Best shampoos and conditioners for oily hair-1Share on Pinterest
Design by Jackie Cruz.

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

When your hair tends to be oily, shopping for shampoo can be frustrating. Many shampoos infuse hair with extra oils and silicone ingredients, which can make your hair look heavier and less clean even right after you wash it.

Everyone’s hair has a natural amount of oil, also called sebum, produced in the scalp that coats the strands. Hair that looks greasy or wet, even shortly after washing it, is what many consider to be of the oily type.

There’s no objective measurement of whether you have oily hair, but if your hair feels limp or has a wet appearance when dry, chances are your hair falls into the oily category.

Another indicator of oily hair is when you feel like your hair looks dirty or feels slick even though you wash it daily.

Oily hair is caused by excess sebum being distributed throughout your hair through your scalp. Some oil is completely natural, but excess oil can have several underlying causes. These may include:

  • washing your hair too often
  • not washing your hair enough
  • using products that aren’t right for your hair type
  • genetics

All shampoo is made with the goal of cleansing dirt and oil from your scalp and hair. Some shampoos have “clarifying” ingredients, which claim to dissolve oil. That means that these hair care products go a step beyond a basic cleansing of the hair follicle and scalp. They actually aim to dissolve oily buildup to give you a clean slate.

Regular shampoos are often made with creamy moisturizers meant to soften and condition your hair. However, these ingredients may not work well for oily hair since they can leave behind a creamy residue or film. Shampoos that are specifically formulated for oily hair shouldn’t leave behind any residue.

Keep in mind that even though shampoo can help cut down excess oil, using shampoo too often can actually have a reverse effect. Product can build up on your hair and cause your scalp to overproduce oil.

If you have oily hair, you may actually need to wash your hair less often than people with other hair types. But, the amount and frequency of shampoo your hair needs depends on a variety of factors and preferences. It will take some experimentation to figure out a routine that works for you.

We scoured product reviews and ingredient lists to find the best shampoos recommended for oily hair. These recommendations are based on consumer experiences shared in reviews, as well as suggestions from dermatologists and hair care experts.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Most affordable shampoo for oily hair

Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo

Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo
  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: budget shoppers
  • Scent: apple, pear, saffron

Details: This affordable shampoo may be a solid option for daily or every-other-day use. The formula is infused with apple cider vinegar, which is a good source of acetic acid.

Acetic acid can help balance the pH levels in your hair. According to research, acetic acid is especially helpful if you’ve used many products that have high alkalinity (or the opposite of acidic), which can result in a change in the natural texture and shine of your hair.

This shampoo can also strip away excess oil residue in your hair, according to the company.

What to know: According to the company, this shampoo is gentle enough to use on your roots and the damage-prone ends of your hair. It’s also sulfate-free.

Pros

  • It’s designed to help eliminate oil residue in hair.
  • This shampoo should create a gentle lather and not weigh hair down.
  • It contains apple cider vinegar to help soothe itching and get rid of dandruff flakes.

Cons

  • Some reviewers are turned off by the scent of this shampoo.
  • It may require trial and error to figure out how often to use the shampoo, since it varies according to how oily your hair is.

Best dry shampoo for oily hair

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle
  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: those looking to use something in between washes
  • Scent: light perfume

Details: This paraben-free formula is designed to regulate oil in your hair. The nettle soaks up oil on your scalp, while the rest of the ingredients work to preserve hair’s shape and texture between washes, according to the company. This shampoo claims to control oil and shine in between washes.

What to know: This formula also claims to regulate oil production to change the amount of oil your scalp produces. Although the company doesn’t provide specific evidence for this claim, most reviewers who used the product to control an oily scalp didn’t seem to mind.

Pros

  • Reviewers say it isn’t overly perfumed.
  • It shouldn’t leave oily residue behind.
  • It aims to help extend the length of time between hair washes.

Cons

  • It’s expensive for the amount of product included.
  • The product may be visible in darker shades of hair.
  • Some reviewers reported scalp irritation after use.

Best natural shampoo for oily hair

Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo

Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo
  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: people who prefer a cruelty-free and organic shampoo
  • Scent: lemon

Details: Desert Essence is a favorite of those looking for cruelty-free and natural products. This shampoo is certified organic, and the ingredient list is low in chemicals. The lemon peel extract dissolves dirt and oil on your hair strands and scalp, according to the company.

What to know: Keep in mind that while this shampoo is free of many toxic ingredients, it’s not sulfate-free.

Pros

  • It’s designed to add shine without adding oil.
  • It’s certified organic.
  • A little goes a long way, so you may be able to make the bottle last a long time.

Cons

  • Some reviewers say it causes frizziness and knots.
  • It may not be good for sensitive skin since it contains essential oils.

Best shampoo for oily hair and dandruff

Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo

Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo
  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: people with dandruff
  • Scent: lemon, herbal

Details: A sulfate-free choice, this simple shampoo uses lemon oil to try and reduce excess oil. Jojoba oil is added to help moisturize, while rosemary oil may help soothe dandruff and prevent hair loss.

What to know: Peach and basil round out the botanical ingredients included in this shampoo, so beware that your hair may have a strong scent after rinsing with this clarifying shampoo.

Pros

  • It’s sulfate-free.
  • It’s designed to be safe on color-treated hair.
  • A little bit goes a long way.

Cons

  • It’s strongly scented.
  • It has the potential to be drying.

Best paraben-free shampoo for oily hair

Brocato Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo

Brocato Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo
  • Price: $$$
  • Who it’s best for: people who prefer a paraben-free shampoo
  • Scent: peppermint

Details: This shampoo is free of parabens, relying on pure peppermint oil to help dissolve oils and invigorate your scalp. The pump dispenser on the bottle squeezes out smaller amounts. This can help you better control the amount of product on your scalp and reduce residue.

What to know: This shampoo is meant as a once-a-week clarifying treatment, but it can also be used as a body scrub. The formula even claims to work for all hair types, no matter the texture.

Pros

  • It should dissolve oil and exfoliate your scalp.
  • The peppermint extract may offer a cooling sensation to the scalp.
  • The product is densely concentrated so a little goes a long way.

Cons

Best shampoo for oily scalp with dry hair

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: people with oily and dry hair
  • Scent: tea tree, peppermint, lavender

Details: With over 37,000 customer reviews, this shampoo is one of the most well-rated on Amazon. Tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and lavender are just some ingredients in this shampoo that aim to cleanse and clarify your scalp. Reviewers mention it works well on dandruff and it comes highly recommended by professional stylists.

What to know: This product is worth consideration if you’re concerned about oil buildup specifically on your scalp, but aren’t looking to compromise on fullness and shine. However, it may be too drying to use daily. Many reviewers say they use it once a week to prevent drying out their hair and scalp.

Pros

  • It claims to dissolve oil on your scalp without completely drying out your hair.
  • Botanical ingredients provide a fresh scent.
  • Some reviewers say it helps with dandruff.

Cons

  • It may not work for everyday use.
  • It contains essential oils, which can be sensitizing.

Biolage Cooling Mint Scalp Sync Shampoo

Biolage Cooling Mint Scalp Sync Shampoo
  • Price: $$$
  • Who it’s best for: people with scalp irritation
  • Scent: mint

Details: Biolage is beloved by salon specialists and dermatologists alike, and for good reason. This shampoo is formulated specifically for oily scalps. Cooling mint aims to strip extra oils and buildup from your scalp without drying out the rest of your hair.

What to know: This product is pricey. You may be able to get a sample from a beauty supply store or salon before spending money on a full-size container.

Pros

  • Reviewers say this product didn’t dry out their hair, which some people experience with shampoos formulated to remove excess oil.
  • Using it once or twice a week might be enough to soothe scalp and soften hair without weighing it down.

Cons

  • It’s pricey.
  • It may not work for all hair types.

Best eco-friendly choice for oily hair

Ethique St Clements Shampoo Bar

Ethique St Clements Shampoo Bar
  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: eco-minded shoppers
  • Scent: citrus

Details: This shampoo bar offers something just a little bit different. Instead of liquid coming in a plastic container, it’s a bar that comes wrapped in eco-friendly, compostable paper. You can use the bar to build a lather on your scalp and hair just like you would shampoo.

What to know: Ethique gets rave reviews for its citrus-fresh scent and is a great bang for your buck (one bar = three bottles of shampoo). However, transitioning to a new kind of hair wash can be a bit tricky, and it might take a couple of weeks to get used to shampooing with a bar.

Pros

  • It has eco-friendly packaging.
  • It’s a better value than traditional shampoo.
  • It has all-natural ingredients.

Cons

  • It may be hard to transition from traditional shampoos.
  • The botanical ingredients may cause irritation for some people.
  • Not many customer reviews touch on its ability to reduce oil residue.

Best exfoliating shampoo for oily scalp

Playa California Salt Shampoo

  • Price: $$$
  • Who it’s best for: people with oily, irritated scalps and product build-up
  • Scent: tea tree

Details: This weekly cleanser is made with California sea salt and tea tree oil to hopefully deliver a gently exfoliating scalp treatment. The salt helps remove impurities and build up on your hair, while the tea tree oil treats the scalp, according to the company.

Customers say they love how gently this weekly shampoo works and rave about the signature scent — a “beachy” fragrance formulated without known irritants like acetone, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, camphor, or ethanol.

What to know: The texture of this cleanser is gritty, and a little goes a long way. You only need to work a small amount gently into the scalp before rinsing clean.

Pros

  • This weekly treatment uses salt and tea tree oil to help gently cleanse and purify.
  • Reviewers rave about the fragrance.

Cons

  • It’s expensive.
  • The texture can take some getting used to.

Best gentle shampoo for oily hair

Amika Reset Exfoliating Jelly Shampoo

  • Price: $$$
  • Who it’s best for: people looking for an ultra-gentle formula
  • Scent: citrus

Details: This exfoliating shampoo has a jelly consistency and a needle application tip to make it easier to apply it directly to the scalp. It’s made with pink clay, sea salt, salicylic acid, and charcoal to help soothe and gently clean oily scalps. Sea buckthorn berry oil is also on the list, and there is research that it can help treat dry, irritated, flaky, itchy skin.

The jelly exfoliating shampoo is very well reviewed, with close to 500 customers on the Amika website raving about how well it cleans their oily strands. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and certified vegan.

What to know: This is a gentle shampoo, but it’s not recommended for use on color-treated hair. Because of its salt content, it could fade your color.

Pros

  • This weekly treatment claims to gently clean the scalp for softer, cleaner hair.
  • It’s made without sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and petrolatum.
  • It has over 400 5-star reviews.

Cons

  • It shouldn’t be used on color-treated hair.

Best moisturizing shampoo for oily hair

Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo

  • Price: $$$
  • Who it’s best for: people with oily scalps and dry hair
  • Scent: citrus

Details: Olaplex is one of the biggest independent hair care brands in the world and the force behind “bond building,” a patented approach to stronger, healthier hair. The No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo is a newer offering designed to gently clarify without stripping moisture.

The formula is sulfate-free and pH balanced. That’s a big deal, according to celebrity hairstylist Christin Brown.

“The Olaplex No.4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo is sulfate free, so it’s not stripping, you still get a great lather, and it’s also super moisturizing which is rare for a clarifying shampoo,” explains Brown.

This shampoo also removes chlorine, metals, and hard water, according to the company.

What to know: It’s a new product, so reviews are still limited.

Pros

  • This sulfate-free formula hopes to cleanse the scalp without stripping moisture from the hair.
  • It claims to gently remove build-up for shiner, healthier strands.
  • It’s vegan and cruelty-free.

Cons

  • It’s expensive.
  • It’s still new, so reviews are limited.

Best volume-boosting shampoo for oily hair

Luxy Hair Charcoal Detox Shampoo

  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: people looking to add more volume
  • Scent: Moroccan argan

This detoxifying shampoo is made with key ingredients to help gently cleanse the scalp and hair. The combination of organic baobab oil, activated charcoal, organic apple cider vinegar, grape seed oil, vitamin B-5, and aloe vera is designed to help clean and nourish for more voluminous locks. Plus, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified.

What to know: This may be a solid option for people with hair extensions or color-treated hair. According to the company, it was specifically formulated for use on any hair type.

Pros

  • It’s made with organic apple cider vinegar, which may restore pH balance for healthier hair.
  • It should be safe to use daily, even on color-treated hair or extensions.
  • It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified.

Cons

  • Reviews are limited.

Best daily shampoo for oily hair

Pacifica Rosemary Purify Invigorating Shampoo

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: people looking for a daily shampoo to control oil
  • Scent: fresh mint

This invigorating shampoo is designed to deeply clean the scalp and hair to minimize oil production. Mint and rosemary should give it a minty fresh feel on the scalp and a pleasing scent. It’s free of sulfates and silicones and it’s vegan and cruelty-free. Plus, you can’t beat the price.

It’s well reviewed on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.5 stars. Customers rave about how well it works to combat greasy locks without sacrificing softness or volume.

What to know: While this is billed as a daily clarifying shampoo, some reviewers found it works better if it’s used less frequently. Most reviews are very positive, but there are a handful of customers who found this budget-friendly shampoo too drying.

Pros

  • It has a great price point.
  • It’s made without sulfates, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil.

Cons

  • Some reviewers found it too drying.

Best strengthening shampoo for oily hair

OUAI Detox Shampoo

  • Price: $$$
  • Who it’s best for: people looking to strengthen weak strands
  • Scent: floral

This clarifying shampoo is made with apple cider vinegar to help gently cleanse oily scalps, and it’s designed for use on all hair types. But it’s the addition of hydrolyzed keratin that may strengthen weak strands while also adding shine and smoothing frizz.

More than 1,000 reviews on the Sephora website give this shampoo an overall 4.6-star rating. What’s more, 92% of people recommend it for combating oiliness.

What to know: The scent, dubbed “Melrose Place,” appears to be an intoxicating rose fragrance that’s so popular, the company uses it in body cleansers and lotions.

Pros

  • Apple cider vinegar and keratin should cleanse and strengthen.
  • It’s very well reviewed, with over 1,000 happy customers.
  • It can be used weekly or as needed.

Cons

  • It’s expensive.

Best shine-boosting shampoo for oily hair

Virtue Purifying Shampoo

  • Price: $$$
  • Who it’s best for: people looking for more shine
  • Scent: fresh

This deeply cleansing shampoo is designed to lift oil, toxins, and product build up for cleaner, shinier hair. It claims it can be used on any hair type, from straight and fine to curly and coarse. Plus, it’s made with a patented protein that’s identical to keratin. According to the company, this protein can help repair damaged hair over time.

You can use this shampoo weekly for a deep clean, or as needed to remove residue and keep oil at bay.

What to know: Reviewers call it a great formula for keeping their scalp clean and their hair soft and shiny. Plus, they say a little goes a long way. That’s good, because this is a pricey shampoo!

Pros

  • It should work on all hair types.
  • It’s vegan and cruelty-free.
  • It’s made with a patented protein that’s identical to keratin, which may repair damaged hair.

Cons

  • It’s expensive.
  • It has synthetic fragrance.

ProductPriceBest forFrequency
Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo$budget shoppers2-3 times/week
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle$$$using in between washesas needed
Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo$people who prefer a cruelty-free and organic shampoo 2-3 times/week
Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo$people with dandruff2-3 times/week
Brocato Peppermint Scrub Purifying Shampoo$$$people who prefer a paraben-free shampooweekly
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo$$people with oily and dry hair2-3 times/week
Biolage Cooling Mint Scalp Sync Shampoo$$$people with scalp irritation2-3 times/week
Ethique St Clements Shampoo Bar$$eco-minded shoppers daily
Playa California Salt Shampoo$$$people with oily, irritated scalps and product build-upweekly
Amika Reset Exfoliating Jelly Shampoo$$$people looking for an ultra-gentle formulaweekly
Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo$$$people with oily scalps and dry hairweekly
Luxy Hair Charcoal Detox Shampoo$$people looking for more volumedaily
Pacifica Rosemary Purify Invigorating Shampoo$people looking for a daily shampoo to control oildaily
OUAI Detox Shampoo$$$people looking to strengthen weak strands1/week or as needed
Virtue Purifying Shampoo$$$people looking for more shine1-2 times/week

Beyond the products recommended above, there are a number of hair care products on the market that claim to address oily hair. With new products coming out all the time, how can you know which ones will work for your hair? There are a couple of factors that may be helpful to consider.

Chemistry

First, understand the chemistry of these products. Formulas made of more natural ingredients might be especially beneficial for people with oily hair and scalp.

Using harsh soaps and sulfate ingredients might be throwing off the natural balance of sebum production on your hair follicles and scalp, leading to increased oil production.

If you have oily hair, sulfate-free and paraben-free products are definitely worth a try.

Ingredients

Familiarize yourself with the ingredients that work to clean the scalp and roots of your hair without stripping or damaging the hair strand.

Peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree oil are all ingredients that can clarify your hair’s texture while removing oil and product buildup.

Be ready for some trial and error. Some formulas might be too harsh for your hair, and you might need to try a few before you find the best fit.

It’s also important to note that some essential oils and botanicals can cause contact dermatitis, so be sure to discontinue use of the product if you notice signs of irritation.

Figure out what’s important to you

Once you know what chemicals you want to avoid — as well as which ingredients you’re looking for — you can ask yourself other questions about the product you want to purchase.

The sustainability of the packaging, green manufacturing practices, and vegan or cruelty-free standards might all factor in when discovering the shampoo and conditioner of your dreams.

Should you use conditioner with oily hair?

Yes. Hair gets oily because of sebum, and your glands may be producing too much sebum to try to hydrate and coat the scalp.

The case for this is anecdotal, but some people swear that if you can balance out the skin on your head with shampoos and conditioners, you may be able to see an overall decrease in how oily your hair is.

Should you shampoo every day if you have oily hair?

If you have oily hair, you probably feel like you need to wash it every day. But most hair care experts and dermatologists don’t recommend washing your hair daily if you can avoid it.

After you’ve found a clarifying shampoo that works to dissolve oil buildup on your hair, you might not feel the need to wash daily. If you do still want to wash your hair every day, be careful to follow product instructions. Some shampoos are meant to be used weekly rather than daily.

Which shampoo is best for greasy hair?

You should look for a shampoo that contains ingredients that will help strip your hair of excess oil. Some of these ingredients are tea tree, lemon, and rosemary oil.

Shampoos that contain a high quantity of moisturizers probably aren’t a good option. But you shouldn’t completely strip your hair of all moisture (that can cause your hair to produce even more oil).

Instead, look for a conditioner that contains natural, moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil that won’t leave an excess of product in your hair.

Some clarifying shampoos can be drying and irritating, so look for products that use gentler ingredients.

Should I stop using shampoo if I have oily hair?

No. The trick is finding a clarifying shampoo that works well to dissolve oil in your hair without drying out your scalp and triggering more oil production. Then, you can experiment with how frequently you need to shampoo.

How often should you wash oily hair?

It depends. Most experts agree that shampooing every day is unnecessary and should be avoided. Once you find a clarifying shampoo or a weekly treatment that works well for your hair, you may find that every other day or every three days works.

Be prepared for a little trial and error.

Is oily hair healthy?

Healthy hair does produce oil as a way to hydrate the scalp and protect the hair. But too much oil may give you the impression that your hair is dirty.

Still, oily roots don’t necessarily mean your hair is out of balance. Keep in mind that fine and straight hair types are more prone to oil build up, and certain habits, products, and even climates can make your hair look oilier than usual.

There are tons of great products for your hair that focus on eliminating oil while preserving the shine of your strands. You might have to try a few before you find what works best for you.

Products that emphasize natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil may be a great place to start.