Here’s the thing about head hair: You have to clean and condition it all the time. It’s a mindless process that becomes fairly annoying when, like me, you have long, thick hair.
There is an infinite number of options for shampooing and conditioning, and I can say from experience that fancy hair products really do make you look like a luxurious person who may even have his or her life together.
But a woman must have a code, and my code is that when my hair gets to that long-medium length (as it is now), I only use the Fancy Shampoo for Special Occasions—that is, events where there will be one of those nice, free photo booths, like the Deadspin Awards.
Otherwise, I tear through a $30+ bottle of shampoo in, like, a week or a month, depending on how good I am at washing every couple days, as is usually suggested for women or people with very curly hair but is not always practical for people who have bangs or short hair.
So, for the last 10 years or so of an intermittent long hair experience, I have turned to the classic, the one and only: Mane ‘n Tail.
It’s literally shampoo and conditioner that can be used for horses or for people. I use the classic variety, but there are now alternative varieties aimed at the varying needs of human hair. Most importantly, it gets the job done, and it’s cheap as hell.
This is the right shampoo for me, a person who needs a lot of it, and maybe it’s the right shampoo for you, a person who might use a Dove shampoo and conditioner combo that comes in a charcoal gray bottle and is aimed at the sensibilities of Men.
It’s the perfect product for people who want their hair to look clean and moisturized, but don’t want to add it to the list of things to think about for more than a couple minutes each day. Some men, I think, feel this way. Maybe you are one of them?
Of course, the horse shampoo and conditioner is best for people with straight or wavy hair, because it seems like my friends with curls need Very Good conditioners and honestly, the Mane ‘n Tail conditioner is not that.
Both products are fairly gloopy. The shampoo looks like semen and the conditioner is just kind of yellow and lifeless. It doesn’t make my hair look spectacular, but it makes it clean. It also frees me up to spend approximately $200 billion at Sephora every year on skincare.
Anyway, check it out:
You can get this one-gallon jug of Mane ‘n Tail conditioner on Jet.com (which is owned by Walmart, so don’t buy it there) for $34.10. That’s cheap. Here’s a combo pack of 32-oz bottles of shampoo and conditioner on Amazon for $16.56.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, Lindsey, the Dove 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner is $6.49 on Target.com. To that I say: 2-in-1 hair products aren’t real. They are a sham and a scam, and any rational person can and should look at these 2-in-1 bottles and realize that shampoo and conditioner do different things. The shampoo washes out naturally occurring oils and everyday grime, and the conditioner ostensibly works to restore some of that moisture you stripped away with the dang shampoo. You can not remove something and add something in opposition at the same time.
Just get the horse shampoo. You know it’s a novelty—perhaps you and your guests will laugh together if they notice products meant for horse hair in your bathroom—and maybe, if you choose to live somewhere other than Manhattan (unlike me, an idiot), you can just buy the gallon jugs of the stuff and put it in one of the many closets in which you store your other Costco-style bulk items. One million horses can’t be wrong.