The Absolute Best Shampoo for Oily Curly Hair


Curly hair is notorious for being dry. But what happens if you have oily curly hair? Are curly hair products even designed for your needs? And what is the best shampoo for oily curly hair?

Today, I will help you get a handle on this gorgeous hair type. There are absolutely products out there that cater to what your oily curls crave – but they probably aren’t the average curly hair products. 

The best shampoo for oily curly hair will not necessarily be a deeply hydrating one. Of course, sometimes oil control issues have much more to do with genetics, your environment, your shower schedule, and the ingredients in your shampoo – rather than how moisturizing your product is.

So, before we get into the best shampoo for oily curly hair, let’s discuss why you might have oily curly hair in the first place, and what routine is best for helping your curly hair stay bouncy, defined, and grease-free. 

What causes oily curly hair?

Woman in white robe examining her curly hair in a mirror

Most people with curls have very dry hair, because it is more difficult for oils to move down the hair strands than it is with straight hair. BUT - that doesn't mean you can't have an oily scalp!

If the oil can’t easily disperse down your curls, but you have excess oil production, then you could very easily end up with an oily scalp and dry hair. 

The answer to what causes oily hair is similar for everyone, no matter whether your hair is straight, wavy, or curly. You may have excess oil because you are:

  • Overwashing
  • Underwashing
  • Using the wrong shampoo
  • Exercising frequently
  • Living in a hot/humid environment
  • Using a lot of heat styling tools
  • Or for a number of genetic or hormonal factors

More often than not, oily curly hair boils down to your shower routine – what you’re using, and how often you wash your hair. 

So how often should you shampoo your hair? Should people with curly hair even use shampoo at all?

The answer is YES. You should absolutely use shampoo on curls, and if you haven’t been, it could be a reason for your greasy curls. 

Of course, you need to use the correct shampoo for oily curly hair, and that is often a no poo shampoo or other natural product. Most shampoos are too harsh and drying for curly hair, so even if you’re trying to go for oil control, you should stick with a natural shampoo bar. 

Now, you may be wondering: Do shampoo bars work for curly hair? If you’ve never considered solid shampoo before, and don’t know how to use a shampoo bar, I absolutely don’t blame you for your hesitance. 

But I truly believe shampoo bars are the best shampoo for oily curly hair – and here is why. 

The best shampoo for oily curly hair

The best shampoo for oily curly hair is usually a natural shampoo bar. My shampoo bars are no-poo products, and don’t contain any sulfates, parabens, silicones, or drying alcohols. They are made completely of safe natural ingredients that are curly-hair approved.

There are two shampoo bars in particular that I consider to be the best shampoo for oily curly hair – because let’s face it, curls want different things on different days! Here are my two favorite options of shampoo for oily curly hair:

My Moisturizing Shampoo Bar

Bars Over Bottles Moisturizing Shampoo Bar: a shampoo for oily curly hair

In my opinion, the best shampoo bars for curly hair are also the best shampoo for oily curly hair. You might think they would be too hydrating, but if you use the right ingredients and wash schedule, they can help your hair and strands achieve a better natural balance. 

My Moisturizing Shampoo Bar is always my first recommendation for curls. Yes, even oily curls! Because a lot of curls are oily because your scalp is actually TOO DRY. So, if you provide your scalp and curls with ample nourishment, and stay away from irritating chemicals, your hair can slide back into its most natural state. 

My moisturizing shampoo for curly hair uses sodium cocoyl isethionate as its surfactant. This coconut oil-derived ingredient can lift dirt and impurities from your hair without stripping too much moisture. 

Next, pracaxi oil and buriti oil protect your hair and scalp from sun damage and irritation while strengthening your strands. They can also make your curls more manageable, soft, and shiny with their ample vitamin content. (Think vitamin E, vitamin C, and behenic acid in spades!)

Last, but certainly not least, shikakai oil acts as a natural curl memorizer to keep your curls gorgeously defined and frizz-free between washes. 

My Detox Shampoo Bar 

Bars Over Bottles Detox Shampoo Bar for oily curly hair

Some days your scalp really needs a reset. You need to achieve better balance in your oil production, and strip away impurities without stripping the natural oils from your curls. And on those days, my Detox Shampoo Bar is the best shampoo for oily curly hair. 

What exactly is a hair detox shampoo? You can think of it like a shampoo PLUS. It’s what a clarifying shampoo tries (and fails) to be. Because clarifying shampoos are far too drying and irritating. 

A detox shampoo will remove excess oil, dirt, pollution, and product buildup while still leaving your hair happy and hydrated. Sounds too good to be true? Let me explain how it works! 

My Detox Shampoo Bar uses activated charcoal and black clay to draw impurities out of your hair and improve your blood circulation to keep your scalp healthy. 

It also contains refreshing eucalyptus and peppermint oil, which have natural antiseptic properties. This will help control any excess oil you might have from skin conditions or dandruff. 

Now, you probably won’t need to use this shampoo bar every day. You can use it once in a while as needed in addition to my Moisturizing Shampoo Bar. Having a couple shampoo bars to switch between can make all the difference for your curls. 

On days when your scalp is particularly greasy, or your curls feel lifeless and limp, reach for the Detox Shampoo Bar. On other days, when you are just working on curl definition and maintenance, the Moisturizing Shampoo Bar will work wonders! 

Get the ultimate curly hair routine

Perfecting your hair routine for oily curly hair can take a little practice. After all, you have a unique hair type, and many shampoos and conditioners you can pull off the shelves simply won’t suit your curls. 

At least now you know what the best shampoo for oily curly hair is, but why stop there? There are so many wonderful products for your hair type. In fact, I have a whole curly hair products gift set for you to browse! 

If you add a specially formulated conditioner bar and hair mask bar to your routine, your curls will stay soft, fresh, and beautifully defined – and I’m taking all the guesswork out of your shopping. 

I have the best shampoo and conditioner for curly hair right here, and these products will help to balance out your oil production and hydrate your hair lengths to help you achieve the perfect harmony for your hair. 

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