Skip to content
Women looking straight ahead

Shampoo vs conditioner: what should you use first?

We’ve all been diligently massaging shampoo into our hair, and following with a moisture-boosting conditioner since we can remember. But have you ever considered what would happen if you turned everything on its head and used conditioner before shampoo? Let us be the first to tell you that, for some hair types, doing just that could be what your hair needs.

Should you use shampoo or conditioner first?

It’s no secret that all hair washing instructions (including ours) will tell you to use shampoo, then conditioner. However, there are times – and hair types – that may benefit from a little switch-up once in a while. The hair type in question? Fine – AKA hair can be weighed down by product. 

Shampoo vs conditioner

First, let’s go back to basics to ensure you understand what the products you’re using do. Shampoo is the product we traditionally use first when washing our hair. It foams and lathers on contact with water, working to lift, dissolve and wash away dirt, oil, grease, and product build-up from both the scalp and the hair. We would suggest opting for a product formulated for your hair type – whether that’s with our Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo For Damaged Hair, Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo or Dove Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Shampoo – when used with their conditioner counterpart, we have every hair type and need covered.

Then there’s conditioner, the product formulated to hydrate and moisturize locks, keeping it looking smooth and feeling soft. It should be applied from the mid-lengths down to the ends, and ideally left to work its magic for a few minutes before being rinsed out. Depending on your hair type, some conditioners may be too heavy or rich, so – like with shampoo – it’s best to use something suitable for you. Dove covers all bases: when used alongside their shampoo counterpart, Dove Volume and Fullness Conditioner adds body, Dove Strength & Fullness Boost Conditioner boosts volume and leaves strands looking thicker, and Dove Smoothness & Shine Conditioner infuses dry hair with nourishing moisture.

What is reverse shampooing?

Back to the idea of using conditioner first – also known as reverse shampooing. As mentioned previously, if your hair is fine, you may find some products a bit rich or heavy, leaving your hair feeling weighed down, greasy and lifeless. But, by using conditioner first every few washes, you can still benefit from the nourishing, hydrating properties of conditioner, but the shampoo will remove any product build-up left in the strands without washing away your hair’s natural oils – trust us when we say it’s not too good to be true.

Hello, what are you looking for?