As a salon professional specializing in men's hair care, my focus on products tends to favor those sold in barbershops and salons. Still, industry bias aside, there are certain drugstore products that I really like, and Dove Men+Care Fresh Clean Fortifying 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner just so happens to be one of those products.
In general, the idea of a multipurpose product appeals to me. After all, what's not to like about one product that does the job of (at least) two? It saves me time, cuts down on costs, and is a smart addition to my ever-growing supply of cleansing and grooming products. But could a product with such promises be too good to be true? I was off to the shower to find out.
Pros + Cons
- Cleans and conditions in one step
- Leaves no product buildup
- Caffeine and menthol support healthy hair growth
- Not Byrdie Clean
- Doesn't condition dry hair
The Bottom Line: A good pick for normal to oily hair
Dove Men+Care Fresh Clean Fortifying 2 in 1 cleanses hair and helps it appear thicker and stronger. It's a solid drugstore option that is cheap and effective—but it's not hydrating enough for drier hair types that need more moisture.
Dove Men+Care Fresh Clean Fortifying 2 in 1
Best for: Normal to oily hair
Uses: Cleans and strengthens hair
Star Rating: 3/5
Potential allergens: Yes—sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), fragrance, dmdm hydantoin, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone
Active ingredients: Caffeine, menthol
Clean?: No—contains SLS, dmdm hydantoin, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone
About the brand: The classic bath and body care company has offered soap, shampoo, body wash, and more since 1957. Under the umbrella of Unilever brands, Dove's as widely known for its cleansing products as it is for its Real Beauty campaigns.
About My Hair: "Normal" and fine
I have what you would call "normal" hair and scalp (translation: not too oily but not too dry, either). I can use almost any shampoo with success on my fine, straight, strands, making me a good candidate for this 2 in 1 that's marketed toward normal to oily hair types.
The Feel: No residue
Dove Men+Care 2 in 1 did a great job of cleansing my hair, and it rinsed away clean—not always the case with some 2 in 1 products. It applied smoothly in the shower like you would expect, with enough slippage to coat my entire head. Thanks to its lightweight formula, it definitely doesn't weigh hair down. In fact, it's not very conditioning, so you shouldn't experience greasy hair or a heavy feeling.
With active ingredients menthol and caffeine, Dove Men+Care 2 in 1 offers a refreshing and invigorating cleanse. These ingredients work to help support strong and healthy hair, which, if we're being honest, we're all after. Menthol is found in peppermint, which wields a number of benefits for hair—promoting growth, managing oil production, and calming inflammation, to name a few—not to mention, gives it a stimulating tingle. As for caffeine, it's become a popular ingredient in skincare, but as for hair care? At first glance, you may think, "Huh. Not sure why that's in there," but an International Journal of Cosmetic Science review in 2019 found that caffeine may prevent abnormal hair loss.
Of course, as a mass-market brand, you'll find the usual laundry list of ingredients you can't pronounce—it's definitely not a clean beauty product. It contains not one but several ingredients called out in Byrdie's Clean Pledge, meaning, if you prefer products with clean ingredients or are sensitive to common irritants, you might want to skip this one.
The Scent: Soapy with a jolt
First, I do really love the light, clean, and somewhat soapy-smelling fragrance of this product. Overall, it's pleasant and relatively neutral. Combined with the menthol and caffeine kick, it really wakes you up, making it ideal for early morning showers. Although the scent is light, it has staying power—throughout the day and into the next.
The packaging is handsome and the lid is a breeze to open. The wider bottom also keeps the bottle from tipping over. One of the products in my shower once fell off the shelf, which caused me to trip and nearly break my neck, so I tend to like stable packaging.
Despite not being the most emollient hair product out there, I didn't find Dove Men+Care 2 in 1 to be overly drying, either. I experienced no dryness or irritation on my scalp, either. However, it's worth noting that this balancing shampoo-conditioner is geared toward normal to fine hair types. Those with thicker and/or dryer strands may experience different results from using this product.
The Results: Clean hair
While I'm not really a big fan of shampoo/conditioner combos, this one works well. It cleansed my short, fine hair and gave it the feeling of a bit more thickness and support—without weighing it down. But, if you have very dry hair, you may want to opt for a separate shampoo and conditioner as the conditioning power of this product was fairly light.
While the Dove folks promote this as being best for those with oily hair, I found it worked just fine on my "normal" strands. But I'm really going to hold onto this one because of the little kick it gives me in the morning. It's also great for the gym—the 2 in 1 aspect of the product saves space and the menthol can help bring you out of that post-workout slump.
The Value: A no-frills, solid product
At around $8 for a 12-ounce bottle, it's a low-risk investment, and the product is available pretty much everywhere. It's ideal if you're looking for a straightforward shampoo that cleans your hair and adds a little strength and thickness. However, it's not the best pick for someone seeking a clean shampoo, or one that conditions.
Dove Men+Care Fresh Clean Fortifying 2 in 1 vs. Method Men Sea + Surf 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner
Priced at $10 for 14 oz, Method Men's Sea + Surf 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner not only contains menthol but also an extra conditioning boost of argan and jojoba oils. Go for Method Men Sea + Surf if your hair is on the drier side. While it does contain SLS, it has fewer irritating ingredients overall.
Our Verdict: A refreshing, cleansing 2-in-1
I can certainly recommend Dove Men+Care Fresh Clean Fortifying 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner. It performs well, has a very refreshing menthol kick, and it is widely available and fairly priced. While it may not satisfy the organic crowd and the conditioning aspect of the shampoo falls a little short, for most people with normal to oily hair, the product performs just fine.
Daniels G, Akram S, Westgate GE, Tamburic S. Can plant-derived phytochemicals provide symptom relief for hair loss? A critical review. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2019;41(4):332‐345. doi:10.1111/ics.12554