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Shampoo vs. Conditioner: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Shampoo is a hair care product designed to clean the scalp and hair, while conditioner is used to moisturize, detangle, and improve hair's texture.
Shampoo vs. Conditioner

Key Differences

Shampoo is formulated to remove dirt, oil, and product residue from hair and scalp. Conditioner is designed to nourish and replenish the hair's moisture after shampooing.
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Shampoo is applied to wet hair and worked into a lather to cleanse. Conditioner is applied mainly to the lengths of the hair, not the scalp, to smooth and soften.
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Shampoos typically contain surfactants for cleaning and may have specific ingredients for various hair types. Conditioners often contain oils, silicones, and emollients to hydrate and protect hair.
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Different shampoos cater to various hair needs such as volumizing or moisturizing. Conditioners, too, vary, with formulations for fine, thick, curly, or colored hair.
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Using shampoo results in clean, fresh hair and scalp. Conditioner use leads to more manageable, soft, and less frizzy hair.
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Comparison Chart

Primary Purpose

Cleansing hair and scalp
Moisturizing and detangling hair
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Application Area

Applied to scalp and hair
Mainly applied to hair, avoiding the scalp
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Key Ingredients

Surfactants, cleansers
Oils, silicones, emollients
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Hair Type Variations

Specific formulas for different hair needs
Formulas tailored for hair texture and condition
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End Result

Clean, refreshed hair and scalp
Smooth, hydrated, and manageable hair
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Shampoo and Conditioner Definitions

Shampoo

A hair care product used for cleaning hair and scalp.
I use a moisturizing shampoo for my dry hair.
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Dec 09, 2023

Conditioner

A product typically used to condition and hydrate the hair.
A good conditioner can reduce frizz and add shine.
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Dec 09, 2023

Shampoo

A cleanser specifically formulated for hair and scalp hygiene.
She switched her shampoo to combat dandruff.
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Dec 09, 2023

Conditioner

A hair treatment that smooths and softens hair strands.
For better results, leave the conditioner in your hair for a few minutes.
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Dec 09, 2023

Shampoo

A product that cleanses the hair, often with specialized purposes.
There are shampoos for color-treated hair to maintain the color's vibrancy.
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Dec 09, 2023
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Conditioner

A post-shampoo hair care product for enhancing hair health.
Conditioner helps in restoring moisture lost during shampooing.
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Shampoo

A liquid preparation containing detergents for washing hair.
This shampoo lathers well and has a pleasant scent.
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Dec 09, 2023

Conditioner

A substance applied after shampooing to moisturize and detangle hair.
She applies conditioner to the ends to prevent split ends.
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Dec 09, 2023

Shampoo

A hair product designed to remove oils, dirt, and skin particles.
Regular shampooing keeps your hair looking clean and fresh.
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Dec 09, 2023

Conditioner

A hair care product used to improve hair's texture and manageability.
Using conditioner makes my hair soft and easy to comb.
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Dec 09, 2023

Shampoo

Any of various liquid or cream preparations of soap or detergent used to wash the hair and scalp.
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Dec 08, 2023

Conditioner

One that conditions, especially an additive or application that improves the quality or usability of a substance
A soil conditioner.
A hair conditioner.
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Shampoo

Any of various cleaning agents for rugs, upholstery, or cars.
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Conditioner

Anything that improves the condition of something
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Shampoo

The act or process of washing or cleaning with shampoo.
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Conditioner

Hair conditioner
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Shampoo

To wash or undergo washing with shampoo.
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Conditioner

Fabric conditioner, fabric softener
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Shampoo

(originally) A traditional Indian and Persian body massage given after pouring warm water over the body and rubbing it with extracts from herbs.
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Conditioner

Someone who trains athletes or racehorses
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Shampoo

A commercial liquid soap product for washing hair or other fibres/fibers, such as carpets.
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Conditioner

An agricultural machine that crimps and crushes newly cut hay to promote faster and more even drying.
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Shampoo

An instance of washing the hair or other fibres with shampoo.
I’m going to give the carpet a shampoo.
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Conditioner

Exercise that conditions the body; as, farmwork can be a good conditioner.
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Shampoo

Champagne.
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Conditioner

A trainer of athletes.
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Shampoo

(intransitive) To wash one's own hair with shampoo.
My neat-freak of a friend has been compulsively shampooing for every bath he has taken.
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Conditioner

A substance used in washing (clothing or hair) to make things softer.
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Shampoo

(transitive) To wash (i.e. the hair, carpet, etc.) with shampoo.
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Dec 08, 2023

Conditioner

Exercise that conditions the body;
Farmwork can be a good conditioner
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Shampoo

(transitive) To press or knead the whole surface of the body of (a person), and at the same time to stretch the limbs and joints, in connection with the hot bath.
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Conditioner

A trainer of athletes
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Shampoo

To press or knead the whole surface of the body of (a person), and at the same time to stretch the limbs and joints, in connection with the hot bath.
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Dec 08, 2023

Conditioner

A substance used in washing (clothing or hair) to make things softer
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Dec 08, 2023

Shampoo

To wash throughly and rub the head of (a person), with the fingers, using either soap, or a soapy preparation, for the more thorough cleansing.
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Dec 08, 2023

Shampoo

The act of shampooing.
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Shampoo

Cleansing agent consisting of soaps or detergents used for washing the hair
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Shampoo

The act of washing your hair with shampoo
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Shampoo

Use shampoo on (hair)
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is shampoo?

A hair cleansing product for removing dirt and oil.
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Dec 20, 2023

What is conditioner?

A product used after shampooing to moisturize and detangle hair.
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Dec 20, 2023

Can I use shampoo as a conditioner?

No, shampoo and conditioner serve different purposes.
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Dec 20, 2023

Can shampoo alone clean and moisturize hair?

It cleans but doesn't moisturize as well as a conditioner.
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Are there 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner products?

Yes, but they may not be as effective as separate products.
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How often should I use shampoo?

It depends on your hair type, but generally 2-3 times a week.
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Can I use conditioner on dry hair?

Typically, it's used on wet hair after shampooing.
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Do conditioners help with hair growth?

They don't directly stimulate growth but improve hair health.
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Is conditioner necessary?

Yes, for most hair types to maintain health and manageability.
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Dec 20, 2023

Should conditioner be applied to the scalp?

Generally, it should be applied mainly to the lengths of the hair.
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Dec 20, 2023

What happens if I don't use conditioner?

Your hair may become more prone to tangles and dryness.
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Are there natural shampoos and conditioners?

Yes, there are products made with natural ingredients.
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Can shampoo cause hair loss?

Not usually, unless it's an allergic reaction or harsh product.
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Is conditioner good for all hair types?

Yes, but the type of conditioner should match your hair type.
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Dec 20, 2023

Can I use shampoo on colored hair?

Yes, but use a shampoo formulated for color-treated hair.
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Dec 20, 2023

Is daily shampooing harmful?

For some hair types, daily shampooing can strip natural oils.
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Dec 20, 2023

Can I leave conditioner in my hair?

Some conditioners are leave-in, but most should be rinsed out.
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Dec 20, 2023

Do shampoos expire?

Yes, check the expiry date or use within 12-18 months.
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Dec 20, 2023

How do I choose the right shampoo and conditioner?

Base your choice on your hair type and specific needs.
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Dec 20, 2023

Does conditioner color hair?

No, but some are formulated to enhance colored hair's vibrancy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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