How do I Choose the Best Oily Hair Shampoo?

Janis Bennett
Janis Bennett
Plastic bottles of shampoo.
Plastic bottles of shampoo.

Choosing the best oily hair shampoo can be easy if you opt for a product that is light and does not weigh down your hair. A clear, gentle shampoo that is created especially for oily hair is the best option. Lemon juice, dry shampoo or talcum power can be used between washes to soak up the oil. Shampoos specifically made for daily or frequent washing and shampoo that contains astringent also work well on oily hair.

People with oily hair should choose gentle shampoo that won't damage the hair with frequent washing.
People with oily hair should choose gentle shampoo that won't damage the hair with frequent washing.

Hair actually is not oily, but the scalp is. Sebum is an oily substance that is secreted by sebaceous glands in the scalp and face. When a person has excessive sebum secretion, this oil on the scalp can travel down hair shafts, creating oily hair. Hair texture also plays a role because thicker curly hair prevents the oil from easily traveling down the strands of hair. Thin and straight hair tends to be greasier because the oil very easily can coat the hair all the way to the ends.

Hair oil usually begins at the scalp.
Hair oil usually begins at the scalp.

People with oily hair need to wash their hair more frequently than people with dry hair. At the same time, frequent washings can damage hair. Oily hair shampoo comes into play because it is very gentle for frequent hair washing, and it is very light, in order to help keep oil at a minimum. Shampoo with fruit and herbal astringents work great, so check labels and look for a product with tea tree oil, lemon, olive and chamomile.

When considering an oily hair shampoo, keep your hair texture in mind. If you have color-treated hair, look for an oily hair shampoo that is made for color-treated hair. There also are oily hair shampoo products for fine and thin hair that will include volumizing ingredients. Keep away from creamy shampoos, because these thick shampoos can leave residue on the hair, giving oil something extra to hold onto. If the ends of your hair are dry, but your hair is oily on top, choose a shampoo to wash your hair, then apply a moisturizing conditioner only on the ends.

Oily hair is also prone to be dirtier, as dirt, dust, and product buildup will stick to the oil coated hair. This causes the hair to look greasy and heavy, thus having no bounce or body. People with oily hair may have to shampoo twice a day to keep hair clean and healthy looking. A great thing about oily hair is that it is almost always shiny, something those with dry hair are envious of. Daily cleaning with the right shampoo will keep oily hair under control and looking its best.

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Discussion Comments


@ocelot60- You can use pure corn starch in place of a dry shampoo to make your oily hair look fresh and clean. Sprinkle it on a brush, and apply it to your hair and scalp. It is an excellent and inexpensive dry shampoo for oily hair. Corn starch is also natural, so you will not have any allergic reaction to it.


@ocelot60- Though there are several brand names that make different formulas of dry shampoos, you can save money by using basic talcum powder. Any type will do, and it doesn't matter if it is formulated for adults or babies.

All you need to do to freshen up your oily hair in between shampooing is rub the talcum powder throughout your hair with your fingers. Next you will want to comb it through to make sure you remove any excess powder so it's not noticeable. When you are finished, you can style your hair as usual.

I think that you will find that talcum powder is an excellent product for absorbing scalp oil and making your hair look like you just washed it, even when you didn't.


I have oily hair that needs to be washed frequently. However, when I wash it every day, the ends of my hair get very dry and brittle, and they begin to split. I'm looking for tips for using a dry shampoo for oily hair once in a while to give my hair a break from frequent shampooing.

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    • Plastic bottles of shampoo.
      By: Dessie
      Plastic bottles of shampoo.
    • People with oily hair should choose gentle shampoo that won't damage the hair with frequent washing.
      By: Valua Vitaly
      People with oily hair should choose gentle shampoo that won't damage the hair with frequent washing.
    • Hair oil usually begins at the scalp.
      By: esp2k
      Hair oil usually begins at the scalp.