The Reverse Washing Method: Make It Work For You!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dermatologist
Written by Ramona Sinha

Shampoo. Condition. Rinse. That is how the traditional hair wash routine goes, right? What if we ask you to reverse the process? What if we say that conditioning the hair and then shampooing it may give you better results?

This may sound crazy, but if you have fine, oily, and limp hair, reversing the process may do the trick! Wondering how? This article explains how the reverse hair washing method may rejuvenate your lifeless locks and tips to do it the right way. Scroll down to learn more.

What Is Wrong With The Traditional Method Of Washing The Hair?

There is nothing wrong with the traditional method of washing hair. It works well for almost all hair types, especially thick, dry, and coarse hair.

However, this method may not be ideal for oily and fine hair.

Conditioners tend to weigh down fine hair and make it greasy after a wash. Moreover, the repeated application often cause product buildup on your scalp. Ditching the conditioner is also not a viable option  because most shampoos tend to strip off the natural oils, leaving your hair dry and frizzy.

The shortcomings of the traditional hair washing method led people to experiment and come up with the idea of reverse washing.

What Is Reverse Washing And How To Do It?

Reverse washing calls for reversing the process of hair washing. In this method, you have to use a conditioner first, followed by shampooing.

Applying the conditioner first creates a protective film over the hair. Shampooing at this stage gives your hair a gentler cleanse and keeps it soft and silky. Let’s explore the steps involved in reverse washing.

How To Reverse Wash Your Hair

  1. Wet your hair and apply conditioner. Leave it on for 10 minutes.
  2. Rinse your hair again with water. Do not rinse off the conditioner completely.
  3. Shampoo your hair. Use lesser product than usual.
  4. Rinse the shampoo off with cool water to seal the hair cuticles.
  5. Wrap your hair in a towel to soak up the extra water and let it air dry.
  6. Comb and style as usual.

Using a conditioner before shampoo makes the hair softer. This method works well for numerous reasons. Here are a few benefits of using a conditioner before shampoo.

Benefits Of Reverse Washing

  • Conditioning before shampooing adds texture, volume, and bounce to the hair.
  • This method nourishes and moisturizes your hair without weighing it down.
  • Conditioning your hair before shampooing makes detangling easy.
  • Reverse washing keeps the scalp non-greasy for a long time.
  • Shampooing your hair after applying conditioner keeps it cleaner for longer and takes away the need to wash frequently.
  • Applying conditioner on hair before washing with shampoo prevents product buildup.
  • It helps tame frizz, improves manageability, and lets
  • you style your locks easily without any hair styling product.
  • It volumizes fine hair and makes it appear fuller.

Reverse washing is not restricted to just a few hair types. In the next section, find out if this method suits your hair type.

Is Reverse Washing Suitable For Everyone?

Yes, it is suitable for all hair types. However, fine and oily hair types are more likely to benefit from this method.

The reverse washing method is also suitable for:

  • Straight Hair: It leaves the hair moisturized, soft, and silky, minus any product buildup.
  • Natural/Kinky/Coily Hair: This hair type is dry and difficult to detangle. Reverse washing can make natural hair manageable and minimize dryness.

Short Hair: If you frequently wash your short hair, reverse washing can help retain moisture and control oiliness.

It is important to choose the right products as per your hair type for reverse washing to work for you. It might take some experimenting in the initial stages to find a combination of conditioner and shampoo that gives you great results.

It is no surprise that reverse washing has a whole lot of benefits. However, is this always the best method for washing your hair? Let’s find out.

Cons Of Conditioning Your Hair Before Shampooing

There are no particular disadvantages of reverse washing your hair. However, this method may not work on thick, coarse, and rough hair.

Reverse washing thick and coarse hair may make it feel frizzy and cause flyaways. To prevent that, you may have to follow up with a leave-in conditioner after shampooing.

Final Thoughts

Reverse washing is a fast-growing trend and is especially beneficial for fine and oily hair. It can combat oiliness to give you soft, bouncy hair. If done correctly, this method works for almost all

hair types, except thick and coarse hair. Try reverse washing today, and we are sure you are going to love the results.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the major benefit of using conditioner before shampoo?

Using a conditioner before shampoo makes your hair softer and bouncier and adds volume.

Can you use any conditioner before shampoo?

Yes, as long as it works for your hair type.

Is reverse washing the same as co-washing?

No, both are different. Co-washing refers to washing your hair only with conditioner, while reverse washing is when you condition the hair before shampooing.

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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.