The Buffering Method – Yay or Nay?

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As some of you guys may have heard or not, natural hair vlogger Kimmaytube created a method called the buffering method.

In a nutshell, the buffering method was created as a way to counteract the dry, stripped feeling that most of us get from our shampoo. The big question here is whether this is an effective method or is it just a waste of time. Read below to find out!

What is the buffering method?

The buffering method is a method or a process where you wet your hair as you normally would and then apply your cleanser of choice via non-sulfate shampoo, sulfate shampoo, cleansing bar, etc.

Then before you lather up, you then apply a little conditioner on top of the shampoo. After you do this then carry on and lather up and then rinse. This is supposed to make your hair fell soft instead of really dry after the shampooing process.

But wait, won’t the conditioner counteract the cleansing properties of the shampoo?


Aha, I knew that question was coming up because that is what I was thinking too! Now this is where it becomes a bit tricky. While the concept is a good one that for most of us would make sense, it has a few flaws.

Conditioner and shampoo have totally different ionic charges

I think all of us can agree that conditioner can cost way more than shampoo? Right? So the charge part is easy. But that’s not the charges that I am talking about (gotcha!).

I am talking about the ionic charges, yes the scientific stuff that you learn in chemistry class. So here’s the deal, shampoo typically has a negative charge which is a big part of why it cleanses and conditioner has a positive charge which is a big reason why it provides conditioning properties to our hair.

So from this information we can quickly establish the fact that they naturally have two different purposes in our hair and this is where the issue comes up. How can they work properly if used at the same time?

As much as we want for shampoo and conditioner to have a fairy-tale ending, to be in love to bring great prosperity among the land of our gorgeous hair, alas it cannot happen.

If we mix shampoo and conditioner together it will not only defeat the purpose of cleaning your hair but it will actually cause buildup in those precious hair strands over time. This can cause issues like brittle hair despite regular conditioning and the more times that you do this the more build up that will accumulate.

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About Danni


Hi All! I am Danni and I am a staff writer here at BHI. I am a Graphic Design major and a long time resident of Washington DC. I have been on a healthy hair journey for 3 1/2 years. Within those years , I have went through a relaxed hair journey, a natural hair journey in which I big chopped twice(2nd big chop occurred in November 2013) texturized and now I have big chopped a THIRD TIME! I am 100% natural and here to stay. I am super excited to share information that I learn along the way to those who are just as into healthy hair care as I am and wish everyone best wishes on their healthy hair journey!

About Danni


Hi All! I am Danni and I am a staff writer here at BHI. I am a Graphic Design major and a long time resident of Washington DC. I have been on a healthy hair journey for 3 1/2 years. Within those years , I have went through a relaxed hair journey, a natural hair journey in which I big chopped twice(2nd big chop occurred in November 2013) texturized and now I have big chopped a THIRD TIME! I am 100% natural and here to stay. I am super excited to share information that I learn along the way to those who are just as into healthy hair care as I am and wish everyone best wishes on their healthy hair journey!

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Denise FreemanJameka JonesNi-Ni PattersonMalakah Angellia GladstonTiger Lilly Recent comment authors
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Tasha Joseph

“If we mix shampoo and conditioner together it will not only defeat the purpose of cleaning your hair but it will actually cause buildup in those precious hair strands over time.”
Just out of curiosity, how do 2 in 1 shampoo & conditioner work? Or does it defy the complete functions of the two products?

BlackHairInformation.com

I don’t think many ppl who are serious about haircare use 2 in 1’s very often. Not saying that they don’t work but they certainly don’t leave my hair feeling really conditioned…

Sahara Kristan Ware

I rarely use a 2 n 1 because it leaves my hair feeling like straw and I STILL hafta deep condition after

Melissa Sibanda

I use a tresemme 2 in 1 cleanse and condition shampoo and conditioner (it comes in a black bottle its 900ml) and its not drying at all I got a separate conditioner just incase it would leave my hair dry like other 2in1 shampoo and conditioners but its really good. I’ve only been using it since last month, used it about 3 times and I already love it because it doesn’t leave my hair feeling fragile and as if its been stripped of anything. Plus I got it quite cheap aswell maybe £3.63 from superdrug

melanie washington
melanie washington

Every time I think Ive gotten down a most of the terminology I learn something new, thank for the article.

Akilah Smith

I use 2 in 1 Herbal Essance and my hair is so soft and very clean, not stripped at all. It actually added moisture. I am VERY serious about hair care and if it works then it works. Didn’t preference for different folks

Ni-Ni Henderson

It’s going to be different results for anyone. I’ve used 2-in 1 shampoos, and my hair was still washed and clean just as well simply using shampoo with nothing added.

Lorna Croucher

yay

Divachyk // Relaxed Thairapy

The buffering method is new to me.

Ro Williams
Ro Williams

I am wondering why you think that the sulfates in the shampoo (surfactants) will not remove the conditioner when you rinse it out. That is the purpose of using SLS in the shampoo in the first place. SLS is used in other products because it foams up, helps lift dirt, etc, off the surface, allowing you to wash it away with the water (which is also a surfactant). I don’t think that all conditioners automatically ‘build up’ on the hair, especially if you are washing your hair with a ‘normal’ SLS shampoo. This says ‘speak your mind’, so I wonder if that is just what you think happens with conditioner or if you have some sort of scientific reason to think that. If you always use conditioner with non-water-soluble silicones that might happen, but there are plenty of conditioners with water-soluble silicones or that are silicone free. There would be little possibility with build up with those.

Shaniqua

Actually, this thesis of this article is based in scientific fact. Like stated in the beginning, shampoos carry a negative charge while conditioners are positive. This is because hair on its own carries a slightly negative charge, while the dirt, buildup, and debris that accumulates between washed slightly raise the natural charge to a more positive one. That is how the negatively charged shampoo is able to bind to and lift away the buildup. If conditioner and shampoo are mixed on the hair shaft prior to a proper shampoo cleansing, the molecules of each product will simply bind to one another before they are rinsed away. This will keep the shampoo from binding with the existing debris on the hair shaft and create a thin film from the two substances mixing, which is what has the potential to build up over time if this process is done on a regular basis. Mixing shampoo and conditioner once or twice may not cause severe buildup, but scientifically speaking, there’s no way doing so would leave the hair actually clean.

Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, author of The Science of Black Hair, actually has a section talking about and discouraging this practice in her book with scientific explanations for why it should not be a regular part of a healthy hair routine. The bottom line is, shampoos and conditioners are formulated as separate products for a reason. If someone wants to get the benefits of both, they can use 2-in1’s, though I personally don’t find those to be conditioning, moisturizing, or slippery enough for natural hair.

Carmella McCoy

I love me some kimmaytube but I think I’ll pass on the Buffering Method

Tiger Lilly

Ugh, looks horrible…no thanks

Malakah Angellia Gladston

This is not New, she didn’t” invent” this method. I saw NAPTUAL85 do this a long time ago on one of her wash routine. SMH

Malakah Angellia Gladston

This is so silly, just wash and condition your hair the REGULAR way. Is what you’re doing working for you? If it is then why change it? Just another way to confuse the new naturals who are already having a hard time figuring out the basic.

Ni-Ni Patterson

For what? My hair feels the same no matter what I do after all shampoo and conditioners are washed away. The only difference is that my hair is fresh and clean again.

Jameka Jones

Nay, I don’t understand why so many people don’t want shampoo to do what it was created to do. Shampoo is suppose to clean your hair, why do you still want it to feel oily after you use shampoo? I don’t get it…

Denise Freeman

Nay