That pile of stuff on your head you call hair is basically dead, right?
Well … yes and no. Once you get past the living part, where follicles are connected to nerves and muscles, where those cells are reaching into the scalp for nourishment and growth, yeah, after that it’s pretty much done for. But because hair exists both in a living and dead state, it’s important to follow up your shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner. Conditioners help keep the scalp healthy by preventing dryness that can lead to flaky dandruff. They also keep the “dead” shaft of your hair looking glossy and healthy by preventing split ends. Here are our picks for conditioners that will keep your mop looking happy and healthy — dead or alive.
Things to Consider
Like suit measurements and skincare regimens, the best conditioner for you won’t necessarily be the same as someone else’s. With that being said, the most effective conditioners tend to share a baseline of powerful ingredients that work wonders for keeping your hair and scalp in tip-top shape.
- Essential oils: Essential oils offer therapeutic properties that help you tackle the nitty-gritty of your grooming routine and exude pleasant fragrances for you to carry out into the world afterward. Such deep conditioning oils include peppermint, tea tree, and lavender, among others.
- Carrier oils: Contrarily to essential oils, carrier oils are used to help dilute powerful essential oils and make them more soluble for our skin. You’ve likely experienced them already if you use beard or pre-shave oil, but some of the best carrier oils for conditioning your hair include argan oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. Essentially, they ensure other oils don’t clog your pores or damage your hair, scalp, or skin when cleaning up.
- Vitamins: The best conditioners tend to pack in protein-rich vitamins to help repair and restore your mane. The main vitamin to look for in a conditioner is vitamin B5 (or panthenol), which repairs damage to hair follicles and adds volume to an otherwise thin head of hair.
- Amino acids: Alongside proteins, amino acids are essentially the building blocks of life. Not only do they help protect your scalp and encourage healthy hair growth, but amino acids also help your hair retain water more effectively so you never have to fret over a dry scalp or dealing with a little humidity.
Best Conditioner for Men
Sachajuan Scalp Conditioner
Brought to you from Sweden, the land of thoughtful design and beautiful people, Sachajuan Scalp Conditioner is a creamy formula that’s enriched with dandruff-fighting power that provides soothing relief. It includes special ingredients to soothe and moisturize an irritated scalp, but it’s also great for normal hair and just so happens to be our top pick for best conditioner in The Manual Grooming Awards 2019. Rosemary oil, menthol, salicylic acid, ginger extract, and oat oil soothe your scalp and help maintain a healthy moisture balance. It also includes what the brand calls “Ocean Silk Technology,” two effective kinds of algae that work together to boost elasticity, moisture, and shine.
Other Great Men’s Conditioners
With an old-fashioned sense of responsibility toward formulating recipes by hand — an unorthodox approach — O’Douds believes in using quality natural, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients. Everything the company puts in products is responsibly chosen in the name of healthy skin and sustainability. This lightweight conditioner hydrates hair and scalp without weighing it down or leaving it greasy. It’s great for any hair type and features an outdoorsy cedar and citrus scent.
Bumble and Bumble Full Potential Conditioner
We like that one of the ingredients in Bumble’s conditioner is creatine, one of those somewhat controversial additives to our favorite muscle-building protein shakes that’s apparently good (and not controversial) at keeping hair looking buff. Menthol offers a “good morning” tingling sensation, while UV absorbers act as a sunscreen for your hair. It’s great for most hair types, strengthening hair, preventing breakage, and moisturizing the scalp, as well.
Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Rejuvenate Bourbon Manuka Honey Conditioner
Okay, you know how we get when it comes to just about anything that involves the word “bourbon.” In this case, Herbal Essences’ conditioner starts with real botanicals, endorsed by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, a leading expert source for everything you want to know about plants. The Bourbon Manuka Honey combo helps moisturize and protect hair from damage and breakage, hydrating while infusing notes of honeyed plum, white florals, and precious woods into your hair. It must be 5:00 p.m. somewhere.
Jack Black Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner
Jack Black understands men’s grooming needs, so it’s no surprise its conditioner scored number one in an NPD Group (a market research company) survey. It’s chock full of good stuff; pro-Vitamin B5, biotin, and silk protein all help moisturize, thicken, and strengthen hair, while natural oils like tea tree leaf add antioxidant and soothing properties. Jojoba brings even more softening and moisturizing to the formula, while peppermint helps cool, invigorate, and refresh. Botanical extracts do their work, too. Sea kelp adds superior hydration and anti-inflammatory properties for the scalp; basil adds anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, and green tea extract brings potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Davines Dede Conditioner
Davines is all about beauty and sustainability. Dede is its basic conditioner intended for normal to fine hair, but the company probably has one specifically for your hair type, from coarse and frizzy to dry or dehydrated, as well as long, curly, or colored. Apply to clean hair for shiny, easy-to-detangle, hydrated effects. Added red celery extract, which is full of mineral salts and high in water content, is both nourishing and cleansing, not to mention sourced from a farm in Turin, Italy, as part of the Slow Food Presidium.
Layrite Moisturizing Conditioner
Brought to you by barbers, Layrite is formulated to nourish hair, keeping it soft without weighing it down. It’s got a vitamin-packed formula that leaves hair healthy and ready for grooming with Layrite’s family of pomades or grooming spray.
Hanz de Fuko Natural Conditioner
It’s never a bad idea to follow in the footsteps of those you aspire to be, or in this case, someone with a healthy set of hair. Hanz de Fuko is the go-to hair care line for men such as David Beckham and Calvin Harris, who have both garnished as much attention and admiration for their locks as they have fans in their respective careers (in the best way, of course). How do they do it? Well, a flourishing mane begins with a potent conditioner.
This ultra-hydrating conditioner from organic hair care crafters at Hanz de Fuko packs more than 16 plant extracts that work in unison to keep your hair soft and your scalp moisturized. Some of these extracts include sea buckthorn (also known as the holy fruit of the Himalayas) and cactus, which boasts a heap of antioxidants and vitamins that will calm inflammation on the scalp and help your hair follicles retain the moisture and oils it needs to thrive.
Kelsen Hair Conditioner
Kelsen is one of our new favorite hair care brands, and when you try its hair conditioner you’ll understand why. This conditioner checks off every box for what makes a great conditioner; fantastic citrus scent, quality ingredients, and a sensualizing softness that’s perfect for styling. It’s a lightweight conditioner — one you can use every day — that utilizes a powerful blend of aloe vera, coconut and eucalyptus oils, and sea holly extract, among others, which are designed to hydrate, detangle, soften a messy head of hair.
Rugged and Dapper Hair and Beard Conditioner
After years of trying new and improved conditioner formulas, Rugged and Dapper’s hair and beard conditioner is one we always find ourselves coming back to. This conditioner contains everything nutrient-rich, from aloe vera and panthenol, to coconut oil, tea tree oil, and jojoba oil, which conspire to restore damaged hair and soothe a dry, flaky scalp. Top that off with an invigorating, masculine scent and a formula suited for all hair types, and you’ve got yourself a high-quality conditioner you can depend on.
ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner
Not only do you get the stimulating, antioxidant-rich benefits of Moroccan argan oil, but ArtNaturals infuses its conditioner with shea butter and keratin to reduce effects from outdoor elements and keep your locks soft, smooth, and silky. If you’re scanning our best conditioner guide for a budget option, this one’s for you.
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