Washing your hair may appear to be a simple task, but it’s often the most basic beauty ritual that comes with the most variations. Your wash day habits are crucial for maintaining healthy hair, and it all starts in the shower.
While you may have your shampoo schedule and sulfate-free formulas sorted, have you ever considered how you scrub? Iconic hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai, founder and CEO of FEKKAI Brands, suggests that some should try to reverse hair washing by applying conditioner before shampoo.
This method, known as reverse application order, can help avoid flat hair. Conditioning your hair is essential for smooth and shiny locks, but some find that it weighs down their roots, stretches out their curls, or contributes to buildup.
By using conditioner before shampooing, your tresses will still absorb all of the hydrating nutrients while the shampoo ensures lift at the root and a fresh, light feeling on the scalp. If you have trouble with limp, flat locks, this hack may be worth trying.
Additionally, some people use conditioner before shampooing to buffer their strands from potentially drying formulas. This method creates a shield around the hair shaft and prevents shampoo from stripping the strands, which can contribute to frizz, dryness, and breakage.
To ensure success with this method, follow Fekkai’s tips and avoid making small oversights that can result in flat and dry hair.
- Apply your conditioner or a hydrating hair mask in sections, making sure to saturate your hair from root to tip. “Leave it on for, say, five to 10 minutes,” he says, or however long your specific mask recommends.
- Rinse the conditioner out, then shampoo. Just make sure to apply the shampoo only at the roots. You want to lift buildup on the scalp without stripping your lengths; it’s OK if some product runs down your strands while you rinse, but you don’t want to actively scrub away the conditioner and dry out the ends.
- Post-shower, you’ll still want to rehydrate your hair with a leave-in conditioner. That way, you can help trap them in the water and seal down the strands’ cuticle (which is naturally raised from being exposed to water). Fekkai recommends his Clean Stylers Glossing Cream+, a frizz-smoothing formula that contains coconut, squalane, and olive oils, which are known for absorbing quickly into the strands and smoothing down the cuticles, as well as shea butter and prickly pear extract for a host of fatty acids and antioxidants. It’s not too tacky or heavy, so you won’t have to worry about weighing down your locks.
If your hair constantly falls flat or appears greasy, you might want to give reverse hair washing a try. By giving the scalp a good scrub, you can encourage lift without stripping your lengths of precious moisture. Again, just make sure you keep the shampoo on the scalp, not your ends.