Regardless of what products you use, most of us were taught to wash our hair the same way: shampoo (rinse, lather, rinse, repeat) then conditioner. And unless you’re a co-washer, doing anything but that probably seems a little strange.
But now, we are being asked to do the opposite. Sounds crazy right? But, switching up your hair routine can lead you to softer, bigger-bodied hair. Basically, the conditioner reinforces the natural protective layer of the hair, smoothing the cuticle and enhancing shine, and then the shampoo rinses away the weight of the conditioner, so the hair still maintains a clean bounce. Conditioning before you shampoo is great for adding nourishment to fine hair without weighing it down. It also promotes a longer lasting blowdry and primes the hair before cleansing, allowing shampoo to distribute easier and more evenly.
Flipping the traditional routine is especially beneficial if you’re a daily washer, AKA, an over-washer, and your hair is over-processed, dry and damaged. Starting with conditioner prevents some of the essential natural oils in the hair from being stripped away.
There are some best practices to keep in mind if you’re going to start this regimen. While we’d typically only use our conditioners from our ears down post shampoo, We recommend to saturate all your hair from root-to-tip if you’re conditioning before you cleanse. You will be cleansing it after, so your hair won’t be weighed down or oily. If you typically lather up twice, scrub the conditioner into your hair like a shampoo instead.
Extra hydration sans-weight is never a bad thing, but it’s especially amazing in the summer when our hair takes a hell of a beating. So, instead of trying to find a miracle formula to quench your thirsty strands, maybe just change up your roster order. Aren’t the best answers always the simplest?