As a salon professional specializing in men's hair care, my focus on products tends to favor those sold in barbershops and salons. Are salon brands better than supermarket brands? Well, that depends on what you're looking for. There are certain drugstore products that I really like, and one of them is Dove Men+Care Fresh Clean Fortifying 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner.
I took this product for a test drive in my own shower, and I really like how it performed.
Pros + Cons
- Cleans and conditions in one step
- Caffeine and menthol help prevent breakage
- 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
I have what you would call "normal" hair and scalp, without dandruff or dryness. I can use most any shampoo with success, 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 cleaning 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.
The two main ingredients, menthol and caffeine, give it a nice kick. First, the shampoo is infused with menthol, which gives it a nice, refreshing tingle. The shampoo also has caffeine. 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. In fact, 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. Overall, it's pleasant, and combined with the menthol kick, it really wakes you up. Though it's light, it has staying power—throughout the day and into the next.
It's perfect for early-morning showers where you want to feel alive and get going. It does have caffeine, too, after all.
The Packaging: Sturdy
The packaging is handsome and the lid is very easy 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.
The Weight: Light
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.
Despite not being the most emollient hair product out there, I didn't find it to be overly drying, either. Instead, it's a balancing shampoo geared toward normal to fine hair types. I experienced no dryness or irritation on my scalp from this 2 in 1.
The Results: Clean hair
I'm really going to hold onto this one because of the little kick it gives me in the morning.
While I'm not really a big fan of shampoo/conditioner combos, this one works well. It cleansed well and gave my short, fine hair the feeling of a bit more thickness and support and was not heavy or greasy.
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" scalp, so try it for yourself. 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 work-out slump.
The Value: A no-frills, solid product
At around $6 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 nautical-inspired 2-in-1 product also contains menthol. But with the higher price tag also comes an extra conditioning boost, with 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