Hey there, Salon Veritas owner and stylist Ashley here! If you have been on TikTok lately, you have probably seen the “reverse hair washing” method that has gone viral. This method of washing your hair is said to revive dull, dry, or damaged hair. I have had lots of clients asking me about this so I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject. Before we dig in, let me just say, I do not recommend reverse hair washing, especially not on a regular basis. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Reverse Hair Washing
Reverse hair washing is exactly what it sounds like. It involves reversing the order of the haircare products you use in the shower. In other words, you would apply conditioner first, and then, after rinsing your conditioner, put in your shampoo and rinse. So, why the reverse wash?
If your hair is fine, damaged, or prone to getting oily, applying these products in standard order can make it look greasy, limp, and flat. Reversing the application can make your hair lighter, softer, and more voluminous, and adds hydration without sacrificing fullness and movement.” – Well + Good
When you use conditioner first, those on TikTok say, you will end up removing a lot of the conditioner that weighs your hair down with the shampoo. Conditioning first also protects your strands from the harsh chemicals that are present in the shampoo. The shampoo cannot penetrate the hair coated by the conditioner, thus helping preserve the natural oils and moisture in your hair.
Source: Well + Good
Does Reverse Hair Washing Work?
In my opinion, reverse hair washing is not good for your hair and will not give you the outcome you desire long term. The pH of water is about 7.5. The pH of most “good” shampoos is between 5 and 7. Conditioner has a lower pH—it is usually around 3.5. So, why is this important? Because of the pH levels, shampoos gently open the cuticles and cleanse the hair. After you wash the shampoo out, the cuticle remains soft, lifted, and open. Then, the conditioner, which has a lower pH, closes the cuticles to help retain the benefits of the shampoo and conditioner and store the moisture. The shampoo is designed to get build-up out. If you use it after conditioner, it will put out the conditioner. It also would leave the cuticles of your hair open which could cause them to feel soft at first but over time, because you are not sealing in the moisture, your hair will feel dry. To learn more about why the pH of your hair care products is important, check out TheHairRoutine.com.
What Should You Do Instead of Reverse Hair Washing?
Instead of trying the latest fad, you should invest in quality hair care products and make sure you are washing and rinsing your hair correctly. I recommend Four Reasons. Their products have been designed for the demanding needs of hair industry professionals and they are manufactured from top-quality, vegan ingredients in a way that respects the environment. We are the only salon in Raleigh that carries Four Reasons and I would love to help you select which products would be right for your hair. If you have a question about the products you are using, do not hesitate to ask me about them at your next appointment.
Just as important as the products you buy is how you use them. Here are the steps you should take when cleansing your hair.
- Get your hair wet.
- Dispense a quarter-size amount of shampoo into your palms and lather.
- Work the shampoo into your roots first and work through to your ends.
- Rinse out all of the shampoo.
- If you have time, or at least once a week, repeat steps two through four.
- Apply conditioner beginning at the ends and then work your way up. Stop about halfway up your hair. Do not add conditioner to your roots unless it is specially formulated for your scalp.
- Leave your conditioner in for five to seven minutes.
- Rinse conditioner with cool water.
Pro Tip: You do not need to wash your hair every day. Your scalp is meant to have some natural oil and when you wash it too often, you are stripping it of oils that it needs.
To give your hair a refresh and to learn more about the proper way to take care of your hair make an appointment to see me soon at Salon Veritas!