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Curly Nikki

Shampoo and Conditioner Interactions

By January 27th, 20217 Comments
Shampoo and Conditioner Interactions

Every time you condition your hair, you leave behind a residue. It does not rinse away fully. Over time, this accumulation can be a problem for fine-haired people in particular. It can cause hair to look dull and flyaway, or limp and greasy. This is caused by cationic detergents in conditioners. If you try to wash away a cationic detergent (conditioner) with an anionic detergent (shampoo), a charge interaction occurs between the two, then you have build-up of both. Low pH shampoo deposits even more anionic surfactant, so this is not the solution. Short-chain surfactants: alkyl sulfate, alkyl sulfonates (sodium deceth sulfate) are better at removing this residue than standard sodium or ammonium lauryl/laureth sulfate shampoos. These are often regarded as being harsh on hair, but more effective at removing conditioner build-up without adding as much to the problem.


  • BekkaPoo says:

    I cowash almost exclusively.. if I shampoo once a month, that's a lot. I haven't had many issues with buildup, and I'm fine haired also. I also actively avoid silicones, so maybe that has something to do with it.

  • Hypoallergenic Soap says:

    Are there any brands you recommend? Though I've been using conditioners for some time now and haven't seen any detrimental to my hair.

  • Nique1076 says:

    That's interesting because I co-wash mostly using all natural conditioners or just mix my own and I never have buildup..I also do a Bentonite Clay treatment and other Ayurvedic treatments monthly and my hair is squeeky clean without using harsh shampoos..So I think I'll just stick to my regimen as I'm an advocate against harsh ingredients..instead, there are natural ways to remove buildup and ACV rinses are also one of them..Keep Inspiring, Naturals

  • Anne Caxton says:

    I think the article is saying from time to time you should use a "harsher" shampoo to get rid of the conditioner buildup

  • Anonymous says:

    Does that mean that shampoo's and conditioners shouldn't be mixed and matched?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Malyboo.Barbee LOL @ "her stringy lil hair" !!!

  • Unknown says:

    #random but I really hate this stock picture of this chick washing her stringy lil hair!! I see it all the time && its just ugh lol

    ok im done carry on yall

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