Q: I am a stylist and was bought this question. Is it okay to shampoo your hair in conditioner? I have a potential client who is African-American and has natural hair. She shampoos her hair daily with
conditioner. I cannot believe this is the way to cleanse her hair. How can I explain to her she is going about this the wrong way?
A: Actually, unless you can see that her conditioner is leaving heavy deposits on her hair and making it look greasy or oily, she’s not doing anything wrong. Many people get so caught up in what they think of as
a normal hair care routine that they forget that the reason we shampoo the hair is to cleanse it, and you only need to cleanse the hair when it becomes soiled. However, we need to condition the hair daily to
protect it from drying and environmental damage.
The average hair conditioning product may be pH balanced, but is still typically more alkaline than the hair or skin. This means that it will be alkaline enough to remove the minor
amounts of oil and dirt that may accumulate on the hair in the course of a normal day. Provided the client doesn’t have a job that exposes her hair to lots of environmental soils (such as cooking in a kitchen around
oil fryers and steaming pots, or smoky rooms), she should be perfectly fine using a conditioner alone to care for her hair’s cleansing needs.
And as long as she uses shampoo occasionally – when needed – to make sure there is no build-up from the conditioner she uses daily, she should have no problems keeping her hair
clean and healthy. Remember, it’s a mistake to think that we have to shampoo the hair every day.