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Reverse hair washing - is it the secret to full and voluminous hair?

Reverse hair washing, is it the holy grail of full and voluminous hair?

We’re here to hold your virtual hand and take you on a journey through everything you need to know about reverse hair washing.

This involves answering ‘what is reverse hair washing?’, discussing the pros and cons of reverse washing your hair, and ultimately helping you decide if it’s right for your hair type. 

shampoo bar and treatment conditioner in a tin

What is reverse hair washing?

Reverse washing is a very simple hair care technique. Instead of shampooing and then conditioning, you just switch them around and do the reverse instead. Conditioner first, before the shampoo. By reverse washing, you get all the nourishing and moisturising benefits of conditioner without leaving any residue on your hair.

3 types of conditioner, light, cream and treament, in pump bottles

How to reverse hair wash

If the name doesn’t already give it away, Jayne Rutland, founder of Hairy Jayne and 20 years experienced hairdresser, is here to talk you through the process of how to reverse wash your hair.

“Reverse washing your hair is really as easy as it sounds. First, wet your hair and apply the conditioner. Leave for a few minutes to let the active ingredients work their way into the hair, then do a light shampoo to remove any excess.” Says former hairdresser Jayne.

Or, if you’re looking for a deeper condition, you can reverse wash your hair by applying a treatment conditioner to the mid-lengths and ends of dampened hair. Leave for 20-30 mins, rinse, shampoo lightly and then rinse again.

What hair types is reverse washing good for?

Reverse washing is great for fine or thin hair. This is because conditioners in finer hair can weigh it down and cause it to become greasy.

Reverse hair washing may not be for you if your hair is dry, coarse or curly. For these hair types, conditioning second rather than first helps give hair an added boost of moisture. Using reverse washing may dry these hair types and cause it to become dull.

What are the benefits of reverse washing?

One big benefit of reverse washing, especially for fine hair, is that hair will feel moisturised without looking or feeling greasy.

Conditioner residue sometimes sits on top of fine hair, particularly straight fine hair, rather than work its way all of the way in. Any residue then weighs the hair down making it feel greasy, limp and flat. So one benefit of reverse washing is fuller and bouncier hair.

Another benefit of reverse hair washing is that you won’t need to shampoo as often.

“Because the hair will feel less weighed down, the need to shampoo will be less frequent.” Says Jayne. “So a benefit of reverse washing is shampooing it less often, which is better for the overall health of your hair."

"Shampooing every 3-4 days, rather than daily, will result in stronger hair, fewer split ends and bouncy and full volume.”

The best products to use for reverse washing

The beauty of reverse washing is that it can be done with your regular shampoo and conditioner.

Our sulphate free Shampoo Bars and Nourishing Shampoo both work equally well.

The best conditioner to use depends on your hair type. For fine hair, we recommend our Light Conditioner or conditioner bars, and for medium and textured hair use our Cream Conditioner.

For a deeper conditioning treatment, ideal for particularly dry or damaged hair, our Treatment Conditioner is best.

The best way to distribute the conditioner evenly and gently throughout your hair is with our bamboo Detangling Comb.


After reverse washing you should notice bouncier hair right away. And then over time, fewer split ends. You might also notice that you don’t need to wash your hair as frequently, as your hair will feel less weighed down.

Plus the natural oils produced by your scalp won't be disrupted by conditioner residue left in the hair any more so oil production will be more regulated.

Fuller, bouncier hair and less hair washing... you’re welcome!

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