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Why reverse washing is the key to shiny, voluminous hair

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Have you had a love-hate relationship with conditioner? There are days when we ‘mistakenly’ used a little too much conditioner so our hair weighs down sooner and seems flatter. How we hate that when all we want is to look fresh with playful bouncy hair. This especially occurs quite often in those who have oily scalp and fine hair. This is where we must think of Reverse washing. Let’s pick on the benefits, usage, and how-to of Reverse washing here.

What is Reverse washing?

Reverse washing is just what the name suggests. It is where you first go on with a conditioner and then follow it with a shampoo. The idea behind it is that our pores are open due to the pH of the water and so they can absorb much nourishment and moisture. It can also help one remove excess conditioner easily with the help of shampooing later. Reverse washing is a quick recovery dose for your hair if they have been weighing down and losing its volume after every hair wash. Why do we say so? Let’s understand the benefits of Reverse washing.

What are the benefits of Reverse washing?

Reverse washing offers some key benefits that you might seek before an event or an outing with good hair. Let’s look at these benefits-

1. Reduced greasiness

Generally a bit of your conditioner resides on your hair which can irritate your scalp and make it oily. And it is not that you did not wash your hair well, but it is just how conditioners are which is why they are avoided to be used on the scalp. However, if you see yourself being the bait of oily scalp after every wash where you conditioned your hair then Reverse washing is the answer. This will ensure that the last bit of conditioner is washed and a clean scalp only means healthy-looking hair for a longer period before your next hair wash.

2. Reduces Bacne

While washing off the conditioner, it can stick to your back as well which leads to bacne. We ain’t a fan of that and Reverse washing has an upper hand when it comes to preventing bacne. The shampooing that follows after conditioning your hair will help one prevent bacne by washing off the conditioner on the skin too.

3. Bouncier hair

Reverse washing also does increase the diameter of the hair and makes it appear fuller. This is because conditioner will nourish the hair and then shampoo will wash off the scalp which will lift the hair from the roots and appear to be fuller and bouncier due to adequate nourishment and cleansing.

4. Nourished hair

Often shampoo sucks excess essential oil from our scalp which makes our hair frizzy, dry and dull, Hence we follow it with conditioner to nourish our hair. The same happens with Reverse washing too, except for the flatness and hair loss that follows with conditioning. First, when you condition your hair, it will be nourished and while shampooing, the remains of the conditioner which are hard to wash off will be gone too. So all you’re left with is nourished and voluminous, clean hair.

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How to do a Reverse wash?

It is pretty similar to what you do every time for a hair wash but just in the reverse order. Just follow these steps and watch the results later-

  • Soak your hair completely. Not damp or dry but completely soaked hair is what you must aim for. This is just to ensure that the conditioner can be applied and distributed uniformly.
  • Once your hair is completely soaked, take a dollop of conditioner and apply it from your ends to your mid-length. You must avoid using conditioner on your scalp to ensure that your scalp does not become oily soon after.

Sublime recommends Fixderma Fidelia Strengthening Conditioner. It nourishes your hair and leaves it softer and shinier. It has a mix of wheat amino acids and soy amino acids to nourish the strands.

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If you have colour-treated hair then we’d recommend The Earth Collective Hair Conditioner which has Carrot and milk protein to nourish and condition your hair without affecting the colour.

  • Let the conditioner rest on your hair for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off with water to prep for the next step.
  • Dilute your shampoo and work it all over your lengths and scalp to cleanse. Massage it gently with your fingertips. After a good massage, rinse your hair with lukewarm water. This will also ensure that the thin film of the conditioner which may have been left is also washed off.

Sublime recommends Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore + Bamboo Fibers Strengthening Shampoo. If you style your hair quite often and you have fine and limp hair then you must befriend this shampoo. It has Castor oil Neem oil and Bamboo fibres that will help you thicken and nourish your hair.

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If you have colour-treated hair then you can opt for Best Life Keratin Onion Shampoo. It has Plant Keratin, Red onion extracts, and Rosemary to cleanse, nourish and promote hair growth. This works well for colour-treat hair too.

  • Pat dry it with a muslin cloth and see the bounce!
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Who can and cannot opt for Reverse washing?

Those who have thin and flat hair must prefer Reverse washing. This is also for those who suffer great hair loss after conditioning. This way you can wash off the excess product and also nourish your hair. Let’s look at some hair types and concerns that can be solved with Reverse washing.

  • Limp and fine hair
  • Oily scalp
  • Extreme hair loss
  • Flat hair

Reverse washing does not harm even hair types and concerns apart from the ones listed above. However, those with curly/coily hair and medical conditions like Psoriasis may want to check with a trichologist before opting for it. Reverse washing also does not work well with thick and frizzy hair. While curly/coily hair types have other methods like Co-washing and LOG that may be more suitable than Reverse washing.

Learn more about Co-washing here and the LOG method here.

How often should one do Reverse washing?

Reverse washing does not damage your hair and hence it has fewer restrictions. It can be used in as many types as one wishes. However, we’d say ideally once after every three hair washes could be reverse washing. Those who have an oily scalp could make it once after every two washes. We like to opt for this method a day before an event or function to always turn up with a good hair day!

The final words

Reverse washing is using the conditioner first and following it with shampoo. This will not just help with washing off the last bit of conditioner but also nourish your hair thoroughly. This method works well for those who have fine and limp hair and wants an extra shot of moisture to bring back life. This also works well for the oily scalps for whom conditioning means just an oilier scalp with the regular way of washing. This may not work for those who have thick hair. We find Reverse washing to be one of the simplest ways to bring back the shine and bounce to our hair so we’d say it is worth a shot!

-Divya Salvi

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