When it comes to hair products, especially if you’re a natural like me, you’ve probably been around the block a few times. Remember when a good conditioner was like $5 and good ‘ol castor oil was the same price? Yeah, me too. When you have natural hair, your hair tends to be dry. Using traditional shampoos might actually strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to split ends, or even worse—breakage. The solution: cleansing conditioners. Luckily, throughout my natural hair travels, I’ve tried out four different cleansing conditioners that might do you good:
Briogeo Be Natural, Be Kind Conditioner | $32 | Briogeo
Briogeo’s Be Gentle, Be Kind cleansing conditioner is probably one of my favorite hair products. It’s made with avocado and quinoa, both of which soothe and moisturize your scalp while it’s cleansing your hair. It also helps to detangle—that was especially helpful for me as my curls tend to knot after a good, deep, wash. It’s also $32, which isn’t so bad compared to other, high-end natural hair products. Fun fact: Briogeo is actually owned by a black woman! So even though a ton of Briogeo’s products are great for all kinds of hair, natural hair health is absolutely a priority. Who doesn’t want to support a black-owned business?!
Ouidad Curl Immersion Cleansing Conditioner | $36 | Ouidad
Ouidad has been on my radar for a while now and for good reason. You have a choice of lather and no-lather cleansing conditioners. There’s really no difference formula-wise, but if you’re like be and prefer a bit of suds in your hair cleanser, I would go with the lather version. It smells wholly like coconut, which will make your showers into a tropical paradise. But the best part about these conditioners is that they’re completely sulfate-free.
Amika “Nice” Cream | $18 | Amika
Amika has always been known for their fun and quirky packaging that houses their vegan and cruelty-free products. This cream is made with grape seed oil as well as soybean proteins and oat peptides to one—give your natural curls a protective barrier, moisturize dry hair, and lastly, give it shine. Amika’s products are free of silicone and sulfates, which are known to have adverse effects on natural hair, so you can use it pretty often without anything drying out. And if you bleach your hair, it’s still totally safe to use—I have highlights and the formula hasn’t done anything wild or crazy!
Aveda “Be Curly” Co-Wash | $25 | Aveda
Aveda might be the most “low-key” of all the brands I’ve tested, and honestly I was a bit skeptical because I wasn’t all that familiar, but it wound up being pretty painless. This co-wash is sulfate free, so it doesn’t dry out your curls, but it also removes build-up from your scalp, which is critical when you’re constantly using leave-in conditioners, curl creams, and oil to lock in moisture week to week. As someone with a looser curl pattern, it did what it had to do! It cleansed my hair, but also left it soft to the touch, and it was that way for at least a week. I’d recommend this to folks who wait a bit before wash day.