two bottles for $40 but because have thick hair those bottles only last about 5 washes because you have to use so much of it. The one thing that I do find that helps a lot is when you are rinsing your hair after letting it stay in for about 5 minutes you should ALWAYS use COOL water to rinse out. Believe it or not it makes a huge difference. You can actually go on YouTube and find videos on how to use Wen correctly. I hope this helps and don’t give up because in the end you will be much happier with the results that cleansing conditioner gives you vs shampooing.

  • Liz

    Sally Beauty carries a Wen copycat called “Hair One” that I love and have been using for years. I’ve tried the L’OrΓ©al Ever Creme and hated it, but might have to give one of these others a try.

    • Isabella Muse

      I never tried Hair One, Harmons has some sort of copycat they carry too but forgot the name of it!

  • Kimmwc03

    I’m allergic to an ingredient in Wen so I avoid it now (plus the price). I’ve been wanting to try the Pantene one but haven’t yet. I do like Flawless by Macadamia oil which isn’t really a cleansing conditioner but it kinda is. πŸ™‚

  • Elena

    Sadly, most of these conditioners have silicones which explains any problems with buildup or hair feeling weighed down. πŸ™

  • Fancie

    I’m excited to see some cleansing conditioners in drugstores! I want to try the Herbal Essences one

  • JoElla

    I have been tempted by WEN many times, but thankfully found out that it won’t work well for the hard water in my area. (whew! moneies saved!)

    Tried Hair one, worked great on my son, not so much for me. This also could be due to the water in my area, or user error.

    I did pick up the Herbal Essence Naked with the Naked moisturizing poo and conditioner. I love the poo and conditioner, leaves my hair shiny and soft and doesn’t weigh my hair down. And the Co wash one, @Gillie is right, it does have a bit of a learning curve to it. I do like it, but only use it when I am bopping around the house, or at night. I do like it, and would pick up another bottle, but I don’t like it for every day for my hair.

  • Heidi

    So far Bioterra at sallys beauty supply and Vidal Sassoon has the best cleansing conditioners. pantene seems to leave a film on my hair. The rose scented herbal essences makes a good mix-in for wen by the way. I love the idea of cleansing conditioners but so far I can not seem to find a one that has a scent I like.

  • krankenheim

    I’ve never jumped on the “sulfates are bad” or “silicones are bad” bandwagon because I know better than to believe everything I read on the internet. That said there’s only one cleansing conditioner I’ve ever used that I was happy with and that’s Macadamia Flawless Cleansing Conditioner. It dispenses as a foam and it works wonderfully but it’s quite expensive. I use it, only occasionally, in between washes when my hair is too dirty for a dry shampoo and I need to refresh my hair, but not fully cleanse and condition it. At $33/8oz it’s not something I want to use every day. At 2-3 uses per week a can lasts my chin length, dense hair about 3-4 months.

  • Sarah

    I’ve been doing a lot of research about silicones and co-washing…For a short time I tried using Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day shampoo, conditioner & leave-in creme. I liked that my hair seemed less frizzy after using these products but I found my hair got so tangled throughout the day! I understand that before LP it was the ‘cones keeping my hair detangled but trying to comb out bad tangles can’t be good for my hair either…especially when I have a lot of breakage! My plan is to try alternating co-washing with regular shampoo/conditioning but I need something silicone free that will help with the tangles. Any suggestions? (My hair is fairly straight, bleached blonde and dry)


  • nea

    It may be weighing your hair down and causing build up because it contains a silicone pantene esspecialy contains silicones

  • F1wild

    Just came across this post and wonder if you’re still using WEN or tried and loved any of these? I’m still a WEN girl, probably a lifer, but am open to a fling every so often.

      • F1wild

        Thanks! I read all of these, but I’m still a WEN girl. Just was wondering if you had defected.
        BTW, have you seen his new Bella Spirit CC? I’m dying to try the Indigo Toning one since I’m a light blondie.

        • Isabella Muse

          I’ve tried a lot of different ones but I tend to make my way back to Wen always ;-D I haven’t! Do they have anything for brunettes?

          • F1wild

            No brunette one specifically, only a blonde toner and regular formula. They’re pricey though at $80/32 oz.
            I’m a 6/13 girl. My next definite purchase is his fragrances.

          • Isabella Muse

            whoa that hurts lol! that’s a lot! might stick to wen haha! His fragrances are nice but quite overpriced! However, qvc always has a deal so that helps πŸ˜€

  • Robert

    Where can I purchase Herbal Essence Thai Lemon & Basil Detox Shampoo & Conditioner. Somebody has to have it???

  • MDW

    I know this is a very old post. Was linked to a more recent one. I remember when WEN had issues with the formulation of a product but now DevaCurl seems to be having issues as well. Perhaps something about curly hair care formulations? Stronger ingredients to reach the scalp?