Reverse washing is especially ideal for those with dry or damaged tresses.

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Every time you wash your hair, you probably stick to the same routine: first, suds up with some shampoo and then add your conditioner. There's nothing wrong with the typical regimen that the majority of us are used to this regimen, but it might be time to switch things up and try reverse washing your hair. Yes, that means adding conditioner first and then going in with your shampoo. The technique gives you super soft silky strands and especially ideal for those with dry hair. It's becoming more and more popular, and it might be time you try it out for yourself.

So, where did this idea start? It might have begun in the salon scene. Julien Farel, the owner of the Julien Farel Restore Salon and Spa in New York City, started reverse washing some of his clients long before it was trendy. His primary motivation: to protect dry, curly, or damaged hair from friction caused by washing. "If I wash their hair first, I run the risk of tangling and mangling the hair," he says. For fragile, extremely coarse or dry, or easily knotted hair types, Farel conditions first, combs through the hair, washes, and then conditions once more.

woman sitting with nice hair
Credit: Szepy/Getty Images

Those with fine hair find conditioning first is a way to hydrate strands without weighing them down. Any heavy residue rinses out, and hair is left hydrated but still bouncy.

So, can you try it with any old conditioner? If your hair is dry, curly, or damaged, Farel says you can try this process with a really rich or highly concentrated formula. If your strands are fine, it's best to use a formula that's specifically designed to be used before shampoo; otherwise, the benefits may get washed away. Try TREsemmé Beauty Full Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner ($5, Walgreen), or Kérastase Soin Premier Therapiste Pre-Shampoo ($42, Kérastase).

If the idea of plumping up thin locks and restoring moisture to curly hair sounds appealing, give this simple conditioning technique a try. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Comments (1)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
June 27, 2020
Oh come on. Trendy it may be but new idea it is not. Black women with natural (wavy, curly, kinky) hair have been using conditioner first or only for decades. In the YouTube era it came to be known as "co-wash" a conditioning wash. Still shaking my head.