What’s the best shampoo for men? It’s impossible to pick a universal winner. The best shampoo is whichever one suits your individual concerns. Everyone’s hair is different, and what works for a guy with coarse, dry hair is going to be very different than someone with oily coils. You might even need more than one on hand, depending on what you need you’re serving. (If you’ve got thinning hair that’s prone to dandruff, know that the strongest soldiers get the toughest battles, and know that we’ve got you.)
How often you shampoo is your business—but if you’ll take our suggestion, we say every third day. Then again, someone with overly oily hair might feel the need to wash damn near daily, while a guy with curls might dread a wash, in favor of conditioning treatments like co-washing.
Basically, you’ve got to figure out what works for your own dome. But we’ve put in many showers worth of testing and a lot of the work ahead of time: below is the best shampoo for men in 15 categories—there’s surely one that’s right for you.
The Best Shampoo for Oily Scalps
Guys with oily hair probably want to wash more frequently than others. Regardless, opt for a super hydrating and toning shampoo, to preserve hair’s natural moisture levels without parching the strands and scalp on each rinse. After all, that shouldn’t be the aim: You want to keep everything moisturized and balanced, which aids in sending a message to the scalp: no excess sebum needed on these dry strands.
The Best Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair
Brittle, dry, or broken strands need tons of moisture and repair. Using a hydrating shampoo is the best here—one that focuses on the necessary repair.
The Best Shampoo for Thinning Hair
While shampoo is not a real solution for hair loss, you can choose one with ingredients that stimulate circulation in the follicles. Meanwhile, your real efforts for hair retention can be focused elsewhere.
The Best Volumizing Shampoo
Volumizing shampoos are lightweight, in order to nourish and fortify hairs without weighing them down or drying them out.
The Best Shampoo for Thick Hair
Thick hair demands smoothing oils and hydrating agents to prevent frizz, flyaways, and poofing.
The Best Shampoo for Curls
The straightness of your strands might be secondary to other needs (like density, thinning, etc), but in general, you want body-building, volumizing ingredients that add a little bit of texture, to avoid flat lifelessness.
The Best Shampoo for Coils
Same approach as curls: moisturizing ingredients that don’t add weight. The main difference here is that you also need more smoothing ingredients to control frizz.
The Best Thickening Shampoo for Fine Hair
Thickening shampoos add body to each individual strand—fortifying them for the long haul while also giving them added density on the daily. The result is visibly thicker, fuller hair, even to the touch. Patricks’ has long been one of our favorites thanks to its signature recovery compound, a multifunctional cocktail of hair loss-fighting, scalp-protecting ingredients.
The Best Shampoo for Dandruff
Many active-ingredient shampoos that counter dandruff and scalp itch also tend to dry out the hair. Find one that creates harmony from head to hair ends.
The Best Shampoo for Bleached or Platinum Hair
Priority number one for bleached and platinum hair is to prevent brassiness or yellowing—which is achieved through purple-colored shampoos that help your desired hue.
The Best Shampoo for Gray Hair
Moisture, moisture, moisture. You’ll likely obtain this nourishment from conditioners and curl creams, but you need a shampoo that won’t compromise the efforts, and in turn will cleanse while adding to each strand.
The Best Shampoo for Bald Heads
With your head exposed to the elements, you need to counter things like excess oil or dryness and flaking. Pick an oil-tempering, flake-fighting scalp wash over a standard facial cleanser or bar soap.
The Best Shampoo and Conditioner Twofer
Briogeo’s sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner set nabbed a Grooming Award this year for its sheer normality, which might not sound like high praise until you consider the humdrum standards set by the competition. The absence of sulfates—which can dry out your hair and menace the environment—usually means a shampoo won’t work as effectively. But thanks to a powerful formula of ultra-hydrating, all-natural ingredients, Briogeo’s does—and plays nice with any and all hair types, to boot.
The Best Dry Shampoo
There’s a litany of reasons to seriously consider adding a dry shampoo to your regular shower routine, in tandem with a vigorous wash two or three times a week, especially if your mane is prone to excess oil buildup or could use a little added texture. (As a rule of thumb, best to rinse it clean before you hit the hay.) Oribe’s lightly-scented Gold Lust option—the, uh, gold standard of the genre—packs an oil-absorbing, scalp-soothing wallop with every spray .
The Best Shampoo Bar
A bar of soap you can use on your body isn’t exactly groundbreaking. But a bar of soap you can use on your hair too is a little more special. Which is why we called Superzero’s hair and body bar the most innovative product we tried last year—and we tried a lot of products.