Best Cleansing Conditioner for 4c Hair | Top 5 Conditioners

Co-wash aka cleansing conditioners is a sensation among our curl queens, especially the ones with kinky curls, 4c type hair. It is a buzz among those who are looking forward to cleanse their hair without washing away the moisture and natural oils.

Here’s all that you need to know about cleansing conditioners. 

A good hair day, and a bad hair day can very quickly turn into a good day and a bad day respectively. Healthy, shiny, bouncy hair; isn’t it what everyone wants? No matter how naturally beautiful your hair are, you have to pamper them from time to time in order to maintain its beauty and radiance, especially if you are blessed with a crown of curls. 

To the beauty of curls, frizziness is the beast, especially if you have 4c hair type. Victoria Scott quoted in Fire & Flood- “If my hair gets any frizzier, I’ll shave it to the scalp. Or light it on fire. Whichever is easier.” 

But don’t you worry, we won’t let you drag your hair to that stage. So keep your pen and paper ready because we are about to dive into the complete guide on ‘The Best Cleansing Conditioner for 4c Hair’. 

What is a Cleansing Conditioner?

It is important to understand that cleansing conditioners are different from conditioners. While conditioners moisturize, soften and detangle the hair (some of them strengthen and repair the hair as well), a cleansing conditioner not only does what a regular conditioner does but also gently cleanses away the excess oil and dirt, thus leaving behind fresh, soft and nourished hair.

Also, unlike your regular conditioner which is applied after shampooing, cleansing conditioners are formulated to cleanse the scalp and hair on their own. So, say bye-bye to harmful shampoos! 

Cleansing conditioners are detergent free formulas, created for the purpose of gently cleaning and refreshing your hair without stripping them of natural oils.

They contain little to no sulphate and they don’t generally lather. They hydrate the hair and leave them soft and FRIZZ-FREE! 

While cleansing conditioners are advisable for all curly and coily hair types, it is extremely necessary for type 4c to use them since this hair type is comparatively more prone to breakage, damage and dryness. And so it becomes not a choice but a necessity to pick up the right product.

Top 5 Best Cleansing Conditioners for 4c Hair

1. Renpure Coconut Creme 

It is infused with amino acids and keratin which provide the necessary protein to your hair, thus strengthening them from root to tip. Its coconut base contains shea butter which lubricates your hair and prevents damage and breakage. It is sulfate-free and does not contain any dye, gluten or harsh salts. 

Key features: 

  • Safe for color treated hair.
  • Restores damage of upto 50% (caused by shampooing friction)
  • Restores as well as strengthens. 

Why is this Cleansing Conditioner perfect for 4C Hair? 

It is one of the very few cleansing conditioners that do both: moisturizing and strengthening. It contains proteins as well as essential oils, which nourish the hair from root to tip.

As you might know, a great extent of hair damage is caused by shampooing friction. Coconut oil creates a protective layer on hair strands.

It also provides necessary lubrication to prevent further damage. Keratin Amino Acids help hydrate and repair the damage. The icing on the cake is, it is sulfate free!

2. PURA D’OR Cleansing Conditioner

If you love nature as much as you love your hair, then this one is for you. It is manufactured in an eco-friendly manner in a facility based in USA. This brand also intends to plant one tree for every bottle purchased from its online store and aims at planting 10 million trees by the next decade. 

It contains many vital ingredients for hair type 4c such as healing argan oil, lavender, vanilla, retinol, vitamin E, etc. Not to forget, it is not only sulfate-free but also paraben-free. Its all-in-one formula helps cleanse and condition in one easy step.

Key features:

  • Helps detangle the hair thus making them more manageable. 
  • Maintains optimal moisture balance. 
  • Renews the hair.
  • Can be used on color-treated hair. 

Why is this Cleansing Conditioner perfect for 4C Hair? 

It is highly recommended for hair type 4c because it is sulfate free and contains aloe vera that helps moisturize the hair. It not only cleanses but also maintains the rich shine and moisture of the hair. It is cream based and is this gentle on hair and scalp.

Argan oil and coconut oil not only provide a protective layer but also luster and natural shine. It is gentle yet effective. 

3. Carol’s Daughter Cleansing Conditioner

It contains no parabens and no sulfate. Neither are there any artificial colors or mineral oil. It contains Agave Nectar that helps in detangling your curls. It has a subtle pleasing smell, so if a strong fragrance gives you a headache, go for this one!

Key features:

  • Color safe.
  • Detangles hair without weighing them down, thus giving a voluminous look.
  • Leaves hair softer than ever.

Why is this Cleansing Conditioner perfect for 4C Hair? 

It is a sulfate-free cleansing conditioner containing fatty alcohol, glycerin and stem extracts that leave behind frizz-free, incredibly moisturized curls. It is specially formulated to help nourish wavy, curly and coily hair. Plus point, it contains Pro-vitamin B5 and Biotin that help strengthen your hair from root to tip. 

4. Nubian Heritage Indian 

It is blended with rich in nutrients; garlic extracts and is designed to hydrate and soften dry, and damaged, and over-processed hair. This brand claims that its product will help you “rediscover the majesty of your crowning glory.” It contains essential oils to not only nourish but to provide a light and pleasing fragrance. 

Key features:

  • Makes hair super-duper soft. 
  • Good fragrance, at the same time not too flowery smell. 
  • Color safe.

Why is this Cleansing Conditioner perfect for 4C Hair? 

Shea butter, mango seed butter, coconut oil, and acetyl esters along with its sulfate-free base make it one of the finest moisturizing conditioners. It nourishes your hair and does not wash away the essential oils required for its growth and shine. Tamanu oil and bamboo extracts nourishes the mane. Plus, it is organic. 

5. Gold Series, Deep Hydrating Co-wash from Pantene Pro-V 

It is designed by a stylist and has Pro-V formula and is dye free. It has an Aragon oil base and is sulfate free. It promises to provide ultimate softness and manageability. 

Key features:

  • Color safe. 
  • Nourishes and moisturizes.
  • Gives you wash and ready to go kind of hair. 

Why is this Cleansing Conditioner perfect for 4C Hair? 

It enhances the look of your hair by working its magic on your dry curls. It adds shine and strength to them and restores their moisture by its argan oil formula. If you have a busy routine and don’t have much time to put in pampering your hair, this one is the best pick.

It is comparatively easy to wash and gives your hair a ready to go look. It detangles the curls without much shedding of hair. 

Buyer Guide Select the Best Cleansing Conditioner for 4c Hair? 

The texture of 4c hair is extremely versatile and gorgeous, but it is also prone to damage and frizziness that ultimately leads to breakage. And so, it becomes very necessary to enrich, moisture and nourish it regularly. 

Good news for ladies with color-processed hair, according to Los Angeles based hairstylist Jen Atkin, “Co-washing doesn’t strip strands of pigment the way traditional cleansing can.”

But, this hair pampering will not give positive and effective results unless you use proper cleansing conditioners. Here’s how you can choose the best for your lovely curl crown:-

  • Make sure it doesn’t contain any sulfates like phthalates, parabens, etc, as these tend to strip away the natural oils and suffocate the scalp, which in turn will lead to undernourished and dry hair, prone to breakage.
  • While nourishing the hair, there needs to be a balance between strengthening and moisturizing. For strengthening go for conditioners that contain ingredients like henna, hydrolyzed protein, keratin, amino acids, etc. While for moisturizing purposes, buy the ones containing fatty alcohols, such as: stearyl, cetyle, etc. A conditioner bought for moisturizing may also contain glycerin, ceramides, and aloe vera, etc. 
  • If you have thick hair, make sure it does not contain any kind of silicon, as it ultimately weighs down your hair. 
  • Ensure that if it contains silicon, at least it’s water soluble because non-water soluble silicones tend to coat the hair strands, thus preventing the entry of any nourishing moisture into the hair shaft, which in turn leads to dryness and breakage.  

Here are some water-soluble silicones that are safe for use as ingredients in cleansing conditioners:

  1. Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane
  2. Dimethicone Copolyol
  3. Any Silicone that has PEG as prefix. 

Apart from all this, here’s a list of ingredients that enhance the effects of cleansing conditioners:

  1. Emollients: they are for smoothening and help cuticle your strands thus leaving them frizz-free. Example: oils, Shea butter. 
  2. Humectants: They lock water in hair shafts, thus providing necessary moisture and nourishment. Example: vegetable glycerin, honey etc.,

Note: Make sure whichever conditioner you choose falls within your budget, because conditioning is a regular process and it is advisable not to switch between products too quickly. But, if your cleansing conditioner isn’t suiting you, then check the ingredients and buy another one with slightly or completely different ingredients (according to your observation about which ingredient is not suiting you). Remember, sometimes even the best ingredients don’t work alike across all heads.