Does Your Shampoo And Conditioner Really Have to Match?

Let's see if you can mix and match.

Three Klorane hair care products
Photo: Courtesy (2)

My perfectionism can be seen throughout all aspects of my life from my color-coordinated underwear drawer, and meticulously organized desk to the products I use to wash my hair. Ever since I can remember, I've always paired my shampoo with the brand's corresponding conditioner. And if my conditioner runs out before I make it to the end of the shampoo bottle? I'm guilty of ditching what's left for a fresh set.

But, is it actually necessary to keep your shampoo and conditioner's brand monogamous, or is it ok to mix and match? Has my neuroticism acted as justification for being wasteful with my hair products? I turned to three Honey Artist hairstylists to find out.

The answer is unanimous: While it can be beneficial depending on the ingredients of the set you're using and your hair's needs, it isn't necessary to use a matching duo. "Companies often design one with the other in mind. So yes, it is beneficial to use both, but not necessary," says Wesley O'Meara.

So, if you can cocktail your shampoo and conditioner, how should you go about picking the perfect pair for your strands? "If you do mix brands, try to find products with complimenting technologies," suggests Corey Tuttle. "For example, if you do have dry hair, you want extra moisture all around. While the same brand combo gives you that conveniently, hydrating formulas from different labels work fine too."

Along with hair type, considering your texture can also lead to future good hair days. "Mixing and matching for hair texture is a great idea," says Tyler Colton. "So many brands don't carry shampoos or conditioners that would precisely target what you might need. If you have thick hair or curly hair you might need products with more moisture and some product lines may not offer what you need."

When you break it down, it's really about getting your hair clean, so finding the combination that works best for your strands—whether or not they come from the same brand—should be your priority. "The best reason to mix shampoos and conditioners is to find ones that will give your ideal cleansing and conditioner properties for your hair," explains Colton. "If you have fine colored hair you will need a gentle shampoo for color treated hair and then you'll need a leave-in conditioner or light conditioner so that you're fine hair isn't weighed down, often you can't find what you need in the same brand." The Best Clarifying Shampoos, According to 5 Hair Pros.

"My favorite shampoo to get a clarified effect is Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil Shampoo for Normal Hair," says Brian Zinno, Senior Education Director at Antonio Prieto Salon.

I've used this shampoo and can attest to the fact that it provides your hair with a deep cleanse without leaving it feeling limp and lifeless.

"Infused with apple cider, this Fekkai Apple Cider Shampoo is a silicone-free purifying cleanser that clarifies and removed buildup and toxins that build up over time," says Honey Artists hairstylist, Corey Tuttle.

"My favorite clarifying shampoo is Joico's K-PAK Clarifying Shampoo. It's the best at removing product build-up and chlorine, as well as helping rebuild, reconstruct, and repair damaged hair follicles from the inside out, unlike most clarifying shampoos," says celebrity hairstylist, Paul Norton.

"Clarifying shampoos may be one of the most important tools a stylist can use on their clients prior to a color service or chemical treatment. For me, I have always relied on using Paul Mitchell's Clarifying Shampoos. There is Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two, which helps remove oil and product build-up for the hair and scalp, leaving the hair feeling fresh. This shampoo is also color-safe. They also have Clarifying Shampoo Three, which helps remove chlorine, mineral, and iron build-up. This is great for swimmers," says Honey Artists hairstylist, Tyler Colton.

"I love HairStory's New Wash. It feels really weird at first because it doesn't lather, but it gently cleanses the hair very effectively, and also doesn't have detergent as an ingredient, so you don't need to use conditioner," says celebrity hairstylist, Charlie Taylor.

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