By Wendy Larson
My boss, knowing that I contribute to this blog, recently asked me what the heck a cleansing conditioner was, as how you’re supposed to use them. Having recently experimented with a couple of brands, I’ve definitely got them figured out.
A cleansing conditioner is just that. They’re usually 3 parts conditioning ingredients, and 1 part cleanser. You put them in your hair from root to tip and shampoo like normal, but there is a trick to using them.
You need a ton of product. I’m not joking, you will need at least a handful (I need 2) of product. First apply directly to the scalp, then apply the rest through to the ends. The amount of lather depends on the product, but don’t expect any suds. It totally feels weird putting conditioner on your scalp but I promise it rinses cleanly. Make sure everything is evenly coated and don’t rinse right away.
Shave your legs, brush your teeth, sing “Call Me Maybe” at the top of your lungs…normal shower stuff….for 2 or 3 minutes. Then get a quick shot of water on your head, not enough to rinse off, just enough to emulsify the product and shampoo like normal. I like to use a little more vigorous motion at my scalp than normal, because unlike regular shampoo this doesn’t let hair tangle and allows for epic scalp massages. Then rinse everything out completely. Whatever you do, don’t follow with a conditioner. I made this mistake and it was way too much moisture.
One thing to keep in mind is that you will have to wash your hair sooner than you usually would. After using normal shampoo and conditioner I can usually get by with skipping 2-3 washes. After using a cleansing conditioner (either one) I can only get away with skipping one day.
Do you use a conditioning cleanser? Which brands are your favorites?