Reverse Washing: Conditioner Before Or After Shampoo? (Part 2: However, Haircare)

Part 2 - However, Haircare - Reverse Washing.jpg

If you’re like most people (myself included!), you’ve been shampooing and then conditioning your entire life without giving it a second thought.

There’s a new trend called “Reverse Washing” that might just baffle you, like it did me.

Reverse washing is when you use your conditioner prior to using your shampoo.

This trend is a suitable process for fine, limp hair. It’s important to understand the purpose of shampoo and conditioner as well as the benefits and drawback of reverse washing before deciding if this change is for you.

In case you haven’t read last week’s article linked above then in a nutshell shampoo is used to remove excess oil and any unwanted build-up.

Conditioner is used as a coating on the hair’s cuticle to protect and smooth the hair, leaving it sleek and shiny. They also penetrate the cuticle to hydrate the hair.

However, those with fine or thin hair struggle with conditioner and sometimes consider skipping it all together because it can weight hair down and stimulate oil production. Especially when using the wrong conditioner or using it incorrectly.

The Benefits

Reverse washing has been known to prevent the flattening side effects of using conditioner in fine or thin hair while still allowing hair to benefit from the hydrating and protective qualities of conditioner.

By applying conditioner before shampoo coats the hair cuticles with protection. Once rinsed, the coating left behind acts as a primer for the hair.

And, this coating helps your shampoo spread more evenly therefore leading to less build-up.

The shampoo washes away the heaviness of the conditioner without removing the benefits of hydrating and having that glossy finish.

The Drawbacks

This process can take a lot of experimentation. You’ll need to figure out which products work best for your hair with using this order and how much of each product to use.

WARNING: This could lead to a few bad hair days!

You should also note that when Reverse Washing you will want to apply conditioner all over your hair as opposed to just the lengths. This is important because it creates an even priming surface for the shampoo.

Don’t forget to rinse the conditioner before shampooing!

How Do I Know If Reverse Washing Is For Me?

Reverse washing is particularly beneficial for people with fine or thin hair.

However, people with thick hair could still enjoy the priming effect that this process brings. But, if you do have thick hair and want to try this Reverse Washing method then you’ll actually want to condition, shampoo and then condition again. This will ensure your thick hair is properly hydrated.

I would love to hear who reverse washes and how it’s been going for them, tell me in the comments below!

Check back next week for our next exciting article on How to Protect Your Hair from Heat-Styling Tools.