Shampoo v Conditioner.

Bottles of Shampoo and conditioner on a supermarket shelf

A few weeks ago I posted a flippant comment on Facebook:

I doubt this is an original thought but: First World Problem 125: Why doesn’t the conditioner come in a bigger bottle compared to the matching shampoo?

One of my friends commented she runs out of shampoo first. I told her she was weird. That EVERYONE but her ran out of conditioner first. She thought I was weird. We bantered. Then the comments started coming thick and fast.  I posted a poll asking our combined friends which they finished first, shampoo or conditioner?

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The results were interesting with a 50:50 split. Being good scientists we understood we needed a bigger sample size, so I re-posted the poll to a bigger group (<30K members) and over the next weeks the poll received over 1000 votes and close to 50 comments.

It elicited some very interesting discussion… who’d of thought…

Tubes of hair products on supermaket shelf
Frizz-less, blonde more but still all the same size!

In the end the results were close.

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My friend’s hypothesis was supported and I had to agree she wasn’t weird.

It would seem the ratio of shampoo to conditioner use depends on a number of factors.

  1. Hair length which seems quite obvious. The longer the hair the more conditioner is needed.
  2. Curliness. One factor I didn’t know about is that a significant number of people (and we are talking mainly women here because they are the ones who responded) with curly hair do not use shampoo at all, only conditioner. There is in fact, a whole (secret to me) Curly Girl Method for looking after wavy/curly/coiled hair.

and an almost equal number of people

  1. Who have short, thin or oilier hair who don’t use conditioner at all that balances out the no shampoo people.
  2. Another new (to me) concept is the reverse shampoo method which uses conditioner first and then shampoo which is (apparently) good for fine hair.
Bottles of Shampoo and conditioner on a supermarket shelf
All the same size! We need a social movement here!

So there you have it. It would seem that my original sample size of 100% of the people in my household who finish the conditioner first was not supported. I can see the need for a whole new social movement. Hair Buddies: Those who finish the shampoo first need to be introduced to those who finish the conditioner first so they can swap their excess product!