Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Are you dating a shampoo or a conditioner?

The weirdest thought came to me when I was in the midst of my hair-grooming ritual for a Sunday brunch this week. At the bottom of it all, there are only two types of men in this world. There are the shampoos and there are the conditioners.

The shampoo man pokes your existential dilemmas and all the scabs you are dying to hide, digs out your rough bits, makes you cry, gets all the muck out of you, cleanses you of ‘issues’ and extraneous stuff, and eventually leaves you to be your free, uncluttered self. The conditioner man smoothes your rough edges, soothes, tames the frizz, nurtures and nourishes you, and stays on to help you... well, sort of, bounce and shine.

Every man wants to be a conditioner, but whether they like it or not, quite a few men have to do the dirty work of being the shampoo. Ideally, what is recommended by experts is a combination of shampoo and conditioner, the sequence in which they appear being of prime importance. Women usually graduate from shampoos to conditioners in men, but sometimes they could end up with a shampoo man, and never know what a conditioner man could have done for them.

The jury is still out on whether one man can be both. For the moment, at least trichologists or hair-care experts will tell you, “Shampoos are supposed to leave and conditioners are supposed to stay. How can they be together?”

By that logic, the shampoo-cum-conditioner concept, in men or hair-care products, is at best, an oxymoron.

Most women have been through more shampoos than conditioners in men and it takes quite a few rinses to know if either of them is doing a good job. But then they say, it’s never too late to discover a good hair product. In my experience, the twenties are about shampoos and the thirties are about conditioners. If you are well into your thirties and still haven’t graduated from shampoos, you need to take note and figure out why.

On the face of it, they could look the same, so there’s no telling the difference really. The difference is in texture, in how your hair (metaphorically, you) feels after they’ve left.

It’s easy to forget the shampoos once we reach our good hair days, and are basking in conditioners, but we must all remember that it’s they who made us what we are. So here’s a quick thank you to all the shampoos of my life.

Now, why didn’t I talk to L’oreal or Garnier before I wrote this? Beats me.


  1. Brilliant post Lalita! And it is going to be rather hard to look at men in quite the same way again - all I'll be thinking is, hmm shampoo or conditioner :)
    Definitely need the all-in-one!
    Happy New Year by the way, since I'm a new reader...

  2. Good one bhabhi!
    I just got out of shower, after a head wash (only with a shampoo, keeping my tempt to condition the hair at bay since its already late here and i catch cold soon) and your blog makes me wonder what am I looking for now? just a shampoo or a conditioner or both? Ummm....
    The truth is, I really want it to be two in one to do the wonders...
    more on it later...

  3. Awesome one! I really agree with all of it and I was thinking all this while why I have been only meeting the Shampoos...The conditioner man hasnt yet arrived. hahaha!

    Thanks for this one ... brought a smile on a dry day!

  4. It Was an Awesome Article !! I have experienced both the types[:P] !! And totally agree with You !!

  5. Lalli dear - so good to read this one - try our shampoo+oil 2-in-1 - what say?

  6. Just an after-rinse, sure you've noticed this, but they're opposite in design, too. Some in orientation of shape, others in colour.