Reverse Washing - Conditioner before Shampoo?

Hello Naturalistas, How are you all doing? Kinks and all? I was going through my Instagram feed when "Reverse washing" captured my eyes and attention. I decided to do abit of research about it to understand what it really is about and why people are doing it.

A photo posted by Stacy-Ann (@sexy_jaican) on

What is Reverse Washing? This is basically using your conditioner first before you use your shampoo. Alot of times we are just used to doing things a certain way and I guess someone woke up one day and decided to challenge the "norm" and it worked for them or didn't. The result of going this route will change how your hair feels after on your wash days, for some the change will be positive and others it will be negative. At the end of the day, there is no harm in trying.

Why Shampoo?
The purpose of shampoo is to cleanse hair and scalp of dirt, product build up, remove excess sebum but not stripping it all off to still make the hair manageable.

Why Conditioner?
The purpose of conditioners is to strengthen and moisturise your hair after shampooing. Essentially, it restores a healthy moisture balance to your hair, close the cuticle to prepare your hair for the rigor of styling.

Reverse wash or not? I would say to each his own. There are people that have their hair feeling and looking better while using this method, but looking at the facts and shampooing after you condition your hair will have your hair strands swelling without balancing the alkaline pH out (Which is what the conditioner does) which is not the ideal state of the hair. Your hair will be more susceptible to damage.

Scientifically, there is the reason for shampooing before conditioning your hair and things like alternative methods do open up our minds to other possibilities (which is great) and while we something need to question why we do the things we do, it is important that we focus on the health of our hair in our quest of trying out new things.

Do you condition before you shampoo? or Do you Shampoo before you condition? Have you tried both? What was your experience like? 


  1. I prefer shampooing before conditioning. Although I used to deep condition before shampooing back when I started my hair journey but not any more. It's like stripping off the moisture again.

  2. For me it makes sense to shampoo then condition your hair and it has worked well so far.

  3. I am one of those who condition before shampooing. But after the shampoo I do an ACV rinse. I started doing this when my favourite conditioner became difficult to find and I noticed lots of other conditioners left residue that made my scalp itchy early. it has worked for me for over a year

  4. I am one of those who do the reverse although I do an ACV rinse after.i started this when my favourite conditioner went out of market and most other conditioners left residue that made my scalp itchy in about 3 days. I have done this for over a year and both I and my hair are happy.

  5. I once tried this method but my hair felt so stripped like I hadn't even conditioned it.


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