Here's What You Should Know Before Using 2-In-1 Shampoo And Conditioners

If you're looking to cut down on the time you spend in the shower, a convenient 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner may sound like an enticing option that offers you the best of both worlds. Popularized by Pantene in the '80s, according to Huffington Post, the term "2-in-1" was introduced to the market for people who used shampoo regularly but often neglected the conditioning aspect of their showering routine. 

While they originally sounded too good to be true, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners have gotten a bad reputation over time. This is because the purposes of shampoo and conditioner somewhat contradict each other, as shampoos are meant to strip the cuticles of oils and moisture in order to properly cleanse, while conditioners are meant to add moisture back into the hair with oils and waxes (via Allure). Because of this, many wonder if it's truly possible to effectively combine a cleansing shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner into one product that actually works. However, like most haircare options out there, there are pros and cons to using these products. Here's what you should know before using 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners.

2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners aren't full replacements for either product

The term "2 in 1" in haircare has somewhat of an indirect definition — and it comes down to branding. In general, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner is typically a shampoo with extra hydrating properties. "If you see a shampoo with the word 'hydrating' or 'moisturizing,' it probably contains the same ingredients that make a shampoo 2-in-1," Paul Wintner, hairstylist and global education manager for Alterna Haircare, told Real Simple

Therefore, 2-in-1 shampoos and conditioners are mostly shampoos with some of the benefits of a conditioner, as opposed to a singular product with the complete functions of both. As such, you shouldn't rely on them as complete replacements for either product. Dermatologist Daniel Belkin told Allure that conditioner's moisturizing properties are not nearly as effective when paired with the cleansing properties of shampoo. "A 2-in-1 that promises both a deep clean and to make hair feel moisturized, shiny, and smooth is overpromising," he said.

It's best to use a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner only occasionally

However, 2-in-1 shampoos and conditioners are not necessarily useless. They can save you time, money, and space while reducing your carbon footprint. Furthermore, they can work for a variety of hair types. "If you find you have resilient hair that doesn't need a ton of maintenance, a 2-in-1 product could be an option for you to occasionally use," hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimmons told Allure.

"With a 2-in-1 shampoo, you won't be getting that squeaky clean feeling, which some people need in their cleansing experience. But it's still working the same way by removing dirt and oil," hairstylist Angel Cardona told Real Simple, who also states that 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners can leave your hair with a silky finish.

Although there are certain situations where a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner can do the trick temporarily, for most, it may be best for you to take that extra step with a separate shampoo and conditioner. That way, you can keep your scalp healthy and easily run a brush through your strands.