Everything You Needed to Know About Men’s Shampoo

There aren’t many guys who don’t enjoy a day of laying around the house and doing nothing. At some point, though, you’ve got to take a shower. We all have our own routines when doing this, but one of the few things that remains the same for all men is the need for a cleansing shampoo.

Of course, you could opt for the dollar store brands, but when it comes to men’s shampoo, you could be doing yourself a disservice without even knowing it. Every man’s hair is different, though, so it’s important to know as much about shampoo as possible before deciding on a long-term product.

With so many questions about shampoo out there, it’s hard to find all the information you need without tons of online research. Fortunately for you fellas, we’ve decided to condense all the most important information for you. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you probably don’t have any shampoo questions.

Which begs the question, what are you doing here? For the rest of you, read on.

A Brief History of Shampoo

We get it, you might not give a rat’s ass about the history of shampoo. If that’s the case, scroll ahead. If you just love filling up that noggin for trivia night, though, the road to modern shampoo is a pretty interesting one. It got its start back on the Indian subcontinent back during ancient times.

No, we can’t give you an exact date. Wikipedia dropped the ball on that one.

Either way, these ancient people used herb extracts that cleansed their hair while making it shiny and more manageable. Europeans absolutely loved these cleansing products, so like they did with just about everything else, they stole the idea and brought it home.

In the early 1800s, Sake Dean Mahomed started marketing shampoo products in Britain. Without any modern regulatory bodies, of course, he promised that it could heal arthritis, stiff joints and even gout. Heck, maybe it could. It’s not like we’re using his formula anymore.

Over time, even before settlers got everywhere in North America, most cultures were using some form of shampoo. The ingredients ranged from quinoa extract to rice husk. Up until recently, though, even American shampoos weren’t much different than soap.

Just in case it needs mentioning, don’t use soap in your hair.

How Guys Should Wash Their Hair

You’re probably thinking that a section on how guys should wash their hair is pointless. After all, you’ve been doing it your whole life. Just do us a favor and don’t skip this part, okay? Your routine is probably getting the job done, but you can do much more for your hair by getting the job done right.

Picking a Men’s Shampoo

To start, you need to find the right shampoo. Even if you’re spending extra money to avoid the cheap stuff, the bottle in your shower might not be quite right for you. If you’ve got dry hair, for instance, you’ll need a shampoo that moisturizes. Got a little too much oil up top? Grab a product that will strip it away.

Even if your significant other loves the smell of what you’re already using, you could be doing damage if it’s not properly formulated for your hair. Rest assured that she’ll be less impressed by that smell once your hair starts falling out from damage.

Our last tip on picking the right shampoo is to avoid 2-in-1 shampoo-conditioners. Men’s Shampoo is meant to strip away everything, and conditioners replace the oils that the shampoo got rid of. There’s no way to combine the two and get an effective product.

The Proper Way to Shampoo

Get started by pouring the shampoo in your hand – duh – but use as little as is necessary to coat your full mane. This will save you money over the long run. When you’re working up a lather, make sure you’re massaging for scalp at the same time. This stimulates your follicles and increases the health of your hair.

Keep this up for about 30 seconds and then fully rinse the product out of your hair. Don’t get excited just yet, though, because your job isn’t done. You’ll need to condition your hair as well. In this case, you don’t have to work all the way to your scalp. About a quarter inch from your skin will do just fine and prevent the conditioner from clogging up your pores.

Leave the conditioner in for at least three minutes so that it gets the job done. Now hopefully, you didn’t skip this part. We know lots of guys don’t think it’s necessary to condition their hair, but once you make it a habit, you’ll quickly see the benefits.

Do Guys Need to Condition Their Hair?

Conditioning your hair might seem like an unnecessary habit – especially if your hair is greasy by nature – but it has a host of benefits that countless guys will unfortunately never experience. To start, it moisturizes your hair to keep it healthy.

But guy who’s writing the article, what if my hair gets greasy during the day?”

Good question. Glad you asked it. The fact remains that you should still condition your hair after shampooing. As described in BSG’s guide, “Why You Should be Conditioning Your Hair,” the product actually protects your mane from towel damage. Keep in mind that, even if your hair gets greasy during the day, it’s stripped of its natural oils right after shampooing.

You’ll also find that it prevents split ends and hair damage far from the roots. This is especially important if you’re growing your locks out long. In fact, conditioning frequently can even repair the damage that was previously done when you skipped this essential haircare step.


Once again, though, you’ll need to find the product that’s right for your specific hair. Many conditioners have extra ingredients that cater to specific hair types. In fact, Barber Surgeons Guild’s HCO1 conditioner stimulates hair growth for guys who are getting a little sparse up top.

The important thing for oily-haired guys to remember is that they don’t need to leave the product in as long as others. Whether they’re using a conditioner to increase hair health or just so it’s more manageable, they don’t need to fully take advantage of the moisturizing properties.

Men’s Shampoo vs Woman’s Shampoos

In many cases, the availability of two separate products for men and women is a marketing ploy. Did you know that there are brands that make gender-specific products for ear buds, tea and even tissues? While we might have different uses for tissue, seriously, what’s the point?

When it comes to men’s versus women’s shampoo, though, there are a few differences to point out. Great products that are gendered can certainly get the job done for either sex, but the big variances are related to the differing needs of men and their fairer counterparts.

To start, let’s look at the fragrance. Do you really want to walk around all day smelling like coconut honeysuckles passionfruit? If that’s what floats your boat, then knock yourself out. You can still purchase shampoo that has an appealing aroma, but most guys don’t want to walk around all day smelling like a girl.

It’s also worth noting that men typically get dirtier than women, and even if they don’t, their hair usually produces more oil. Add in the fact that most of us use some form of product that needs to be washed out, and it becomes obvious that guys need something that will cleanse without drying out their hair due to frequent washes.

Finally, shampoos catered to men typically don’t have as many moisturizing agents. A heavy moisturizer might be necessary for ladies with long hair, but for guys who only have an inch or two up top, it’s a bit of overkill. Of course, extra moisturizer never hurt anyone. Once again, this is especially true if you’re growing out your mane.

Gender equality is great and all, but there are reasons to keep your shampoo in your corner of the shower. It’ll give your hair everything you need to look great when you’re out and about. If you need a few more tips on turning heads out on the town, check out our tips in the Barber Surgeons Guild Dispatch.

Can You Use Hair Shampoo in Your Beard?

With a cursory search of proper beard care, you’ll quickly learn that shampooing your chin buddy is the perfect way to grow a manly beard. Once you’ve found a product that works for your hair up top, you should be good to use it in your beard as well, right?

Do not do this.

Brian and Johnathan at The Gay Beards make a point of telling their followers that just any old shampoo won’t do their beard justice. This might sound like a simple talking point, but the pair is absolutely right. Regular shampoos are made specifically for hair health, but they can prove damaging to your beard.

Let’s just consider the point of shampooing your hair. You obviously want to get it clean, but the main focus is to remove that oily stuff known as sebum. This keeps grit out of your locks and ensures you don’t look like a greasy mess. When it comes down to it, though, your mane up top and your beard are two different beasts.

The sebum that regular shampoos work to remove? Your beard needs it to remain healthy. In fact, removing it with a shampoo formulated for your scalp will dry out your beard and make it more susceptible to breakage and split ends. You’ll also get an untamed look that even oils and balms will have difficulty overcoming.

Shampoos that are created just for beards, though, don’t have the harsh chemicals needed for traditional haircare. In fact, most have natural oils that will keep everything soft and manageable. If you’ve been using regular shampoo to wash your beard, now is the time to stop.

The damage done isn’t irreversible, but the longer you continue with this haircare faux pas, the more difficult it’s going to take your look up a notch.

Things to Avoid in Shampoo

When choosing a shampoo, you want to focus on optimal hair health. You’re not going to find a product on the market that doesn’t promise this, but we obviously know that not all shampoos are created equally. In fact, some of them have ingredients that are downright dangerous for guys.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have time to stand in the aisle and learn what every ingredient in each shampoo does. There are a few specific additives, though, that you should avoid at all costs. Here are a few of the most important ones to dodge.


Many manufacturers have already stopped putting sulfates in their shampoos. This is because the additive strips out the good stuff in your hair right along with the bad. It’s like buying a lifejacket with 20-pound weights on it. It sort of defeats the purpose.


There’s are really technical chemical names for SLS and SLES, but there’s really no need to bore you with those. The important thing to remember is that both ingredients will dry out your hair and skin. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has even recommended that they no longer be used.

Unfortunately, not all manufacturers have stopped including them. Why? They help build up a lather. That’s right, you’re ruining your hair just so there are a few more bubbles in your bath.


Parabens and phthalates are two different substances, so why are we listing them under one heading? Because they both have the same potential side effect.

A decrease in male fertility.

Yes, you read that right. Every time you shampoo your hair with a product that contains these additives, you’re killing your little guys. Even if you don’t want to have kids, do you really want to reduce the amount of love juice you’re packing?

Environmentally Damaging Additives

What good is it to have awesome hair if everyone has to wear dust masks when out and about? Because that’s exactly what’s going to happen if we ruin the environment through our practices. Heck, the practice is already widespread in some Asian countries with high pollution.

This is why you should avoid a few additives that are potentially damaging to the environment. Sulfates, for instance, have been shown to contaminate natural waterways. Mineral oils, which sound great and natural, actually resource intensive and contribute to global warming.

While your hair might still be visible with a respirator, it’s really a problem we can work to avoid.

Specialty Shampoos

There are countless products out there that are simply meant to wash your hair and send you out clean and refreshed. There are others, however, that go the extra mile. These products include additional active ingredients that cater to a host of needs that some guys have but others don’t.

While some of these may sound ridiculous to many fellas, the fact remains that there’s a market for them. We’re obviously not going to touch on the 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 products since we’ve already discussed how damaging they can be, but the following shampoos do serve a purpose.

Gluten-Free Shampoos

If you thought the gluten-free lifestyle only applied to food, you were way off. There are gluten-free varieties of everything from beer to haircuts (to be fair, the gluten-free haircut advertisement was probably a joke).

The fact remains that there are many people who suffer from celiac disease. This condition makes gluten hazardous to their health. On top of that, there are plenty of people who avoid gluten for no reason whatsoever.

Hey, if it makes them happy, then all the power in the world to them.

Hair-Loss Shampoos

Most men start to lose their hair at some point. While they might not go completely bald, the majority will see some thinning as they get older. Fortunately, there are plenty of shampoos out there that can help combat this natural process.

If you’re starting to thin out up top, make sure you research the haircare products you purchase. Some may actually be detrimental to your health. If you want to avoid all those nasty additives we mentioned previously – including the ones that reduce fertility – check out BSG’s HCO1 shampoo and similarly healthy line of products.

All-Natural Shampoos

Gluten isn’t the only substance in existence that men are allergic to. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients are contained in common shampoos. This is why all-natural products have become so popular. They might not get the job done as well, but they do help people avoid their specific allergens.

If you haven’t been told specifically by your doctor to avoid a certain ingredient, you likely don’t have anything to worry about. “All-natural” might sound nice on the surface, but unless your allergens include a common shampoo ingredient, you’ll just end up needlessly spending more money.

The “No Poo” Movement

If you make a point to stay up-to-date with what’s happening around the world, you may have heard of the “no poo” movement. Unfortunately, it’s not referring to some magical method of never having to go Number 2 again. It’s a trend of people who have given up shampooing or at least greatly reduced their use of the product.

The theory behind this movement is that our hair produces more sebum – that oily stuff – to make up for our shampoo removing it all. The thinking goes that stopping shampoo use altogether will train our hair to produce less sebum and therefore have less oily hair.

In essence, some believe that it removes the need for shampooing altogether. In fact, you’ll often hear a very simplified argument that might seem a bit difficult to debate:

What did people do before shampoo?

Of course, this harkens back to the good old argument against vaccines and prescription drugs, “What did people do before vaccines and drugs?”

They died, Karen. A lot of people died.

The same holds true in this case. Prior to shampoo, people often just walked around smelling like trash and with gunk in their hair. Don’t get us wrong; there are a few lessons to learn from the “No Poo” movement. Many guys, for instance, are shampooing way more than they should be.

Of course, not all guys are the same. Men’s lifestyle blogger Robin James even makes the point that all guys have different hair when describing why we shouldn’t shampoo every day. If your hair is greasy or gets dirty, you’ll obviously have to wash more frequently than others.

This also holds true if you use certain products – such as oil-based pomades – on a daily basis. You definitely need something strong to get these out of your mane. And while some guys may not have to shampoo as frequently as others, the idea of ceasing the habit altogether is downright insane.

To get down to the very heart of the matter, one need only realize that shampooing has nothing to do with sebum production. Our diet, genetics and hormones certainly do, but choosing to not wash your hair isn’t going to affect how much oil is produced in the least.

That’s science. Deal with it, no poo-heads.

What to Do with This Shampoo Information

By now, you should be an absolute expert in the area of shampoo. We’re not sure how valuable this will be in getting a job outside of the beauty industry, but who knows? You might wind up on Final Jeopardy one day and walk out with a ton of cash.

You’re welcome.

All joking aside, though, haircare is no laughing matter. You’re not going to snag the girl of your dreams – or guy, whatever floats your boat – if you’re not actively taking great care of yourself. Check out BSG’s line of professional products to do just that. When it works out, we want an invite to the nuptials.