Distinguishing Shampoo & Conditioner: A Comparison

Shampoo vs Conditioner

The primary distinction between shampoo and conditioner lies in their intended purposes. Shampoos and conditioners are two prevalent FMCG products used by many to maintain healthy and manageable hair. Though closely related, these products have some key differences. Shampoo was introduced before conditioner and quickly gained popularity as a hair care option. Later, conditioner was developed by the same companies that produced shampoos to smooth and soften hair after washing with shampoo. However, the sequence in which shampoo and conditioner are used on hair is not the only essential aspect; the actual purpose behind each of them is also crucial.

What is Shampoo?

Shampoos serve a different purpose than conditioners, as they are designed to clean hair. Specifically, shampoos are used for external cleansing of the hair and scalp. Regarding ingredients, shampoos are similar to soaps as they are intended to remove dirt from hair. Common ingredients in shampoo include citric acid, ammonium chloride, glycerin, and panthenol. Some shampoos contain sulfate and glycol, but these strong chemicals can irritate the scalp, so most high-quality shampoos are sulfate-free. However, shampoo ingredients are gentler than soap ingredients, ensuring that sebum, a protective hair covering, is not entirely washed away during hair washing. Shampoos typically have a pH value of 5.5 due to the presence of citric acid, making them acidic. Shampoos should only be left on the hair for a few minutes before rinsing with water.

What is Conditioner?

Conditioners are used to make hair silky, smooth, and manageable after being cleaned with shampoo. They are even gentler on hair than shampoos and contain moisturizers and proteins for hair health and bounce. Conditioners have a lower pH value than shampoo and focus on the internal health of the hair. They have a low pH value to help produce amino acids for better hair health and shine. When applying conditioners, they do not produce lather and should be applied after hair has been cleaned with shampoo.

Key Takeaways

  • Shampoo is designed to clean hair and scalp, while conditioner is meant to make hair smooth and more manageable.
  • Conditioner has a lower pH value than shampoo, but both are acidic in nature.
  • Shampoo can be rough on hair because its primary purpose is cleaning, while conditioners are gentler than shampoos on hair.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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