TikTok On Trial: We Tried The Weird Reverse Washing Hack And...


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Although we shuffle between oils and serums, most hair-wash routines follow a similar pattern: a squirt of shampoo followed by a dollop of conditioner. But rumor has it that TikTok has challenged that timeless method. With what, you ask? Its flipped twinsie. Yup, the reverse hair-washing hack, which basically means conditioning before shampooing, has taken our showers curtains by surprise. DW, we did our research and examined the trend in all its glory – we even asked our girl gang (with crowns of all textures) to swap their routines and test it out for us! Let’s put TikTok on trial:

The Hype

@audreyvictoria_The end result 😶 I’m shocked, just wait #hairtok #haircare #haircareroutine #shampoo #conditioner♬ original sound – kekesslowedaudios❤️

With over 1.7M followers, TikToker and hair care enthusiast Audrey Victoria set the reverse hair-washing hack in motion with this video that accumulated over 1M likes. A scroll on her feed will explain why many follow her haircare mantras with enthusiasm; hint: it’s the glossy hair for us.

Part 2…

@audreyvictoria_ Tbh I’m amazed 👀…let me know if you try it! #hairtok #haircare #shampoo #conditioner #longhair

Our Review

What it is and what it does: Quite frankly, it’s your hair-wash routine in reverse. The hack promises to leave your locks glossy AF and reduce the appearance of frizz after you apply a dollop (or two) of conditioner along your strands, followed by shampooing and a rinse down. Thin to medium hair textures will significantly benefit from conditioning first, as the ingredients protect strands from the sometimes-stripping effects of shampoo.

How to do it: Work in a dollop of conditioner onto soaking strands (mid to ends) and rinse out after five minutes. Follow with a roots-only shampoo to cleanse the scalp from any gunk before rinsing and drying as usual. The shampoo will naturally make its way down the shaft, so even though you focus the formula on the roots, the ends of your hair still get a cleanse. For 3A tresses and above, follow with a leave-in conditioner before styling.

What we liked: We asked our besties with straight, wavy, curly, fine, coarse, and kinky textures to swap their trusty routines for us; good news: each of them vouched for reduced hair shedding, yay! Straight to wavy strands with fine hair looked glossier than usual and had lower frizz levels, while our curly-hair kweens reported bouncy and silky-to-touch strands.

@finesse_queen95Reverse Washing##CustomersMostLoved ##naturalhair##fypシ##fyp##naturalhairtips##fy ##blackhair##natural##waistlengthhair##foryou ##AEHolidayForever##JBLGreekOut♬ original sound – KHAE🦦

What we didn’t like: Our testing team with coarser strands (straight and curly) weren’t fans. The hack made their hair feel dehydrated, increased the appearance of frizz, and made it super hard to detangle with their fave brushes due to a mattifying effect. Because the shampoo can wipe away the hydration imparted by the conditioner, it can leave hair feeling dry and less smooth. Give it a whirl, but you may find you prefer your regular hair routine. Tip, try adding a trusty conditioner, like the OUAI Repair Conditioner, $26, or the drugstore-available Argan Oil Of Morroco Conditioner, $11.

Alternatively, you can follow the advice of hairstylist Frazer Coventry, who spilled his version of the hack (while he gave us the best blow-dry of our lives, BTW). Turns out, he’s kinda been embracing this method for some time as he always uses a leave-in conditioner on his curls: he starts by coating his hair with conditioner, then shampoos, and conditions once again with a leave-in formula.

If you want to try his rendition of the hack, we recommend the BREAD BEAUTY SUPPLY Elastic Bounce Leave-in Conditioning Styler Hair Cream, $28, or the Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Softening Leave-In Conditioner, $19. Both formulas provide intense hydration and effortlessly detangle curls and coils.

@hiyraz Tryed the reverse hair wash technique 🔄 stylists recommended you do it 1 time a week ♥️ #reversehairwash #hairwash #conditionbeforeshampoo #hair ♬ Make Up – Desired

Our Final Verdict

It isn’t an all-around winner for us, as far as hacks go. The benefits of the reverse hair-washing technique bottle down to your hair type and texture – but you won’t know if it works for you until you try it…

Are you going to give it a shot? Let us know if you’ve tried it and your results in the comments below.

For another episode of TikTok on Trial, check this out.