Life Hacks | Did You Know

Should You Condition Your Hair Before You Shampoo? Yes, Here's Why


Ever since we were young, we've been taught that washing our hair should follow a specific order - rinse, shampoo, lather, rinse, repeat, then conditioner, and maybe repeat the last step if you want that extra slip.

While this may seem like a natural way to get your locks clean and shiny, there are some people who are now challenging the order, and many are getting some great results.

Turns out, it may be much more beneficial for you to reverse the order in which you go about washing your hair.

Known as "reverse hair washing," using conditioner before you shampoo will not only prevent your hair from feeling heavier at the end, it provides your hair with the hydration it needs to stay healthy and shiny when styled.

Better Homes and Gardens magazine credits Julien Farel, the owner of the Julien Farel Restore Salon and Spa in New York City, for starting this trend long before it became common practice for many women and men.

Farel uses this special trick to reduce the friction caused by washing when working on some of his clients that have curly, dry, or damaged hair. "If I wash their hair first, I run the risk of tangling and mangling the hair," he told the publication.

For those of you who have other types of hair types and textures, you shouldn't be quick to dismiss reverse washing. This technique is especially worth trying if you're someone who has fine or thin hair, according to Nina Dimachki, stylist and artistic director of L'Or�al's K�rastase Paris.

"Conditioning before you shampoo is great for adding nourishment to fine hair without weighing it down," Dimachki explained to Refinery29. "It also promotes a longer lasting blowdry and primes the hair before cleansing, allowing shampoo to distribute easier and more evenly."

Those with color-treated, dry or oily hair will also be able to notice a difference by reversing their regimen.

Dimacki also revealed that conditioner shouldn't be limited to the tips of the hair only, the roots should be saturated with the product for best results.

The best part is that you don't have to use your expensive conditioner to reverse wash. Your regular drugstore brand will work fine. However, products with really rich formulas may work even better, according to Farel.

Just remember to let the conditioner sit in your hair for at least five minutes before you apply the shampoo and rinse. You can still benefit from reverse washing if you rinse the conditioner off before you shampoo, but it won't be as great.

Since the trend has taken off, companies like L'Oreal and TREsemm� have come up with products especially designed for reverse washing, so you can easily get the maximum effect.

Have you tried using conditioner before you shampoo?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.