Reverse washing doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. You put your conditioner in your hair first, rinse it out and then go in with your shampoo. I was reluctant to try this because my current haircare (Bumble and Bumble) is expensive, and I don’t want to waste it by messing around with weird old wives’ tales, but Kate swears by it. There aren’t many bloggers whose advice I take without question, but she’s definitely up there.
So the idea is, you get your hair wet, slather it with conditioner, leave that in for a while, rinse it out and then bring in the shampoo. After a few tries I’ve adapted the method slightly, but that’s really the essence, and it works.
I’ll admit I can’t bring myself to throw conditioner into my dirty hair. It feels counterproductive, and my hair is usually so loaded with dry shampoo by the time I wash it that it really needs that cleaned out first. I keep a bottle of shitty supermarket shampoo in the shower and use a generous handful of that to give my hair a pre-clease before I go in with the good stuff. Most supermarket shampoos are loaded with sulfates and all the terrible things we’re meant to be avoiding; the one thing those sulfates are good at, however, is ridding your hair of a week’s worth of dry shampoo buildup. (I want to get the Bumble and Bumble Sunday shampoo for this purpose, but it seems a bit wasteful to spend so much money on this step.)
Next I put my conditioner through the mid-lengths and ends of my hair. At the moment I’m using the Bumble and Bumble Super Rich Conditioner, which does what it says by being super rich and moisturising. It was really good when my hair was all dead inside from being bleached, but now most of my hair is virgin (ooh), it’s maybe not so necessary. Regardless, into my hair it goes, then I clip it up and do other showery things while it soaks in.
The last step is to go back in with your shampoo again. It prevents your conditioner from weighing down your hair and leaving you with too much product residue. I use my Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo for this step and it’s honestly what makes the biggest difference in how my hair looks and behaves. This shampoo is fantastic. It’s perfectly transparent and you only need the tiniest amount to do your whole head, so it will last forever. I focus it on my roots to give extra lift there (it’s honestly tangible, the difference this stuff makes) and to make sure there’s no conditioner in that area, lurking and getting heavy.
Other weird things to do with conditioner: skip the shampoo entirely and use it as a single step (this one is called co-washing and is not where two people wash each other’s hair, as much as the name might imply… the co- part means co[nditioner]). Run the tiniest amount of conditioner through your ends and leave it there (this is one Matt suggested for Mum’s hair as it’s coloured and quite dry, and she swears by it). Put it in your beard (Callum does this one occasionally, and I can’t make a judgement here, as I don’t have a beard, but his beard is generally very nice!).
Have you tried reverse washing? Will you?