Learn how to manage the beard while taming the top
Men have many different kinds of hair on their bodies, meaning their hair conditioning needs are not one-size-fits-all. Many men suffer from premature hair loss and flat, dull hair. They also have to deal with wiley, wiry whiskers.
Fortunately, you have a solution. We’ll teach you how to find the best hair conditioners for men, by examining ingredients and learning what to avoid. We’ll also suggest our top picks for each hair type, and oils and balms for daily beard management.
Managing Facial Hair vs. Head Hair
You can tell that your facial hair and head hair are different in texture and color. But do you know why? It’s because your hair follicles are shaped differently on different parts of your body.
The skin on your scalp is different from the skin on your face, affecting the shape of the hair follicle. The scalp typically has smaller hair follicles than the face. These follicles produce fine hair. This is a type of “terminal hair” referred to simply as head hair, as the majority of it lasts for most of your life.
Facial hair follicles cause hair to grow thicker and darker. Similar hair grows under your arms and around the genitalia. Dermatologists call this “androgenic hair” because it’s affected by androgens and testosterone. In fact, men with larger beards tend to have more testosterone.
Unlike “vellus hair,” which is the small peach fuzzy hair that covers most of your body, terminal hair and androgenic hair are connected to sebum production glands. But again, even the oil glands connected are different from head to face. This is why you may experience a dry scalp even though you have an oily beard, or vice versa.
Scalp skin is often more oily than facial skin. However, both are prone to drying out and flaking. Finding the best hair conditioner for men involves more than just picking a “good one.”
Because the way your hair grows is so dependent on your skin type, you’ll need to find not just the best, but the right hair conditioner for your head and beard.
Ingredients to Look for in the Best Hair Conditioners for Men
When shopping for the best hair conditioners for men, you’ll want to know what helps and what hurts. You’ll want to find ingredients that are beneficial for your hair and the skin beneath. After all, both need to be moisturized in order to achieve truly healthy, luscious hair.
Dry Scalp Do’s & Don’ts
If you’re suffering from unsightly dandruff and annoying itch, you may be using harsh chemicals to wash your hair. Used long term, harsh chemicals commonly found in dyes and fragrances can lead to hair loss.
The best hair conditioners for men nourish the hair all the way down to the follicle. Look for ultra moisturizing natural oils, like coconut oil and argan oil. These oils lock moisture into the scalp and help manage the production of sebum in the hair follicles on your head. By retaining moisture with the help of these fatty-acid rich oils, your scalp will produce less natural oil of its own, for the perfect balance of rich, luscious hair.
You will also find that products containing soothing essential oils like rosemary and lavender, or products containing oats, soothe itch while they nourish your skin.
Conditioning Ingredients for Oily Hair
Surprisingly, too much oil in your hair can be caused by the same factors that produce dry scalp. When your scalp becomes dry and flaky, your hair follicles spring into action. They begin to produce too much sebum in an attempt to compensate; the result is oily hair and an itchy scalp.
Again, you’ll want to look for the best hair conditioners for men with moisturizing oils. Since hair products and shampoos can strip the hair of its natural oils, you’ll want to make sure you’re replacing the oil right away.
Believe it or not, men with oily hair can also benefit from heavier balms. The heavy conditioning provided by a rich balm lets your hair follicles know there’s no reason to over-produce its own oil. Instead of extra oily hair, you’ll find that your hair becomes voluminous and silky smooth.
Most Beneficial Conditioning Formulas for Men’s Hair
Finally, the best hair conditioners for men by product. If you’re less interested in reading labels and more interested in ethically conditioning your head and beard, jump into the list below.
Best Everyday Hair Conditioner for Men
Cruelty-free, Vegan, Eco-friendly, Free of SLS, Parabens & Phthalates
This big ol’ bottle of “whenever conditioner” uses nutrient rich argan oil and coconut oil as its base. Deeply moisturizing, this conditioner is lightly scented with lime and green tea for an invigorating aroma. It also contains soothing aloe vera for those of us who suffer from an itchy, flaky scalp.
Best Hair Conditioners for Men with Dry Scalp
Lush’s Veganese Conditioner is mild and gentle, yet perfectly hydrating. How do they accomplish this? Veganese uses a mineral-rich agar gel base to cleanse hair and eliminate flaking. Herbal rosemary and lavender extract not only deliver antioxidants to your cells, they also soothe any irritation you might be experiencing due to dryness. The result is soft, shiny hair, a hydrated scalp, and the light, fresh scent of lemon.
Made for daily conditioning, Acure’s men’s conditioner washes away build up that dulls and weighs down hair. Acure uses argan oil and cocoa butter in this formulation to lock in moisture from the roots to the tips. Best of all, this cleansing conditioner is naturally scented with nourishing rosehip, pomegranate, blackberry, and lemongrass, so you can smell as clean as you feel.
Best Hair Conditioners for Men with Oily Hair
This thick conditioner with a coconut oil base penetrates the scalp deeply to deliver maximum hydration retention. This isn’t a lather-and-rinse conditioner. To reap the full benefits of this damage repairing blend, you’ll want to apply a generous helping to your hair and leave it in for 5-10 minutes. This is long enough to let the naturally occurring antioxidants and fatty acids smooth and hydrate damaged hair.
This product is ideal for men with thicker, curlier hair. Designed to provide a weightless feeling, instead of the heavy feel that some conditioners can have, this leave-in formula is crafted for deep penetration. It leaves hair luscious and silky for easy-to-comb curls.
Best Beards Oils & Balms for Hair Conditioning
Cruelty-free, Vegan, Recyclable, Handcrafted
Nourish your coarse whiskers while moisturizing the skin underneath with a handcrafted blend of olive oil, hazelnut oil, sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil, rosemary oil, and vitamin e. Some of the 19 scents that Sam’s Natural offers are naturally flavored, while others include “fragrance.”
Even though Sam’s Natural tries to keep it real, it’s always a good idea to pick an unscented or naturally fragranced beard oil. Check out their Cedar or Vetiver options for a fresh scent to make your beard shine.
Cruelty-free, Vegan, Recyclable, Handcrafted
Beard balms can make wonderful men’s hair conditioners while helping to keep your whiskers under control. Think of a as the love child between a wax and a leave-in conditioner. Sam’s Natural beard balm contains naturally nutritious ingredients like wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, candelilla wax, castor oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin e. It’s scented with rosemary and bay leaf extract for a woodsy aroma.
Organic, Cruelty-free, Vegan
Simple. Woodsy. Classic. The scents of the woods just never go out of style. The Dr’s Squatch beard oil formula uses vitamin rich jojoba oil and moisturizing almond oil to carry its organic essential oil blends, to soften even the coarsest beards while providing day-long aromatherapy.