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When your hair tends to be oily, shopping for shampoo can be frustrating. Many cleaning products tend to infuse hair with extra oils and silicon ingredients, which can make your hair look heavier and less clean even right after you wash it.
We scoured product reviews and ingredient lists to find the best shampoos and conditioners recommended for oily hair. These recommendations are based on consumer experience from people like you, as well as dermatologist suggestions.
Price range guide:
- $ ($10 and under)
- $$ (between $10 – $20)
- $$$ ($20 and up)
Details: Neutrogena has long been trusted by dermatologists for products that soothe your skin and scalp. This shampoo aims to cleanse hair at the scalp, follicle, and hair shaft level. The “clarifying” ingredients are gentle and dye-free so that they don’t trigger an allergic reaction.
What to know: This shampoo is only meant to be used once a week or so. Using it more might strip your hair of its natural oils.
Details: This affordable shampoo is a great option for daily or every-other-day use. The formula is infused with apple cider vinegar, which may stimulate healthy circulation while it strips away oil residue in your hair.
What to know: This shampoo claims to be gentle enough to use on your roots and the damage-prone ends of your hair. It’s also sulfate-free.
Details: This affordable product from the OGX brand claims to moisturize your hair while dissolving excess oil. The fresh, clean scent of tea tree oil makes hair feel even cleaner after washing with this hydrating conditioner.
What to know: This conditioner also contains mint essences, which stimulate blood flow to the scalp and may help encourage hair growth.
Details: Aveda’s conditioner for oily hair and scalp has a scent of rosemary and fresh mint. Jojoba oil and grapefruit seed round out the list of natural essential oils this lightweight formula uses to soften and strengthen your hair.
What to know: This conditioner claims to be free of silicons, parabens, formaldehyde, and animal product ingredients. The high-quality formula does come at a higher price than most drugstore brands.
Details: This paraben-free formula works to control oil in your hair between washes. The nettle soaks up oil on your scalp, while the rest of the ingredients work to preserve hair’s shape and texture between washes. Unlike most dry shampoos, this one claims to control oil and shine even when you apply it to wet hair.
What to know: This formula also claims to regulate oil production to change the amount of oil your scalp produces. This claim may be unfounded, but most happy reviewers who used the product to control an oily scalp didn’t seem to mind.
Details: The Desert Essence brand is a cult favorite for those who prefer their products cruelty-free and natural. 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, while tea tree oil cleanses and cools your head. Maca root is included in the formula to boost your hair strand’s strength.
What to know: Keep in mind that while this shampoo is free of many toxic ingredients, it’s not sulfate-free.
Details: A sulfate-free favorite, this simple shampoo formula uses lemon oil as a secret weapon for stripping oil and trying to reclaim your hair’s natural oil balance. Jojoba and rosemary soothe and cool the scalp, while treating dandruff and an oily scalp.
What to know: Peach and basil round out the botanical ingredients included in this shampoo, so beware that your hair may smell like pungent herbs and spices after rinsing with this clarifying shampoo.
Details: This sulfate-free formula is also free of parabens, relying on pure peppermint oil to dissolve oils and invigorate your scalp. The pump dispenser on the bottle squeezes out smaller amounts that you can then rub on your scalp and roots to erase built-up oil and product 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.
Details: Biolage is beloved by salon specialists and dermatologists alike, and for good reason. This formula is specifically created for color-treated hair, which is sometimes damaged by overprocessing. The formula promises to moisturize without weighing hair down, and hundreds of happy customer reviews say it delivers.
What to know: Biolage products are a bit on the steep side in price. If you haven’t tried any cheaper options for your oily hair, you might want to test out a few less expensive alternatives first.
Details: Tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and lavender are just some ingredients in this shampoo that cleanse and clarify your scalp.
What to know: This product is a great pick if you’re concerned about oil buildup specifically on your scalp but aren’t looking to compromise on the fullness and shine of your hair itself.
Details: Another home run product from the Biolage salon brand, this shampoo is formulated specifically for oily scalp. Cooling mint strips extra oils and buildup from the top of your head without drying out the rest of your hair.
What to know: See if you can get a sample of this shampoo from a beauty supply store or your salon before you spend the money on a full-size container.
Beyond the products recommended above, there are a number of hair care products on the market that claim to address the complications of having oily hair. With new products coming out all the time, how can you know which ones will work for your hair?
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- and paraben-free products are definitely worth a try.
You should also get familiar 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 cleansing 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.
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.
There are tons of great products for your hair that focus on eliminating oil while preserving the shine of your strands. Try not to be an impulsive shopper as you consider products. Remember: 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 are a great place to start.