by Bold Support on July 11, 2018

Hack your hair care routine with the "conditioner first, shampoo after" method, also known as reverse washing. The idea behind this method is that the conditioner hydrates first and then the shampoo cleanses and removes any excess weight that the conditioner leaves behind.

Both thin hair and those with dry, damaged hair can benefit from reverse washing.

Thin Hair

You are the true winners when it comes to who benefits most from reverse washing. Conditioners contain oils and other emollients that coat hair and can be too heavy for thin hair. Therefore, the classic method of conditioning after shampooing can make thin hair oily, flat, and limp. Conditioning before shampooing on the other hand, allows thin hair to receive nutrients without weighing the hair down.

Dry/Damaged Hair

Those who overdid it and ended up with dry or damaged hair can also benefit from reverse washing. The difference from thin hair application however is that dry or damaged hair requires extra nourishment. So, apply conditioner to hair, shampoo, rinse, and then apply another coat of conditioner. Thoroughly rinse the second coat of conditioner from hair as you would normally do.

When reverse washing, keep a few of these tips in mind:

  1. Follow the same directions on the conditioner bottle when reverse washing; saturate hair with conditioner and let sit for 1-3 minutes so that hair receives nourishment.
    • NIUCOCO’s Smoothing Conditioner detangles hair and is also rich in high quality moisturizers like cold-pressed coconut oil and shea butter. This is why our users with thin hair love it for reverse washing: it has high moisturizing properties to thoroughly nourish parched strands and because of the formulation it doesn’t weigh hair down.
    • NIUCOCO’s Hydrating Shampoo cleanses while retaining hair’s natural oils and therefore is not as stripping as other shampoos. To thoroughly remove conditioner, shampoo twice.
  1. Condition from the bottom up. Apply conditioner from ends and work product upwards. If you have normal to oily hair, condition at the ends and work half way up the strands. No need to apply conditioner to roots as this can weigh down the roots. If you have dry hair, work conditioner all the way up to roots as parched hair needs nourishment.
  1. Shampoo from the top down. Using too much shampoo can dry hair excessively especially if using shampoos with harsh detergents. Most people apply shampoo to roots and lather, and then apply additional shampoo to the rest of the hair.  
  1. Instead, apply shampoo to the scalp and massage into a lather. Work the product down hair to ends without applying additional shampoo. Hair tends to be most dirty on roots and drier on ends, so this is a good way to mitigate the dry ends.

The Reverse Washing Hack Not for you? Here are some other ways to get clean.

Shampooing your hair too often can lead to very dry, parched strands or a very oily scalp (as the over stripping of the natural oils makes the scalp release excess oils to compensate for the lack of sebum).

Use just water! We are programmed to shampoo to cleanse hair but it may not be necessary to use a shampoo every day to cleanse hair. If you are shampooing every day, try rinsing your hair in between shampoos with just water instead, as water alone has some cleansing properties. Massage the scalp to break down buildup. Apply conditioner to ends of hair and rinse. Style as usual.  

Add a dry shampoo to your routine! Another great way to cleanse hair without using a conventional shampoo is adding a dry shampoo to your routine. A dry shampoo offers a practical, water-free way to cleanse hair and absorb oils while leaving hair with a pleasant scent and additional body.

Dry shampoo works for dry hair and oily hair! Dry shampoo is beneficial to dry hair because you don’t have to conventionally shampoo your hair as often. If you have dry hair, washing your hair too often can actually strip away too much of your scalp’s healthy oils and lead to even drier, damaged hair. If you have oily hair, dry shampoo is useful because it offers a quick pick-me-up for your hair and can be used during the day to avoid limp hair in the afternoon hours.

Use only the conditioner and skip the shampoo! If you have extremely dry hair, you can benefit from washing your hair with conditioner alone and skip the shampoo altogether. The conditioner has some natural cleansing properties that will also moisturize hair leaving hair refreshed.