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No, I don’t think so. I think like anything that is built as a system, you may find it works better or ends up simplifying things, just because the brand has (hopefully) already determined how the components will work together. It takes a little more expertise to mix and match, I’d say, to ensure you’re getting the right stuff in each product without one canceling out the other or overpowering!  However, you could make sure you’re using exactly the right products for your hair type/concerns and nothing you don’t!

— Christine

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I don’t think so because I like using Tresemme conditioner, but the shampoo that goes with it dries out my hair really bad. It’s more of a test & trial thing, I guess?

I admit I’m a bit obsessive about this, and yes they absolutely *have* to match. Also, especially if the bottle is transparent, they have to be even. Again, OCD…

I try to find 2-in-1 products, though. I’ve had really good experiences with L’Oreal kids conditioning shampoos, and my hair is very thick and coarse.

I think with makeup every brand has it’s strengths but you shouldn’t rely on one brand for one whole look. I use Lush’s Solid Shampoo and then I use Enjoy’s Luxury Conditioner. Only cause I find Lush’s Conditioners do absolutely nothing for me.

I try not to match everything because they very rarely work for my confusing hair type. I have thick, dry hair with oily roots & psoriasis.So I have to do a lot of mixing & matching to find the right treatment. 2-in-1 or dry scalp/hair formula for my shampoo, a separate volumizing conditioner so it washes clean & doesn’t weigh my hair down, once or twice weekly treatment for my dry ends, & an herbal rosemary treatment for my scalp (but that I have to make myself since nothing works better than a pure almond oil/rosemary oil/honey/shea butter combo).

Shay, I would be interested in how much you put of each ingredient into your scalp treatment mixture! I would love to try it myself, if you wouldn’t mind sharing!

Shay, have you ever tried using a boar bristle brush every night? Sometimes getting those natural oils through your hair is the best treatment. I have a huge amount of hair for fifty so I have to section it and clip it up like coloring, lol, but brushing it by sections equalizes that oil and works wonders. When I was younger and working outdoors all day in the heat I’d rinse the sweat salt out in the shower but not shampoo- for what became weeks! (ride a horse in a hat in heat all day and see how much you slide! Cows dont care). Point? My hair got great! Something to think about…

I agree with you that it’s a matter of finding which products work for you and making your own combination of shampoo and conditioner. At the moment, Currently, I am using a shampoo and conditioner from the same line because they both work very well for my hair, but in the past, I’ve usually had a different shampoo and conditioner.

No, I don’t think that shampoo and conditioner have to match. I just choose the products, shampoos and conditioners that work best for my own hair.

For me, yes. I prefer to use matching shampoo and conditioner just like I like to use all the same brand/line skin care. The only exception I make for my hair is hair treatment masks or deep conditioners. But my everyday ones have to match.

If you want it to match, sure! If you don’t then nope! Haha. I often times use inexpensive moisturizing shampoo then splurge on an extra luxurious conditioner and treatment for my hair. Sometimes the matchy-matchy systems don’t work out…it’s either too little or too much for my hair. I know what my scalp and hair need, and I mix and match products til I get a good system!

I use WEN so I only have 1 product. When I did use other brands, I tended to use the same brand conditioner as I did shampoo, but only because I would but it in kits or quantity deals at the beauty supply.

I don’t think so. My scalp is oily, but my hair is long and damaged. That’s why I use shampoo for oily hair, but treatment for damaged hair. I’ve never had a problem with mix-and-matching. In my humble opinion if your scalp and hair need different things, you should cater to their specific needs. When I use treatment I don’t use it on my scalp, so I don’t think it cancels the shampoo out!

I do prefer to use matching products especially when I’m trying out new ones. If I find one working better with other products then I’ll switch. They don’t necessarily have to match but I like how organize it’ll make my bath area look.

Yes, absolutely.. I can’t deal with different smells in my hair, it is like mixing two different perfumes. I usually choose by the conditioner, and buy the matching shampoo, since it just “cleans” your head.

No, it definitely shouldn’t… if you don’t want ti to. I almost never bought matchy-matchy s/c. I’d get the shampoo my scalp needed and a conditioner my ends needed. But right now, I found an uber-cheap duo of shampoo and conditioner that actually work! VO5 Kiwi respects both my scalp and my ends and the conditioner doesn’t leave my hair oily like others have. Wee!

Nah. I like the rainbow of bottles and cans racked up for whatever it needs at the time. I use Sixties brand shampoo like Revlon Aquamarine when I can get it, Prell, Breck, and spend that big money on Shimmer lights to take the chemical brown from the water out of the silver parts. Pantene conditioner every once in a while though I like a leave in better. I have four that smell different and all work well. I don’t dry it, so it’s not damaged. I’m such a slob! But I just go to bed with it damp and it’s good, great the second and third days.
And the boar bristle brush about three times a week; I started it up again after a guest blogger here wrote about it; Shiny shiny hair!

For me personally, no. Other then Paul Mitchell, I have yet to find a brand I am totally happy with. I often buy ‘sets’, especially if I come across a brand not sold locally. I also have certain ‘go-to’ products that work well for my hair that do not come from the same brand. For instance I just used 3 products from Hair Rules and only liked 1 out of the 3.

My biggest issue is, I go through shampoo a lot faster than conditioner and treatments. I’m usually left with about 3/4th (+/-) bottle of conditioner when the shampoo is gone. I then have to pick up a bottle of shampoo or raid my stash for a non set shampoo.

My hair is coloured, dry with oily scalp, thick and curly (varies between a 2c and 3b with a bit of 3c and 4a), long (about 2 inches below my bra). I wash my hair every night (so it can dry naturally) and in the summer I may wash it in the morning as well as at night.

They don’t need to match but they should work together. You want your hair to be pH balanced when you’re done and many combinations won’t leave you with that but a set should. You also want to make sure you’re chosen shampoo will adequately cleanse your chosen conditioner and styling products which can be especially challenging if you’re looking for very gentle shampoos. Some ‘systems’ truly are a two-part process and you won’t get the full effect of the product unless you use it’s match but those are usually specialized products like high-protein treatments.

Would you only use one brand’s line of makeup on your face, given that you wouldn’t have a reaction to any other brand’s products?
I just look for shampoos and conditioners with restorative properties. The shampoo should be really gentle and preferably for color treated hair and the conditioner is always a deep conditioner or a daily on-the-oilier-side conditioner.
Right now I am switching between my own concoctions for hair conditioners that include a bunch of oils and the Suave Keratin conditioner for color treated hair, and Shimmer Lights shampoo, and Suave Keratin for color treated hair conditioner.


I wash my hair with Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap (lavender, orange, or peppermint are my favorite scents).

And I condition my hair with Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk (organic). Yes, the stuff you also cook with. Half a can. Everyone has their own way of using this as a conditioner. Some people use it before shampooing. I use it afterwards.

I leave the milk on my hair for a couple of hours and then rinse it out -well- with warm water.

Each week my hair routine goes like this: Shampoo with Dr. Bronner’s, do a bentonite clay treatment (Aztec Secret) for 30 minutes and rinse with cold water. Pat my hair relatively dry, and then drench my hair and scalp with coconut milk, place a shower cap on it to lock in moisture and decrease dripping, leave on for a couple of hours and rinse out well with warm water.

My hair comes out amazing after this treatment each week. Shiny, clean, healthy, strengthened, and moisturized.

Also 100% argan oil is great for the hair throughout the week, for moisturizing (if you need it). I buy Aura Cacia Organic Argan Oil. Small bottle and not cheap, but goes a LONG way. Not much is needed for most heads.

I go through things so unevenly that, if this were a rule for me, I’d never try anything new! I tend to go through conditioner more quickly than shampoo. I did really like a particular kind once, and so everything matched for awhile, but the scent got discontinued. I’ve switched to organic hair care and it’s pricier, so if I see something I’ve liked on sale, I just snap it up. So things aren’t always matching nowadays. 🙂

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