Wash Your Hair Backwards

The title conjures up all sorts of strange images, doesn't it? I actually read this a while back on Beautyspace. Anette had the opportunity to visit with Austrian born Founder of Aveda, Horst Rechelbacher. His recommendation: wash your hair backwards.

It's an intriging idea, but actually – once you think about it – it's quite logical (I'll get into the logical part in a minute). I had to give it a try, and my (fine, straight and short) hair really loved this method.

Here's how I did it.

1. Oil

Start by applying about a half a teaspoon of sweet almond or jojoba oil and distribute the oil as evenly as possible. Give your scalp a gentle massage while distributing the oil. Leave this for a few minutes, then rinse.

2. Conditioner

Now, apply hair conditioner. (I used my own Leave-in conditioner). Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse.

3. Wash

Wash your hair using your preferred shampoo. I used one I am working on at the moment (a gentle, geranium shampoo). Rinse.

4. Final Rinse 

This is my 'little extra' addition to the equation. I've done this for years and it leaves my hair silky soft. Finish by rinsing your hair with a mineral-free infusion. I used my own Rosemary Final Rinse, but you can do a similar kind of rinse by making an infusion using distilled water. Use rosemary and/or lavender for dark hair, chamomile and/or lavender for light hair. (If you don't want to use preservatives, don't make more than you will use over a 2-day period, and be sure to store the rinse in the refrigerator)

Why Does This Method Work? 

The application of oil has a twofold function: Oil attracts dirt, so the initial application helps to loosen dirt. The massage both calms and stimulates the scalp, assisting the oil to nourish your hair and scalp. The conditioner helps to 'loosen' the oil. The hair and scalp will absorb whatever nourishment they need from the oils and the shampoo removes the superfluous oil, taking the dirt with it.

The Proof is in the Pudding

If this all sounds.. well, backwards, then all I can say is, give it a go and see if it works for you. I'm betting you'll be surprised at how long it takes until you feel your hair needs washing again.

Thanks to Anette at Beautyspace for the inspiration!

So, what do you think? Is this all completely backwards or does it sound like something you'd try?


Anonymous said…
Is the water from the dryer clean enough as far as distiller water goes for this? Or would you buy some?
LisaLise said…
Hi. I'm not quite sure what you mean by water from the dryer, but it is the same water as one buys to use in a steam iron. I've seen it called both demineralized and distilled water. I think it may also be referred to as purified water by some. Hope this helps!
I just found your blog and I absolutely love the space you have created!
An inspiration!
I am a Cruelty Free Vintage YouTuber 'Lotions Potions Diva' and please let me know if you have a YouTube account so that I can subscribe!
Amazing Lisa!
LisaLise said…
Hi there Felicia!

Thank so much for your kind words. I've been to check your YouTube (how I knew your name) and am so pleased you like my blog.

I have actually had several people ask me about doing a YouTube channel, and I really wouldn't mind putting one together with tutorials on some of my DIY recipes, but for now it is going to have to remain on the to-do list. With all of the prompting I have been getting, it may happen sooner than later though..


CreamyGx said…
Hi Lise,

The link to your leave-in conditioner for this 'wash your hair backwards' tutorial is broken. I'd love to see your recipe for leave in conditioner.

Also, the comment anonymous posted about water from the dryer ... this is a really interesting question, particularly for UK users who find it almost impossible to buy distilled water at a reasonable price. If you have a condensing tumble dryer, the water from the clothes is technically distilled water in that it's evaporated and then condensed (in the way distilled water is made). It has occurred to me too that you could use it. But... I guess it would have washing powder and fabric conditioner in the mix? You certainly wouldn't drink it!!!!

Thanks for all the info. Really helpful stuff!

LisaLise said…
Hi GillyCreamy - Thanks for your kind words! The broken link in the post is not to a recipe but to a product on my website. I restructured ithe site a while back and regrouped a lot of things, so that product isn't pictured any more. (thanks for bringing it to my attention!)

As for the question of the water, I'm not sure I'd be willing to try this on my own hair, and therefore can't bring myself to recommend it to you...