HAIR CARE Do You Use Shampoo or Conditioner First?

by Better Natured

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Whether you have a 10-step hair care routine or you keep it short and sweet, shampoo and conditioner are likely staples in your shower. You're not wrong if you’ve been accustomed to believing that lathering up comes before smoothing on a restorative hydrator. However, since the “reversed hair washing trend” came into existence, it’s raised a few questions. Here’s what we think about the hair washing and conditioning process, including the handful of reasons why you’d reverse these tried and true grooming steps.

What We Recommend and Why

If you look at any of our vegan shampoos and conditioners, you’ll see that we recommend shampooing first. Here’s why. 

Shampoos contain ingredients that help remove excess oils, sweat, dirt, product buildup, and environmental pollutants from your hair. Clean hair is more receptive to reaping the restorative and hydrating benefits from conditioners and other products like our Moisture Replenishing Hair Masque (Check out our blog on mastering masque application!), or our Color Care Deep Conditioning Balm

And while some shampoos can contain cleansing agents that can strip hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and frizzy, our shampoos are SLS/SLES (sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate) free. We replaced these ingredients with clean synthetic surfactants that create a rich and luxurious lather while keeping the hair soft, shiny, and manageable.

Better Natured® Moisturizing Conditioner

Featured: Better Natured® Moisturizing Conditioner

When Would You Condition First? 

As mentioned, shampoos are routinely used before conditioners to cleanse the hair and scalp thoroughly. Though there’s no scientific evidence to reinforce the reverse hair washing technique, some pros recommend it to those with fine hair who want the benefits of conditioners without weighing down their tresses. 

However, Better Natured® shampoos and conditioners are formulated with naturally-derived ingredients that work to your hair’s advantage versus simply coating strands, which takes the life out of your locks. That said, while we’re still team shampoo first, here are some other key reasons you might consider conditioning your hair first.

Condition First When You’re Looking to: 

  • Add texture and volume
  • Reduce washing frequency
  • Add moisture without weighing tresses down
  • Prevent product buildup
  • Tame frizz and improve manageability
  • Reduce an overly oily scalp

Pro Tip: When conditioning first, start by wetting your hair and massaging a generous amount of conditioner into your strands. Wait a few minutes before applying shampoo. Don’t rinse out the conditioner. Lather and rinse both products at the same time.

brushing hair in bathroom

So, shampoo or conditioner first? We recommend shampooing first before conditioning because you’re able to clean your hair from the day’s sweat and oil buildup. If you experiment with conditioning first, keep it to once a week so you can effectively remove dirt, excess oils, and product buildup. 

Explore Our Collection of Vegan Shampoo and Conditioners Here

Image credits:

  • Sarayut Sridee/
  • Pixel-Shot/

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    Moisture Replenishing Masque

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    Color Care Deep Conditioning Balm

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