Share: do you match your shampoo & conditioner?

I will admit that I don’t have much knowledge when it comes to hair care. Like I used to think that I didn’t need to use conditioner for my short hair. Afterall, it’s already pretty flat and limp and more conditioner would just weigh it down. In fact, some hair stylists tell me the same thing. So for many years, I didn’t use any hair conditioner. However, with more hair coloring, I found my hair getting unmanageable without conditioner. The ends look dry and well, sometimes frizzy even.

Hair conditioner protect the cuticle scales
Later, I learnt that it is actually necessary to condition our hair because shampoos remove the bonds over the cuticle scales, or the outer layer of our hair, causing our hair to look dull and brittle over time. Hence, conditioners add a protective layer onto the cuticle scales to hold them in place to lie flat neatly. In addition, shampoos also come with different pH level – something I never really gave much thoughts to. So those with higher pH are more alkaline and can clean the hair better. However, they also strip away the natural scalp oils and extract the bonds that help hold the hair shafts together. This is why some shampoos will work great for a few days but later cause the hair to become dry and brittle – very true for shampoo formulated for oily hair.

Match or mismatch?
Anyway, I won’t go into the details of proper hair care today. I really need to look into the subject to be able to discuss more. Instead, I thought I’ll ask all of you who use both shampoos and conditioners if you mix and match brands or do you stick to using the same brand of products. Or perhaps you use both products from the same brand but use different formulations? Like the shampoo is for oily hair but the conditioner is for colored hair?

Some perform better when matched
Personally, I’ve always just mixed and match. This is because I use very little hair conditioner and one bottle would last me ages. So while I may try different shampoos, I don’t bother to buy new conditioners. But in the course of product reviews, I realized that some conditioners actually enhance the effects of the shampoo. An example is the Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Clay Conditioner; when used with the Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo, it actually adds volume to my hair. This is true because I didn’t get the same volumizing effects when I used it with another conditioner.

So how about you? Do you mix and match or do you matchy matchy?


  1. Sherry says:

    I always mix match to use for shampoo, conditioner.

  2. karen says:

    i will try not to mix n match.. like wat u have mention, some conditioners will enhance the effects of the shampoo. ?

  3. fwy says:

    Conditioners last longer. I will probably finished 2 to 2 & a half bottle of shampoos before finishing just one bottle of conditioner. I won’t hesitate to mix brands of Shampoos and Conditioners if I want to try out a different range or brand.

  4. stella says:

    sure i do, shampoos get used up more often since i don’t bother with them on weekends and days off to give my hair a break from all that stuff on it

  5. Cass says:

    I mix and match. And somehow, some of the results turned out to be wonderful. ?
    And aveda pure abundance conditioner is really great! ? It’s a staple for me now.
    P.S. I went down to buy it straight after seeing your review. Really love it!

  6. espenine says:

    I try to using shampoo and conditioner of the same brand but mix & match different range within the brand. E.g. shampoo for oily hair but conditioner for coloured/treated hair, hair mask for dry/damaged ends.

  7. AtelierGal says:

    Mix and matching seem to work well for my hair, better than sticking to the same formulation. To my understanding, shampoos are supposed to condition the scalp and remove junk(products) whereas conditioners/masks, they provide additional nutrients to the roots.

    My hair is always dry, sometimes I want to shave it off, wear a wig and be done with it lol

  8. sesame says:

    If your shampoo is of a nourishing formulation, I suppose that might provide some conditioning but you should not use conditioner near the roots cause it will clog the follicles. Keep conditioner to the ends.

  9. sesame says:

    Ah…I’ve been doing that of late. Seems strange to mix the brands now that I have full sets.

  10. sesame says:

    Oh that’s great! I’m glad it’s working for you. Mine is running low and I need to replenish too.

  11. sesame says:

    I wish I can be like you and not bother to wash my hair on some days. ?

  12. sesame says:

    Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, a professional told me we should have 3 shampoos on hand to rotate.

  13. sesame says:

    I see…in a sense, I’m like you. I find it a waste to spend on conditioner when I have full bottles lying around but also, I want to see the full effects of the range.

  14. sesame says:

    I guess that’s pretty much a norm. ?

  15. Swati says:

    yeah even I do mix and match…sometimes same brand products just don’t compliment each other…but thanks for telling that the cuticle bonds are removed by using shampoo…I have stopped using conditioner since I have had a hair cut coz my hair has becomes really short and its difficult to get the conditioner on the hair without touching the roots….

  16. AtelierGal says:

    Yeah, I know. But mix and match seems favorable, since they function differently. It’s just like using skincare products, we rarely use stuff from the same range anyway ?

  17. Julia says:

    I use my conditioner WAY faster than my shampoo (very generous with it, haha), so I try to buy something that it cheap, yet good. At the moment, I am using the German brand “alverde”, which is based on natural ingredients.
    For shampoo, I always try new ones, but choice is limited if you want silicone-free. At the moment, I like The Body Shop’s Rain Forest Moisture shampoo.

    When I lived in Japan, though, I used both shampoo, conditioner and treatment by Ichikami and just bought conditioner refills more often. xD (This was mostly because I loved the scent of the products – but also the results.)

  18. sesame says:

    I’m guess you have long hair and that’s why you use up your conditioner more quickly?

    Yup, agree that we have rather limited choice with those that are silicone-free. I wish the companies will introduce more.

  19. Elaine l. says:

    I too have fine hair, but natural curls as well so it tends to get dry and frizzy. I don’t use hair conditioner as I do not like the silicony feeling I get from my hands even after washing. Most of the hair conditioners I tried before also didn’t help much with the frizz hence I gave up. I’m thinking of cutting short my hair, just like yours (: as I think short hair would be much more easily managed. Less shampoo, less tangling, less weight and looks neater.

  20. Soos says:

    I use 2 different shampoos as well as 2 different conditioners in the same pricey line in different combinations, as I find this approach works for my thick, wavy hair.

    Sometimes I’ll try something new because your hair does get “used to” shampoos. Other times, I might feel I’ve been using too much product and need to clarify, so I’d use my husband’s favorite – Aveda Shampure. I haven’t tried the Aveda Smooth Infusion shampoo; I might buy it next if I feel like splurging.

  21. RedScorpio says:

    I am definitely a “mixer”, because I try to address all my hair’s issues (slightly greasy/itchy scalp, fine and very dry hair, coloured red) and sometimes I even mix two products together ! ?

    Lately my routine is: first wash with a shampoo that will clean my hair and soothe my scalp. Then wash with a shampoo for red-coloured hair (red colour fades very fast). And then condition with a mask for dry/damaged hair mixed with a conditioner for red hair!

    I also use Alverde products (actually for the last month I’ve been only using Alverde products). They are efficient, silicone-free and dirty cheap!

  22. Cara says:

    I always have the same dilemma about having way too much conditioner leftover, but I’m always so scared of mixing my brands! Whenever I get my hair done, my stylist always mixes different brands though! I’ve tried the Aveda shampoo… I love the natural scent of it! I have piles of half-used conditioners in my shower: Yes to Carrots, Organix, Aveda … you name it, it’s there! lol

  23. Rebecca says:

    Wow, seems like I am one of the few who always has lots of shampoo left over. I have very long hair that has a digital perm in it, so my ends are always dry, and my scalp is oily.

    I tend to have a few different brands of each (shampoo and conditioner) and see how my hair has been acting then use accordingly.

    I ALWAYS use a “treatment” style conditioner on my hair (just the ends. I find it keeps it from getting tangled and splitting.

    It has been as struggle to find a good shampoo and conditioner that is paraben, sulfate and fragrance free and NOT super drying.

  24. sesame says:

    I can imagine you would need more conditioner because of the length of your hair. The thing I learnt from some of the hair professionals is that we need to alternate shampoos…after a while, they don’t work so well due to build up. I’m now all over the place using various brands.

  25. sesame says:

    Haha…so I guess you purchase a conditioner to go with the shampoo most times? ? That probably explains for the many leftover conditioners. I think it should be okay to mix unless like the Aveda one, the conditioner actually boost the volume after shampooing.

  26. sesame says:

    Oh that’s interesting! It’s double cleansing and I wanted to talk about it. I always double cleanse my scalp using the same shampoo. Maybe I should try out your method cos I’m also finding that some of my shampoos wash out my color real quickly.

  27. sesame says:

    I was told we need to have 3 different shampoos to alternate although I thought that was a bit mind boggling.

    Aveda is pretty cool. Love their stuff but pricey…

  28. sesame says:

    Yes, shorter hair is easier to manage. Do you color your hair? If not, I think it’s still okay to shampoo without conditioner as long as your shampoo is not for oily hair. I used to shampoo without conditioning for many years but once I started coloring more frequently, it is just impossible.

    But perhaps you can try to condition your hair like 2 or 3 times a week instead of daily (assuming you wash your hair daily). That might help with the frizzy ends?

  29. Julia says:

    Not super long, but I apply conditioner rather generously from the ends (about shoulder-lenght) to almost up to the scalp. #k8SjZc9Dxk#k8SjZc9Dxk;)

  30. Cara says:

    HAHA YES! I definitely feel like I need to… I should start mixing and matching. Saves me more money that way! ?

  31. Diane says:

    I always stock up on different brands with varying levels of moisture and switch a lot ? My scalp gets irritated if i use the same shampoo/conditioner too long.

    If the shampoo is high conditioning, i match with a light conditioner so my hair won’t be weighed down from too much conditioning.

    But if I use clarifying shampoo – then I use a mid/heavy moisture conditioner so my hair won’t be too dry from the clarifying shampoo. ?

    My own mix and match ?

  32. sesame says:

    That sounds like something I should learn! This mix and match makes a lot of sense to me. I have never thought of balancing the two…just use whatever I can grab or what I think I need. I’ve never considered how one may compliment the other, especially if they are of different brands.

  33. claudia says:

    I use Head & Shoulders shampoo, and occasionally, a conditioner from Dove. Even though I don’t have dandruff, I find that H&S shampoos work really well and are actually pretty gentle. Also it’s a misconception that dandruff shampoos are too harsh for the’s also good for keratosis pilaris and body acne, when used as a body wash, because of zinc pyrithone. i recommend the classic clean version.

  34. sesame says:

    Oh that’s interesting…shampoo for keratosis pilaris and body acne. Never knew about that.

  35. Fi says:

    I always try to keep it the same whenever possible, the only time when I’d mix is when I’ve ran out of the shampoo and changed brand before the conditioner ran out as well. I try keeping them the same brand for the same reason to why I keep my facial care the same brand too, they may compliment each other ?

  36. sesame says:

    I share your sentiment about skin care…although I do mix and match but I would use one brand predominantly.

  37. doll says:
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  38. Aileen says:

    I was laughing when i saw the picture of BodyShop’s shampoo and conditioner that you have at the beginning of the post – because that is exactly the same combi i have! Shampoo for oily hair while conditioner is for coloured hair. No more matching scheme for me; but rather shampoo is always to treat oily scalp and conditioner for every other thing. I am thinking of just using hair mask after shampoo and skip conditioner altogether after my last bottle is done.

  39. sesame says:

    I have a tub of hair mask somewhere but I haven’t used it. It’s too heavy and would weigh down my hair. I think it’s good for once or twice a week treatment?

  40. Aileen says:

    Yes, once or twice a week is how it is usually recommended. I wash my hair every other day and so far mask treatments have been helpful for manageable hair.

  41. sesame says:

    Maybe I should give it a try too since I have a hair mask.

  42. Tbaker says:

    I have color-treated hair and I needed a volumizing shampoo that would give great volume for my fine hair. I used to use this one, but I switched. I used the Shielo Volume shampoo and conditioner and it is very concentrated, so you won’t need alot of product (ie. “goes a long way”). The salon I go to sells this for almost $9 more than Shielo’s website online, so you won’t find a better deal.

  43. sesame says:

    Oh ok…will check the shampoo out. Just bought a new one myself from A’Kin.

  44. sarah chu says:

    in fact, I feel my hair is nicer when I stop using conditioner for a while, I use natural hair mask sometimes, like honey and vinegar

  45. Jolee says:

    i did not match my shampoo and conditioner.. the first few days i used its pretty effective but after that, my hair become dry and brittle again.. what should i do?
    Jolee last post is: DIY Beauty: how to make your own liquid foundation

  46. Sesame says:

    Could the shampoo be unsuitable for your hair?

  47. jyothi says:

    hi i use head and shoulders anti dandruff shampoo and garnier fructis long and strong conditioner. is that okay using two different shampoo and conditioner. i have slight curly hair, split ends , medium thick hair and little dry and flakey scalp . what do u suggest?
    jyothi last post is: Greek beauty brand Apivita opens in ION Orchard

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