The natural oil on your skin and scalp is called sebum. It’s produced in the hair follicles and is meant to lock in moisture on the scalp. Too much sebum makes your hair look greasy, even if you washed it recently. But lucky for you, there are specifically formulated shampoos for oily hair and shampoos for an oily scalp.
Oily hair can leave you feeling insecure about your hair’s appearance. Greasy hair can be a result of many different factors. The best way to combat it is to figure out what is causing the excess oil production on your scalp. This can involve some trial and error. However, some ingredients and products will help balance your scalp’s sebum production.
Keep reading to figure out what’s causing your hair imbalance and what is the best shampoo for greasy hair.
What Causes Greasy Hair?
A variety of factors can cause greasy hair. It’s important to figure out which causes apply to you so you can combat your oily hair problems and find the best shampoo for it. Some of the most common causes of greasy hair are the following:
- Overwashing: Washing your hair too often may dry it out. When your scalp and hair is very dry, your scalp will produce excess oil to compensate for the lack of moisture.
- Build-up: Using too many products in your hair on a regular basis leads to product build-up. If you are not using a clarifying shampoo for greasy hair, your scalp will become oily from all the build-up.
- Genetics (or hormones): Based on your genetics, you may have a predisposition to greasy hair. Does oily hair run in the family? A hormone imbalance may also lead the body to produce too much oil in your hair. A shampoo for greasy hair should counteract any effects of hormonal imbalances on your scalp.
- Hair type: Some hair types are more prone to becoming oily faster than others. Fine, straight hair is more likely to be oily than thick, curly hair.
- Using the wrong hair products: Your life will be so much easier when you find the right combination of hair products that work best for you. Using the wrong products can create an imbalance of pH levels on your scalp, leading to oil production.
Trial and error is the best method for finding out what is causing your greasy hair. Learn more about how to get rid of oily hair for good here.
How to Identify a Good Shampoo for Oily Hair
The key to tackling greasy hair is a suitable, high quality shampoo. But with so many options on the market, how can you find the best shampoo for greasy hair?
Here are some key things to keep in mind when choosing the best shampoo for oily hair. Keep an eye out for these components in shampoo and conditioner for greasy hair:
- Gentle, sulfate- and silicone-free formula: Shampoos formulated with silicones and sulfates may do more harm than good to your hair. Over time, the use of products with silicones and sulfates can create build up in your hair. The build up is what causes the hair to produce excess oil. Skip the additives and opt for a gentler formula when choosing a shampoo for greasy hair.
- Organic and vegan: The best shampoos for oily hair are natural, as they won't create additional irritation and potentially result in a sore scalp. A shampoo for greasy hair should be made with high quality, organic and vegan ingredients. Keep things simple with certified natural products that won’t irritate the scalp or distress the hair into producing more hair oil.
- Active ingredients that balance the scalp and sebum production: Your shampoo and conditioner for greasy hair should be working for you, not against you. Take a look at the active ingredients in your shampoo for oily scalp to be sure that they are working to balance the pH levels of the scalp for a healthy sebum production.
Best Ingredients in Shampoos For Oily Hair
When trying to find the best shampoo for greasy hair, the ingredients in your products matter. Let’s take a closer look at the specific ingredients you want in shampoo and conditioner for oily hair.
- Organic Rosemary Oil: This ingredient has properties to help relieve itchiness, stop excess oil production, and reduce inflammation around hair follicles. I have applied rosemary oil directly to my hair before, but having it as a key ingredient in a product like the Grow Perfect™ Shampoo makes my life easier. Rosemary oil has been shown to be effective in stimulating hair growth as well.
- Maris Sal: This natural salt from the Dead Sea has a mild, cleansing effect, which is perfect for clearing out scalp build up. This is a key ingredient in shampoo for greasy hair. This mineral rich sea salt has traditionally been used as a treatment for various skin conditions.
- Organic Cloudberry Extract: Cloudberry is a fruit similar to blackberries and provides moisturizing and soothing benefits for scalp and hair. Cloudberry extract is also a potent source of protective antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. In shampoo for greasy hair, this ingredient works to balance and nourish the scalp.
- Organic Aloe Vera: Loaded with antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, nutrients, and vitamins that allow moisture and nourishment to penetrate deeply into the hair shaft. In shampoo for greasy hair, aloe vera acts as a mild moisturising ingredient that won’t cause irritation or build up.
- Organic Blueberry Extract: One of the best sources of antioxidant compounds that works to combat free radicals and increase blood circulation. Ingredients high in antioxidants are good for scalp protection, so keep an eye out for organic blueberry extract when searching for a shampoo and conditioner for oily hair.
- Colloidal Oatmeal: This moisturizing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient strengthens hair to prevent breakage. A key ingredient in Scalp Delight™ Detox Scrub, it helps combat excessive scalp oil production, making it a standout ingredient in shampoo for oily scalp.
Best Shampoos for Greasy Hair by Hair Types
Not all shampoos are made the same. To find the best shampoo for oily hair, you need to identify your own hair needs. You wouldn’t want to overload your fine, thin hair with an ultra-hydrating shampoo made for thick, curly hair. For the best shampoo for oily hair, keep reading.
Products tailored for your hairTake test
1. For Irritated, Oily or Itchy Scalp
If your scalp often feels greasy or irritated, it could most likely benefit from an effective but gentle exfoliation that removes build-up, flakes and dirt while balancing the scalp pH. Instead of using a regular shampoo, consider doing a scalp scrub at least on a weekly basis to balance and reset your scalp. Scalp Delight™ Detox Scrub is a refreshing sulfate-free shampoo scrub based on organic botanicals such as colloidal oat meal and rosemary oil, which soothe irritated scalps.
2. For Hair Prone to Dandruff
If your hair is not just oily but produces dandruff as well, your best bet is to select a formula that is specifically tailored to treat dandruff. Opt for a sulfate-free anti-dandruff shampoo rich in antimicrobial ingredients, such as tea tree oil and patented dermosoft® decalact MB that eliminates dandruff causing fungus called malassezia gently but effectively.
3. For Fragile or Damaged Hair
If you have fragile or damaged hair, use a repairing shampoo that is gentle on the hair and won’t weigh it down. The Split Fix™ Duo is wonderful for cleansing damaged hair without stripping it of its natural sebum.
4. For Fine or Thinning Hair
If you are experiencing thinning hair, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Thinning hair is a common hair issue. If you want to promote hair growth while treating a greasy scalp, Grow Perfect™ Shampoo is the best shampoo for oily hair for you. This product is formulated to maintain the health of your hair and scalp while creating ideal hair growing conditions on the scalp.
5. For Blonde, Bleached or Gray Hair
If you have blonde hair, either natural or dyed, opt for Enriched Blonde™ Silver Shampoo as your go-to shampoo to preserve your hair color. The violet hues in this product will counteract any yellowing hues your hair may be pulling. This product is also based on a gentle, sulfate-free formula so it is well suited for greasy hair as well.
6. For Wavy or Curly Hair Types
Curly and wavy hair tends to be naturally dryer than its straight hair counterpart. If you have curly hair, make sure your shampoo is very hydrating so that your curls form correctly. I recommend to choose a gently hydrating shampoo and conditioner for oily hair, so you don’t have to worry about drying out your curls.
What About Dry Shampoo for Oily Scalp?
Generally, I recommend avoiding regular dry shampoos for oily hair. Instead of packing on more product, which can actually lead to an excess in sebum production, try to balance your scalp by finding the right shampoo and hair care routine.
But let's face it - when you need a quick solution, dry shampoo comes in handy! If you want to use a dry shampoo, go for a natural, non-aerosol option without harmful chemicals. These products don’t disrupt your scalp like traditional dry shampoos.
My favorite is Refresh Powder™ Dry Shampoo, which is formulated with 99% natural ingredients, including organic aloe vera and oat extract that soothe an irritated and oily scalp.
What Kind of Conditioner is Best for Greasy Hair?
A shampoo and conditioner for greasy hair can be the winning combo to keep your hair feeling its best. For greasy hair, stick with a lightweight conditioner based on natural ingredients without silicones or heavy oils, like Scalp Delight™ Detox Conditioner. Using both a shampoo and conditioner for greasy hair will help you achieve your healthy hair goals.
To avoid oily roots, only use the conditioner on the ends of your hair, rather than the whole lengths. The ends of your hair (typically anywhere from your ears down to the tips of your hair) tend to be the driest parts of your hair. Your conditioner for greasy hair will be the most useful here.
How to Perfect Your Hair Washing Routine
First thing’s first, figure out how often to wash your hair. Everyone’s hair is different, so make sure you know how long you can (or should) go between hair washes. A set hair washing routine will reduce the look of grease at the roots of your hair. Also, make sure you are using the right shampoo. The best shampoo for greasy hair will effectively clean and balance your hair and scalp, eliminating a need for excessive hair washing.
Next, avoid heavy, greasy products. Staying away from shampoos with heavy products such as silicones will reduce the added oil to your hair. Also, avoid touching your hair too much throughout the day. Oil from your fingers can transfer to your hair, making it look unnecessarily greasy.
When you are shampooing your hair, focus the product on the roots to cleanse the scalp and get rid of the excess oil trapped in the roots. Double wash your hair if necessary.
Try a Scalp Message Brush to exfoliate and get rid of build up. This brush also stimulates hair follicles, which can lead to new hair growth. Learn more about how to avoid product build up with scalp exfoliation here. Use a soothing Scalp Treatment after shampooing to provide soothing hydration to a normally oily scalp.
Remember that keeping oily hair at bay may be a bit of a process until you find what works for you. The right combination of shampoo and conditioner for oily hair will make a world of difference in your healthy hair care routine.