Shampooing is a pretty hot topic here on HuffPost Style. While we've debated the pros and cons of going weeks without washing our hair, praised dry shampoo and experimented with apple cider vinegar hair rinses, we've recently ditched regular shampoo altogether. Stay with us...
We're now washing our scalp and strands with cleansing conditioners. Unlike traditional shampoos, these conditioners contain little to no detergents and chemicals that often leave hair dry, brittle or damaged. Their super-conditioning formulas make them especially ideal for women with thick or curly hair to help maintain moisture.
Thinking of giving cleansing conditioners a try? Here are 11 of our top picks:
1. WEN Cucumber Aloe Cleansing Conditioner. Celebrity hairstylist Chaz Dean is the mastermind behind this low-lather cleansing conditioner that works on all hair types. Blended with sweet almond oil, cucumber extract and aloe leaf juice, it strengthens your hair and gives it an amazing smell. $32, Sephora.com
2. L'Oreal Paris EverCrème Conditioning Cleanser. To repair severely parched hair, use several pumps of this product to bring it back to a healthy, shiny and hydrated state. $6, Target.com
3. As I Am Naturally Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner. Who isn't crazy about coconut oil? Naturally curly-haired girls will appreciate that this creamy cleansing conditioner rinses out super easy. $8, AsIAmNaturally.com
4. Pantene Cleansing Conditioner, Color Preserve. If you've been slacking on shampooing to extend the life of your hair color, try cleansing with this conditioner that gets you squeaky clean without ruining your dye job. $7, Walgreens.com
5. Devacurl No-Poo Conditioning Cleanser. This sulfate-free shampoo alternative helps you achieve your cleanest, bounciest and healthiest curls yet with ingredients like wheat and germseed oil. $19, Store.DevaChanSalon.com
6. Ouidad Curl Co-Wash Low-Foam Cleansing Conditioner. Our hair never felt so soft until we lathered up with this moisturizing cleansing conditioner. Tip: A little goes a long way, so don't be heavy-handed. $8, Ouidad.com
7. Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Conditioning Co-Wash. Even NBA players can't resist Carol's Daughter products. Reach for this co-wash if you want to wash away build-up and reduce frizz without all the added gunk. $18, CarolsDaughter.com
8. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser. This drugstore brand uses the good stuff (e.g. coconut oil, naeem oil and silk protein) to help you achieve a good cleaning that results in softer and shinier locks. $12, Target.com
9. EDEN BodyWorks All Natural Coconut Shea CoWash. What a bargain this sizable jar of cleansing conditioner is for under ten bucks. But what really makes it worthy of your money is its ability to make detangling less stressful. $8, SallyBeauty.com
10. Mizani True Textures Cleansing Cream Conditioning Curl Wash. Get your cleansing and conditioning done in one shot with this richly-fragrant conditioner. $15, Ulta.com
11. Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Cleansing Conditioner. Here's another wallet-friendly cleansing conditioner option that contains vitamin E, extra virgin olive oil and keratin protein. $10, Walgreens.com
How to have healthier hair for even longer:
Without layers, your hair won't have that magical, youthful quality that stylists call "movement." Long layers remove weight from the bottom half of your hair so your style can swing and bounce. And while blunt edges accentuate lines in your face, layers have a softening effect. Consider side-swept bangs if you want to make your face look a bit rounder and your cheekbones stronger, says New York City hairstylist Eva Scrivo, author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty: The Tools, Techniques, and Insider Knowledge Every Woman Needs to Be Her Most Beautiful, Confident Self.
If you're using more than one styling product in an effort to make your hair look fuller, your plan may be backfiring. "Mousse and gel and hairspray can give the hair lift for a few hours, but they also make it look stiff and sap its shine -- a very aging combination," says Scrivo. If you have a well-layered haircut that's not too heavy at the bottom, you won't need to load up on styling products to achieve volume. One dollop of lightweight mousse will do the trick; once hair is dry, use a drop of silicone serum to add shine.
Your skin loses color with age, and over-bleached hair compounds that natural washout by draining the warmest tones from your complexion. Instead of going all-over blond, try a darker base color with golden strands woven throughout, says New York City hairstylist Lisa Chiccine. When you talk to your stylist about highlights, ask for warm colors like butter and honey; avoid cool, ashy tones like platinum and beige, which can make skin look tired and sallow.
As you get older, your hair loses not only pigment but also its ability to retain moisture. Keeping it smooth and glossy -- hallmarks of youth -- requires a little more effort. Do a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week, don't shampoo more than every other day, and get frequent trims to avoid split ends.
Solid black or brown hair can highlight shadows on the face, drawing attention to lines and bags. If you're fair-skinned, a dark hair color also accentuates the contrast between your hair and scalp, which makes thinning more noticeable. A few highlights around the face and at the crown of the head add softness and make a dark hair color appear more natural. "You don't want to look like you're wearing a wig," says Chiccine. Her rule of thumb: Don't dye your hair as dark as it was in your teens and 20s; a shade or two lighter will be more flattering in your 30s and beyond.
A lank hairstyle makes your face look long and drawn. (Plus, if you have naturally wavy or curly hair, the hot tools required to achieve straightness leave your hair dry and dull.) If you have naturally fine, straight hair, ask your stylist for long layers and comb a lightweight mousse through damp hair from roots to ends before airdrying or blowdrying (avoid heavy styling creams or serums). If you blowdry, use a round brush to create soft curls at the ends of the hair; setting dry hair with Velcro rollers will also create softness and add volume to offset any drooping in the lower face.
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