Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Why do people still use 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner?

They cut down on time, but do they actually work?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Feb 2, 2022

As a curly haired person who dedicates an entire day to shampoo, conditioner, detangler, curl cream, foam, mouse, hair oil, and a gloss spray — it’s a very hard concept for me to grasp that someone, often men, can get hair results with only one product — the 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.


Like how can they only use one product? How is their hair cleaned and ready to be styled after one product? And also, what is in said 2-in-1 formulas that allows them to be beneficial? Or are they just a marketing gimmick? Below, we explore the baffling question.


What is a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner?

You see them in a Pert+ or just about any other old school brand, but what exactly is a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner? This specific product is designed to cleanse like a shampoo and nourish like a conditioner. Shampoos often have negatively-charged surfactants to cleanse and conditioners have positively-charged ingredients that bind hair to conditioner. By optimizing the rations of the two, chemists have created a product that allows the conditioning ingredients to be hidden until the rinsing.


So how do they work?

2-in-1s are the best of both worlds, containing mainly shampoo and some benefits of a conditioner. The ingredients that are hidden (silicone and cationic polymers) are released after the shampoo dilutes the hair.


And what are the benefits? 

The most obvious of benefits: The one-stop, time-saving and cost-efficient product. Not only do 2-in-1s cleanse and moisturize your hair, but it saves you time (only one product), money (most budget-friendly option) and trips to your local shop. Not to mention, they are a great on-the-go product for travels, commuting, and gym time. And lastly, the sustainability aspect. Because you are only buying one product, you are directly eliminating your personal plastic waste and water consumption in the shower by streamlining your routine.


Are there any side effects?

Product buildup. Over time, it is a lot harder to remove the product buildup in your hair — resulting in heavy strands and dry hair. To combat this, you will need to invest in a clarifying shampoo to strip hair bare again. Some 2-in-1 users also experience extreme dryness due to the surfactants used in the products.


In a non 2-in-1 routine, shampoo is used to over-cleanse the oil in the hair; it automatically dries the hair out. While conditioner steps in to smooth out and re-moisturize the hair cuticles. Meaning 2-in-1 hair products that claim to be deep cleaning and moisturizing to touch is a fake promise.


Now that you know all the facts, would you use one?


If you’re looking for more hair tips, read on about whether or not box dye is bad for your hair and why you need to know your skin’s undertone before dying.


Photo via Yakobchuk Olena/Adobe Stock