Shampoo for Oily Scalp: What to Buy, Who Should Use It and Why

Need help picking the right oily scalp shampoo? This is how you do it!

All too often we hear people complain about the perils of having oily hair strands. However, we rarely hear if they’re actually doing something about those oily strands—particularly so in quarantine. (No judgment, we swear.) But did you know that if you suffer from oily hair, your scalp actually may be the one to blame?

We’ve come to the realization that many women are buying and using all of the wrong hair products. Whenever you notice you have a hair issue that needs some attention, do your research before heading to your nearest drugstore. It’s not a surprise that you don’t see many shampoos that say “shampoo for oily scalp or oily scalp shampoo” on the label and there’s a reason for that. Read on as we dive in about oily hair and how to find the best shampoo for oily scalp.

shampoo for oily scalp

As we’ve mentioned earlier, oily hair begins with your scalp. So it would make the most sense for the shampoo to say oily scalp, right? Right. However, there are two things to keep in mind: You don’t hear people talk about having an oily scalp, they usually complain about having oily hair. As a result, the products on the market are speaking the same language as you are. But here’s the catch: shampoos are for your scalp to begin with. Shampoos are supposed to be worked into your scalp and travel down your strands as you rinse. If you buy a shampoo for oily hair, this is the same as buying a shampoo for oily scalp.

Who Should Use Oily Hair Shampoo?

You’d be surprised to learn that there are some hair types that don’t do well with oily hair shampoos. According to Leon-Van Gorkhom, Senior Hair Care Manager at Unilever, “If you have coarse thick or damaged hair, you need not to remove oiliness from your scalp.  Your focus is on conditioning your hair. Therefore, it would be better to use conditioning shampoo.” In other words: Curly and coarse girls, you may notice that you have an oily scalp and dry hair but an oily hair shampoo is not the right poo for you.

shampoo for oily scalp
If you have curly, coarse/thick hair, opt for a moisturizing shampoo instead.

How Often Should a Shampoo for Oily Scalp Be Used?

Oily scalp doesn’t disappear forever, it definitely does come back. “As always, the oil that you remove will be replenished over time and, therefore, it may be beneficial to wash your hair more frequently/daily to avoid oily scalp and hair,” Leon explains. It’s best to stick to a routine. Find the shampoo for oily scalp or hair that you love and use it over and over again.


1. TIGI Copyright Custom Care Moisture Shampoo

If you’re looking for the best shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair you can start off with TIGI Copyright Custom Care Shampoo. This is especially beneficial if you have a fine hair type where oily hair is very prominent. The moisturizing formula in this shampoo works to help reduce frizz and soothe hair with its blend of keratin, lipids, and coconut oil, without weighing your hair down.

2. Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo

If you’re dealing with oily hair due to overuse of hair products, do yourself a favor and put down the dry shampoo. Instead, opt for a clarifying shampoo like Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo that will rid your hair from all the oils, styling creams, and products. We love this clarifying shampoo so much because it can be used daily, and gives your hair a deep clean without stripping your strands.

3. TRESemmé Pro Pure Light Moisture Shampoo

If you have normal to oily hair, which can happen to many people as the seasons change, A shampoo like the TRESemmé Pro Pure Light Moisture Shampoo is ideal. This shampoo leaves your hair hydrated, weightless, and nourished. Plus, you’ll be left with more body in your locks too! To experience the full benefits, we suggest using the entire line from the shampoo to the leave-in conditioner.

4. Dove Dermacare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

This formula has quickly became a cult favorite for good reason. Dove Dermacare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Shampoo nourishes the top layer of the scalp and acts as a protective barrier while also hydrating your strands. This shampoo is specifically designed for scalps that are too dry or too greasy.

5. TRESemmé Vitamin C Deep Clean Shampoo

TRESemmé Vitamin C Deep Clean Shampoo gently yet effectively cleanses and removes impurities, product build-up, and excess oils. Editor’s tip: Unlike you’d expect, lather gently; avoid scrubbing your scalp vigorously for extra-fresh feeling hair.

6. Love Beauty and Planet Sulfate-Free Sea Salt & Bergamot Shampoo

Infused with sea salt & bergamot, Love Beauty and Planet Sulfate-Free Seal Salt & Bergamot Deep Detox Sulfate-Free Shampoo gently cleanses hair, balancing the scalp while restoring a healthy appearance, too.

7. Dove Nutritive Solutions Clarify & Hydrate Shampoo

One wash with Dove Nutritive Solutions Clarify & Hydrate Shampoo deeply cleans and purifies oily, dull hair from its roots to its ends in a snap. That’s because hero ingredient activated charcoal is good at removing buildup and oiliness while being otherwise gentle on all kinds of hair.

8. Love Beauty & Planet Delightful Detox Charcoal & Bergamot Shampoo Scrub

Not only does this unique formula contain aforementioned activated charcoal, but it’s also a scrub, making for a particularly delightful sensory experience. What’s more, Love Beauty & Planet Delightful Detox Charcoal & Bergamot Shampoo Scrub removes buildup and dirt while also stimulating fresh, healthy hair growth from the scalp, too.

9. Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox Shampoo

This shampoo cleanses and detoxifies hair while replenishing vital nutrients with 0% parabens, dyes or silicones. Translation: If you’ve got sensitive skin and an oily scalp, you basically need to try the mineral- and protein-rich Nexxus Clean & Pure Nourishing Detox Shampoo.

10. Nexxus Scalp Inergy Foam Shampoo

This mousse-inspired formula is excellent at not only cleansing oily hair, but also at providing an energizing boost with its citrus scent. To use, shake the can of Nexxus Scalp Inergy Foam Shampoo and dispense a palm-size amount into your hands, then gently massage onto scalp and spread evenly. However, be sure to adjust the amount of foam you’re using based on the current length of your strands. (Shorter hair? Use less. Longer strands? Go big. You got this.)

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