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How To Wash Your Hair – The Right Way


How to wash your hair the right way

Not to long ago I learned something crazy.

My whole life, I’ve been washing my hair the wrong way. Like, totally wrong way.

I had no clue! In fact, I would guess that you are probably washing your hair the wrong way too.

Are you?

You want to start by brushing your hair, before your shower. Get all the tangles out. Why? This will help you not have to clean your drains out as often, but also to stimulate the circulation in your scalp and reduce the amount of breakage.

When you get in the shower, you will start off by getting your hair wet and giving it a good rinse. You will want to make sure that you use warm water. (No problem right?) The warm water will help to remove dirt and product in your hair.

This next step is where it gets crazy.

How to wash your hair the right way

Ok, maybe not crazy, but this is where I learned that I was doing it all wrong.

Condition your hair. First.

Yes! You read it right! This is especially true if you have longer hair (meaning longer than shoulder length). Use the conditioner to work up a lather, concentrating mostly on the mid length to ends. Let it sit for a few minutes while you do your other shower stuff like shaving and washing your face. Rinse your hair thoroughly. (I used a shower cap to put over my hair while the conditioner gets to work!)

Next is the shampoo. (I know, the first few times you do it you will feel completely backwards!) You will notice it lathers up pretty easily! With the shampoo your main focus will be on the roots. Lather. Rinse.

Seal in some shine to your hair with a quick rinse in cold water.

how to wash your hair the right way

The first time I tried this ‘new’ way of washing my hair I was a little worried. My hair is a HOT MESS. It’s super dry, but gets greasy easily. And oh gosh, it gets so tangled. So easily! How is that for a combo huh?

But for the blog (because I love you all so!) I tried it. It felt funny to do it in the opposite order. And when I came out of the shower, I was really nervous. It seemed dry. It was all tangled. I thought oh geez. Getting a brush to go through this is not going to be pretty. But honestly, the brush went through easily. In fact, I’ve struggled with it much more when I shampooed first. I also noticed that my hair had more volume.

They say that when you shampoo first, condition second that the weight of the conditioner keeps your hair from having as much volume. But when you condition first (and let your hair absorb some of that conditioner), shampooing will clean and rinse most of the excess conditioner away, leaving your hair lighter and thus, more volume.

[Tweet “How to wash your hair…the right way! Because you’ve been doing it all wrong! #Beauty”]

So even though I felt backward, I’ve adopted this ‘new’ way of washing my hair. And now, I’m not sure I could go back!

How to wash your hair the right way

(Don’t forget to pin!)

What about you? Do you shampoo or condition your hair first?

Be sure to check out some of my favorite hair care products! Seriously, these are pretty life changing. (Well, close to it anyways!) 🙂

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We party here.



  1. Hi Amanda, I can’t believe I have been washing my hair “wrong” for so long now! I remember when I was a child I ‘accidentally’ conditioned my hair first and I shouted out to my mother who reassured me it was okay. I never made the same ‘mistake’ again but I will be trying out this method for sure! So glad I saw you featured at this week’s #titus2tuesday link up party!

    • Oh gosh that’s so funny! 🙂 I admit, while I was showering I was nervous – it didn’t feel “right”. But, I’ve been washing it this way ever since! 😉

      • Hi Amanda, I just had to let you know that I have been washing my hair this way since I commented back in January. As you mentioned, it takes awhile to get used to but my hair has never been this healthy in my life! I haven’t had dandruff, my hair is always shiny and soft – the change is incredible! Thank you!!

  2. Girl, you so crazy! I just read recently about co-washing, and I had to Google it. It’s washing solely with conditioner, no shampoo. So your suggestions aren’t that off-base from what others do! I may have to try this…

  3. I do this because it’s easier on my hair (like you wrote above). I get the tangles out with conditioner prior to shampooing and it makes life easier!

    • Mine does too!! In fact I was REALLY worried by the way my hair felt when I was in the shower washing it like this for the first time. But honestly my hair brushed out just the same if not easier than if I would have shampooed first. I was really surprised!

  4. So im a hair dresser ive heard of people doing this but i didnt know why. conditioning first and shampooing after is a great idea if you want volume but if your hair is damaged and curly and dry you might not want to shampoo the condioner

  5. Ok- so, I’ve got the oily hair problem- and, I don’t use conditioner because of it. So, Should I try this method with my oily problems? Have you noticed a difference in how oily your hair is by the end of the day or in the morning (depending on when you shower)…. I’ve been struggling with this for over 30 years! eeps!

    • Amanda,

      IMO you should always condition your hair. It helps to seal the shaft, preventing breaks, split ends, and frizzy hair. I don’t ever condition my scalp…it only adds to the natural oils your scalp produces. I start my conditioner about an inch away from my scalp, This way, my scalp gets some conditioner as I am rinsing, but does not make it super oily.

      Also, like she listed in the article, I only wash the scalp, never the shaft of the hair. In reverse of the previous, the hair shaft will get some shampoo going through it during the rinse. I hope this helps. I know when my stylist told me about it, it helped mine.

  6. Hi Amanda,

    Very useful tips indeed. Thank you. Will try it out seriously as I have a teenage daughter who is so conscious about her hair which does not have so much volume. Maybe she should try washing it the right way and see if it feels better. Thanks again.



  7. I live in a very dry climate and have a problem with static. The only reason I use conditioner is to control the cling. Don’t think this would be very useful if I washed away the conditioner.


  9. But I don’t usually condition my hair at all and I don’t notice a difference in it being more weighed down if I do (like after I go swimming). This is an interesting concept, but I’m skeptical.

  10. Tried washing my hair (condition first, then shampoo), for the first time this morning.

    I have fine, kind of wavy, blond hair. I had a MUCH harder time, combing out the tangles

    washing it this way and I always brush my hair, beforehand. It was a tangled mess and as

    a result, not sure I’m doing this again. If you have any additional tips that might help this

    situation, I’d be happy to hear them.

    • Oh bummer! My hair is thicker so maybe that’s why it worked better for me. For me when I was washing it, my hair seemed to tangle in the shower, but it wasn’t too difficult to brush out. But my hair always tangles pretty bad in the shower! I keep a comb in the shower and brush it in the shower and it helped some. Sorry it didn’t work well for you!

      • No worries. While my hair is fine, I’m told I have a lot of it. My hair does seem to have a bit more volume, washed this way. Glad this is working so well for you. Take care.

  11. I have to comment!! This inst the best way to wash your hair and I will explain why….

    First off, I am a licensed cosmetologist and this is how and why I was taught.

    Our hair strand is a long cylinder that had “shingles” or cuticles that lay down all around that cylinder. When we lather our hair with shampoo, the shampoo lifts the cuticle and removes dirt and oil, etc. We need something to close that cuticle that’s why they make conditioner. The conditioner lays that cuticle back down. I agree with you on the cold water rinse, the cold water will help lay that cuticle down!

    Shampoo is for the roots/ scalp and conditioner is for the rest of the hair/ends. Oh, and you’re supposed to only use a small amount of shampoo; if it does not lather up, it means there is too much dirt and the pH isn’t right. Rinse and repeat and i bet you the shampoo will lather up the second time. You should also invest in a clarifying shampoo and use it once a week to “reset” your hair!

    Just my two cents!! 🙂

  12. Thanks so much for this! I LOVE the result! I have a wavy hair and it get frizzy and dry at the ends easily but when I tried this method, I feel like my hair became so much better!

    But I just want to ask if is it okay to wash your hair like this daily? I’m afraid that the warm water will eventually make my hair dry and lackluster,..

    • Awesome I’m so glad it is working for you! I wash my hair like this daily and I haven’t had any problems, but everyone’s hair is different. Sorry I know that isn’t much help!

  13. This is NOT Technically the correct way, and the socially accepted method is not “Wrong”.

    Conditioner does not remove debris from hair, the reason your lathering improves is because you are now, completely emulsifying your hair before the shampoo. Secondly, you are most definitely not using professional products if your favorites are from Wallgreens, professional products all perform completely different, and are highly concentrated formulas meant to be applied shampoo first, and shampoo twice. Thirdly, Conditioner is meant to seal the strands, add shine, and detangle. The seal is meant to help retain the moisture from the conditioner, by shampooing afterwards you are removing that seal. Fourthly, and finally, commenting on a remark from a previous comment, you most likely DO NOT have DANDRUFF. Everyone’s dead skin cells fall off daily, some people have it very noticeably, and sometimes it is accompanied by redness, itchiness, and/or irritation. The most common cause is dry scalp, and by diagnosing yourself and using products like Head and Shoulders, you are actually making your condition much worse because Head and Shoulders is not pH balanced and does not add moisture back into the skin. You need to use proper products and proper hair and skin care regimens, and COMPLETELY rinse any excess conditioner AFTER you shampoo. You need all of the information before you begin to blindly follow unnecessary trends.

    • Thanks for your comment. You are right products all perform differently. For me, this works so that’s what I do. My hair feels better and looks better. I don’t think anyone should blindly follow unnecessary trends, but there is no harm in trying something new. And if you like it, keep it up. For me it’s not really a trend, just a change. I had a lot of problems before with my hair and now I don’t. I tried probably 15-20 different shampoos – some of which were incredibly expensive and didn’t have nearly the luck I had doing this. For my hair type, after having all of the information, this makes the most sense. I hope you find what works best for you! Have a great day!


  1. […] How To Wash Your Hair – The Right … – Tried washing my hair (condition first, then shampoo), for the first time this morning. I have fine, kind of wavy, blond hair. I had a MUCH harder time … […]

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