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Challenge: Condition Your Hair Before You Shampoo It

There are a lot of beauty trends that make no sense to me, like bright red lipstick under your eyes to conceal dark circles. Then, there are others that seem a little odd, but I can see the reasoning when I really examine what people are going for. Conditioning your hair before you shampoo it is one of them. Could those with lifeless or flat hair who need conditioner to soften and assist with tangles reverse the typical rotation and still achieve beautiful hair? More companies are jumping on this bandwagon and actually creating systems designed to reverse your routine. TreSemme is one of those companies, and I actually got a chance to try its reverse system when I joined an Influenster VoxBox earlier this year. Systems marketed that way are definitely, but I wanted to see if they actually worked better in reverse. Of course, you could always try this challenge with your current shampoo and conditioner instead of rushing out to buy a set that is specifically marketed as a reverse system.

Influenster Tresemme 2

To see my complete thoughts on this system when used it in reverse as intended, visit the original article. My goal with this article is to compare how the products (designed for reversal) work the traditional way (shampoo, then conditioner). While I only tested the Beauty Full Volume Reverse System Shampoo and Beauty Full Volume Reverse System Pre Wash Conditioner, I think using any reverse system in the traditional order would yield similar results. I may try reversing some traditional shampoos and conditioners in the future to see if it also works the other way around. So far, I have not rebelled and tried traditionally marketed products in reverse order.

Tresemme Hair 3

I have fine hair, but I have a lot of it. In the picture above and below, I used conditioner before shampoo as this system intends. When shampoo is my last step, my hair always looks more full without fail. If that is your only goal, I can confirm that this system will give the desired results.

Tresemme Hair

If you have oily hair, like I do, it does feel odd to condition dirty, oily hair. I am not referring to a psychological feeling, although that is there as well. When I work the conditioner through my hair, I feel the natural oils, and miss the clean, fresh feeling. The conditioner in this system is thinner than most conditioners, so it is not a heavy conditioner to begin with. That means it will not weigh your hair down as much, but it will also not remove as many tangles, even when used last. It is even worse when the conditioner goes first. Less tangle removing typically means more frizz from extra hair tugging. My hair experienced more frizz when I reversed the order. It is naturally frizzy to begin with, so I was not a fan of the added frizz.


The picture above is using the system in traditional order, which is shampoo, then conditioner. Surprisingly, my hair did not look more “clean” as I expected. My thought was using the conditioner first would prevent the shampoo from cleansing as well. That was not the case at all. My hair feels softer and less frizzy when I use the conditioner last. It is also more flat, so I really lose the volume, even though the conditioner is not thick.

Because my hair gets just as clean regardless of order, I suggest basing the reversal decision on what you’re looking for. If volume is your main goal, reversing the order will help. Those who would rather not spend a ton of extra time taming frizz will probably prefer using the traditional method. One thing is for sure. There is no harm in giving this a try if you have not already. I’ve read that conditioner seals the cuticle and shampoo opens it, but I’m not really sure how that works. Hot water also opens the cuticle and cold water seals it, so I wondered if I could condition with hot water and shampoo with cold water to help counteract the effects. Regardless of whether I used hot water for conditioner or hot water for shampoo, I did not see much difference using either product first or second. Granted, I am unsure you would see the difference, but your hair could feel it.

If reversing the order could cause potential damage, I’d love to see the explanation. I remember seeing someone explain it before and it made sense. The problem is I cannot remember where I read that. Have you tried this challenge? How did it go? Are you still using it or did you switch back to the original method? If you are still reversing the order, do you have any tips for combatting frizz (other than adding extra products)? See all Challenge articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.

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