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The Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

🕚 Updated August 2023

Oily hair is a common problem that can cause shampoo shopping to be more challenging. To help, here are our recommendations for the best shampoo for oily hair that can make it easier to manage your hair throughout the day.

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  Best Overall Best for Clarifying Best Set Best for Kids Best Bar
  Maple Holistics
Degrease Shampoo for Oily Hair
Paul Mitchell
Shampoo Two
Exfoliating Healthy Scalp Clarify & Shine Shampoo & Conditioner
Fairy Tales
TBH Teen and Kids Shampoo
Solid Shampoo Bar for Oily Hair
Our SummaryThis sulfate-free clarifying shampoo nourishes hair with natural ingredients.Free your hair of excess oil and impurities with this clarifying shampoo from Paul Mitchell.Get a double dose of oil-fighting power with this exfoliating shampoo and conditioner set.A gentle shampoo made especially for kids and teens to cancel oily, hard-to-manage hair.This eco-friendly vegan shampoo bar eliminates oil from your hair without stripping or drying it out.
Pros✓ Cleans hair and scalp without stripping natural oils
✓ Sulfate-, paraben- and, cruelty-free
✓ Great for all hair types
✓ Nourishing essential oils
✓ Controls dandruff
✓ Cleans hair and reduces oil production
✓ Color-safe
✓ Removes dulling buildup
✓ Leaves hair clean and full of body
✓ Shampoo and conditioner set
✓ Exfoliates scalp and hair
✓ Works for all hair types
✓ No phthalates, parabens, or sulfated surfactants
✓ pH-balanced formula
✓ Gentle herbal shampoo
✓ Specially formulated for kids and teens with oily hair
✓ Balances pH
✓ Natural ingredients
✓ Sulfate- and paraben-free
✓ Specifically formulated for oily hair
✓ Vegan, eco-friendly ingredients and packaging
✓ Won't cause hair to feel stripped
✓ Long-lasting and cost-effective
Cons✗ Can be drying to hair ends
✗ Small eight-ounce bottle
✗ Can be drying if used more than once or twice per week✗ Rectangular bottles may be challenging to handle with wet hands✗ Doesn't produce much lather✗ Cocoa butter and castor oil may make thin hair feel weighed down
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The Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

Woman washing her hair with shampoo in the shower.

Buying Guide for Shampoo for Oily Hair

A pair of hands squeezing out shampoo from a bottle.

Why buy shampoo for oily hair?

Excessive oil production can make you feel like your hair is always unclean, itchy, and generally unpleasant. Fortunately, however, oily hair can be avoided with a suitable shampoo. You’ll want something that eliminates buildup and leaves your hair looking and feeling healthy and fresh. If you have greasy strands, shampooing every other day with a quality shampoo for oily hair can help remove excess oil and dead skin cells. Washing more often than this might deplete the scalp of its natural oils, which may have a rebound effect leading to excessive oil production.

What should you look for in a shampoo for oily hair?

  • Clarifying Ingredients: Many clarifying ingredients, such as tea tree oil, clay, apple cider vinegar, and salicylic acid, help remove buildup from hair and scalp. Avoid heavy oils like coconut, argan, or olive oils. These can weigh down your strands and make them appear dull. You may also want to ensure the shampoo is free of silicone, sulfates, and parabens.
  • pH Balancing formula: For maximum health and shine, choose a shampoo that helps balance the pH of your scalp and hair and your scalp’s oil production.
  • Hair Texture and Type: While some shampoos for oily hair are suited for all hair types, some may be best for certain types or textures, such as curly, color-treated, or fine hair. Be sure to take note of these specifics in the product descriptions.

Should you use conditioner if you have oily hair?

If you have oily hair, there are a lot of misconceptions about conditioner and shampoo. One of the biggest myths is that conditioning will make your hair oilier. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Conditioner delivers moisture, nutrition, and protection to your hair that shampoo alone cannot provide. Some brands of shampoo for oily hair have a matching conditioner that’s safe for oily hair. If you use this type of product, be sure to follow the instructions on both products carefully. If you’re still concerned about excess oil production, consider just conditioning the ends of your hair to protect them from drying out.

Our Picks for the Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

Best Overall

Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo for Oily Hair

This sulfate-free clarifying shampoo nourishes hair with natural ingredients.

Pros: Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo for Oily Hair can help you find a balance between cleaning your hair well without stripping away the natural oils that keep your tresses healthy. This sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo is great for all hair textures and features natural clarifying and nourishing ingredients like rosemary oil, cypress basil, and lemon oils. It controls dandruff and itchy scalps and manages oil and product buildup for clean, fresh hair you can feel good about. 

Cons: You may find that this product can dry at the ends of your hair. Carefully conditioning the ends after shampooing can be helpful. Also, at eight ounces, the actual bottle size can seem smaller than it looks in the product description.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a product that uses natural ingredients to control oiliness, dandruff, and product buildup, this shampoo from Maple Holistics is a solid option. Aside from its practicality, it will also leave your hair feeling nourished and moisturized.


Best for Clarifying

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two

Free your hair of excess oil and impurities with this clarifying shampoo from Paul Mitchell.

Pros: Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two is a clarifying shampoo that thoroughly cleans hair and reduces oil production. The color-safe cleanser removes dulling buildup from hair, and with weekly use, it helps oily hair become less greasy over time. Instead of being weighed down with excess oil and styling products, the hair is left clean, lustrous, and full of body. Its invigorating lemon scent will leave your hair feeling fresh.

Cons: Using this shampoo too often can cause your tresses to become dry. Using it one or two times per week is recommended, but if you have dry ends, you may want to use it even less often.

Bottom Line: Paul Mitchell is a trusted line in salon-quality hair care products. The brand has a solution for all kinds of hair woes, and Shampoo Two may be just the solution you need to alleviate your hair of oiliness.


Best Set

Neutrogena Exfoliating Healthy Scalp Clarify & Shine Shampoo & Conditioner

Get a double dose of oil-fighting power with this exfoliating shampoo and conditioner set.

Pros: This clarifying shampoo from Neutrogena exfoliates the scalp and hair, eliminating excess oil and residue. It’s made with a delightful blast of pink grapefruit and is ideal for all hair types and textures. This nonmedicated product contains no phthalates, parabens, or sulfated surfactants. The ph-balanced shampoo is used with Neutrogena’s Clarify and Shine Conditioner to exfoliate and expose healthy-looking, glowing hair.

Cons: Some may find the rectangular bottles the shampoo and conditioner come in a bit cumbersome, especially with wet hands.

Bottom Line: Give your oily hair a one-two punch with this nonmedicated exfoliating shampoo and conditioner set. If you’ve been concerned about using conditioner on your oily strands, you can feel more confident with this specially formulated product designed to pair with the shampoo.


Best for Kids

Fairy Tales TBH Teen and Kids Shampoo

A gentle shampoo made especially for kids and teens to cancel oily, hard-to-manage hair.

Pros: No one likes to have itchy, oily hair or scalp, and kids can feel especially uncomfortable with this issue. TBH Teen and Kids Shampoo may be the proper fix if your child or teen struggles with greasy hair. It’s a gentle herbal shampoo formulated for kids and teens with oily hair. The shampoo includes nettle and meadowsweet that are used to absorb and manage the natural oils in your youngster’s hair while also regulating pH levels to help decrease breakouts around the hairline. The sulfate- and paraben-free formula also includes jojoba and quinoa to maintain moisture, balance, and manageability.

Cons: This gentle, sulfate-free formula doesn’t create much lather on wet hair.

Bottom Line: Pubescent hormones may exacerbate the oiliness problem in teens and tweens, and self-consciousness can come along with that. This shampoo uses natural ingredients to manage greasiness and help kids feel better about their hair.


Best Bar

Ethique Solid Shampoo Bar for Oily Hair

This eco-friendly vegan shampoo bar eliminates oil from your hair without stripping or drying it out.

Pros: Shampoo bars are becoming increasingly popular as people look for greener alternatives to traditional shampoos. These products eliminate the need for using and disposing of plastic bottles. They also often contain natural ingredients for your hair that are better for the environment. This shampoo bar from Ethique is specifically formulated for oily hair, using vegan ingredients to safely clean the hair of excess oil without causing it to feel stripped. This bar is good for your wallet, too, since one bar offers the shampooing equivalent of three bottles of traditional shampoo.

Cons: This shampoo bar includes cocoa butter and castor oil in its ingredients. However, some may find that these ingredients condition and balance their natural oil production. These humectants could cause very thin hair to feel weighed down.

Bottom Line: Ethique’s Solid Shampoo Bar for Oily Hair may be an excellent choice if you’d like to tackle those greasy strands with a product that will last you long without drying your hair. Eliminating the need for plastic use is also a green flag for using this fantastic alternative.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with oily hair can be annoying, but as with many challenges in life, there are solutions. A major part of the solution is choosing the shampoo for oily hair that is right for you. We’ve considered various shampoo options that offer to safely clean, clarify, and balance oily hair. If you’re looking for relief from the headache of managing oily hair, perhaps one of these picks can come to the rescue.

Desiree Bradshaw
Desiree Bradshaw is a freelance content writer from Memphis, TN with experience writing about e-commerce, RVing, and mental health. She received her BA in English with a concentration in professional writing from The University of Memphis. When she's not writing, she enjoys adventures as a full-time RVer with her husband Randy and spoiled lab mix Buddy. Read Full Bio »
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