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Want Shiny, Healthy Hair? Start Applying Your Conditioner Before Your Shampoo!

Want Shiny, Healthy Hair? Start Applying Your Conditioner Before Your Shampoo!

If I were to ask you how you wash your hair, it would probably go something like this: rinse, shampoo, rinse, condition, rinse (and maybe repeat). Right? Well, allow me to shatter your world with this statement: you’ve been doing it wrong.

The truth of the matter is that to really get your hair to look the best it can be, you need to completely reverse the way in which you think about washing your hair. In other words: conditioning your hair before you shampoo it. This method is otherwise known as “reverse hair washing.”

Sound crazy? Read on, and trust me when I say that by the end of this, you’ll be eager to try it out for yourself.

What’s the point of reverse washing?

While this technique is beneficial for most folks, it has the greatest effect on those of us with thin, oily hair, as well as those who have a lot of product semi-permanently stuck onto their follicles (gel, hair spray, conditioners, and other hair products).

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Why is that? Well according to experts like Nina Dimachki, it’s because conditioning before shampooing nourishes fine hair without flattening it.

Having used the reverse washing method myself, I can vouch for her conclusion. When I condition after I shampoo, my hair feels heavier, and seems to lose its vitality and bounciness soon after drying. When switching the order and conditioning first, my hair feels much lighter and looks styled, healthy, and shiny — even without pastes or gels.

To put it simply, reverse washing gives your hair the hydration it needs, without leaving it coated with a heavy conditioner-based chemical residue. You get the best of both worlds.

Is reverse washing one-size-fits-all?

The answer is no, as although reverse washing is simple, there are some things you need to consider before starting your own regimen.

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For instance, if you have thick hair, experts suggest conditioning your hair, shampooing it, and then conditioning it again. This is because you have so much hair that the first layer of conditioner isn’t enough to do the trick. Still, it’s suggested that you only use a tiny amount of conditioner the second time, and only on your ends.

Additionally, reverse washing works better with some shampoos and conditioners as opposed to others. One writer found that using TRESemme Healthy Volume 24 HR Body Shampoo and Conditioner worked best for them, though they also say that they noticed benefits using other brands as well. Bottom line: you might need to shop around to see which hair products work best for you — not unlike traditional hair washing really.

There are also a few different ways you can go about reverse washing your hair. Some, like Nina Dimachki, say that you should condition your hair from root-to-tip, lathering it in like you would your shampoo. Others, however, only apply conditioner to their ends, leaving the roots relatively untouched. Both methods call for shampooing your hair after conditioning, so your job will be to find whether or not your hair reacts better to a bit of conditioner or a lot.

Some important reminders before you start

Before you jump in the shower to test out this cool new hair washing technique, there are a few things that you should remember if you want to have the best possible experience.

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To start, ensure that you thoroughly soak your hair with water before applying any conditioner. Putting conditioner on damp or mostly dry hair is going to make it incredibly difficult to spread it throughout your follicles.

Second, whatever you do, don’t rinse out your conditioner right after you are done lathering it up. It needs to sit on your hair and scalp for around three to five minutes. In the meantime, you can do everything else that needs to be done in the shower.

Once the conditioner has been in your hair for at least three minutes, you still have one more step: applying your shampoo. It sounds strange, but to do this technique properly your shampoo should be washing the conditioner out of your hair. This gets your hair clean without drying it out.

If you rinse the conditioner out before shampooing, you’ll still benefit from reverse washing, just not as much. This is because the conditioner acts kind of like a shield, creating a barrier between your hair and your shampoo, making it so that your hair gets clean without being stripped of all of its natural oils.

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Will reverse washing permanently replace traditional washing?

No, probably not. Traditional washing still has its purposes in some instances, such as when your hair is especially dirty and oily, making a deep clean necessary.

At the very least, what reverse washing does is give you another weapon in your hair-styling arsenal. On those days where your hair is feeling especially thin, limp, and heavy, you can use this method to give it the boost that it needs.

Are you ready to give it a try? Go grab your shampoo and conditioner and get to work! Once you are done, I’d love to hear your results in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Arts And Works #3/Léo Parpais via flic.kr

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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