Reverse washing is a hair-washing technique that involves conditioning the hair first and then shampooing it. This is the opposite of the traditional method of shampooing first and then conditioning.
Reverse washing is believed to be beneficial for fine, oily, or thinning hair that gets weighed down easily. It can also help people with buildup on their scalp, flakiness, or psoriasis.
The process is simple: wet your hair, apply conditioner, rinse it out, and then apply shampoo and rinse again.
Reverse washing is different from co-washing, which involves using only a conditioner or co-washing product. Co-washing is ideal for dry, thick, and coarse hair.
It seems like almost every season, we discover a new hair trend or a game-changing product to rule our morning routine or bedtime ritual. Sometimes these trends come in the form of fads, and other times they truly transform not only the way our hair looks but also the way we feel about our appearance.
Enter the reverse washing trend, which first appeared on the beauty scene about two years ago. This process has really begun to make its mark with the introduction of reverse washing products and buzzing testimonials from beauty junkies across the web.
Intrigued? You should be. This clever technique could really make a difference for all of us—especially those suffering from a case of persistent flat hair. But what exactly is reverse washing, and how should we go about trying it? I break down the trend you wish you had thought of yourself years ago.
What Is Reverse Washing
Well, reverse washing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: simply washing your hair in reverse—conditioning first, then following with shampoo. The technique gives your hair the moisture it needs, while cleansing the heavy conditioning residue that may be weighing your hair down. It’s especially ideal if you color your hair regularly, as you’re protecting your colored strands with conditioner before potentially stripping away color with the cleansing agents of your shampoo.
Who Is It For
For those who feel that conditioner weighs their hair down frequently, for those who color their hair frequently, and for those who really need deep conditioning, the reverse wash trend is beneficial.
When To Try It
If your at-home conditioning method has been failing you, then the time is now to try this trend for much-needed bounce! As it is with life in general, the timing of this technique is crucial, so let’s focus on that most important takeaway first!
The beginning of spring can sometimes lead to shedding and dryness in the scalp department, so introducing this trend in the springtime is ideal! Sometimes we feel we need extra conditioning to aid in scalp dryness or overall hair elasticity, but deep conditioning can often leave your strands lifeless (especially if your hair is on the thinner side).
An easy and immediate alternative is to work with the conditioner and shampoo you already have, but in reverse. If you like this new method, continue with the products if they are working for you, or switch to a product specifically designed for this reverse washing technique.
The two areas of focus are:
- Apply your conditioner from root to tip and let it sit for a lengthy, deep conditioning treatment.
- Follow by shampooing your conditioner directly out without rinsing in-between steps to further maximize the conditioning effects without stripping your hair of moisture too much.
Beauty Tip: If your hair is on the extreme side of greasy or thin, consider applying conditioner to just your ends and applying just the remaining residue left on your hands to your scalp.
What Type of Shampoo To Look For
Look for shampoos and conditioners that are sulfate free so they’re not full of heavy detergents or waxes, which may be the cause of your limp hair in the first place. I like Lea Journo haircare products because they are sulfate-free.
You may also want to try a new product designed specifically for the reverse-washing technique called the Beauty-Full Volume Reverse Wash System by Tresemme. I haven’t personally tried this new product coupling, but I’ve heard good things. The system comes complete with a pre-wash conditioner and a volume-building shampoo for completing the wash.
Give It A Try
Spring cleaning indeed! I’m going to be trying the reverse washing trend, are you? Washing your hair in reverse could indeed reverse product buildup, zap dullness, and add bounce to your hair routine. This conditioning technique is ideal to sample in the spring, when lackluster strands weigh down more than just our hair.
Let us know how reverse washing has worked for you in the comments.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.