A group of Mumsnet users say they've found the trick to perfect hair... conditioning before they shampoo.

The thread, which was posted at the weekend, saw one of the parenting website's users saying she'd reversed her usual hair-washing regime with dramatic results.

User 'Moist' described her new-found trick as "genius" saying that it left her hair "soft and swishy and non-lardy" for at least a whole day.

The thread, which has amassed 7,000 comments, reveals that plenty of people already use the trick, which is known as "reverse washing".


While some argued conditioner was largely pointless and questioned why it was needed at all, Moist clarified that she still very much needed the hair product, saying: 'My bonce is much softer doing it backwards than not conditioning at all.'

IceBeing suggested we only use the softening product because we're "in the grip of the cosmetics industry" while BelfastSmile wrote: "I discovered this recently too - it's brilliant! And I sometimes leave out the conditioner entirely, which is great for 1 or 2 washes, but by the third I need to use it again or my hair just feels a bit dry. Always conditioner first, though."

Dalmatianmad agreed, adding: "I've been doing this reverse thing for a while and it's made a massive difference!"

Carriecakes80 was also a fan, writing: "Always done this, my dry hair is rubbish without conditioner, but too much makes it too flat, reverse washing leaves my hair looking great!"

So what's the expert verdict on reverse washing? Natalia Maxwell, Artistic Director at Malcolm Murphy Hair said the idea goes again science.

"Shampoo is designed to wash not only your hair but also your scalp; it gets rid of dirt and old skin cells."

"If you think of your hair in the same way as your skin, you'd never moisturise your face and then wash it with no after-care.

"Likewise, would you apply body lotion and then get in the shower, have a wash with shower gel and just dry yourself off"


"Conditioner is there to nourish hair and "lock in" essential oils, whether that's moisture or protein.

"Reverse washing is not something I'd recommend; because it just washes all that nourishment out [from the conditioner]; it makes no sense."

For those still keen to try it, Natalia suggests a hair primer: "You could replace the conditioner with a hair primer to begin the washing process which would definitely help the hair, maybe the Mumsnet lady should try this!"