Throw everything you know out the window – there’s a new fad in the beauty world, and it has nothing to do with tradition. In fact, it’s quite literally the opposite. Sorry, Mom – society now wants you to condition your locks before subjecting them to your respective cleanser. And I gave in.
Seeing as how today is a day with a lot less pressure to look presentable, I decided to give the unexpected switch a try. Lemme tell you, it felt wrong.
First, a history: I have a thick, medium length, brunette, naturally wavy/curly mane that results in pouf and frizz upon completion. I am far from the fine-haired, volume-seeking candidate this mix-up was meant for. However, I saw no harm in trying it just for fun. After all, previous brave souls have gone so far as to say their hair was just as smooth and clean as before with an added immunity to the flat syndrome commonly associated with the flat iron. With that, I’ll begin.
It was a shower just like any other. My hair was two or three days aged since it’s last washing, just as any girl knows it should be. Alas, it was time to address my lovely locks – and after double checking a couple hundred times to make sure I had the right bottle, I finally did the unthinkable. The conditioner coiled in a neat dollop in the palm of my left hand, and I slowly reached for my head. And then, nature kicked in, and the routine began to feel normal again. That is, until I realized just what I’d done. The formula was silky smooth, but my hair had gone unbrushed all day and I was soon regretting my decision.
No matter, I continued. It was too late to give up now. So you can guess what happened next: I reached for the shampoo. Since my hair was already soft from the conditioner, the shampoo was much easier to lather. The majority of the trouble occurred at the time of my exit. After my shower’s ceasefire, I stepped out with something that had been quite honestly unknown to me since childhood: tangles. It was a trip down memory lane I was never too enthusiastic about revisiting. My hair immediately hated me and seemingly began to question every move I made thereafter. Nevertheless, I sprayed my It’s a 10 all-in-one leave-in conditioner to help with the knots, and waited. Before I went to bed with my dampened strands, I noticed something interesting: my hair hadn’t curled nearly as much as it usually would have at that point in the self-drying process. The switch seemed to be working, even in hair like mine.
Fast-forward to my (albeit late) wake-up call at 11:30. Aside from the alarmingly abnormal time, I woke up to find substantially less frizz. I did not say “no frizz,” mind you. Just substantially less. Throughout the day, my hair behaved somewhere in between first- and second-day hair; in other words, it was a lot more acceptable to leave in its natural state while roaming in public as well as a lot easier to manage. Regardless, I had very little to do today so even the worst of outcomes would have made a very small impact throughout the day’s proceedings.
But, surprisingly, the backwards motion seemed to work wonders for me just as it had for so many others willing to literally make the switch. For those of you with hair like mine: proceed with caution. Although my one and only encounter with more manageable and frizz-almost-free hair surpassed expectations, I’ve learned (from science and statistics) that there could be a whole lot of other variables at play that may have resulted in my first (in a very long time) natural okay hair day.
MORAL OF THE STORY: It doesn’t always hurt to try new things.
Update: After a couple more days mixing and matching both routines to compare results, I have concluded that they both work about the same. I actually prefer shampooing first simply because conditioning last helps tremendously in hair maintenance after showering.