Real Talk: Do Guys Need to Use Conditioner?

Real Talk: Do Guys Need to Use Conditioner?

wash. rinse. repeat...or not.
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By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Jun 23 2022 | 3 min read

conditioner, do guys need conditioner, should men use conditioner, men's grooming, guys' grooming

It has come to my attention that there might be a key item missing from many of your showers: Especially with cooler temps just around the corner, if you’re not already using conditioner, guys, you ought to be.

I know, I know—some of you are doubting whether or not it’s a necessary step in your cleansing routine, but the truth is that healthy hair requires more than shampoo. Beyond keeping your strands clean, you’ve got to moisturize your coif (and your scalp!) too.

Conditioner is to your hair what lotion is to your bod—and just like lotion keeps your skin from looking dull and flakey, conditioner does the same thing for your hair. Especially as the season changes and air dries out, adding conditioning into your routine can be the difference between a streak of awesome or awful hair days. And as for you dudes who are going to tell me that conditioner makes your already-oil prone hair even oilier, I’ve got great news: You haven’t met the right conditioner yet, but it’s out there. Read on to learn about where you fall on the scale and which type is right for you.

If you’ve got hair that isn’t usually too dry or too oily …

Look for a regular moisturizing conditioner. This will keep your scalp in peak shape (i.e. cut down on that shoulder snowstorm otherwise known as dandruff) and your strands looking smooth and silky—all the better to run fingers through, my dear. Use about a quarter-sized dollop, and don’t rough your hair up too much while you’re applying it. Let it sit for a minute or two, and then rinse it on out.

If your hair feels a little oilier than you’d like, try adding some water to your conditioner until you hit the right balance, and next time buy something lighter (it can take a few tries to find your ideal product, but don’t give up!). My picks? American Crew’s daily conditioner (seriously, nothing in the history of grooming products has smelled as good as this) and super-soothing Aveeno Nourish + Moisturize.

If you’ve got hair that’s suddenly feeling a little on the thin side …

Pick a product that says “thickening” on the label. Your strands could be so dry that they’re actually breaking, and those scales you see on shampoo commercials have actually sloughed off and left individual hairs thinner than they once were. The conditioner will help fill in the gaps and heal damaged hair, filling the broken stands in the meantime. If you color your hair (no judgment!), swim in chlorine regularly, or sweat it out at the gym on a daily basis, the salt from your sweat will dry out your hair over time, so a thickening product might be your ideal pick. These days, I’m loving the Aveda invati thickening conditioner (another seriously sweet-smelling pick).

If you’re looking for a quick fix before an event …

You might want to consider a leave-in conditioner. These bad boys work like an intense moisturizer (kind of like a facial for your hair). If your hair was bleached out by the summer sun or is looking super dry lately, you can slick a leave-in on after shampooing and towel-drying your hair (removing excess water gives the conditioner more opportunity to soak into your strands). You might not need to use this product ever day, but it’s not a bad idea to make a point to use a leave-in once a month to keep your hair looking its best. My faves are Aveda damage remedy and Redken’s leave-in treatment.

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