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What is Cream Rinse?

Dana Hinders
Updated May 21, 2024
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Cream rinse, often simply referred to as conditioner, is a hair care product that is designed to make your hair softer and more manageable. Applying conditioner is the next step after shampooing your hair. This product can be purchased from discount stores, department stores, specialty shops, or beauty salons. Salon quality products can be substantially more expensive than other brands due to the company’s added advertising costs. However, these products often contain added ingredients that will make it easier to style your hair. If you’ve tried cheaper brands and been unsatisfied with the results, purchasing a salon-quality cream rinse may be a worthwhile investment.

When choosing a conditioner, remember that cream rinse should be matched to your hair type while shampoo should be matched to your scalp type. Conditioner made for normal hair is best for people with healthy hair that shows no signs of damage. Volumizing cream rinse is a good choice for people with fine, limp hair. If your hair is frizzy and dry, look for a conditioner labeled as extra moisturizing. If you dye, perm, or chemically straighten your hair, look for products with added ingredients to protect against this damage. If you’re looking to save space in your shower, you might want to purchase an all-in-one product that acts as a shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel.

How you apply your cream rinse can have a substantial impact on the product’s effectiveness. Many people make the mistake of applying conditioner to the scalp in the same manner they apply their shampoo. Conditioner can be applied to all of your hair, paying extra attention to the ends. Some experts suggest only applying conditioner from the ears down, especially if you have oily hair to begin with. It’s also important to make sure that you allow the product to absorb for the correct time period. Most products need two to five minutes to work properly before they are rinsed out of your hair.

Many people believe that you should change the brand of cream rinse you use on a regular basis to avoid having your hair become immune to the effects of the product. However, most hairstylists now feel this is nothing more than an old superstition. If you find a product that you truly love, there’s no need to change products.

If you’re looking for a thrifty, all-natural solution to purchasing a commercially manufactured cream rinse, you can use mayonnaise or olive oil to condition your hair. However, you’ll need to rinse thoroughly to make sure all residue from your homemade conditioner is removed.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dana Hinders
By Dana Hinders , Writer
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to her work as a freelance writer. After discovering her passion for freelance writing following the birth of her son, Dana has been a vital part of the BeautyAnswered team. She also showcases her versatility by creating sales copy and content for e-courses and blogs.

Discussion Comments

By anon192347 — On Jun 30, 2011

I used Aveda hair care products and some years ago began using the "knock-off" products available at the discount beauty supply stores. They work great and are almost as cheap as drug store brands.

By FirstViolin — On Oct 06, 2010

Has anybody ever tried EPI Soothe cream rinse? I had been looking for a good taming cream rinse, and somebody recommended that one to me. I had also heard that Egyss Premier Cream Rinse was effective -- can anybody with some experience with these two products let me know?


By musicshaman — On Oct 06, 2010

How can I make a homemade cream rinse? I would particularly like to learn how to make a dandruff relief cream rinse at home. Also, what exactly is the difference in cream rinse vs. conditioner? Is there really any distinguishable difference?

By pleats — On Oct 06, 2010

@anon31686 -- A girl could start using a cream rinse whenever she feels like it, essentially. It can't do any harm, and for girls with thicker hair (like I had), a detangling cream rinse can be an absolute lifesaver.

The only thing to remember when choosing a cream rinse for hair, especially for a young girl, is to get one that's not too thick, or else it might weigh her hair down.

Also, most people do not need to use a conditioner (or a shampoo, for that matter) every day, so make sure you explain to the girl how to properly use the cream rinse, and how to match the cream rinse to her hair type and scalp type.

Other than that, I'd say it's all systems go whenever the girl starts to feel like using cream rinse.

By anon31686 — On May 10, 2009

When should a girl start using creme rinse on her hair?

Dana Hinders

Dana Hinders


With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to...
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