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The Best Shampoos for Clean, Healthy Hair

Clean, healthy hair starts with your scalp. Here's to pick the right shampoo for yours.

collage of three bottles of shampoo

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.

How to Pick a Shampoo

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 flaking? 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? These are all things to consider when choosing a shampoo. They'll inform whether you order a dandruff shampoo or a color-safe one.

Specialized Shampoos

Swimmer's Shampoo

A day of swimming can wreak havoc on your hair. Yes, swimming under a scorching sun feels refreshing, but it's actually quite dehydrating (for your hair and skin). Chlorine found in pools and salt from the ocean both strip the hair of its natural oils, stress the scalp and cause all-around dryness.

The best swimmer shampoos work to remove chlorine and salt and rehydrate the hair and scalp. Plus, they'll extinguish chlorine's strange scent.

For more post-swim hair care solutions, shop our buying guide to swimmer's shampoo.

Dandruff Shampoo

Scientifically, what causes dandruff isn't crystal clear, researchers revealed, and there aren't exactly facilities dedicated to figuring it out. It can appear as a result of a reaction to a new shampoo or styling product, from forgoing a shower for too long, because of a fungus called malassezia, or as a byproduct of another skin condition, like eczema or psoriasis. Dandruff is not purely a marker of poor hygiene. And there are loads of ways to combat it.

Dandruff is a big deal. Combat flakes with a shampoo from our buying guide to dandruff shampoo.

Color-Safe Shampoo

If you just dyed your hair, it's smart to switch to a color-safe shampoo, which is any formula that won't extract the color you just worked so hard to perfect.

Thickening Shampoo

DHT is the hormone that promotes male pattern baldness. Some shampoos can block it, which helps slow the development of bald spots. These won't reverse damage that's already been done, but it'll make thinning hair look thicker.

How Often Should You Use Shampoo?

"If you don’t cleanse your scalp frequently excess oils, dirt, pollution and dead skin cells are allowed to build up. This can result in pores on your scalp becoming clogged and can lead to the formation of pimples," Anabel Kingsley, consultant trichologist at Philip Kingsley, says.

Most men that feel their hair is "stripped" or "dry" after shampooing skip the second step: conditioning. It's vital you do both steps in succession, because while shampoo is responsible for cleansing the scalp, conditioners rehydrate the hair. As such, you don't need to ditch your shampoo to avoid dry, staticky hair — just follow Kingsley's recommend timeline.

"I recommend people with fine-textured hair shampoo daily," she says. "This is because people with finer hair have more oil glands on their scalp, and their hair, therefore, becomes greasy faster. If you have medium-textured hair, try to shampoo daily to every other day. Ideally coarser and curly hair textures should leave no more than 3 days between shampoos."

Find answers to all of your pressing hair questions in our guide to shampooing and showering.

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Best Overall Shampoo
Oars + Alps Hydrating Shampoo
Best Upgrade Shampoo
Patricks SH2 Shampoo
Best Affordable Shampoo
Huron Wash and Strengthen Shampoo
Best Volumizing Shampoo
Living Proof Full Shampoo
Best Toning Shampoo
Sachajuan Silver Shampoo
Firsthand Hydrating Shampoo
Best Softening Shampoo
Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo
Best 2-in-1 Shampoo
Harry's 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner
Best Thickening Shampoo
Hims Thickening Shampoo
Best Dandruff Shampoo
Jupiter Balancing Dandruff Shampoo
Best Shampoo for Textured Hair
Bevel Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Best Clean Shampoo
Jack Henry Cleanse+ Shampoo
Best Utility Shampoo
Beardbrand Utility Wash
Best Refillable Shampoo
Uni Hydrating Shampoo
Best Detox Shampoo
OUAI Detox Shampoo
Best Deep Cleaning Shampoo
Forte Series Clarifying Shampoo
Best Scalp Shampoo
Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo
Best Scented Shampoo
Maapilim Shampoo
Best Strengthening Shampoo
Jack Black Thickening Shampoo
Best Seasonal Shampoo
Fellow Winter Wash Shampoo
Best Swimmer's Shampoo
Malibu C Swimmers Wellness Shampoo
The Clear and Concise Guide to Men's Haircuts
styling hair by professional hairdresser
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