Usually, when we washing hair, we always follow the process: shampoo to clean, then use conditioner to condition the hair. However, besides that, many beauty believers in the world spread the opposite shampoo method that promises to bring smother hair. So, will the reverse shampoo method really work? Wondering this, Anna Parsons – a beauty editor decided to test for 1 week to give the most accurate results.
As the name suggests, shampooing in reverse means you will use massage conditioner on your hair first, then use shampoo to clean it. Applying a layer of conditioner will help to condition your hair, until using shampoo will help remove the dirt without excessive cleaning that makes the hair frizzy. In short, this method both cleanses and keeps the hair smooth and fluffy. So let’s see if, in fact, reverse shampooing actually bring the results as expected or not.
What does reverse hair washing mean?
Reverse hair washing isn’t washing the tips of your hair before the roots or moving from the back of your head to the front. Conditioners, no matter what type of conditioner you use, are designed to replace the natural oils that are washed away by the cleansing action of your shampoo.
Cleansing is a good thing, and important for your hair and scalp health. But a thorough cleanse also leaves your hair unprotected. It’s easier to damage freshly washed hair. It takes time for the natural oils in your scalp to spread through your hair and restore that protection.
Traditional conditioner can restore some oils and protective barriers to your hair shaft. They help smooth down the irritated cuticle of your hair. Conditioner tries to replace your natural oils. It’s less effective, but it does help preserve your hair.
Usually, you apply conditioner after you wash your hair, specifically after you cleanse your hair. Reverse hair washing changes that dynamic, but it’s more effective than conditioning after you wash your hair.
Washing hair: Day 1
At first, Anna felt quite nervous and strange when applying this method, she also needs to use more conditioner than usual. But in return, after shampooing with shampoo, her hair becomes much smoother, also very easy to brush, not as tangled as when she shampooed in the same order every time.
Washing hair: Day 2
Changing the method of washing hair made Anna worried that her hair would become messy and oily on the second day. It did not look like the first day but her hair was still very soft.
Washing hair: Day 3
On the 3rd day, Anna’s hair began to show signs of greasy hair and needed a shampoo but it was not too uncomfortable. The hair still looks soft, moisturized enough.
Washing hair: Day 4&5
Persistently applying the reverse shampoo method, Anna noticed that her hair was still very soft, showing no signs of frizz as she was worried. The hairline is also naturally fluffy so even though she has a simple high bun hairstyle, her hair still looks beautiful.
Washing hair: Day 6
On this day, Anna had an appointment so she used a curling machine. Although she does not need to use a hair care serum, her hair is still floating which has a natural healthy shine.
Washing hair: Day 7
After trying this strange method of shampooing for a week, Anna noticed that her hair had really changed: it was much softer and easier to style. She also suggested that if you want natural, floating hair, try this method to clean your hair while retaining the natural nutrients and moisture, resulting in silky hair.
Why is the reserve hair washing effective?
It seems counter-intuitive to reverse your hair shampoo process because conditioner is designed to help protect your hair after you’ve cleansed. However, it does make a difference. Instead of using the conditioner to replace your natural oils, this special washing method helps you get a cleansing wash while still keeping those natural oils on your hair.
The conditioner forms a protective barrier between your hair and the shampoo so when applying the hair conditioner before washing your hair, you will get no damage to your natural hair. Most shampoos are still strong enough to get through the conditioner barrier enough to give you a good cleanse. But, with the conditioner in place, they won’t wash away all of the natural oil in your hair.
That means your hair has more protection at the end of your shower. In addition, leaving some oil in your hair can make it easier to shape and style, cutting down on the number of styling tools and products you need to use. Now, you shouldn’t switch to reverse washing your hair all the time.
Reverse washing gives you a softer, gentler, cleanse, but it’s not quite as thorough as washing your hair normally. We recommend using the reverse washing method no more than half of the time. So, if you wash your hair 3 times a week, you should reverse wash 1 time the first week, and up to twice the next. If you wash your hair every day, you can just alternate which method you use.
As a new hair care routine, we recommend that you give reverse washing a try for more than a single wash. Use this method for at least a month to see if it’s making a significant and lasting difference for your hair.
If you aren’t getting quite the results you want, try washing your hair less often, or more often, until you find a balance that works for your hair and skin type. It’s also worth looking at what products you use. A particularly harsh shampoo may counteract the benefits of reverse hair washing. An ineffective conditioner won’t provide the level of protection and benefit you need for this technique to work.