Do Men Really Need Their Own Shampoo?

What's Hot

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

It doesn't matter if the bottle is gray or pink. The ingredients are often the same for men and women. But what about the price?

Marketing companies want you to believe that men need manly shampoos, but a study by the marketing firm Integer shows 50 percent of men lather up every morning with their wife’s shampoo. Are the other half missing out on a manly scalp? Or are all shampoos basically the same?

If you look closely at men’s and women’s shampoos, you’ll see they’re not much different. Both contain similar ingredients and offer similar benefits. The only real difference is the scent. Well, that and the cost.

1. Ingredients

While men’s and women’s shampoos contain a few different ingredients, those aren’t gender-specific. For example, if you compare the ingredients in L’Oreal Vive Pro for Men and L’Oreal Vive Pro for Women, you’ll see some differences. From

L’Oreal Pro Vive for Men

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Methylparaben, Cocamide MIPA, Carbomer, Salicylic Acid, Polysilicone-8, Ethylparaben, Polyquaternium-16, Limonene, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Aminomethyl Propanol, Isopropanolamine, Citric Acid

L’Oreal Pro Vive for Women

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cyclodextrin, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Fragrance, Sodium Methylparaben, Carbomer, DMDM Hydantoin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Jojoba Wax PEG-120 Esters, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein, CI 17200 (Red 33)

What’s the difference?

So are the different ingredients in the men’s shampoo specifically tailored toward men? Nope. They’re just common ingredients used in cosmetics – even the kind women use.

Here’s what the different ingredients used in the men’s formula actually do, according to the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

  • Coco-Glucoside – a foaming cleanser
  • Glycol Distearate – a skin conditioner
  • Sodium Benzoate – a preservative
  • Cocamide MIPA – a foam booster
  • Salicylic Acid – fights dandruff
  • Polysilicone-8 – forms film
  • Ethylparaben – a preservative
  • Polyquaternium-16 – fights static
  • Aminomethyl Propanol – adjusts pH levels
  • Isopropanolamine – adjusts pH levels
  • Citric Acid – mostly just a fragrance

The Skin Deep Cosmetics Database also found those ingredients in dozens of women’s shampoos, so nothing special there.

2. Benefits

Men’s shampoos are marketed as solving men’s specific haircare problems. For example, Redken offers four different shampoos for men, but all of them mimic the women’s versions. It doesn’t matter if the bottle is pink or gray. From the Redken website…

Redken shampoo for men

  • Densify Texturing Shampoo: Strengthens hair and adds fullness
  • Mint Clean Invigorating Shampoo: Removes dirt build-up
  • Go Clean Daily Care Shampoo: Adds moisture and shine
  • Clean Spice 2-n-1 Shampoo and Conditioner: Strengthens and nourishes hair

Redken shampoo for women

  • Body Full Shampoo: Plumps hair strands and adds body
  • Refreshing Detox Shampoo: Removes hair product and dirt build-up
  • Clear Moisture Shampoo: Replenishes hair moisture and adds shine.
  • Extreme Shampoo: Strengthens damaged hair

3. Scent

This is one area where I understand why men look for their own shampoos. Women’s shampoos often smell flowery, and the heavy perfume lasts for hours. If I were a man, I probably wouldn’t want to smell like a field of daisies either. But not all women’s shampoos have a feminine fragrance. Several shampoos exist with a unisex fragrance, or no fragrance at all….

4. Cost

How much you pay for your shampoo depends on the brand you buy, not your gender. In fact, all of the men’s and women’s shampoos I researched had the same price point. For example, sells L’Oreal Pro Vive and L’Oreal Pro Vive for Men for $4.99 each.

The real difference in pricing is based on availability. Right now, there are more women’s shampoos than shampoos for men, so men who don’t mind lathering up with their wife’s shampoo have a better chance of finding one on sale. For example, in this week’s ads Walgreens has four different brands of women’s shampoos on sale, and one brand that caters to men. CVS Pharmacy has eight different women’s shampoo brands on sale – but only one men’s brand.

So men’s shampoos aren’t that different from any other shampoo. As long as men can find a fragrance they like – or one that’s fragrance-free – they really don’t need the special bottle.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 14 Ways to Maximize Your Social Security Checks

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,803 more deals!