The Difference Between Shampoo and Conditioner and Why You Need Them

The Difference Between Shampoo and Conditioner and Why You Need Them - The hair that is your crown is important to always be cared for. Not only do you have a great haircut, you also need to make sure that your hair is always in clean condition. For this purpose, people often invest in hair care products.

Of the many hair care products available, you will most likely put shampoo and conditioner at the top. Both are often used as part of daily hair care routines. However, there may still be many people who cannot tell them apart.

Most people apply shampoo to their hair before using conditioner. Shampooing removes dirt and oil from your hair. Meanwhile conditioner after cleansing with shampoo helps keep hair smooth and manageable.

What is the difference between shampoo and conditioner? There are so many differences between them. But you can start by identifying what the main purpose of shampoo and conditioner is. In addition, you can dig deeper by identifying the ingredients of shampoo and conditioner and their benefits.

What are Shampoo and Conditioner?


Derived from the Hindi word "champo" which means to massage your scalp, shampoo is a liquid cleansing agent for your hair and scalp. Shampoo that was introduced in the 1930's is useful for removing excess oil from the scalp and cleaning dead skin cells.

Before the invention of shampoo, people used to use soap to clean hair. However, the soap has a little lather, making it difficult to rinse off. Then, people started to abandon soap and turn to shampoo as a hair care product.

Read Also: 10 Types of Natural Hair Oils and Their Advantages


The conditioner, which is also a liquid, is commonly applied after washing hair. The conditioning agents in conditioner are additives that can affect the appearance, management, and thickness of your hair.

Shampoos tend to remove sebum oil from your hair along with dust and dirt. Conditioner is useful for retaining the sebum needed by the hair.

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What are The Benefits of Shampoo and Conditioner?


The sebum oil produced by the scalp protects the hair follicles and keeps them healthy. However, the increased production of sebum causes a buildup in the hair follicles. As a result, your hair strands will be oily and very dull.

On the other hand, pollutants such as dirt, dust and bacteria can easily be attracted to sebum oil. This makes the scalp even dirtier. Excess sebum oil cannot just be removed with water. Therefore, you need a shampoo to clean it.

What you need to watch out for, many shampoos with chemicals run the risk of removing natural oils and making your hair dry. Choose a shampoo that suits your hair type and condition. For example, use a special shampoo for dandruff if you have a problem with dandruff.


The cationic surfactants present in hair conditioners provide a positive electric charge. Meanwhile, the negative electric charge contained in the hair attracts a negative electric charge from the conditioner. This allows the conditioner to penetrate the hair follicles.

The meeting between the positive charge from the conditioner and the negative charge from the hair causes your hair's static electricity to decrease. Conditioner is useful for increasing light reflection, preventing split ends, and smoothing the cuticle scales on the hair shaft. The results you get, the hair becomes smoother and shiny.

Shampoo Vs Conditioner, What Is The Difference?

The main difference between shampoo and conditioner lies in the ingredients in them. Shampoos contain cleaning ingredients such as surfactants and detergents while conditioners do not. Some of the shampoos on the market contain conditioning ingredients similar to those found in conditioners such as natural oils and proteins.

Read Also: Tips for Choosing The Best Shampoo and Conditioner

The components found in shampoo are similar to those found in soap. The difference with soap, the components in the shampoo are much softer, so that the sebum that protects the hair strands is not completely lost. Meanwhile, conditioner consists of a moisturizer that makes hair easier to manage. Conditioners usually also contain protein which strengthens the hair strands.

Shampoos are used to remove various pollutants including dirt, oil and dust that have accumulated on the hair strands. Meanwhile conditioner is useful for softening the texture of the hair strands and making hair easier to organize and comb after washing.

You can also differentiate between shampoos and conditioners based on their pH balance. Conditioner is more acidic than shampoo, it encourages the development of amino acids and helps keratin to bind to the hair strands.

The vitamins and nutrients contained in the shampoo are formulated to target the scalp and hair roots. Meanwhile the vitamins and nutrients in conditioner target the hair strands, making them strong and preventing them from split ends and breakage.

After applying to hair, shampoo is rinsed thoroughly. On the other hand, conditioners can work in two ways. The first, conditioner is applied to the hair and left for a few minutes before finally rinsing off. Second, the conditioner is left on the hair strands after application.

It's up to you how often you wash and condition your hair. People with hair that tends to be oily may wash it more often than people whose hair tends to be dry. (Beauté Salon & Spa)

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