From the over the counter/order only "Wen" product line, to new professional products like Keracolor's Clenditioner, and Matrix's Cleansing Conditioners, the new trend of going shampoo free, or using product that cleanses AND conditions simultaneously has exploded in popularity. Each brand and product has it's ups and downs, and of course there are various reasons why you would or would not want to adopt a shampoo-less regime. I'll explain it all for you in this 101.
What is a cleansing conditioner?
There are TWO basic, different types of cleansing conditioners. Non-professional, and professional. Non-Professional cleansing conditioners like "Wen" are really just clarifying conditioners. This means, the same types of conditioners used for people who need some help with scalp issues, dandruff, or oily scalps. Non-professional products are one in the same when it comes to clarifying products. Which means they really aren't anything special! The hype is all hype, and these "cleansing" non-professional brand conditioners, are truly just clarifying products repackaged and marketed, which means they aren't suitable for colored, damaged, or bleached hair no matter what the bottle says! As a stylist, Wen users always seem to have a terrible time with hair color, and this is why! Also, if your scalp is super oily, your hair is colored/bleached in any form, your hair is damaged, your hair is very thin or you have very thick hair chances are these non-professional "cleansing conditioners" will do you more damage than good. The only time I ever suggest Wen to anyone, is if they first of all do NOT want to try a professional brand clenditioner, OR they have medium texture, a dry sclap, non-colored hair with a normal scalp condition. Small fraction of people, right? This is why I only endorse the usage of PROFESSIONAL brand clenditioners, because they aren't just simply clarifying products marketed as some sort of new breakthrough. They really ARE a breakthrough!
Professional clenditioners can do all kinds of amazing things, from taking out the impurities in the water you wash your hair with, to seriously moisturizing the hair WITHOUT sacrificing how your hair color looks, or how hair color adheres to your hair strand. Professional products also won't add unwanted, oily buildup to your scalp or hair, and won't make it appear or feel unwashed. Professional clenditioners come in an array of options depending on your hair type too, which ensures the best fit for your unique situation.
Of course, not everyone is a clenditioner candidate or lover. Some people ( I'm one of them! ) simply just want to use something with suds, and shampoo. I'll always be a professional brand shampoo person. I have an oily scalp with thick hair, and I like the feeling of scrubbing with shampoo, however I also can see the benefits of a professional brand clenditioner for many clients, and can see it working for people who just can't find a shampoo that works for them.
Today, I'll show you two different clenditioners you can actually count on to give you clean, conditioned hair without oily buildup, sclap issues, weighed down hair, an unclean feeling or color loss! Matrix Biolage cleansing conditioners, AND Keracolor Clenditoner.
Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioners:
This new line of cleansing conditioners from Matrix Biolage comes in FOUR different types, Medium Hair, Fine, Coarse and Curly. All of these products are paraben free, and cleanse the hair while conditioning without stripping color, without stripping moisture, and doesn't weigh down the hair. These products melt into the hair to deeply condition, and simultaneously release cleansing properties to trap dirt, and softly rinse it away. Low lather, paraben free, sulfate free, soap free, won't leave a buildup!
My Initial Reaction: My initial reaction, my honest reaction to all "Clenditioners" is usually pretty critical. I won't lie, I love my shampoo. So anytime a product claims that I won't need a lathering product I tend to give it the evil eye, however, I was VERY surprised when using this Clenditioner from Matrix. I have thick hair, so I picked the "Medium" version of the product. It left my hair clean AND conditioned, not dry or weighed down and did exactly what it claimed to do. Give a lather free experience without shampoo, and yet my hair color remained fade free and shiny. Loved it!
Smell: These Matrix products smell phenomenal, and each one has a unique scent. The Medium one I used was Acai scented, and had a fresh fruity smell that wasn't overpowering but was quite pleasant. The Coarse Clendtioner has rich Avocado additives and smells somewhat like fruit, the Fine Clenditioner has a Citrus scent, the Curly hair Clendtioner is formulated with Pomegranate preserves.
Price: about $25.00 each
Product Functionality: These products give a wonderful clean and conditioned feeling with no nasty chemicals or lather. They protect color, and the hair strand while moisturizing the hair AND transforming to also cleanse it. I was very impressed, and loved this product which was surprising to me. Helps prevent dryness and preserves softness and shine.
Additional Facts about this Product: These products are Sulfate free, Paraben Free, Silicone Free AND also have an additional leave in treatment specifically for each hair type that you can purchase additionally. I loved the Leave in also.
This unique line of cleansing conditioners from Keracolor has created an entirely new realm of these products. Keracolor "Clenditioner" not only is a color safe clenditioner, but also takes out impurities IN your water source like Chlorine ad trace minerals. Talk about high tech. This product doesn't souly blame shampoo specifically on hair damage, color fade-age or terrible hair texture however it focuses simultaneously on water quality claiming that the chemicals in most shampoos combined with your water source chemicals creates a whirlpool of nastiness for the health of your hair, and your haircolor. Absolutely worth a try!
Keracolor Clenditioner comes in the basic "Clenditioner" light pink bottle, and also with TWO different leave in treatments designed to work in unison with the main shampoo-free conditioner product. The two different leave ins are "Purify Plus" and "Purify Plus Light". Purify Plus is a spritz leave in that you can apply on wet hair and blow dry or lightly on dry hair. It neutralizes everyday tap water and normalizes the PH of the hair, sealing the cuticle aiding in health of the hair and color protection. Purify Plus Light is also a spritz leave in that works the same way, however it is a lighter weight formula that better suits thinner hair.
My Initial Reaction: My initial reaction to this product was a deep seeded fear that it would strip the demi, and semi permanent tones in my hair out. I knew it would leave my hair soft, or assumed it would but really questioned its color care properties. I was pleasantly surprised, and noticed no color fade-age whatsoever. I was confused at first, but after leaving it in the 4-5 suggested minutes I felt it transform from a conditioner, to its clenditioner-esc properties, and felt like my hair was clean yet soft and smooth. My hair had more volume, felt better, smelled great and was very shiny. Loved this product too!
Smell: The Keracolor line all slightly smells like something floral paired with a light clean scent. The scent isn't intense yet is soft and pleasant. Not perfumey or chemically.
Price: About $10.00 each
Product Functionality: These products do what they claim. They preserve the hair color you have permanent or even direct pigments. They clean and conditioner the hair. They leave the hair feeling more voluminous and shiny, and they improve the feel and quality of the water on the hair. All without shampoo! These brand is truly a favorite for me now. I haven't tried the Purify Plus on myself yet, but I have on clients and love the silkiness it gives the hair.
Additional Facts about this Product: These products change unhealthy PH levels in your tap water and eliminate chlorine and nasty trace minerals that alter your hair negatively, especially color.
If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it.