Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner Review

Did you fall in love only to realize that your beloved Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner is discontinued and now you can’t find it anywhere? Let this post serve as your support group. Here are three alternative products to help soothe your sadness.

To say that I love the Herbal Essences Cleansing Conditioner (RIP) in the white bottle with all of my might would be the understatement of the year. I first wrote about its magical powers in 2014 and since then, I’ve forced it into the hands of anyone who has come to me for hair care advice (and even a few friends who didn’t). I’ve tried the pink formula for color treated hair, as that is all I can currently find in stores, but the formula is too hydrating, so it leaves my hair limp & lifeless. The white formula was perfect, but sadly it is being phased out by the end of the year. This won’t be the first product I’ve loved to be discontinued and it certainly won’t be the last. If you’re in mourning like me, I have three solid product recommendations to help you move on.

Closest match: Pantene Pro-V Color Preserve Cleansing Conditioner

Pantene Pro-V Color Preserve Cleansing ConditionerA little birdie told me that the Pantene & Herbal Essences formulas were nearly identical (their ingredient lists are very different), but for some reason, I could never get all the way on board with the Pantene experience. It’s probably because the Herbal Essences cleansing conditioner formula contained delicious smelling ingredients like peppermint & passion fruit extract. All of that aside, this Pantene alternative is a perfectly fine cleansing conditioner. Just don’t expect a full-blown sensory experience.

Where to buy: Walmart | Walgreens | Harmon Face Values | Amazon

My Favorite Option: L’Oreal Hair Expertise EverPure Cleansing Balm

L'ORÉAL Hair Expertise EverPure Cleansing Balm

On a lark, I bought a bottle of this L’Oreal cleansing conditioner when it was on clearance at Wal-Mart and I’m so happy that I did. As the name implies, the texture is more of a balm than traditional conditioner-style cleansing conditioners. Not only does it do a wonderful job of making my fine, often greasy hair feel clean, but it has a warm fragrance that is so sophisticated that it can only be described as reminiscent of Tom Ford. in addition, because of the balmy texture, this bottle lasted me significantly longer than any other brand.

Of all the alternatives on this list, I’m most fond of this EverPure Cleansing Balm because the scent is sexy and texture is perfectly suited to getting into my greasy roots more easily than a thicker conditioner.

Where to buy: Ulta | Amazon | Target | CVS

Interesting alternative: Hair Food by Clairol Honey Apricot Cleansing Conditioner

Hair Food by Clairol Honey Apricot Cleansing ConditionerIf you couldn’t tell by my sentiments surrounding the Pantene option, the scent is really important to me, especially when it’s infused into a product that sits on my hair for as long as a cleansing conditioner does. Hair Food is available exclusively at Target, which is my number one frustration with the line, with the second being that it is nearly twice as expensive as the Herbal Essences version. The honey apricot fragrance has warmth, perfect for the fall & winter season, and the formula performs fairly well. I would have preferred more moisturizing results, but at this point, I’m running out of options.

Where to buy: Ulta | Target | Amazon

Salon option: Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Fine Hair

biolage cleansing conditioner for fine hair

If you want a targeted cleansing conditioner, Biolage just might be the option for you. The product line includes options for coarse, medium, damaged, curly, and, of course, fine hair. Although it’s been quite some time since I’ve used the version for fine hair, I remember a pleasant, non-descript conditioner fragrance and it performs similarly to Herbal Essences with a much larger price tag, as Biolage is a salon-only brand. If you see Matrix products or any other salon brand being sold at a retailer without an associated salon, your item may be expired, tampered with, or fake. Protect yourself by learning more about diverted products and shopping at authorized salon retailers.

Where to buy: Ulta | JC Penney | Beauty Brands


Or, you could try plain conditioner

Hear me out. Another little birdie told me that if you use a lot of conditioners, it has the same effect as a cleansing conditioner. I haven’t been able to replicate those results either, however, I did try using only conditioner on my hair in the shower for three days between shampoo washings. On the first day, the results were better than the day I washed my hair. I used the conditioner in the exact same manner I used the cleansing conditioner. Afterward, my hair was soft, shiny, and super manageable. On the second day, my hair was a little more weighted down, but nothing a great that wouldn’t counteract. By the third day, my fine hair was in a ponytail-only zone (without dry shampoo). If you’ve been nervous to try out this method, give it a shot! The worst that can happen is you get an excuse to wear your favorite hat.

Is there a drugstore cleansing conditioner alternative that I’ve missed? Please point me in all the directions!

VIAStyle It
Sarah Conley is a veteran content creator and marketing consultant from Fayetteville, Arkansas. After publishing her first blog, Style It, for over 10 years, she launched Rascal Honey in early 2018 to offer a fresh perspective on style. Her writing has appeared on Time, Teen Vogue, The Huffington Post, Glamour, and Lucky. She's also appeared in tv interviews on CNBC, Fox News, Great Day Washington, The Huffington Post Live, and People Now. She's worked as a social media consultant for the past nine years, helping fashion & beauty brands like MAC Cosmetics, NARS, Prescriptives, Origins, David Yurman, ELOQUII, ellos, Nine West, Clé de Peau Beauté, Diane von Furstenberg, and many more create meaningful communities online. When she's not writing about style or shopping for makeup at Sephora, she's cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks and perfecting her guacamole recipe.


  1. Thanks for the suggestions, Sarah. I, too, mourn the loss of Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner. One more that’s worth a try that I found at CVS is Renpure Solutions Cleansing Conditioner. It works pretty well and I think you’ll like the smell of the vanilla mint.

    • Every time I use one of my few backup bottles remaining, I get so sad! Thank you for the suggestion! I’ve never heard of that brand but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Since this post (which I should update with this recommendation) I’ve also found the L’Oreal EverPure Cleansing Balm http://bit.ly/2MwKj4x. I found a bottle on clearance at Wal-Mart, but since then I’ve only ever been able to find it at Ulta. The formula is thinner than the Herbal Essences version, so I feel like the bottle lasts longer which is helpful because it’s more expensive than the Herbal Essences. There’s a 20% off coupon at Ulta right now if you’re interested in trying it! xo

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