You’ve probably tried conditioner—you know, shampoo’s stubborn, impossible-to-lather companion. But you decided it’s for women, or for guys with long hair, certain that your shorter hair doesn't need any “conditioning,” whatever that means.
Don’t be so certain, though: Conditioner has benefits for everyone, especially for guys who might have shorter (and even thinning) hair. It nourishes each strand, restoring volume and vitality that shampoo might wash away. Shampoo can be drying, and can strip the hair of the natural oils and nutrients that keep it strong. Conditioner works like a moisturizer, hydrating both scalp and hair to boost circulation, flexibility, and natural shine.
“You should use conditioner every single time you shampoo,” says New York City hairstylist Oscar Blandi. (Fun fact: He’s the guy who cuts Jimmy Fallon’s hair.) “It doesn’t have to be a lot, but a little goes a long way. [Conditioner] maintains the life of your hair, the same way you would treat your skin with moisturizer.”
If you’re a guy who doesn’t shampoo every day—some guys just don’t get as oily as others—it doesn’t hurt to still use conditioner. Instead of adding volume by stripping away oils (like shampoo), it adds life by rinsing away excess oil and keeping the shafts of each hair nourished. Blandi recommends avoiding a 2-in-1 shampoo-conditioner, though. That way, you can condition whenever you want, without overdrying the hair with shampoo.
He also recommends targeting the ends of the hair, which get the most dry. Bring a comb into the shower if you’re having trouble working the conditioner through all of your hair. This will help evenly distribute it—since it won’t lather—before you rinse it all away.
Check out a few great men’s conditioners to try in the following slides.
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