Tracking down the best conditioner for men can be a daunting process, but the hair care benefits it provides are undeniable. There’s not a guy on the planet who can just ignore their locks up top and still look great. And when it comes to the ladies, rest assured your bed won’t be getting its full use if your dome screams ‘awful’ instead of ‘awesome.’
There are plenty of questions that probably come to mind when you’re choosing a men’s conditioner. Do you even need one? Are there any real differences between different brands? Can you use it when you run out of hand lotion?
The answer to that last question depends on what you’re using it for. Seriously, though, just go buy some more lotion.
Regardless of the questions you have in mind, we’re here to answer all of them. Once you’re done reading this handy guide, you’ll understand that the best conditioner for men depends on a variety of unique factors. Even with that being the case, though, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.
Do Guys Need to Use Conditioner?
There’s a good chance that – unless you’ve got a live-in girlfriend – there hasn’t been conditioner in your shower for ages. This isn’t uncommon. After all, the need to condition our hair likely wasn’t a broached topic while our dads were telling us how to be men. When it comes down to it, though, we need conditioner to repair the daily damage sustained by our manes.
There are microscopic cells that cover every strand of hair, and when they’re damaged, our locks can look rough, dry and in overall bad shape. Even the shampoos we use can strip away many of the natural oils meant to keep our hair in good shape. Conditioner is one way to replace these oils and repair the damaged cells that we all have.
In essence, the best conditioners for men are those that can undertake this task without causing new issues (e.g. oily hair). Conditioning your hair is much like using hand lotion in that consistent use moisturizes our hair and ensures it leaves the dull and dry appearance behind. Do guys need to use conditioner?
Absolutely. And if you encounter a guy who says otherwise, rest assured that the ladies aren’t running their fingers through his desert of a dome up top.
Aren’t All Conditioners the Same?
Our little exhibition on the soapbox has hopefully convinced you that conditioners are a men’s hair care necessity. Before you just grab the cheapest bottle in the section next to shampoos, though, it’s important to recognize that not all conditioners are the same. While most will repair your damaged hair, there are numerous other traits you should consider.
Before we delve into the differences between conditioners, we need to hammer it into your head that you should never use 2-in-1 combos. Marketing geniuses realized long ago that they could attract new customers by promising shampoo and conditioner in one. In reality, these two products serve completely different purposes. Failure to use them separately can prove disastrous for your hair.
Another important consideration when buying conditioner is the ingredients contained within. We’ll delve more into this later, but for now, simply understand that the composition of different products can create vastly different results. You’ll also notice that labels often list words like volumizing, moisturizing, soothing and restoring. These conditioner types cater to your hair’s unique issues.
What’s the Best Conditioner for Men?
In our quest to find the best conditioners for men, there was plenty of competition. If there were as many girls vying for my attention as hair care brands, I’d have a weekly appointment at the free clinic. With that being the case, rest assured that none of these conditioners come from affiliates or paid for their placement.
Although that would’ve been nice. Might’ve been able to cover my Tinder date’s dinner at McDonald’s then. But… with no further ado, here are the best conditioners for men (subjectively):
Verb Hydrating Conditioner
We’ll be completely honest here: Verb Hydrating Conditioner isn’t marketed directly to males. Even with that being the case, though, you’ll find plenty of guys using it. It washes away without that annoying residue, and your hair is noticeably soft after use.
Guys who want to add more volume to their hair while moisturizing will love this option. Ingredients include hydrolyzed quinoa protein, pro-vitamin B5 and argan oil. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to some other options, and you can easily have it shipped from Amazon if your local retailers don’t carry it.
Jack Black Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner
We’re not sure if the lead singer of Tenacious D made this conditioner, but we’re leaning towards ‘no.’ If he did, though, it would obviously be the best conditioner for men in the world… tribute. The Jack Black brand puts out some of the most popular beard lubes and shave creams on the market, and they didn’t disappoint with their Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner.
Ingredients include tea tree leaf oil, vitamin B5, jojoba oil and peppermint oil. This combination equates to a nourishing conditioner that keeps your scalp clean and even fends off dandruff. The brand also heavily focuses on animal safety and eco-friendliness. There’s a very light alcohol smell to the fragrance, but having a conditioner that doesn’t weigh your hair down makes up for it.
Woody’s Daily Conditioner for Men
Woody’s is another brand that has earned a stellar reputation in the world of hair care. It features tea tree oil which reduces both itchiness and dryness on your scalp. It also features jojoba oil, wheat germ oil, vitamin B5 and peppermint oil. The best part is that the formula is geared towards men with all types of hair.
This is a great product, but the feature that helped earn its place among the best conditioners for men is the short leave-in time. Once you massage the product into your hair, you should wash it out within a minute. In fact, leaving it in longer can result in your hair being weighed down. This makes Woody’s a quick addition to your daily routine.
BSG HCO1 Edition Conditioner
Barber Surgeons Guild’s entry to the best conditioner for men list utilizes their HCO1 formula. This contains the Trichoanagenic Factor – a specialized mixture that promotes hair growth. Its ingredients include biotin, caffeine, saw palmetto and a variety of antioxidants and hair vitamins. It’s the ketoconaloze, though, that helps make your hair look fuller.
The HCO1 Edition Conditioner moisturizes your scalp like the best of men’s conditioners, but it also caters to guys who are losing their hair or want to take preventative measures. If you’re worried about thinning up top, use this conditioner along with the entire HCO1 product line. You can also rest comfortably knowing that these products are organic, natural and utilize no animal testing.
K & S Men’s Hair Conditioner
The final entry on our list is the K & S line of men’s hair conditioner. The ‘K’ in the name stands for ‘Krieger.’ While you might get excited over the prospect of conditioning your hair with something named after a great Archer character, the word actually means ‘warrior’ in German. That’s still pretty cool, right? Regardless of your warrior status, K & S Men’s Hair Conditioner is formulated with dry scalps in mind.
Has dandruff ever flaked off your head and onto your lady friend’s face while enjoying the night? Well, you can make sure it never happens again. The peppermint oil accomplishes this by combatting dry scalps. You also get a nice shine and scent out of the bottle. The scent is minty, but it’s not overpowering. You’ll definitely smell it, though, so if you hate mint, it might not be right for you.
K & S – along with every other best conditioner for men on this list – should be used after every wash. How often you use conditioner should closely correlate to how often you shampoo.
What to Look for in Men’s Conditioners
The above list of best conditioners for men is subjective. Every guy’s hair is different, and there’s a good chance the product that works best for your mane wasn’t on the list. In our defense, though, listing every conditioner that might be helpful for every guy would probably take up more bandwidth than our servers can handle.
If none of the conditioners land on your favorites list, there are still a few things you should look for in your eventual product. The first factors you should take into account are the adjectives used on the label. If you see the word ‘volumizing,’ it means it’s geared towards guys with thin hair. If a conditioner says it’s formulated with less oil, it’s being marketed to those with a thick and oily mane.
Guys whose hair falls into the ‘normal’ range – whatever that is – can stick with the conditioners simply labeled ‘moisturizing.’ Regardless of the conditioning type you’re looking for, though, finding natural and organic products is ideal. This will mean fewer chemicals that could potentially strip your hair of its natural protective mechanisms.
What to Avoid in Men’s Conditioners
What isn’t inside of your conditioner is just as important as what is inside of it. The hair care products we use today are typically much different than those from just a decade ago. This is because it seems we learn that certain ingredients are unsafe on a nearly daily basis. Heck, remember when women and hair bands were depleting the ozone layer just for all-day hold?
By choosing natural and organic products, you’ll avoid many ingredients that could fall into the ‘bad’ column. Just to be on the safe side, though, strive to avoid products that contain the following substances:
- Any type of sulfate.
- Ammonium xylene sulfonate.
These ingredients have been known to cause everything from dried out hair to decreased male fertility. Yes, you heard that right. Parabens and phthalates both have the potential to decimate your corduroy commandos. It’s way cheaper than a vasectomy, but be careful since some of those little guys are resilient.
As a simple rule, your quest to find the best conditioner for men should avoid anything that says ‘sulfate’ or ‘ammonium’ on the ingredient label. Each of these substances were obviously added for a specific reason, but their promised benefits aren’t nearly worth the potential drawbacks.
For additional information on making your locks look great while avoiding the bad stuff, check out BSG’s Clinical Grooming Service offerings.
Can I Use Hair Conditioner in My Beard?
Once you find the best conditioner for men – at least for your unique hair – you may be wondering if you can save a few bucks on beard conditioning. If you look up this question online, you’ll find that the top Google results have conflicting answers. So, what’s a guy to do in this situation? Trust this writer (i.e. me), that’s what.
The simple answer is ‘no,’ you shouldn’t use hair conditioner on other areas of your body. Our scalps and faces are very different. Beards are much thicker than the hair on our heads, and our domes have far more sebaceous glands than our faces. Men’s hair conditioner was formulated with our scalp in mind. They’re simply not equipped to handle beards.
It’s also worth noting that faces are far more sensitive than scalps. This means using hair conditioner on the beard can result in irritation. Additionally, your facial hair needs more moisture than your ‘mop up top.’ This means utilizing hair conditioner for your beard can result in dry skin and hair that’s visibly devoid of moisture.
Moral of the story: When you choose the best conditioner, make sure you get a separate product for beard care.
What Other Hair Products Do I Need?
Since you’re here anyway, we might as well consider some products outside of the ‘best conditioner for men’ spectrum. There’s no need to worry about having multiple items to make your hair look great. Rest assured that any guy who looks his best has a stash under his bathroom sink.
Consider snagging the following products to supplement your newfound love of conditioner:
- Pomade: A good pomade can improve your hair’s health while attaining the perfect style.
- Texture liniment: If pomade isn’t your thing, texture liniment is a texturizing cream that provides great hold.
- Hair serum: If you’re engaged in a timeless battle against a thinning scalp, hair serum is a worthy comrade.
- Specialty shampoo: You hopefully already use shampoo, but just like conditioners, you should choose specialized products that meet your specific hair care needs.
Get the Stellar Locks Every Guy Deserves
If we’re being completely honest with ourselves, guys are a revolting species. If we didn’t put effort into it, we’d be covered in grease and smell like month-old gym socks within a day. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a major event to look our greatest. With just a few minutes of work and the right products – including the best conditioner for men – we can make sure we’re not grossing out the ladies.