Reverse Hair Washing...Have We Been Washing Our Hair Wrong? | Barbie's Beauty Bits

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February 11, 2015

Reverse Hair Washing...Have We Been Washing Our Hair Wrong?


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Reverse Hair Washing...Have We Been Washing Our Hair Wrong?  Barbie's Beauty Bits. Top Beauty Blogger 2015
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In the midst of searching for some hot new 2015 hair looks, I ran across a headline in Glamour Magazine, which read “Reverse Hair Washing.”  And I was like, what the?  Well, being the want to know all about beauty, I did some further investigation.  Including speaking to my go to beauty friends, and here is what I found out…

Reverse Hair Washing: 


The premise behind reverse hair washing is to help reduce the residue that remains in your hair from the conditioner.  Going about it the “normal” way so to speak, when you wash with shampoo first and then use conditioner, most people end up not completely rinsing out the conditioner.   When this happens, you end up weighing the hair down, which in some cases can cause your hair to become lifeless, flat or have no volume.  Reversing gives you all the benefits of a great conditioner, minus the residue, leaving you with locks of volume and bounce!

So how do you do this?
  • You want to make sure that you get your hair thoroughly wet.
  • Disperse the conditioner throughout your hair.
  • Keep it in your hair for a few minutes. So, I recommend doing this in the shower, when you can go and shave your legs, etc.
  • After about 5 minutes, you want to apply the shampoo, WITH THE CONDITIONER STILL in your hair.  The shampoo is what helps to remove the conditioner.
  • Wash and rinse as normal.

IMPORTANT Tips: If you have a lot of product in your dirty hair, it will seem to be a daunting ordeal at first.  This is what I learned.
  1. You must brush your hair before washing it.  Doing this will loosen any hair product(s) you have in your hair, along with helping to detangle.  It will also allow you work in the conditioner more easily!
  2. You must make sure your hair is very wet.
  3. Use a great conditioner; you get what you pay for when it comes to conditioner. So if you want cheap looking hair, use cheap conditioner.  Otherwise, I recommend a higher end product. (Sorry but this is one of those products you get what you pay for)
  4. The conditioner needs to stay on the hair for at least 5 minutes. A quick in and out won’t do the job.
Drying.  If you notice, most salons don’t towel dry your hair.  There is a reason for this.   Towels will make your hair frizzy.  I suggest a cotton t-shirt to absorb some of the moisture first.

How Often: Considering I'm new to this, I don't think this is something that you implement every time you wash your hair.  Instead, you want to apply as a Sunday hair wash, as conditioning your hair after shampooing does have some significant benefits IF YOU USE IT THE CORRECT WAY!

So there, hair you have it!

I have only tried this twice. Therefore, I am not making any claims on whether this is a good idea. But I  like to know has anyone else inserted reverse hair washing into your hair routine? It is just a fad or do you do it all the time? Does it work long term?

UPDATE: Since I've put up this post, with the idea of wondering "does this premise work,"  I have received some great feedback on both sides, so thank you.  Bottom line, to say this is something you should be doing all the time is not a good idea as I mentioned when I first tried this method myself.   For the best hair results, you need to use professional quality products the way they instruct. Doing so is going to make your hair healthier and more manageable, and depending on the brand can eliminate the build up issue. (which is the premise behind the reverse hair washing, to remove the build up)

PER SOME stylists who have messaged me: "The purpose of shampoo is to eliminate dirt and oil from the hair. The purpose of conditioner is to add moisture in and any benefits depending on the type of conditioner you use. If your hair is weighing down, you need to use a clarifying shampoo once every two weeks (see the Sunday shampoo below for this). And if you don't use products on your hair and it still weighs down you're not spending enough time rinsing the conditioner out. I recommend using professional products and NOT from Walmart or Target. They do not carry the same kind of "professional products". You get what you pay for as we say. If you want healthy hair, you've got to take care of it and it starts with using the correct products."



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37 comments

  1. I've heard the term but haven't really known what it meant. I'm going to try this!

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  2. I get keratin treatments, so I always have special things I need to do to keep up with it and make it last longer. Totally worth it.

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  3. Wow! I had no idea. I've been washing my hair the wrong way for years! Thanks so much!

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  4. What! I had no idea. I need to try this now. I've always done it the opposite way, I thought that was really ho to do it! Oops

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  5. I'm going to have to give this a try. I use a lot of hair product, so this might be just the thing to help my hair. Thanks!

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  6. I didn't know about this. I'm going to start washing my hair like this for a while and see how it works.

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  7. Well now. This is a first I've heard - kinda makes sense though especially keeping the conditioner on while you shampoo. I'm going to try it.

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  8. Okay, I'm going to try this and see because it does sound interesting. Noticed any difference after two washings yet?

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  9. I have no idea about this! I’ll try it to see if it actually works!

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  10. I guess I wash my hair wrong too!

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  11. Wow! So glad you found this in your research - I know I'll be trying this out this morning :)

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  12. Hmmm, interesting idea. I do not use products with numbered ingredients because most of them are made overseas by slaves in chemical sweatshops. I haven't used regular shampoo or conditioner in half a decade because it's all residue! Check out DR. Bronenr's and baking soda for shampoo and apple cider vinegar as a conditioner :)

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  13. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT! I am going to try this asap! I do agree about getting what you pay for. I have switched over the years to higher shampoos and man what a difference, plus I feel you use less? SO cost wise it really isn't that bad.

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  14. I think I may have tried reverse washing once or twice, but I don't remember the outcome. I'll definitely try it again, though!

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  15. I have never heard of reverse hair washing. I will have to try this out. I am always up for trying new things.

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  16. reallY? i never thought that it was the right way.gonna try like this

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  17. I'll try it tomorrow. Sounds like it makes good sense to me.

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  18. I have never heard of washing your hair this way! I'll have to try this out very soon!

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  19. I've never of this before but sounds neat. I will try this from now and see how it turns out.

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  20. Wow, interesting. I have to say that I have never heard of that before. I'll have to give it a try sometime. Thank you for sharing.

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  21. That's a neat concept. I went sans shampoo altogether (which you can Google "no poo method") but I keep screwing it up for review purposes or if I'm stuck in the shower and someone's removed the baking soda. I'm not dead set on it but it's nice to think my hair will be healthier as a result. This has given me something else to consider though.

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  22. I haven't tried reverse hair washing. But now that you've mentioned, maybe I'll try it. It's pretty interesting.

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  23. Well, it does sound interesting. I can see how it might be good for people with very fine hair. My hair though, is not fine and I need that conditioner at the end to keep the frizzies at bay.

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  24. I have never heard of reverse hair washing. I will be trying this tomorrow when I take my next shower.

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  25. I've never tried reverse hair washing before! Maybe I'll give it a try and see how it affects my hair. :)

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  26. The reverse hair washing is new to me. Looks like a great way to start your valentines day. Thank you for sharing

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  27. I haven't tried this before and it's the first time I've heard of it. I'd love to give reverse hair washing a try.

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  28. I think it matters in the kind of hair you have. For AA women, our hair needs conditioner and the shampoos strip it. Conditioners build our hair follicles and make it shine.

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  29. I heard recently to use the conditioner first also. I think it was on Dr. Oz. They said if you use your conditioner first ON DRY HAIR, the hair absorbs it better. The water fills the hair cuticle
    which doesn't leave room for the conditioner to absorb as well. Rinse hair. And lastly, shampoo and rinse.

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  30. I have a cosmetology license, and during school we studied heavily on the biology of hair itself and how shampoo and conditioner works on the hair. If you use professional products correctly your hair will be healthier and more manageable. The purpose of shampoo is to remove dirt and oil from the hair. The purpose of conditioner is to add moisture in and/or any benefits depending on the type of conditioner you use. If your hair is weighing down you need to use a clarifying shampoo once every two weeks. And if you don't use products in your hair and it still weighs down you're not spending enough time rinsing the conditioner out. I recommend using professional products from a salon and not from Walmart or target. They do not carry the same kind of "professional products" . You get what you pay for as she says. Want good healthy hair, you've got to take care of it.

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  31. I'm a licensed cosmetologist and I've been in the industry for some time now. In addition to what the above my comment says, if you feel your conditioner is heavy, you need to spend more time rinsing thoroughly or you need to get a conditioner that is right for your hair type and texture. When you shampoo your hair, the pH of your hair and scalp is thrown off. Ideally, your natural pH should be between 5.5-7.5. Depending on brand, this is thrown off by shampoo to become too acidic or too alkaline which will cause dryness, damage, breakage, tangling, etc. The conditioner helps balance your pH out (which is why it's important to use corresponding poo/cond) and it helps seal and smooth out the cuticle to prevent frizz, dullness, and other undesirable results. Besides that, if you put conditioner on dry or before shampoo, it won't be able to penetrate as deep due to styling products and natural oils and the fact that your cuticle isn't slightly open from shampooing. There's a reason why you do step one and step two. Use a professional brand based on a professional recommendation and rinse thoroughly and you will have no need to "reverse shampoo."

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  32. I did this today and had 2 compliments on my hair which is just a straight, nothing special, shoulder length bob. I also have "oily" hair and by the evening my bangs start to look dirty, but not tonight! Will try this again and see what happens. :)

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  33. I tried this and it does work. What people need to understand as this is not an alternative to everyday hair washing. I found that doing it once a week makes a big difference in my hair. But I will continue with the other days to do it the old way....

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  34. I've been in the beauty industry for years. AND DOING THIS is not going to harm your hair. It does have some great temporary results. But the premise behind shampooing and conditioner is defeated if choose this as your everyday hair washing method. you'll dry your hair out. I do this every once in a while when I want thick full hair, but I do it as a temporary fix.

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  35. The steps I wash my hair in:
    1. I only shampoo my scalp using with a quarter size dollop of shampoo.
    2. Rinse.
    3. I only condition the ends of my hair.
    4. Rinse.

    Perfect hair, always.

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  36. I actually just tried this yesterday and I have to say this really works! I have thin, moderately frizzy hair and conditioner no matter what kind always weighs down my hair making it look oily and flat. When I used the conditioner first and then the shampoo it gave my hair the shine and didn't take away any volume! I was loving my hair all day.

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  37. I have done this, but rinsing out the conditioner before shampooing works better. Also instead of a clarifying shampoo, working about a tablespoon of damp baking soda thru shampooed hair and then rinsing will work. Very shiny, too. Only do this weekly though.

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