I have naturally thick hair so when I've spent long hours in the sun, on a plane or even out here in the freezing cold (thankfully, that cold front in New York has passed) I can literally feel my locks are damaged. The worst is when it becomes a whole entity on its own: one minute it will feel real thin, then oily, then unmanageable. Very unusual but the various time zones I go in and out of contribute to crazy hair.
Clearly the best solution to healthy hair is a good diet (I try), using the right hair products (some are ridiculously damaging and drying to your hair) and obviously moisturizing/conditioning.
Unless you're Ryan Seacrest, men aren't as obsessive with their hair as women and will let dry hair slide. In fact, the dirty/messy look is still quite popular, and most of my male friends prefer this (which, ahem, may or may not be a reflection of their personalities). But you can't rock this out with dry/damaged locks. That's a whole different direction that would give a hair stylist nightmares.
One conditioner that I've been drawn to is Billy Jealousy Cashmere Coat Hair Strengthening Conditioner ($22). I remember when this men's line launched nearly four years ago and I was immediately inclined to the masculine, pop packaging. I loved how it wasn't "I'm a serious, new men's grooming line". I can't speak for much of the brand but the conditioner ('Cashmere Coat' had me at hello) beat some of the other brands I had tried. One of the top ingredients is quaternium-18, which really super conditions your hair. So I'm still torn on whether that's a good or bad thing but because I'm letting my dry hair make its decision (mind of its own, remember?), I'm locked in. What contributes to the super conditioning is the panthenol, a provitamin B conditioner. So you get double the conditioning.
An ingredient that sways my (or my hair's) decision is the lemon fruit extract, which does help fortify and shine. So I know my hair is very slowly strengthening. I also found the peppermint oil interesting. It's the last ingredient listed so not very prominent in the line up but the scent is unmistakable and you can feel a subtle hint of the mint in your scalp.
After conditioning, my hair is undoubtedly soft, almost too soft, with a undefinable sheen, something I can't put my finger on. The skeptic in me wonders if it's too much conditioning but my hair says let it be. www.billyjealousy.com