Achieving the perfect hair begins with using the right shampoo. Washing it with anything other than the best would be nothing more than an injustice to your mane. The average guy knows nothing about shopping for shampoo. Most times he’s content settling for bargain buys at his local pharmacy. But when stressing over bald patches, gray areas, and split ends, guys are more inclined to spend hundreds on hair treatments and specialty products before considering an all-natural hair cleanser. Oh, how naivety can be deeply rooted into one’s character.

Long. Short. Dry. Oily. Curly. Frizzy. Colorless. Genetics determine what our hair looks like. Yet despite having absolutely no control over the divine design of our locks, we do have full authority over how we maintain them. And shampoos play our hairstylists, metaphorically speaking.

An elite shampoo is defined by its formula. The only true way to determine quality is by examining the label on the back to determine the additives employed by haircare product manufacturers. Some spare no expense and others go the cost-efficient route by employing inferior elements that do more harm than good. Let us educate you.

Shampoo Ingredients To Look For (And Avoid)

These hair cleansers are made from a vast number of ingredients. Reading each one on the back of a bottle is painful both on the eyes and mind. But we found making a list of no-no ingredients to be a much simpler starting point when focusing on the selection process. These are some of the substances designed to get in the way of your dream hair:

  • Alcohol: When listed as one of the first four ingredients, has a higher concentration rate to dry hair out faster
  • Dimethicone: A synthetic polymer said to result in itching and rashes
  • Diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), and synthetic fragrances: Result in allergic reactions or scalp irritation
  • Formaldehyde and sodium chloride: Causes baldness and itchy scalp
  • Parabens: Harmful chemicals that affect hormonal balance and cause skin irritation
  • Petroleum: Prevents natural oil production of the scalp
  • Polyethylene and propylene glycol: Strips hair and skin of natural moisture
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Removes essential oils

So, what is good for your mane? Listing the essentials can get a little tricky, especially since most are not suited for specific hair types. Nonetheless, they’re composed to treat follicles, unlike the previously mentioned. On your check list should be the following.

  • Argan oil: An ideal conditioner that aids split ends to promote a softer and silkier balance
  • Aloe vera: Helps to repair dead skin cells on the scalp
  • Coconut oil: High in Vitmain E and a great moisturizer to heal damaged skin
  • Glycerin: A humectant that pulls moisture into hair and retains it
  • Jojoba oil: Used to reproduce hair cells at a fast pace
  • Keratin: One of a family of fibrous structural protein that targets the cuticle to strengthen hair
  • Moroccan oil: Keeps frizz under control and serves as a dandruff remedy
  • Olive oil: Provides softness and does away with flakiness
  • Shea butter: Feeds moisture, vitamins, and fat to the scalp
  • Tea tree oil: Unclogs follicles to nourish roots for hair growth

Since men and women’s hair work nearly the same, much of these ingredients can be found in a women’s shampoo too, suggesting that we can use her shampoo when our stock runs low.

This should help kill some research time. But we’ve even done you one better by narrowing down the best shampoos based on your active lifestyle, hair care needs, and our own expert feedback. Give your grooming routine an upgrade with these elite pate pleasers to keep in the shower or in your gym bag.

V76 By Vaughn Hydrating Shampoo

Best for: Dry hair
Hydration is the key for maintaining healthy, thick hair. At this very moment, V76’s hair cleanser tops the competition with an all-vegan, moisturizing solution that serves as a “thirst quencher” for thick, overworked strands. The formula bears a silky texture for stimulating hair with sage leaf extract delivering nourishment, while relaxing it with vitamin-rich conditioning agents such as Almond Butter. Lathering your pate will transport you into an aromatherapy session, leaving the brand’s effervescent blue cedar scent to sooth your senses better than most essential oil notes.
$19.00 at 

Pura D’or Hair Loss Prevention Premium Organic Argan Oil Shampoo

Best for: Hair loss
Hair loss can rear its fugly head at any given moment. This is one color-safe shampoo that gets to the root of male pattern baldness, tapping 15 DHT blocks and several plant oils to balance cleansing with volume. It works incredible as an all-season shampoo for various hair types, plus prevents buildups to avoid slimy strands. Over 5,000 Amazon reviews and a 56% five-star rating solidify its stature as an elite hair care solution for thinning hair.
$23.73 at

Dove Men Care Minerals-Sage Elements Fortifying Shampoo + Conditioner

Best for: 2-in-1 hair cleaning
Two-in-one grooming products are nothing new in the Dove Men Care line. This particular concoction remains a fan-favorite, enriched with caffeine, minerals, and sage to kick start hair revitalization. Rinse your head of all impurities, reinforcing hair fibers and nourishing the scalp to keep it deeply cleansed. The pungent aroma serves as an energizing wakeup call as well. We’re talking refined execution at a budget-friendly value. 
$3.97 at

Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Three

Best for: Greasy hair
Too much pomade leaves your mop vulnerable to gunk and oily residue. So instead of going the traditional route with an apple cider vinegar hair rinse, purge yourself of grime with this hair purifier. Paul Mitchell’s clarifying shampoo is all about deep conditioning, washing your mop from the inside and removing all that product buildup to restore follicle strength. Cleanse the scalp without stripping hair of its natural oils.
$11.99 at

Frank & Oak Balsem

Best for: Dandruff
The popular fashion retailer has ushered in a line of unisex apothecary products spotlighted by its super gentle shampoo that comes paraben and sulfate-free. Ingredients like Abyssinian Oil help men garner naturally soft and shiny hair, whereas wheat protein aids in establishing stronger strands. With natural botanicals and invigorating scents, expect your significant other to pilfer half the bottle when jumping in the shower.

$26.00 at

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

Best for: Hair volume
Benefits of dry shampoo only enhance your haircare routine, “prolonging the amount of time before you need another wash,” while absorbing oil and adding volume. Formulated for all hair types, this high-end alternative works best on medium and long hair, delivering all-day conditioning and moving impurities to produce a nice texture. Spraying it onto your mane will release a proprietary polymer called PFPMA that coats each strand, activating a group of powders that act as a sponge to soak up dirt and oil. Let it sit for about 30 seconds and proceed to comb out the grime, enjoying its light, clean scent.
$20.98 at

Billy Jealousy Fuzzy Logic

Best for: Curly hair
Billy Jealously abides by its credo of styling your personality with edgy grooming products. The brand’s advanced shampoo is no exception, used best as a hair treatment alternate conceived to tame frizzy hair with menthyl lactate and peppermint oil. The special blend of ingredients work great for purging the top of sebum and other buildup, leaving Cocamide MEA — a coconut-derived conditioner — to relax and shine your do.
$22.00 at

Sort Of Coal Kuro Activated Charcoal Shampoo

Best for: Natural hair
By now you’ve been educated on the skincare benefits of charcoal. But little do you know of its magical hair-cleansing properties. Sort of Coal rescues flakey scalps with what we consider to be the best shampoo for dandruff out. Keep dryness to a minimum, as the black goo composition that eradicates lingering dirt and oil with ease. Massage it deeply into the scalp to unclog hair follicles and remove dead skin, attaining extra shine and reviving natural hair.
$42.50 at

Davines Authentic Cleansing Nectar

Best for: Hair growth Honoring of its medicine bottle design, Davines oil-textured potion comes free of harmful of detergents and parabens to gently wash hair. It’s a mild organic formula containing 98% natural origin ingredients and organically grown safflower oil, which is proven to increase circulation in the scalp and avert the loss of proteins to trigger hair growth. Rid your thickening strands of all crud procreated from bad grooming products for chic hairstyling.
$28.50 at

Should You Use A Hair Conditioner?

Answer: Yes. The name category itself suggests it’s something beneficial to your haircare regimen – conditioning the hair follicle to make it look smoother and shinier. Not to say you can’t achieve the same goals from a highly potent shampoo, as some are incredibly rich in conditioning agents. However, shampoos work differently in that they open the hair’s cuticle, while conditioners double down to fortify your hair shaft by sealing the cuticle back up and locking in nutrients to maintain moisturization. So in short, use hair conditioner and reassure healthy locks by pairing it with any of these shampoos.

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