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Can You Use a Conditioner Without Shampoo?

Many people use shampoo and conditioner as part of their hair wash routine. However, using your shampoo daily may damage your hair. This often prompts people to ditch their shampoo and use the conditioner alone. Let’s discuss more on this issue and dispel all your fears. 

What Hair Conditioner Does

The primary use of a hair conditioner is to boost the hair’s texture and appearance. Furthermore, it relaxes the hair, making it easy to brush. So, can you use your hair conditioner without shampoo?

You can use your hair conditioner without shampoo since it moisturizes and boosts the hair’s health. However, you should use conditioners with a gentle cleaning purpose.

Furthermore, washing your hair with a conditioner alone benefits those with dry and frizzy hair. Keep reading to learn the benefits and risks of conditioning your hair, how to wash your hair with the conditioner alone, and whether the type of conditioner you use matters.

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Pros & Cons of Conditioning Without Shampoo

Below, we’ll show you the benefits and risks of co-washing daily if you are skeptical about conditioning your hair daily.

Benefits of Co-Washing

  • Maintains your scalp health. One of the benefits of using natural hair conditioners is that they will not damage your scalp even if you use them daily. However, the same cannot be said for chemical-based shampoos, which may eradicate your hair’s natural oils.
  • Prevents hair breakage. Conditioning your hair regularly gives it a protective layer that prevents moisture loss and protects it against breakage. Moreover, the conditioner will detangle your hair, making it easy to brush.
  • Boosts your hair appearance. Co-washing your hair daily without shampoo will elevate your hair’s appearance and improve its health.
  • Smoothes your hair. One of the main shortcomings of shampooing your hair daily is that it will remove the hair’s natural oils, making it dry. However, you do not have to worry about such issues with the hair conditioner.
  • Moisturizes your hair. Co-washing your hair regularly will nourish it. You should use the hair conditioner regularly if you have dry hair.
  • Improves your curls. Those with hair curls know that it is hard to maintain them. However, you can wash your hair regularly with a conditioner to improve the curls and prevent them from breaking.
  • Improves hair elasticity. Good hair elasticity means that your hair can be stretched without breaking. As such, co-washing boosts your hair’s elasticity, making it easy for you to brush it without losing some hair.

Risks of Co-Washing

  • Product buildup. The ingredients used to manufacture hair conditioners may accumulate in your hair, leaving it dry and greasy. Thus, you can incorporate other products, such as the apple cider vinegar rinse, when cleaning your hair with the conditioner alone.
  • Affects your hair strands. Co-washing your hair daily may dull the hair strands. Avoid applying the conditioner to the hair roots if you prefer using it without shampoo.
  • It makes the hair greasy. Heavy conditioners are not ideal for those with thin hair since it makes the hair oily. Thus, you can use light conditioners if you have thin hair.
  • Your hair will need time to transition. If you stop using shampoo and hair conditioner, your hair will need some time to transition. Your hair will have dandruff before it’s used to the new routine.

Washing Your Hair With Conditioner

For a piece on can you use conditioner without shampoo, a woman squirting the hair product into her open hand


Ditching your shampoo may seem unnatural, especially if you have been using it together with your conditioner. However, this is the right strategy if your hair is dry. Here are the steps you should follow when co-washing your hair:

  1. Know your hair type. You should know your hair type before co-washing it because it allows you to choose the right conditioner. Stick to light conditioners if you have thin hair.
  2. Detangle and section your hair. You should then detangle your hair where you can either use your fingers or a detangling product. Divide your hair into four sections after detangling it.
  3. Wet your hair. Before applying the conditioner, you should wet your hair to ensure it lathers easily.
  4. Massage your hair. Once you have applied the conditioner in all the sections, you should massage your hair with your fingers. Ensure the conditioner is evenly distributed to all the hair parts.
  5. Rinse your hair. Rinse the hair to remove the conditioner and dry it using a towel.

One pro tip you should remember is that if you notice that you haven’t washed the hair properly, you can add more conditioner after rinsing it.

Does the Conditioner You Use Matter?

The conditioner you use matters, especially if you have curly, textured, or thin hair. Some conditioners can cause buildup, while others may cause hair dryness. Also, deep conditioners may affect your hair, especially if you use them daily.

They can negatively affect your hair’s health because conditioners may affect its moisture-protein balance. As such, use these conditioners once or twice a week if you must use them. Also, avoid conditioners with high protein levels.

To determine the conditioner’s protein levels, you should look for various ingredients, such as keratin and amino acids. The main impact of using such conditioners is that they can cause protein overload in your hair, causing it to dry and stiffen.

Ultimately, the conditioner you use matters since it is dependent on your hair type. As such, you should research these conditioners to determine which one suits your hair.

Does Your Hair Type Matter?

You should know your hair type if you decide to ditch your shampoo completely. Those with dry and frizzy hair can condition them daily for nourishment. Co-washing your hair daily also suits those with curly hair. These conditioners will moisturize your hair, making it fuller and healthy.

However, those with oily and thin hair should not wash their hair daily without shampoo. It may cause hair breakage or oil buildup. Ultimately, you should consider your hair type before co-washing your hair daily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman using conditioner without shampoo while standing in a white cami and brushing her hair

New Africa/Shutterstock

Here are frequently asked questions about hair conditioners.

Can you co-wash your hair daily?

Yes, you can use your hair conditioner every day, but you must look for one that will not negatively affect your hair. Stick to less intense hair conditioners if you are using them daily.

How many times should you use the hair conditioner?

You can co-wash your hair two times per day. For the best results, you can use the hair conditioner in the morning and at night when showering.

Is it essential to include a hair shampoo in your hair routine?

You should include your hair shampoo in your routine as it smoothes and rehydrates the hair. Moreover, it prevents hair breakage, thus boosting your hair’s health.

Should you use the shampoo before the hair conditioner?

Always start with the shampoo before using the hair conditioner if you use both. Shampoos are used to cleanse the hair before you can condition it.

Are there any effects of leaving out the conditioner?

If you use the hair shampoo without conditioning your hair, you will make it weak and prone to damage.

So, Can You Use Conditioner Without Shampoo?

A hair conditioner is a product people use to wash their hair to boost its health. Furthermore, you can use it daily without shampooing your hair, but you must choose a conditioner that suits your hair type. Happy conditioning!