If you struggle with greasy strands regularly, it’s important to find the proper oily hair conditioner. But what products are best for you, and which ingredients should you search for?
There are many sources online that will tell you to reach for “clarifying” products, but this is honestly not the answer. If your shampoo or conditioner cleanses your hair that deeply, they will strip away your natural oils and keep you stuck in the cycle of excess oil production.
So let’s break that cycle!
Today I will break down the best ingredients in oily hair conditioner so you can have confidence in your hair routine. Because while knowing how often to use conditioner can certainly help with oil control, ensuring you’re using the correct product plays an even larger role in your hair health.
Why to use a specially formulated oily hair conditioner
Using the right products is one of the key components in learning how to wash oily hair.
Conditioners for dry or damaged hair often contain heavily moisturizing agents like shea butter or cocoa butter which are far too heavy and hydrating for oil-prone strands.
A true conditioner for oily hair will never contain such heavy ingredients. And if your conditioner does, it could be what causes oily hair for you in the first place!
So, if you’ve found yourself wondering: Does conditioner make your hair oily? It’s probably time to rethink your product!
I always recommend a natural, lightweight conditioner bar that doesn’t contain any silicones or sulfates.
Silicones make your hair look shiny and frizz-free by completely coating your strands. But unfortunately, that product builds up over time and weighs down your hair.
Sulfates, on the other hand, are too harsh and can strip away your natural oils – making your scalp ramp up oil production in the process.
So, if you don’t want any butters, silicones, or sulfates in your oily hair conditioner, what ingredients SHOULD you look for? Let’s take a look at the best ingredients for oily hair conditioners.
The top 15 ingredients for oily hair conditioner
Here are my favorite ingredients to look for when choosing the best conditioner for oily hair:
1. Mango oil
The first ingredient I recommend in an oily hair conditioner is mango oil.
Mangoes are full of nourishing vitamins and minerals, so mango oil will leave your strands soft and shiny without weighing them down like a more heavily moisturizing butter might.
Mango oil also contains mangiferin, which helps to bolster your collagen production and protect the health of your hair.
2. Sweet almond oil
Next on my list of ingredients for oily hair conditioner is sweet almond oil.
Sweet almond oil is a delightfully lightweight conditioning agent that is rich in vitamin B-7, which can help your hair stay soft and strong. It also has natural SPF properties, which help protect your strands from sun damage.
Almond oil can even be used to treat certain skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis, which is one of the culprits of chronically oily hair. This gentle conditioner can help to lock in moisture and get frizz under control without making your hair feel greasy.
3. Pracaxi seed oil
Pracaxi oil comes from the pentaclethra macroloba tree in Brazil. It contains one of the highest concentrations of behenic acid in the natural world. Behenic acid is a fatty acid responsible for hydrating and protecting your hair.
Although it is deeply hydrating, it isn’t heavy. In fact, pracaxi seed oil is even lighter than coconut oil. When blended into your oily hair conditioner, it can help keep frizz and dryness to a minimum without upsetting your natural oil balance.
4. Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil has been shown to improve scalp circulation and encourage hair growth. It may also prevent premature graying and dandruff thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. With so many potential benefits, it is a wonderful addition to any hair product.
5. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil has many of the same benefits for hair that rosemary oil does. On top of helping with hair growth, circulation, and scalp health, peppermint oil is incredibly invigorating and refreshing, which can add to that lovely, clean feeling after washing your hair.
6. Lemongrass essential oil
Another refreshing essential oil to look out for is lemongrass oil. Lemongrass has long been used to control acne because of its natural ability to balance oil production. Of course, lemongrass oil can work just as well on oily hair as it can on oily skin!
Choosing an oily hair shampoo or conditioner with lemongrass oil can aid you in your oil control journey.
7. Geranium essential oil
Geranium essential oil has been used in hair products for decades because of its natural ability to balance the production of sebum and natural oils. On top of its delicate floral scent, this makes it a sure choice of ingredient for an oil control conditioner.
8. Fatty alcohols
While some alcohols are very drying, and are best avoided in your hair products, there is a type of alcohol that is actually quite moisturizing. These are called fatty alcohols. Fatty alcohols provide your hair with moisture and nutrients to help your locks shine.
Two of my favorite fatty alcohols are cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol. These alcohols won’t dry out or strip your hair, making them wonderful ingredients in conditioner for oily hair.
9. Behentrimonium methosulfate
Although its name might lead you to believe otherwise, Behentrimonium Methosulfate is actually a non-sulfate. It is an ingredient derived from rapeseed oil that is prized for its impressive detangling abilities.
Behentrimonium Methosulfate is able to fully penetrate into your hair shaft, which makes it an excellent moisturizer for people with oily hair. Thus, the ingredient won’t leave any residue to coat or weigh down your strands!
10. Lauryl lactyl lactate
Lauryl lactyl lactate is a sulfate-free surfactant with moisturizing properties. That means it can provide a velvety lather without drying out your hair like many surfactants would. If your conditioner contains lauryl lactyl lactate as the surfactant, that’s a great sign.
11. Tocopheryl acetate
Tocopheryl acetate is a form of vitamin E. Vitamin E is widely renowned for its antioxidant properties. Choosing an oily hair conditioner that contains tocopheryl acetate can help protect your hair against sun damage, free radicals, and premature graying.
12. Polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate
Don’t be scared by the name! Polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate is an ingredient derived from castor oil and glycerin. It can provide a gentle barrier for your hair that locks in moisture to prevent frizz and moisture loss – making it perfect for conditioner.
13. Glyceryl caprylate/ undecylenate
Glyceryl caprylate and glyceryl undecylenate are plant-based ingredients with hydrating and antimicrobial properties. They also act as emulsifiers, so they help your oily hair conditioner maintain its luxurious texture.
14. Lactic acid
Lactic acid can protect your hair shafts from damage, making them smoother, shinier, and easier to detangle. In one study, lactic acid even helped people with alopecia regrow their hair, so it’s an incredibly beneficial ingredient for your hair health.
Limonene is the oil extracted from citrus peels. It has a number of amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and antioxidant properties, which makes it great for both your hair health, and your mental health.
Not to mention, limonene has a wonderfully refreshing aroma, which makes it the ideal addition to any oily hair conditioner.
The best conditioner for oily hair
If you’re looking for the best conditioner for oily hair, look no further. My Moisturizing Conditioner Bar is a lightweight conditioner that contains all my favorite ingredients for oily hair, and is simply the best conditioner bar for anyone struggling with oil control.
Of course, conditioner is only part of the puzzle. If you want to ensure your hair routine is truly the best for your strands, you can shop my collection of natural, plastic-free shampoo and conditioner for oily hair.