Essential Picks

The 12 Best Shampoos for Men


March 23, 2020 Style By
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It’s not easy to write about the best shampoo for men, given that no two guys have the same needs for their hair. Couple that with the fact that shampoo, on its own, is a no go. You need to pair it with an excellent conditioner (typically, the brand you use will have a matching conditioner; it’s best you just stick with that, and always follow the washing with the conditioning). But when we break down the various washing needs of most men, it’s easier to spotlight the shampoos we love best — and those we wholeheartedly recommend for you.

Think first about your own hair: Is it long, short, fine, thick, curly, thinning or some combination of those? Is it dry or oily, or neither? Are you prone to sun or heat damage, winter parching or even dandruff? Is it dyed any color of the rainbow, or perhaps platinum blonde or silver? Or is it naturally gray or silver, or even naturally blonde and at risk of turning brassy? Bald men, you’re not off the hook, either. Your scalp is just as prone to dryness, excessive oil, and dandruff and you need to keep a shampoo stocked accordingly.

So, with your specific needs in mind, peruse the list below. These are our favorite products in each corner of the field. Just don’t forget to pair them with a conditioner, in order to ensure fully healthy, soft, and vibrant hair. (Bald men, you’re off the hook on conditioner.) Ideally, you’ll shampoo 2-3 times week, always followed by conditioner (never together), and you can even condition on the days between. Guys with excessive oil may want to wash more frequently or can substitute dry shampoo spray in the mornings between washes (after a conditioner in the show) before they style the hair.

Function of Beauty Shampoo

The Best Custom Shampoo: You can’t have a roundup of the best shampoos without addressing the fact that Function of Beauty can make any kind of shampoo that you need—and can even give you the color and fragrance (or lack thereof) that you want with it. If you have curly hair, they’ll help you pick the ingredients for the task. Ditto for oily, or thinning, or gray, or color-dyed. It’s exciting, too, when the shampoo and conditioner duo arrive in the mail with your name emblazoned on the side of each bottle.

Living Proof Thickening Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for Fine Hair: If you have thin or fine hair, then you may want to give it the illusion of fullness. Sometimes, just a simple shampoo can do the trick, since it dries out the hair. However, that’s bad for your hair’s health at the same time, and those fine strands are fragile. Living Proof’s volumizing shampoo gives you all of the volume without the parching — like a dry shampoo spray, only healthier.

Aveda Damage Repair Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for Thick Hair: Enriched with quinoa protein, Aveda’s shampoo is technically targeted at damaged hair. But that makes it equally good for thick, wiry hair too, since it softens and conditions the hair while washing it gently. That “gently” is important too: This won’t leave your hair parched and rigid like many shampoos; follow it with a conditioner, too, and this 1-2 regimen will give you cooperative, styleable hair — and enviable too, given its impressive density. (Finally, you’ll agree with that sentiment.)

Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for Oily Hair: Just as we have toners for oily skin, there are “purifying” shampoos that help balance the oil production in the scalp. Chritophe Robin’s does the job with jujube bark extract, and it calms the scalp on contact too. (For that reason it’s also excellent at preventing or treating dandruff, as well as itching.) Use it daily to keep hair healthy and soft, minus the excessive shine and oil buildup.

Sisley Paris Revitalizing Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for Dry Hair: Camellia oil is the key ingredient in Sisley Paris’ restorative shampoo, which brings lifeless, damaged hair back from the dead. It’s like you got a salon blowout and slept with leave-in conditioner. The price is worth it on this one — pair it with the brand’s conditioner and you’ll go from having hair woes, to getting the best compliments on volume, shine, texture and the like.

SheaMoisture Curl Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for Curly Hair: Curls need moisture, period. Which is why it’s easy to remember SheaMoisture’s name for any and all curl products and treatments. They are the force to be reckoned with in this game, as is their curl shampoo, which uses coconut juice and oil, shea butter, aloe juice, and hibiscus extract to give your curls a smooth, bouncy, shiny finish — all the way to your hair’s ends. (Like any long style, it’s hard to keep the ends from splitting, so products like this ensure they stay nourished and hydrated.)

Davines MELU Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for Long Hair: Long hair has a hard time staying nourished and hydrated, since your scalp’s natural oils have difficulty reaching the ends of each strand. Davines’ MELU shampoo — one of many prescriptive shampoos that they carry — uses lentil seed extract to nourish these long hairs while it washes away grime. It leaves a healthy shine and fortified strands in its wake, making it just as good for shorter, damaged hair that is desperately in need of repair.

Hims DHT-blocking Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for Thinning Hair: Guys with thinning hair should do a full-court press on hair loss. In addition to considering medicines like finasteride and minoxidil (both of which Hims offers), they should also deploy shampoos like this one from the brand, which use saw palmetto to fight DHT, the hormone byproduct that suffocates hair follicles and leads to hair loss.

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Scalp Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for Bald Men: Bald heads need washing, too! And your standard-fare cleanser and bar-soap aren’t typically up to the task. Instead, keep a scalp shampoo in the shower—something that targets dandruff or oil toning. Neutrogena’s T/Gel medicated shampoo is exactly that. It prevents dandruff, itching, and flaking and ensures that your polished dome stays smooth as ever.

Dove Men+Care Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner

The Best Shampoo for Dandruff: Enriched with caffeine and zinc, Dove Men+Care’s anti-dandruff shampoo calms itchy, flaky scalps on contact, and neutralizes most dandruff within a day or three. (Continued use is highly encouraged.) It’s a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, so it also nourishes the hair while it cleans (though it never hurts to follow any wash with a standalone conditioner, especially since it also nourishes the scalp).

Kérastase Shampoo Color-Treated Hair

The Best Shampoo for Dyed Hair: It’s so easy to sabotage dyed hair. UV rays, hard water, everyday product use — it all compromises the color you paid good money to achieve. That’s why you should trust salon staples like Kérastase with your hair: This shampoo uses zinc gluconate to bond the dyeing agents within each strand, fortifying their powers. Linseed oil seeps into the hair to smooth it and reflect light, thus magnifying your hair’s brilliance, while vitamin E thwarts oxidation (which would otherwise lead to color fading).

Sachajuan Silver Shampoo

The Best Shampoo for White, Gray or Silver Hair: This “silver” shampoo is actually purple, as are all of the ones targeted at toning whites, grays, and silvers. Those hairs are at risk of turning brassy in the sun or through product use, whether the hair is natural or dyed. Sachajuan’s purple pigment shampoo tones the color to keep your hair bright and as desired, while also nourishing it and preventing thinning or breakage.

Growing out Your Hair? Here’s How to Maintain It

If you plan to grow out your hair, or if your long hair is in need of some extra attention, then here are the essential products, the best care and styling regimen, and some maintenance tips for the process. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Adam Hurly

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