Should You Use 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner – Is It Effective?

Does 2 in 1 shampoo work_

I always wanted to have a quick shower, but I realized that using 2 in 1 shampoo is not an option.

2 in 1 Shampoo and conditioner also known as “hydrating”, “moisturizing”, or “conditioning” shampoo, would help to reduce the time that we spend in the shower, by making the user to use a single product to do two different tasks. Shampoo is used to strip away the dust and dirt from the hair while conditioner adds nutrition and moisture to your hair. Have you ever wondered whether this is effective? As the experts point out, using 2 in 1 shampoo is not as effective as you think.

In this article I will list out the information that I found regarding the use of 2 in 1 shampoo, so that you could decide for yourself whether it is effective or not.

Why 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner was designed

Before learning whether 2 in 1 shampoos are effective, I want to give you a little insight on why they were innovated.

Two in one as the name suggests has both shampoo and conditioner in the same product. The experts suggest that the 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner became popular in the 80s and 90s. 

The lifestyles of people got busy along with the time. Therefore they needed to cut the time spent on routine tasks in order to save time. The entrepreneurs saw an opportunity in this behaviour and they exploited this situation to innovate a new product.

Therefore the shampoo manufacturers introduced two in one shampoo, so that a person who showers often could reduce the time he/she spends in the shower. Furthermore the consumers were motivated to buy two in one because it saves the money that they spend on two different products.

The convenience, money and the time saved is the key promoting strategy of the two in one shampoo and conditioner.

What does shampoo and conditioner do

Both shampoo and conditioner have their own individual purposes. Different types of chemicals are used in both the products in order to serve its due purpose.

Let’s take a look at the purpose of shampoo and conditioner individually so that you can see the bigger picture.


Shampoo is a cleaning agent. Almost all the shampoos are loaded with heavy cleaning chemicals which helps to clean the scalp and the hair from the dust and dirt build up. 

Most shampoos in the market use synthetic detergents such as sulphates, which helps to clean your head [1]. However, these detergents which are used in the shampoos will also strip away the natural oils in the scalp and the hair.

As a result your hair will lose its moisture. This will make your hair look dry, dull and weak. It could take a couple of days to restore the lost moisture naturally.


When the hair losses it moisture due to shampoo, the conditioners come into play. The conditioners will help to restore the lost moisture from the shampoos that stripped away the natural oils.

Conditioners will also help to protect the weak and vulnerable hair which could get damaged due to various factors including the detergents in the shampoo.

For this purpose, the conditioners are loaded with silicone [2]. Silicones will form a protective layer around the cuticle which helps to protect the core of the hair strands from dust and dirt particles. The protective layer which is formed by silicone will make your hair look shinier too.

Apart from silicone compounds, the conditioners will also contain natural oils such as olive oil, jojoba oil etc. which will help to add moisture to your hair.

So, while shampoos strip away the substances from your hair, the conditioner will add different compounds to your hair. Now as you can see, both conditioner and shampoo have quite different mechanisms.

Differences between shampoo and conditioner

PurposeStrips away or remove oil and dust from the scalp and hairAdds oil and moisture to hair
Where to applyMainly on the scalp and then on the hairFrom the mid section to the ends of the hair
TimeShould be washed quicklyShould be left on the hair for a couple of minutes

Is 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner effective

Now there is a problem in front of us. If both shampoos and conditioners have two opposite mechanisms, how can they combine it into a single product?

The expert point of view is that the entrepreneurs of two in one shampoo have added a type of silicone called dimethicone (mostly used) to the shampoo inorder to condition the hair.

This doesn’t make any sense. Shampoo should wash away the oil and build up from our hair. So when you apply two in one shampoo, doesn’t it wash away the conditioner before it even gets absorbed to the hair? This question has been lingering in my mind.

Couple of leading websites claim that the two in one shampoos use a suspending agent which allows the dimethicone to mix together with the ingredients of the shampoo.

However, once it touches water in the shower, the dimethicone will stay with the hair and wash away along with the rest of the product. This is how two in one shampoos suppose to work.

I’m not a chemistry guy, a doctor or an hair expert, therefore I’m not even going to pretend that I understand how it happens or whether it is possible at all. Especially since I could’t find a solid research study to come into a conclusion.

All I know is that I did use two in one shampoo for a period of time, and it only made my hair dry and worse. Therefore it was not effective for me.

Who should use 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner

The doctors and the hair experts suggest that we must limit the use of shampoo to a maximum of 2 day per week and a minimum of once a week. However you could use a conditioner relatively more frequently than shampoo (4 days max per week), if your hair is dry. 

Therefore if you have dry hair and require more conditioning, then my advice to you is that do not use 2 in 1 shampoo. Because you cannot use conditioner separately even if you wanted to.

If you have hair that needs no conditioning, requires no treatment and less care then you could use two in one shampoos. It will save time and even money that you spend on two different products.

My opinion

I have used various two in one shampoos in my life without knowing the outcome.

I usually have dry hair and it needs to be conditioned often. But whenever I use two in one shampoo, my hair becomes more dry instead of being moisturized.

These types of shampoos are made in order to save time and money. Are so busy that you cannot spare extra 2 minutes in the shower to use a separate conditioner?

If your hair needs conditioning and more care like mine, then I suggest you go for two different products instead of two in one shampoo and conditioner.

The problem with 2 in 1 shampoos is that, how can two different products which are supposed to do two different opposing tasks could be combined together into a single product?

May be its that reason why my hair got dryer when I used two in one shampoos. It did not work for me. Hence I believe that two in one shampoos are not as effective as you may think.

Now it’s upto you to make your choice. I hope that you would make a wise choice by analyzing the information I have presented and from my personal experience.

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6 thoughts on “Should You Use 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner – Is It Effective?

  1. Too many are oblivious to the fact that fast hair growth scalp therapy shampoos (obviously without any sulfates, parabens or DEA) are even a thing. Hair styling enthusiasts are now able to enjoy longer hair and achieve more possibilities. Surely worth looking into it.
    When you’re addressing hair loss, damaged hair, preventing scalp disorders, hair growth, hair and scalp care in general, almost the same principles actualize.
    As a general rule, you want to stay away from hair products and treatments that contain chemicals like parabens, DEA or sulfates.
    What is beneficial for your hair is beneficial for your skin also.
    For obvious reasons your content here hits the nail in the head for various reasons. It stays away from the usual mistakes and traps so many fall into: getting ineffective alternatives. Greatly appreciated!

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