Shampoo and condition is the two-step hair care routine that has been ingrained in most of us since we were children. There is a small movement encouraging us to rethink our approach though. Advocates of reverse washing suggest that conditioning your hair before shampooing could be the key to attaining that soft, bouncy, healthy mane of hair usually associated with a trip to the salon.
The theory is that conditioner can often weigh down your hair, leaving it feeling heavy and potentially even a little greasy within a day. By switching the two around it’s thought that you get the benefits of conditioner without any of the weight.
Not everyone is convinced though. “Firstly, a few minutes is not enough time for the product to work effectively. They should be left on for a minimum of 20 minutes, with a shower cap covering the hair to hold in heat, in order to properly penetrate the hair shaft,” explains trichologist Anabel Kingsley. “Secondly, pre-shampoo treatments should not replace post-shampoo conditioners (and vice versa). You should shampoo and condition as usual afterwards.”
To ensure that your hair is fully conditioned, Kingsley recommends applying a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment for at least 20 minutes before shampooing with the help of a shower cap.
So, are pre-shampoo treatments worth it?
While there are plenty of intensive pre-shampoo treatments on the market, you can also use your existing hair oil, and in some cases your face oil. For example, if you use Repairing Oil by 72 Hair as a post-styling product to smooth your cuticles, you should consider applying it to damp hair, from mid-lengths and ends, 20 minutes before washing your hair as normal.
What about finding the right shampoo
It’s easy to overlook shampoo and reach for any formula on the shelf, however the wrong shampoo can leave your hair feeling feeling greasy and unclean or stripped and dry. Color Wow’s Color Security Shampoo is a good all-rounder that works on pretty much any hair and has a clever amino complex that locks in colour and nutrients. We also recommend Green People’s Intensive Repair Shampoo as you can get away with washing your hair just twice a week.
If you’re looking for more of a treatment, look to Ful.Vic.Health Fulvic Acid Shampoo. Using the powerful Ioniplex ingredient found in the bestselling Ionicell supplement, this shampoo helps to clean your hair, as well infuse it with non-humic fulvic acid which helps to nourish your scalp.