What are hair cleansers and should you be using them?

Hair cleansers are one of many newer forms of hair care popping up in the market. But what are they for? Who are they for? And should you be using them?

Hair cleansers are one of those products you many have seen but weren't entirely sure how to use. Like many new products that have hit the shelves over the past few seasons, they are something 'other', designed to fill a gap that you didn't know you had in your hair care routine.

In a way, hair care is becoming like skin care in that respect. It's great to have choice (eg. serums, micellar water, skin boosters, facial sprays, toners and moisturisers) but in reality, it can be tricky to fit it all onto one face. And as each item is always touted as a must have, you start to wonder what you do and don't need. The way I look at it is, if you're investing in a product, you want it to actually do something, right? Not just look good on a shelf.

So, hair cleanser? The name sounds familiar, but... what's the actual difference between that and a shampoo? Or a conditioner?

hair serum

What is a hair cleanser?


We hear different names and industry terms on a daily basis, and it's really easy to get confused. How much of it is marketing jargon, and how much is real? Thankfully this isn't really the case with hair cleansers. They do have a purpose - hurrah!

To be clear, a hair cleanser isn't just a different type of shampoo. But it does clean and soften your hair. The main difference is the formula. Instead of being a 'detergent' style (with ingredients such as sulphate) like a traditional shampoo, a hair cleanser is much gentler. This is thanks to its mix of oil and water called a "micelle" formula, which gives it the creamy appearance. It doesn't strip the natural oils of your hair or leave it feeling dry and frizzy.

Who should use them?

Hair cleansers are designed for people who find that their hair feels fragile, or stripped of moisture. They're particularly good for anyone with curly hair, or those with balayage/bleached hair that's starting to show signs of damage. The gentle formula doesn't give you the same squeaky clean feel as traditional shampoo, though, so it's not advised to do a direct swap. But alternating every few days will help the condition of your hair.

Would you use a  hair cleanser?

Related Articles

More from Beauty