The search for the best shampoo for oily hair is often a hairy one (pun intended). Every couple of months, I find myself wandering off to another brand or type of shampoo. Between organic shampoo, dry shampoo, and even shampoo bars, finding the perfect match for your locks is often very time-consuming.
Best Shampoo For Oily Hair
Where To Buy
Living Proof Shampoo
Phthalate-, silicone-, and cruelty-free
Bumble & Bumble Thickening Shampoo
Specifically designed to thicken locks
Majestic Pure Argan Oil Shampoo
It contains no sulfates, parabens, or formaldehyde
Giovanni Powder Dry Shampoo
It absorbs oil and adds lots of volume
Unfortunately, shampoo specifically for greasy hair isn't exactly a solution in a bottle. Often, a better shampoo must be paired with a change in lifestyle to rectify the problem at the root (bazinga)!
You could remedy your greasy hair one of two ways: naturally or commercially. On the one hand, there are plenty of recipes for do-it-yourself shampoos with natural ingredients. But if you're determined to get the most bang for your buck, there are thousands of shampoos on the market.
What Causes Oily Hair?
Hair strands contain sebaceous glands which secrete sebum. Sebum coats your hair to give it that shiny, glossy look. However, too much sebum and you'll end up with oily, greasy-looking hair. Your hair could be secreting too much sebum for several reasons.
Sometimes, you can blame it on your hormones. Monthly cycles raise both estrogen and testosterone levels, resulting in changes in both skin and hair.
It could also be oily because you don't wash your hair often enough. As a result, the excess oil builds and builds until your hair looks like its a paper pizza plate. But, interestingly enough, oily hair could also be a repercussion of washing your hair too much!
Vigorously washing your hair too often will strip your hair of its sebum. Consequently, your body over-produces sebum to make up for the loss of oil. That means your hair looks oilier even though you washed your hair the night before.
What To Avoid
When it comes to ingredients, there's a whole host of offenders you should watch out for. But there are three, in particular, you don't want your shampoo to have: sulfate, formaldehyde, and parabens. Sulfate is a strong detergent included in shampoos to get the dirt and grime out of your locks.
Unfortunately, if the sulfate content is too high or if you wash your hair too often, it also strips your hair of its natural oils. That leaves your hair limp, lifeless, and dull. Plus, there are plenty of safer alternatives that do the same job, if not better.
Formaldehyde is very strictly regulated in most countries but banned in others such as Sweden and Japan. The reason being that it is a known allergen, carcinogen, and toxin. Depending on the person, it harms the bodies differently.
However, it can cause health issues including digestive problems, respiratory problems, and headaches (among other things). Therefore, it's best to leave this chemical far, far away from your hair (and any other products used on your body, for that matter).
Lastly, steer clear from anything containing parabens. This commonly-found cosmetic ingredient has been linked with certain kinds of cancer. Although there is no data claiming that it causes cancer, scientists have found parabens among cancerous cells. However, this chemical does impact other parts of the body, including hormone function.
What To Look For In The Best Shampoo For Oily Hair
It's tough to narrow down a specific ingredient or two that should be on the bottles of the best shampoo for oily hair. While we know what is bad for our hair, figuring out what works best is often a game of chance.
The best advice we could give is to thoroughly read the ingredient label before you buy. Plenty of companies brag about their natural ingredients and chemical-free formulas. However, their ingredient list is truly their badge of honor.
Look for companies which explain what each component is, as many of them sound like chemicals but are not. Simmondsia chinensis, for example, is the botanical oil for jojoba
However, the best shampoo for your greasy hair may contain a few chemicals to give it the treatment it needs. Panthenol, for instance, is a form of vitamin B5 which hydrates and conditions hair. Zinc pyrithione is an additive which reduces dandruff -- something that may be apparent if you have greasy hair. It all depends on personal needs and preference.
The Natural Method
If you don't want to risk introducing harmful chemicals to your hair, the best shampoo for oily hair for you might be to make your own. There are plenty of recipes for shampoo online. However, here's a recipe for a dry shampoo specifically for dark-haired folk that we enjoy:
DIY Best Shampoo For Oily Hair
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
5 to 8 drops of lavender essential oil
5 drops of either tea tree, eucalyptus, bergamot rose, lemon, almond, or orange oil
Mix all the ingredients. Using a wide makeup brush, apply the mixture to your hair. Pat and mix until dissolved. Store the remainder in an airtight glass container for up to three months.
(Recipe courtesy of MapleHolistics.)
How We Reviewed The Best Shampoo For Oily Hair
To bring you the best products, we looked all over the web in search of the best shampoo for oily hair. We looked through countless products, ingredient lists, and read real customer reviews to give you the best of the best shampoos.
The Best Shampoo For Oily Hair
We've narrowed down the best shampoo to tame your oily locks without damaging your hair's natural shine.
The team at Living Proof believes in using science to solve the world’s hair problems. So it’s no surprise that their ingredient list is not exactly on the natural side of the spectrum. Having said that, they don’t use any of our ingredients on our naughty list. They also happen to be phthalate-, silicone-, and cruelty-free.
Unfortunately, they are not made of organic materials. Nor are their ingredients vegan- or vegetarian-friendly.
Thankfully, they're relatively easy to find both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. They have a rating of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon with 74 percent of customers rating it at 5-stars.
Purchase this shampoo in cosmetics stores such as Sephora or online on Amazon or the manufacturer’s website.
Bumble and Bumble is another strong brand known for its cruelty-free products. However, their ingredient list is a little on the hairy side. While the list doesn't include parabens, mineral oils, phthalates, or formaldehyde, sodium laureth sulfate is the second ingredient after water. That may be especially problematic for those worrying about damaging their hair's natural sebum levels.
It does work well, however, for those with thin, oily hair because it is specifically designed to thicken locks. Those who are looking for organic, vegetarian, or vegan shampoos should also steer clear of Bumble & Bumble. However, they are a cruelty-free company, which should be of some comfort!
It is also available on the manufacturer's website as well as other retailers including Ulta and Sephora. Customers enjoy its thick, creamy formula and warn others to use the product sparingly, as a little goes a long way!
Majestic Pure argan oil shampoo may be the best shampoo for oily hair for those wanting a more natural ingredient list. It contains no sulfates, parabens, or formaldehyde. It contains many different kinds of natural oils including jojoba, coconut, castor, avocado, and (of course) argan oil to nourish your hair without chemicals.
Customers rated this shampoo 4 stars out of a possible 5 with 71 percent giving it a 5-star rating. Most love the product's natural ingredient list and even tamed their frizzy hair. But others complained of a powerful fragrance as well as a thin formula. And unfortunately, it is only available online via Amazon or the manufacturer's website.
That's half the price of our previous shampoo bottles and double the quantity. That proves using natural ingredients doesn't automatically mean the product's price skyrockets!
There are two reasons why you may want to use dry shampoo. Many sufferers of oily hair want to "retrain" their hair by washing their hair less often. It is an attempt to get their sebum levels under control if their sebum levels were too high due to over-washing.
Secondly, you may just not have enough time to get in the shower! Giovanni's powder dry shampoo gives your hair the pick-me-up it needs to look fresh and fabulous for the rest of the day (or night). By pressing the powder into your scalp, it absorbs oil and adds lots of volume, something especially convenient for oily hair.
The product's ingredient list is also relatively short, listing no parabens, sulfates, or formaldehyde. It does contain several good natural ingredients including lemon peel extract, oats, and ginseng root.
On Amazon, customers rated this dry shampoo 4 stars out of 5. Most buyers enjoy its scent-free properties and low price. However, others found it difficult to apply and noticed it only starts working about an hour or two after application.
While the price is tempting, remember that this bottle size (1.7-ounces) is much smaller than any regular 8-ounce liquid shampoo bottle.
Ease of availability is a little tricky. While it does not seem available in brick-and-mortar retailers, it is available online, including via the manufacturer's website.
What's The Best Shampoo For Oily Hair?
If we were to pick one particular shampoo from our list, we would have to give our golden star to the Majestic Pure argan oil shampoo. It's made with natural ingredients, doesn't contain any harsh chemicals, and it's inexpensive to boot!
Do you have a different opinion when it comes to the best shampoo for oily hair? Let us know in the comments below!