Hair Care

Reverse Hair Washing – What Is the Hype About?

A simple twist in your hair washing method will give you a good hair day. Every day.

Written by Shilpa Jayan

On Apr 21, 2023 – 4 minutes read

Reverse Hair Washing Featured

Our attendance at social events majorly revolves around our hair wash day. But even after careful planning, on some days your hair just doesn’t look great. I’m sure you can relate to this too. Bad hair on an important day is a nightmare. The way you wash your hair, the products you use and the drying time make a difference on your hair texture. What has this to do with reverse hair washing you ask?

If you’re like the rest of us, your hair wash method is shampooing the scalp followed by conditioning the lengths. Even though this method is effective in cleaning the hair, sometimes depending on your hair texture, the extra moisture from the conditioner could weigh down the hair. Reverse Hair Washing may be the solution to this issue. Here is everything you need to know about this technique.

Why Should You Reverse Your Hair Wash Method?

In regular hair washing, while you rinse and wash with shampoo first, you strip off all the natural oils and sebum from the hair. Afterward, you apply a conditioner to compensate for the loss of moisture. This, as some of you might already be experiencing, causes the hair and scalp to get greasy especially if you have thin hair and an oily scalp. The shine and texture after a wash are not long-lasting either. 

Why Should You Reverse Your Hair Wash Method

So, making this simple shift in your hair wash technique can help you achieve much better results. Reversing your hair wash method stops the hair from getting too dry and tangly. Let’s dive into the science now.

What Is Reverse Hair Washing? 

It simply means reversing the way that you wash your hair. That is, conditioner first and then shampoo. Sounds crazy right? The first time I heard about this, I was as surprised as you are. But take my word, it works!

Conditioner is one of the most important hair care products. It gives the hair moisture and hydration and locks in the moisture to make the hair look and feel healthy and lustrous. So if you apply the conditioner first and the shampoo, in the end, the latter won’t be able to strip the hair of its natural oils and sebum. The shampoo acts purely as a cleanser for the hair and scalp. (1)

Who Should Do Reverse Hair Washing?

  • Highly recommend this for people with dull lifeless hair.
  • People with oily scalp can benefit from this as conditioner only adds to the problem of hair greasiness. 
  • To improve the texture of frizzy hair, you can try this technique
Who Should Reverse Hair Washing

While this process works for most people, it might not work for others. But there is no harm in trying it once. 

How To Do Reverse Hair Washing?

Here is a tried and tested way to wash your hair in reverse order. 

  1. First of all, wet your hair and apply a dollop of conditioner to the lengths and towards the ends. Let it sink into the hair for 5-10 minutes. 
  2. Now wet the hair again; do not wash off the conditioner.
  3. Apply very little shampoo to the scalp while the conditioner is still on. 
  4. Now wash and rinse all of it. 
  5. You may use some more conditioner before the final rinse or apply a leave-in conditioner. 

Now here is something that everybody wants to know, the pros and cons of reverse hair washing.

Benefits of Reverse Hair Washing

What Are The Benefits of Reverse Hair Washing
  • Improves hair texture 
  • Nourishes hair while providing hydration and moisture
  • Since the shampoo is applied second, it prevents scalp buildup(2)
  • Makes the hair look shiny and bouncy
  • Eliminates frizziness
  • Avoids bacne (3) caused by product residues
  • Gives fuller looking and healthier hair
  • Imparts a long-lasting shine to the hair


Reverse hair washing can give amazing results to some people. But this is no replacement for the regular hair washing method of shampooing and then conditioning. Hence, it is not recommended to do it more than twice a week. 

The Bottom Line

Reverse hair washing has been a popular hair washing technique since the 2000s. In this method, you reverse your normal hair washing routine and use a conditioner before rinsing your hair. It can make the hair look voluminous, healthier, and shinier. 

This method may or may not work for you. But there is no harm in trying. Reverse hair washing can be done once a week and you can increase the frequency depending upon the results. Although, we recommend that you don’t overdo it even if it works for you!

  1. ResearchGate GmbH. (2008-2021). Evaluation Of Standards Of Some Selected Shampoo Preparation . [Online] Available at:
  2. Procter & Gamble. 2021. These Are The Causes of Scalp Build-Up And Here's How You Can Treat It. [Online] Available at:
  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 2021. Back Acne: How To See Clearer Skin. [Online] Available at:

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Hey you! I am Shilpa and I am a lover of words – sugar, spice, and all things nice! I read and write about and for women, men, art, relationships, and emotions. An old school by heart, I love the art of writing. I love sharing my personal experiments with travel, skincare, food, fashion, and life in general.

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