What To Look For When You're Picking A Shampoo For Oily Hair

Let's face it, having oily hair is a chore and often a delicate balancing act. You have to wash your hair more frequently to get rid of excess oil, dead skin cells, and product buildup, but you also have to take extra care not to wash it too much. "Washing too frequently, too vigorously, or with products that are too harsh, can actually strip the scalp of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation which can actually trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more oil," dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick tells InStyle.


But when it comes to oily hair, the frequency of your washing isn't the only thing to consider when it comes to its overall health.

According to Healthline, simply rinsing your hair with just water won't clean your hair sufficiently. That's because only certain ingredients can break down oil, making the products you are using on your hair so important. Here's how to choose the right shampoo if you have oily hair.

Must-have shampoo ingredients for oily hair

If you have oily hair, there are a few specific ingredients to look out for when making your next shampoo purchase. Some essential oils, such as lavender, rosemary, tea tree, peppermint, lemongrass, and ylang-ylang all have properties that can naturally clean your scalp of excess oil, according to Softer Hair, making them some of the best ingredients to look for in a shampoo. Besides cleaning your scalp, these oils help to balance your scalp's natural oil production, can control dandruff, and promotes hair growth. They are also gentler than harsh synthetic chemicals that can exacerbate scalp issues.


7Haircare also suggests adding a clarifying shampoo to your shopping list. Clarifying shampoos get down into the roots of your hair strands to thoroughly cleanse them of any skin cells, oil, and product buildup that may remain after your normal shampoo routine. Think of it as a deep cleanse for your scalp. Because these types of shampoos typically have more aggressive ingredients, they should only be used once a week or even just once a month, depending on your needs.

Tips for taking care of oily hair

While choosing the best shampoo for oily hair is an important step in your hair care routine, there are additional things you can do to keep your hair from looking and feeling too greasy.

Function of Beauty recommends always following up your shampoo with a hydrating conditioner to maintain a balance of moisture, and focus specifically on your ends when applying it. Because oily hair can get weighed down easily, you want to keep products as far away from your roots as possible. Similarly, the same rule applies to styling products. Choosing the right brush is another way to help your oily scalp appear less greasy. The fibers in boar bristle brushes can distribute oil throughout your hair and away from your scalp. But again, balance is key. Overbrushing your hair can stimulate excess oil production.


Keeping your hands away from your hair, while easier said than done, can also keep your hair looking its best. According to Kiehl's, "sweat and oils from your hands can transfer to the hair and give it an oily, limp appearance."