Mens Shampoo & Conditioner

The haircare market is saturated with thousands of mens shampoo & conditioner and mens styling products all claiming to fix whatever problems you’re having. Where do you start? And what the hell is an Herbal Humectifying Moisture Treatment anyway?! Actually, I made that up. But, I’ve seen some product names almost as bad. I’ll try to explain the basics of shampoos, conditioners, styling aids, and finishing products in the next few paragraphs.

Haircuts for Men recommends the use of shampoos and styling products purchased from professional barbers and stylists. Professional products, while a bit more expensive, are typically higher in quality than drugstore brands. I recommend products which are formulated specifically for men’s hair and scalps. They are packaged in easy to understand language and they smell masculine – your wife or girlfriend won’t touch ’em!


A proper shampoo is given using lukewarm water (hot water dries out hair and scalp). Apply a small amount of shampoo (the size of a quarter) to the palm of your hand and rub hands together to distribute. Apply the shampoo to the scalp and very gently massage with your fingertips. Remember, shampoo is primarily used to cleanse the scalp. The hair will be sufficiently cleansed as the shampoo rinses out. Oh… the “lather, rinse, repeat” instructions on most shampoo bottles is a marketing gimmick created to encourage you to use more shampoo. One wash is generally effective unless you have extremely oily scalp. Now that you know the proper technique, let’s chose the right shampoo.

There are six common types of shampoos: normal, oily, moisturizing, volumizing, dandruff, and clarifying. Most men wear hair that is so short almost any shampoo will do. When choosing a shampoo, look for one that specifically targets problems you are having with your scalp (i.e. dryness, oiliness, etc.).

Shampoos for Normal Hair

Most men fall into this category. Shampoos for normal hair are typically gentle and won’t strip natural oils from the hair and scalp. Look for one with a pH that matches the skin to avoid drying.  Our favorite shampoo for normal hair for men:  18.21 Man Made Fortifying Shampoo

Shampoos for Oily Hair

Choose this type of shampoo if only you have a very oily scalp. These shampoos often contain cleansers designed to remove as much oil as possible and may dry out normal scalps.  We love Redken Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo for oily hair.

Moisturizing Shampoo (Shampoo for Dry Hair)

Those with dry hair and scalps should chose a moisturizing shampoo. These shampoos are formulated to add moisture to the hair and scalp. A moisturizing shampoo is not necessary unless you have very dry hair. When used on normal hair, moisturizing shampoos can often weigh hair down.  We love American Crew Daily Moisturizing Shampoo for adding moisture to hair.

Volumizing Shampoo

These shampoos add body to fine, limp hair. Can make thin hair appear fuller and thicker.  We love Jack Black True Volume Thickening Shampoo for this task.

Dandruff Shampoo

These shampoos are formulated to help prevent the itching and flaking associated with dandruff. Normally, dandruff shampoos are best alternated with another shampoo appropriate for your hair type. Used daily, these shampoos can often aggravate the dandruff problem. See your dermatologist for usage recommendations.  We recommend American Crew Anti-Dandruff Plus Sebum Control Shampoo.

Clarifying Shampoos

These shampoos are normally only necessary when very heavy styling products are used on a regular basis or prior to coloring hair. Swimmers may also use this shampoo to help remove chemicals from pool water. A clarifying shampoo should be used once per week if needed. More frequent usage may cause drying of the hair and scalp.  We love Redken Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo as a clarifying shampoo.


A conditioner is generally designed to add moisture to the hair and scalp and prevent tangling. As with shampoos, choose the conditioner best suited for your hair type. Many conditioners can also be used as a hair dressing to control frizz and add shine look for “Leave In” on the label. Some conditioners can be heavy and weigh down fine hair.

DISCLAIMER: The advice I provide is not intended to be a substitute for a personal consultation with a barber or stylist. Any information or materials posted on this service or transmitted from this service are intended for general informational purposes only. Determining a proper haircut or service depends upon a personal inspection of your head and face shape, hair type, and scalp condition. By using this service, you acknowledge that I am not liable for haircuts or services performed based upon the advice given or content posted on this service. The responsibility and liability for any service performed is that of the client and barber/stylist performing the service. Information posted on this service is not medical advice. Any information or materials posted on this service are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice, medical opinion, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information posted on this service is not a substitute for medical attention. See your health-care professional for medical advice and treatment.