One of the biggest tragedies of the modern era is that most men grow up without knowing how to properly care for their hair.
Okay, maybe it’s not one of the BIGGEST tragedies, but it’s still a major issue. Thankfully, it’s an easy fix.
Your favorite crew cut hairstyle isn’t going to look sleek and styled if your hair care regimen is lacking. A lot of guys are still using two-in-one shampoo and conditioner.
Top 5 Conditioners for Men (Summary)
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For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
If this is you, it’s okay. You didn’t know any better. But now you do, and you can confidently throw that Axe bottle in the trash. You don’t need it anymore.
Shampoo and conditioner actually serve two entirely different purposes. Any product that claims to perform both functions probably doesn’t do either very well.
A shampoo is made in a way that allows it to stick to the oil and dirt in your hair.
It then washes out easily with water, leaving your hair clean but dehydrated.
The conditioner contains a number of different emollients. These essentially replace the oil that was in your hair.
These emollients help your hair hold moisture and leave it feeling soft and healthy.
The two processes need to happen separately in order to be effective. That is why you should avoid any two-in-one products.
With that in mind, here’s a guide to help you find the right conditioner for your style, hair type, and budget.
How To Choose the Best Conditioner for Men
These days, there are conditioners that cater to every type of hair. For instance, some guys go for the best anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner.
However, there are more types of hair issues than just dandruff. And for as many hair types, there are just as many conditioners.
Hair type is one of the first things you should consider when narrowing down your choices.
This is what men with the following hair types should look for in their conditioner:
Oily and Flat
One of the downsides of conditioner is that it can leave your hair feeling a little oily.
If your hair is already naturally oily, you may not even need to use conditioner.
If you do, try to find brands that focus on strengthening, balancing, or volumizing.
Men with dry hair are the ones who should worry the most about finding the right conditioner. You guys are the ones that need it the most.
Just like the best pomade helps retain essential oils, the best conditioner locks in nutrients.
Look for conditioners that emphasize their moisturizing capabilities. Don’t focus too much on volumizing or strengthening.
You need the extra-strength conditioners to make sure your hair has enough moisture.
If you would describe your hair as pretty normal, that means it’s not too greasy, thin, dry, or thick. If this is you, consider yourself lucky.
It leaves you a lot of room to experiment with different styles that you can achieve with durable hair clippers.
For normal hair, your options for conditioner are open. It will come down to your personal preference, so try a few out and see which ones leave your hair feeling its best.
If your hair is pretty fine but not necessarily falling out, try to find conditioners that focus on volumizing. These will help your hair become fuller and more vibrant.
Thinning hair is different from just fine hair. Thinning hair implies that it has started to fall out. If this is you, there are plenty of conditioners available that nurture hair growth or prevent its loss.
If you are dealing with a sensitive scalp, the biggest thing to look out for in conditioners is sulfates. Sulfates are the ingredients that will irritate the scalp the most.
Thankfully, there are plenty of conditioners for sensitive scalps.
Types of Conditioner (Rinse-Out, Leave-In, and Deep Conditioner)
You might be surprised to learn that there actually different kinds of conditioners. You apply each of these in different ways. Let’s have a brief look at the three main types and their pros and cons.
This is the type of conditioner that most people use, and its name is self-explanatory. You apply this conditioner in the shower after your shampoo, lather in through your hair, and rinse.
This is the least time-intensive option for conditioners. It also is the easiest to find in stores and offers a good middle ground for conditioner.
Deep conditioners offer a more intense conditioning experience. It’s the type of product that you need after you’ve used the best beard dye. However, the trade-off is that they are significantly more time-consuming.
Deep conditioners are meant to stay in your hair for about 30 minutes to an hour. During this time, the conditioner hits the roots of your follicles for maximum effectiveness.
It is recommended that you wear a shower cap while leaving the conditioner in. This might be the deciding factor for some of you. Alas, this is the price we pay for beauty.
Similar to deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners are meant to stay in your hair after applying them.
The difference is that you use leave-in conditioners after you get out of the shower and let them sit in your hair all day. No shower cap needed for these.
Most of them have other functions besides conditioning. The benefits can include detangling your hair throughout the day and providing UV protection for your scalp.
Leave-in conditioners only need to be used two or three times a week. These are typically the most expensive, but they are also the most effective.
If you haven’t been using conditioner regularly, you might want to try a few rinse-out conditioners to start.
Once you’ve gotten in the habit of using it, you might choose to move into the alternative types. A little dedication to your hair goes a long way.
What Ingredients Should the Best Conditioner for Men Have
Just like the top safety razors are made of quality steel, the best conditioner for men is made of quality ingredients. Knowing what ingredients work best is crucial to finding the right conditioner.
Typically, the more natural ingredients the better. Here are a few key ingredients that any decent conditioner will have.
Cetearyl alcohol acts as a natural emollient. It is a very common ingredient in most conditioners. It is “fattier” than other alcohols and doesn’t dry out your hair.
Carrier oils are found in most grooming products including natural face wash. They are essential to the moisturizing process.
They imitate the effects of sebum oil that is naturally secreted by your hair follicles by replacing the excess oils that are drawn out by shampoo.
There are different types of carrier oils. The two most common oils are jojoba and argan.
These are the mildest of oils used and have a slight scent. However, their scents are usually masked by the various fragrances also added to the conditioners.
Vitamin B5 is another essential ingredient found in almost every conditioner. This vitamin repairs your follicles. If you find a conditioner that doesn’t have it, don’t bother buying it. It won’t do what you need it to do.
What Ingredients You Should Avoid
Most of the ingredients that should be blacklisted for grooming products, as it turns out, are synthetic chemicals.
We’ve mentioned sulfates before, and you should definitely avoid any conditioner that’s heavy in sulfates.
Conditioners that contain sulfates are the ones that foam up and have a pleasant scent. However, the tradeoff is not worth it. Sulfates have been found to irritate the scalp. In some cases, they can damage your immune system.
Parabens are another type of chemical to look out for. Parabens have been known to cause skin irritation, hormone imbalances that lead to hair loss, and in some cases were linked to breast cancer.
Yes, men can get breast cancer just like women can. Any type of paraben (ethylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben) should be a red flag in ingredient lists.
Silicones create an illusion of healthy-looking hair. These silicones make your hair look smooth and shiny, but they also coat your scalp and clog your pores. This will cause your hair to dry from the inside out.
Some professional beauty products use these silicones. These are a bit safer because they are applied to the top of the hair and not all the way down to the roots.
9 Best Conditioners for Men Reviewed
The restorative formula of ArtNaturals Shampoo and Conditioner hydrates your hair and scalp leaving them refreshed and soft.
As the base of the product, argan oil works in repairing dry and brittle hair that’s damaged by sun, flat ironing or blow drying.
Restoring its elasticity, it also boosts its growth and stimulates follicles to grow new hair. In the process, this item takes care of split ends and fights hair loss you might be dealing with.
Leaving you with no greasy residue, the conditioner will deeply moisturize your scalp, removing all the excess oils and dirt that might have accumulated during the day.
The amazing thing about all of this is that you can experience all the benefits this product has to offer no matter the type of the hair you have because it works on all of them.
- Repairs damaged, dry and brittle hair
- Prevents hair loss
- Washes away dirt and oil buildups
- Appropriate for all hair types
- Thinner consistency
- Not that great smell
A pleasant, tingling sensation is one of the things you’ll notice when American Crew gets in contact with your scalp and hair for the first time.
Only a few uses are enough to feel the first benefits. Your hair will be much cleaner, healthier, softer and more manageable.
If you leave the conditioner for a few minutes to work and then rinse it off, the chances are that it’ll eliminate dandruff you might have struggling with.
A lot of men lose their hair as they get older, but with regular use of this product, the rate of your hair loss will significantly reduce.
A masculine scent that reminds of menthol is an excellent addition that’ll make you like it even more. Coming in a huge bottle of 33.8 oz, the conditioner will last you for months.
- Fights dandruff effectively
- Huge bottle that lasts for months
- Great, low price
- Manly, menthol scent
- Consistency feels a bit watery
- Slightly sticky
Especially useful for men with thinner hair Krieger + Söhne make it softer, smoother and thicker looking.
A little amount goes a long way and makes your hair smell refreshing thanks to the peppermint oil fragrance. The scent is pleasant, but not overpowering.
It’ll feel slightly tingly when applied, which is why you might need some time to adapt to it at first.
Meant to be used on all hair types, this product is very effective in removing dandruff from your scalp and making your hair much cleaner and healthier.
You might find its consistency too thick because it’s often hard to take it out from the bottle, but this is the main reason why only a small amount lathers up so well and why the conditioner lasts for so long even though there’s only 8 oz in the bottle.
- Keeps dandruff away
- Leaves a hair soft and lasts for a long time
- Very affordable price
- For all hair types
- Too thick to get out of the bottle
- Small bottle
Free of parabens, artificial colors and fragrances, Jack Black Conditioner is great for all hair and skin types, including the sensitive one. In addition, it’s also suitable for vegans.
It’s infused with organic ingredients, natural oils, vitamins and proteins that are powerful in hydrating your skin and reducing hair frizz.
Feeling lightweight when applied, it doesn’t weigh your hair down or make it look greasy.
The regular application delivers terrific results when it comes to minimizing dryness and itchiness of the scalp that result in hard-to-get-rid of dandruff.
Retaining moisture, this product makes your hair appear thicker and stronger. On a side note, it has a pretty strong scent and is slightly pricier than some other options.
- Minimizes itchiness, dryness and dandruff
- Removes dirt, oil and product buildups
- Strengthens and thickens the hair
- Lightweight, hydrates the scalp and reduces hair frizz
- A bit on the pricier side
- Very strong smell
If you have a thicker hair or a hair that gets tangled easily, Woody’s Conditioner is one of the best products you can get for the price.
When you use it for the first time, you’ll going to notice instantaneously fewer knots, your hair will be easier to comb through, more manageable, softer and stronger.
Ensure that you apply it on a damp hair and let it sit for half a minute before you rinse it out.
During that time, you’ll feel a slight tingle, but don’t worry as this is the sign that the formula is working. After that, your scalp will be left smelling great and feeling refreshed.
Manly, minty fragrance isn’t overpowering and most men usually like it. If you don’t like it for some reason, you might be willing to overlook this downside due to the big bottle that lasts for a while.
- Gets rid of tangles and makes the hair more manageable
- Makes your hair ultra soft and strong
- Great, not overwhelming minty scent
- Good sized bottle
- Bottle is made of thin plastic
Making your hair more manageable, frizz and tangles free, while also strengthening it and preventing split ends it something It’s a 10 Conditioner does best.
If your hair is damaged, dry or just breaks out easily, this product is an ideal solution that will minimize all of the listed problems.
Suitable for all types of hair, it’ll make your hair smoother and softer, for easier combing through.
However, some buyers have recently noticed that the formula is a bit different than the one they’re accustomed to.
This being said, the conditioner is now runny, compared to its previous thick consistency. Also, the scent is a bit off-putting, while it was more pleasant in the past.
- Reduces hair breakage
- Repairs damaged and dry hair
- Eliminates split ends
- Made for all hair types
- Somewhat watery consistency
- Not very good and pleasant smell
The first application of Tree to Tub Conditioner is usually followed by a tingling sensation that indicates the product is working.
What differs it from some similar items is the fact that’s made from natural ingredients predominantly. Some of them include Moroccan organic oil, aloe vera, coconut oil, argan oil, etc.
When a formula of a product is crafted from such powerful ingredients, it’s only normal that it can help you solve a lot of hair problems you’re dealing with.
In the case of this product, those problems are dandruff, itchiness, irritation and tangles. After only a few uses, you’ll notice relief and your hair will be easier to comb and style.
The only thing you might not like is the size of the container, which is pretty small compared to its slightly higher price.
- Defeats dandruff and makes your scalp clean
- Doesn’t cause itchiness and irritation
- Tames tangles and frizz
- Free from parabens, silicones and other artificial ingredients
- Makes hair feel a bit heavy and appear greasy
- Small container of only 8 oz
Resolving some of the most common hair issues, Ultrax Labs moisturizes your scalp and prevents your hair from getting frizzy or breaking.
Make sure to leave it on your head for around two minutes, so it soaks well. From the first day of application, your hair will look healthier and appear to be thicker than usual.
The product leaves hair softer than ever before without weighing it down. This is all made possible due to the organic ingredients used in crafting the formula.
The list of ingredients includes caffeine, jojoba and Simmondsia chinensis seed oil, chamomile extract and more. Caffeine is the one that encourages healthy hair growth and its thicker appearance.
Jojoba works as a moisturizer, Simmondsia chinnensis seed oil is responsible for alleviating sebum buildups, while chamomile extract makes your hair stronger and refreshes your scalp.
- Stops hair breakage and frizz
- Makes hair very soft
- Strengthens hair and makes it healthier
- Lightweight and doesn’t weigh down the hair
- Pretty high price for the bottle size
- Comes in a very small bottle
DevaCurl Conditioner is unique because it’s one of the rare products that’s made for men with curly hair.
As this is the hair type that usually develops the most knots and tangles and gets frizzy, you need something that can make it more manageable. That’s precisely where this product comes in.
It seals in the moisture, nourishes and hydrates your scalp and hair, making them healthier and stronger.
You’ll be able to style your hair any way you like and if it ever gets tangled again, just use this product to detangle it with ease.
Apply it on a damp hair and glide your fingers through the curls to remove all the knots and tangles. After that, just rinse the product out of your hair.
- Detangles curly hair and makes it easier to style
- Eliminates frizz and makes the hair much softer
- Doesn’t weigh down the hair and it’s not greasy
- Generous bottle size
- Consistency seems a bit liquidy
- A bit more on the expensive side
How to Apply Hair Conditioner
Whether it’s the best beard styles or the best hairstyle, how you apply conditioner impacts your overall look. The way you apply conditioners depends on which type you end up buying.
Again, the three types of conditioner are rinse-out, deep, and leave-in.
For rinse-out conditioners, you would use these in the shower right after you apply and rinse out your shampoo.
Make sure you lather it in thoroughly so that it gets all the way down to your scalp and the roots of your follicles.
Then make sure it’s rinsed out well. Otherwise, when your hair dries, it will feel a little greasy.
For a deep conditioner, apply it after your shampoo, but then don’t rinse it out right away. Set a timer when you get out of the shower for about 30 minutes.
Make sure you get a shower cap for the most effective application of these conditioners. After sufficient time has passed, you can rinse it out with cold water.
Leave-in conditioners are the simplest to use. It’s basically a “set it and forget it” deal, but make sure you only use it two or three times a week.
Any more than that will do more damage to your hair than good.
Differences Between Shampoo and Conditioner
Lastly, the question of “should men use conditioner?” may be in the back of your mind. The better question, perhaps, is why you need it.
The rigors of day to day life leave your hair more than just dirty. Sunlight, adverse weather conditions, and all sorts of other factors cause damage to your scalp and your follicles.
So, where shampoo cleans your hair and removes all the dirt and other contaminants, conditioner repairs the damage done in order for your hair to remain soft and healthy.
It’s not a matter of which one is more important than the other as they perform two completely different functions. It would be like saying which is more important, the police or the fire department.
Comparing the two is pointless, as both are important in their own rights. It’s not enough these days to just have clean hair.
The problem with two-in-one shampoo and conditioner products is that they clean your hair effectively, but there is no second step to restore the oils in your hair and give your follicles that protective sheen.
If you’re serious about really finding the right conditioner for you, start by looking online. On our website, we have articles that focus on everything to do with men’s grooming and lifestyle, from hair care to finding the best silk men’s pajamas.
Browsing the internet will help you find in-depth reviews on the most popular conditioners for men on the market. If you don’t feel like ordering online, check out your local pharmacy or grocery store to see how extensive their collection is.
After seeing your local store’s collection, you should still cross-reference online with any reviews there might be of the products.
You probably won’t find the right conditioner for you on the first try. Your initial search should start based on your hair type. From there, you can start to narrow your options based on scent, personal experience with the product, and price.
As you can see, there’s probably a lot more to conditioner than you ever realized. You probably bought those two-in-ones because you knew conditioner was important, but never really understood why.
Our culture often doesn’t teach young boys about personal grooming. To be fair, beyond learning how to shave, our fathers probably didn’t know much about personal grooming either.
Taking you to the shop with fancy barber chairs when you were a wee lad was probably a great experience.
However, it didn’t teach you about what conditioners to use.
Once you find the right conditioner for you, you will almost immediately notice a difference in your hair. It will be healthier, softer, and fuller.
As you learn a little more about other aspects of personal hygiene, like how to care for your skin, your teeth, and your beard, you may be surprised to wake up one day and feel like a whole new man.
Photos from: Vaicheslav / depositphotos.com, GeorgeRudy / depositphotos.com, Wavebreakmedia / depositphotos.com, VadimVasenin / depositphotos.com.
- Top 5 Conditioners for Men (Summary)
- How To Choose the Best Conditioner for Men
- Types of Conditioner (Rinse-Out, Leave-In, and Deep Conditioner)
- What Ingredients Should the Best Conditioner for Men Have
- What Ingredients You Should Avoid