There’s never enough of it and we’re always trying to save it: time. Whatever we can do to get more of it, we try, yet our daily routine continues to eat it up, so we cut corners. Maybe that means leaving home with wet hair, or even skipping the shower completely. So how can you shower efficiently and quickly without cutting corners? Well, some opt for a 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner, but if you don’t have this, then what? Can shampoo and conditioner be mixed in hopes that it will work the same way as a 2 in 1 product?
Can shampoo and conditioner be mixed? It is possible to mix shampoo and conditioner; however, it is not always recommended. Because shampoo and conditioner are positively and negatively charged, they are attracted to one another. Mixing the two will most likely just cause buildup as well as negate each product’s goal of both cleansing and conditioning; therefore, it is better to use a 2 in 1 product specifically formulated and designed for a one time lather and rinse.
Can you simply mix shampoo with conditioner to save time?
The short answer is probably not. While some people favor a method called “buffering,” this method will most likely not produce desired results. Buffering is achieved by lathering your hair with shampoo and then adding a bit of conditioner before rinsing, but while some people swear by this method, most people–including stylist experts–agree that it’s not recommended.
While it sounds appealing to save some precious minutes in your hair routine, the results will probably include unmanageable, frizzy hair, or worse. First of all, shampoo and conditioner are designed to work independently. Shampoo is formulated to cleanse dirt, sebum, and buildup away while conditioner deposits agents into the hair to increase softness and manageability. By mixing the two, the results will be increased buildup and hair that is going to take a miracle to comb through.
The buffering method might work for some, but it’s really just based on trial and error as well as individual hair type. What works for someone else might not work for you, and that’s why there are so many products available. If you’re really into saving a bit of time, it’s better to also save money and simply buy a 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner that is meant to be used as a once and done.
What are the pros and cons of mixing shampoo with conditioner?
While it’s not usually recommended by experts, there are ways to mix shampoo and conditioner if truly desired. For instance, let’s say you want to tone down the harshness of a particular shampoo. Although it might not produce perfect results every time, some people claim that mixing a bit of cheap conditioner in with a harsh shampoo can increase manageability; however, experts will also suggest that you condition normally after rinsing this mixture out.
So while it’s possible to mix shampoo and conditioner, it may not be a time saver in the long-run. By still having to condition, or worse–spending more time taming your tresses while styling, it might be better to simply purchase a 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner or revisit traditional shampoo and conditioners used independently.
Is it better to use a 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner than mixing?
First, a history lesson. Some may scoff at 2 in 1 shampoos/conditioners and when considering the first ones produced, they’re right to do so. 2 in 1 products were not originally designed to save time–they were designed to save money. The logic is that it’s less money to buy 1 bottle as opposed to 2; however, some of these first products also contained harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabans. Fortunately, they have improved! No need to scoff.
So the short answer is Yes, they’re better than being a shower chemist yourself. But now the long answer: 2 in 1 shampoos/conditioners are specifically engineered to be used as one product. By adding a silicone and a suspending agent to regular shampoo, better conditioning results from using one product. Without this suspending agent, the silicone would not stay mixed well in the shampoo resulting in hard to manage hair.
Therefore, when the 2 in 1 product is sitting in your shower, the suspending agent binds the silicone throughout until it is lathered and mixed with water–then the suspending agent allows silicone to be distributed in the hair which encourges conditioning.
So is it better than traditional shampoos and conditioners? Well, that depends. It’s probably always better than mixing the two, but there are downsides depending on your hair type. For starters, using a 2 in 1 product can create additional buildup–especially if you use a lot of silicone based hair products. So if you have fine tresses and don’t want additional weight, 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner may not be your first choice.
However, while some products are certainly labeled as 2 in 1 technology, it’s interesting to note that many traditional shampoos are actually using the same technology whether it notes it on the bottle or not–many times they’re labeled as “hydrating” or “moisturizing.” So you might already be using a 2 in 1 without knowing!
Most experts agree that if you reach for a 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner, you should make sure your hair is not too oily, and even then, you should only use this product a couple times a week to reduce product buildup. If you’re addicted to the time saving elements of a 2 in 1 product, you can also grab a clarifying shampoo for in between uses.
What are the best 2 in 1 shampoos/conditioners available?
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a ton to have access to a quality 2 in 1 product, but you should look carefully at products to determine whether they have the ingredients that will produce the best results. Here are some ingredients to look for in some of the best rated 2 in 1 products:
Thin hair tends to benefit from 2 in 1 products with higher vitamin contents. Vitamins like A, B, and E are great for additional moisture leaving your hair shiny and healthy. Furthermore, Vitamin C is great at repairing damage–a good ingredient to reach for if you have heavily chlorinated hair for instance.
2. Natural Oils
Coconut and olive oils are not limited to your stove top. Oils such as these and others like argan oil help to moisturize hair–a definite go-to when you’re using a 2 in 1 product and need additional moisture to remain in your hair.
3. Plant extracts
Not only do plant extracts smell great, but they can also help control oil depending on your hair type. In addition, plant extracts like aloe vera and sea kelp can help repair damage and brittle ends.
4. Pyrithione zinc and other soothing ingredients
Ingredients like pyrithione zinc can help relieve scalp issues like itchiness, flaking, and other irritations. You can also be on the lookout for ingredients like selenium sulfide which attacks dandruff.
No, we’re not talking about a good steak, but some animal proteins can go along way in your locks. Both plant and animal proteins boast great cleansing effects as well as the ability to strengthen damaged hair while regenerating elasticity. Keratin, collagen, and soy proteins are among those that are added to some products to promote damage repair.
So if you’re someone who is obsessed with saving time, but you also want hair that looks great, you might want to do a little experimentation on either “buffering” or picking up a great 2 in 1 product. Remember that 2 in 1 products are specifically engineered to be used this way, and thankfully the technology has a come a long way. While you shouldn’t be using a 2 in 1 product daily, you can still save precious minutes on while ensuring that your hair is not only clean, but also well moisturized.
After reading this article, I just know that you’re curious about all sorts of questions and I hope that I can help you a bit with that. Below you’ll find links to articles that I think might also interest you. Want to take a look? Just click on the link and start reading!
Shampoos and conditioners work like this
This is how dandruff shampoo works
Volumizing shampoo works like this