What Shampoo Is Best for Oily Hair?

If you’ve done some precursory research online, you may think a clarifying shampoo is what shampoo is best for oily hair. But actually, clarifying shampoos may harm more than they help. So, if these hyped-up products aren’t the answer, then what shampoo is best for oily hair?

It can be exhausting, not to mention embarrassing, to constantly battle hair grease. Why can’t your hair just behave!?

The thing is, it might not be your hair’s fault! There are lots of mistakes that are easy to make when it comes to taming oily tresses. 

Today, I will be demystifying the process of oil control. I’ll tell you all you need to know about why oily hair happens in the first place, what you should (and shouldn’t) do about it, and what shampoo is best for oily hair.

Ready to begin? Let’s tackle the problem of oily hair by starting at its roots.

Why is my hair so oily?

Woman who uses the best natural shampoo for oily hair is looking at her beautiful hair in the mirror

Before we discuss what shampoo is best for oily hair, it’s important for you to understand why your hair is so oily to begin with. And it could be for a number of different reasons!

The most common causes of oily hair include:

  • Underwashing
  • Overwashing
  • Using the wrong products
  • Genetics
  • Certain environmental factors

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these. 


Knowing how to wash oily hair is key to keeping oil at bay. If you aren’t washing your hair enough, or are washing your hair incorrectly when you do, it can absolutely lead to oil buildup.

You may think that using a dry shampoo between washes is a fine way to spread out your shower routine, but dry shampoo is not a replacement for real shampoo

Dry shampoo doesn’t actually clean your hair OR remove any oils – it simply soaks the oils up. But, if you leave it on your hair for multiple days, then the oily dry shampoo residue builds and builds.

While your hair might not look as oily, you’re actually trapping a bunch of oil right up against your scalp. This not only can clog your pores, it can impact your scalp health by weakening your hair follicles, causing hair thinning, and putting you at risk for bacterial and fungal infections.

So make sure you’re taking enough showers that you aren’t relying on dry shampoo, and when you do shower, try to avoid using super hot water – which can cause an increase in oil production. 


Did you know that overwashing can be just as harmful as underwashing?

It doesn’t matter what shampoo is best for oily hair if you are using it every day. Daily washing can strip your hair of enough oils that your body will boost your natural oil production to make up for it. 

Unless you are doing heavy workouts or live in a tropical environment, you probably don’t need a daily shampoo. 

Once you ease up washing, and your body is no longer scrambling to produce more oil, you will find you can go longer and longer between washes. 

Using the wrong products

Once you find the right washing routine, knowing what shampoo is best for oily hair is, in fact, important. Some products are simply too heavy and moisturizing. 

Avoid products that contain silicone, or certain oils that can weigh down your hair. 

Don’t reach for heavily moisturizing conditioners, and make sure to rinse your products out of your hair thoroughly to prevent product buildup.

You should also make sure your brush is clean, because if it’s full of oils, you’ll just be redistributing those oils through your hair! If you need to, you can clean your brush or styling tools with some gentle soap or shampoo. 


Some hair types are naturally more oily than others. Hair that is straight and extra fine can easily become oily, as sebum can travel freely from roots to tips.

Conversely, people with curly hair often have issues with an oily scalp since the oil cannot travel down the strands easily. If you have this issue, it’s important not to rely on a co-wash only routine, and to reach for some no poo shampoo products to remove excess oil. 

In fact, you can buy a specially formulated shampoo for oily scalp and dry hair – which is perfect in this situation. 

Your hormones and ethnicity can also have an impact on how oily your hair gets. Luckily, when you know what shampoo is best for oily hair, it’s easy to account for these differences. 

Environmental factors

Humidity and heat can absolutely play a role in how oily your hair gets. If you are in a hot and humid environment, you really need to perfect your shower routine. You may need to wash more frequently in certain seasons than in others. 

But what shampoo is best for oily hair in hot environments? Newsflash: It’s not a clarifying shampoo.

Why clarifying shampoos don’t help oily hair

Clarifying shampoo is one of the biggest farces out there. While a clarifying shampoo may get rid of excess buildup, it will also get rid of the sebum that your hair actually needs to stay healthy. 

When your hair is completely stripped of oils, it goes into panic mode. It decides it needs to produce more oils FAST. So while you may think that you’re helping to control your oil levels, you’re actually causing your hair to ramp up its oil production!

If you want to cut back the grease, you need to stick to more gentle products that will remove just the excess oils – so your hair can keep its healthy shine without becoming an oil slick. 

So what are the right products to do this? Let’s finally talk about what shampoo is best for oily hair. 

What shampoo is best for oily hair?

The best shampoo for oily hair is one that is made from lightweight, natural ingredients. As I mentioned above, you don’t want anything that contains heavy silicones, nor do you want a product that overly strips your hair of oils.

As such, it’s best to stay away from chemicals altogether! When someone asks: “What shampoo is best for oily hair?”, I always recommend natural shampoo bars. In fact, solid natural shampoo for oily hair is specially formulated for oil control!

So what are the best shampoo bars for oily hair? Let’s take a look at my two favorite products. 

The best natural shampoo for oily hair

If you’re looking for the best natural shampoo for oily hair, I can say without a doubt that it’s my Purifying Shampoo Bar. This amazing solid shampoo is sulfate-free, silicone-free, paraben-free, and plastic-free, and uses green kaolin clay to instantly remove excess oil.

The best natural shampoo for oily hair: Bars Over Bottles Purifying Shampoo Bar

While it contains kernel oil, it isn’t heavy. It provides just the right amount of oil to give your hair that healthy, glossy sheen we’re all trying to achieve. 

And, with a mix of lemongrass, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils, it provides a refreshing and invigorating shower experience. PLUS, those oils can naturally balance out oil production and fight against scalp infections. 

On the days when you’re itching to reach for a clarifying shampoo, opt for my Detox Shampoo Bar instead. This deeply cleansing shampoo bar goes above and beyond to remove dirt, impurities, and oils. 

The best natural shampoo for oily hair: Bars Over Bottles Detox Shampoo Bar

If you feel like you have excess product buildup that your other natural shampoo for oily hair isn’t reaching, the Detox Shampoo Bar will do the trick thanks to activated charcoal and black clay – making it one of the best natural shampoos for oily hair.

With these plastic-free shampoo bars, you can say goodbye to greasy hair days and hello to gloriously refreshed tresses. 

But, of course, your conditioner choice is just as important as natural shampoo for oily hair. If you want both the best shampoo and conditioner for oily hair, you’re in luck. At Bars Over Bottles, my shampoo and conditioner for oily hair are tried, tested, and LOVED by people with naturally oily hair. 

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