Top 4 Tips for Pairing Shampoo and Conditioner

By | December 8th, 2017

Hair and product trends may come and go, but one development has continued to emerge over time: Hair products are being formulated to work together in systems. It’s no longer about being wash-and-go, but rather catering shampoo and conditioner to a customer’s exact hair or scalp type, treatments they use, color, preferred styling, and more.

But let’s pull back the curtain a bit: Should you instruct clients to match shampoo to like conditioner? Is it better to use the whole system? Or can a client have combination hair, scalp and styling issues that would make for a good hybrid system?

We turned to Brandon Carrion, regional educator, to find out. Here are his top tips:

Expertly Match Shampoo to Conditioner 

Carrion says that generally speaking, it makes the most sense to stay within the same line and stay focused with the primary use of the line when it comes to prescribing the right shampoo and conditioner. “If the condition of the scalp and the hair are healthy and show zero signs of having special needs, require a more prescriptive combination, then sticking to a more generic line such as color protecting or moisturizing is easily the best idea.”

But, he says, one of the most important responsibilities stylists carry is to report the health and condition of the hair and scalp to clients, because you have the best perspective on them. In that case, he says, pairing from different lines can better treat clients’ needs.

“For example, a client may need Color Brillianz Shampoo to better protect the integrity of color, and Ultimate Control to combat frizz. Or maybe Derma Exfoliating Shampoo to combat dandruff followed by Vital Nutrition Conditioner to treat brittle hair.”

Address Every Part, Scalp to Ends

The proper shampoo and conditioner should treat both scalp and hair individually, Carrion maintains. “The health of the hair starts at the scalp. If the scalp is not receiving proper care, it will show in the health of the hair as well. Therefore, a shampoo is just as important to the conditioner as the conditioner is to the shampoo.” Of course, some ingredients work for both—Shea butter is great for hydrating thirsty locks and soothing the scalp, for example. Then other ingredients, such as zinc and sulphur, target the scalp specifically.

Proceed With Caution When Mixing Lines and Brands

Say a client has a dandruff-busting shampoo from one line, and a color-conserving conditioner from another. Can you mix technologies and brands?

“When mixing from brand to brand, you may find one is much different from another. Ingredients differ, and so does technology,” he says. That could be a reason a client is having mixed or frustrating results from a style.

Additionally, Carrion says stylists should make sure to educate clients that hair can’t get “bored of a product”—they simply don’t have the right one. “Stick with something that works,” he advises.

Prioritize Consultations for Best Results

“The consultation is imperative to a strong relationship with your client and creating a foundation of communication between you both,” he says.

The best diagnosis of scalp and hair is while it’s dry in the chair, plus you can show your client with a hand mirror what you’re seeing. Covering all your bases with a consultation card or diagnosis form ensures a thorough investigation and opens up the conversation to figure out what exactly your client’s needs and wants are when it comes to shampoo and conditioner, he says.

A No-Fail Shampoo and Conditioner Pairing

Reinvigorate shampoo and conditioner prescriptions around the salon. Purchase a haircare duo at 29 percent savings! You’ll get a 300-mL Tinta Color Care Shampoo and 250-mL Conditioner for just $20. (Regularly $28.) Contact your distributor sales consultant for details. 


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Keune Education

By Keune

Inspiring True Beauty since 1922