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Applying products is an essential step in your hair journey. Some men prefer a heavy, glossy appearance. Medium length and longer hairstyles need a substance like a pomade or gel to reign in their hair. Alternatively, men with short or thinning hair opt for a matte look, and styling clay delivers.

Oil vs water based hair products

Men shampoo their hair and follow it up with conditioner. Conditioner provides nutrients to the hair and scalp, and shampoo strengthens and prevents issues like breakage or split ends. However, do you know how these products work? For you to better understand why your product is effective, we must look at the differences between water and oil-based products.

Water-Based Hair Products

It’s perfectly normal to be curious about a product you already own; read your conditioner bottle and look for water. The general rule is if you see water, then it’s water-based. Though, water-based products have more than just water in them.

Water-based shampoo is defined by other ingredients, such as aloe vera or some kind of juice. These essential ingredients nurture your hair, promoting growth and long-lasting effects. In short, water-based hair care products are simple, yet effective. Water-based products disperse moisture into your hair shaft. The moisture loosens each hair, causing it to be much lighter than if an oil-based product were used.

Oil-Based Hair Products

Oil-based hair products include wonderful natural elements such as petroleum, mineral oil, and coconut oil. Learn more about the products you’re putting in your hair. If you recognize the above ingredients, then you know it’s oil-based.

Oil-based pomades, shampoos, and conditioners carry the same essential oils. Petroleum is common in these products, as it is a natural, inexpensive product. Furthermore, petroleum is lightweight, meaning your hair won’t feel heavy in the shower or during your day-to-day activities. Lastly, petroleum blocks water from escaping the scalp by blocking pores.  



Pomade is made from either oil or water-based ingredients. Both products leave a shine and hold for a long time. Although, each base has its advantages and disadvantages.

Water-based pomade prevents build-up, whereas oil-based pomade can weigh down your hair quickly. And water-based pomade is arguably better on your scalp than an oil product. Further, oil-based pomade contains fewer chemicals than water. Also, oil pomades never dry out.

The single feature that makes pomade so great is its malleability. Water-based products enable you to style your hair in the morning and style it throughout the day.


Men who use conditioner after shampooing may find that it leaves their hair with more volume and smells much better. Unfortunately, you might not have the right conditioner for your needs.

Leave in conditioner is great for men seeking moisture, long-term moisture specifically. A good water-based conditioner has humectants in them, which is the reason for that moisture. Humectants are used in various products, not just for your hair. They are found in certain foods and used as additives. Furthermore, humectants are used to keep plants healthy and they are even used to boost the effects of medicine on the body. Humectants found in conditioners assist your scalp in moisturizing and cleansing your hair.


Man shampooing hair

There aren’t too many stark differences between water-based shampoo and conditioner. Both products are a vital part of the hair care experience. Water-based shampoo cleans your hair and leaves it looking healthier and fuller. One clear downside to using water-based shampoo is the more water that’s added, the less effective other ingredients are.

Water-based shampoo also treats dry and itchy scalp. Remember this in your decision to purchase oil or water-based products. Oil-based shampoo works a bit differently in the hair. For example, oil shampoo cleans your hair, without changing it chemically. Why is this important? Well, you should aim to have your hair’s chemicals be the middle of greasy and dry.

Oil-based shampoo can treat both dry and itchy scalp effectively, too. Oil-based shampoo is designed to work with all hair types, coarse, thinning, curly, wavy, etc… Lastly, oil-based products wash out effortlessly; residue isn’t left on your scalp after washing.