The 18 Best Shampoos for Oily Hair of 2022

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Shampoo is our best overall pick

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Byrdie / Lecia Landis

When you're dealing with oily hair, hair washing is a daily activity. Maybe, if you're super lucky and load up on tons of dry shampoo, you can get away with skipping a day. While there's some debate amongst experts as to whether or not daily washing is a good move or if you should try to stretch out washes in order to "retrain" your scalp, one thing is for certain: Whenever you do wash, it's in your best interest to use a shampoo specially formulated for oily hair.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

When it comes to oily hair, the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Shampoo is our top choice. Formulated with three different types of clay, its oil-absorbing and deep-cleansing prowess is unmatched. Another great affordable option is the Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend, which gently clarifies and soothes the scalp to keep oil under control.

Typically lighter and containing a lower concentration of rich, hydrating ingredients, these instead focus on removing excess grease—and product residue from all that dry shampoo—to leave your hair looking and feeling fresh and clean. Similarly, they usually contain more or stronger detergents (yes, like sulfates) or exfoliating ingredients to help rid the scalp of excess oil, notes Hannah Draeger, stylist at One10 Beauty in Nashville.

We conducted hours of research on the best oil controlling shampoos out there. We tested out some of the most loved oil- and grease-fighting shampoos, our testers using these shampoos for weeks at a time, rating each formula's texture and feel, ingredient list, and how well it actually keeps their scalps and roots in check. We then combined these results along with our own research of top-rated products to compile this list.

Ahead, find the best shampoos for oily hair.

Best Overall: L'Oréal Paris Elvive Clay Rebalancing Shampoo

5
l'oreal paris elvive clay rebalancing shampoo
What We Like
  • Clay-formula

  • Doesn't strip hair

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Strong fragrance

What do buyers say? 87% of 12,800+ Amazon reviewers rated this products 4 stars or above.

You’ve likely seen clay in face masks geared toward oily skin, and the ingredient can have similar benefits in haircare. More specifically, this shampoo relies on three different types of clay to absorb oil and purify roots. We know that kind of sounds like a recipe for dry, stripped hair, but on the contrary—it’s specially formulated to keep the lengths of your hair nice and hydrated. Grease-fighting while still providing your strands with much-needed moisture? Pretty impressive, which is why this drugstore pick earned the title of Best Overall. 

Byrdie contributor Ashley Rubell took this shampoo for a spin, and needless to say, she was very impressed; she gave it a perfect five-star rating. She noted that it not only kept her oily roots in check, allowing her to extend her time between washes, but her ends also felt much softer and less frizzy.

Hair Type: Oily, dry | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Fresh | Size: 12.6 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $13

What Our Testers Say

"After two days of working out, my roots weren’t nearly as oily as I was used to experiencing, and it wasn’t until my fourth day that I began to see and feel that my hair was ready to wash again." — Ashley Rubell, Product Tester and Hairstylist

Best Overall, Runner-Up: Kérastase Specifique Divalent Balancing Shampoo for Oily Hair

Kérastase Specifique Divalent Balancing Shampoo for Oily Hair

Sephora

What We Like
  • Doesn't strip hair

  • Volumizes

  • Adds shine

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

Another one of our all-around favorite options, this formula manages to hit that ideal balance of degreasing your roots and scalp without totally stripping and drying out the rest of your hair; credit an amino acid that’s responsible for both qualities. The shampoo also has the added benefit of imparting the ideal amount of lightweight volume to hair and leaving it soft and shiny, too.

Hair Type: Oily, dry | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Basil, freesia, sandalwood | Size: 8.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $38

Best Budget: Aveeno Scalp Soothing Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo

5
Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo

Amazon

What We Like
  • Gentle enough for daily use

  • Adds shine

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a couple washes for full results

We love that this formula contains purifying apple cider vinegar, replete with anti-inflammatory benefits. Plus, this formula is great for adding shine and gloss without causing any build-up. The formula is gentle enough for daily use, leaving the cuticle smooth without feeling weighted down. We also love that you can pick it up in the drugstore for a fraction of the cost of other apple cider vinegar formulas.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Apple and saffron | Size: 13.44 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $11

Best Preventative: Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two

4.8
Paul Mitchell Deep Cleaning Shampoo Too
What We Like
  • Minimizes future oil production

  • Color-safe

  • Adds shine

  • Volumizes

What We Don't Like
  • May leave fine hair limp or dry

This pick earns our vote for working in two different ways. Infused with jojoba leaf extract and white ginger, the formula aims to not only remove unwanted oil pretty much right away but also helps to minimize future oil production to tamp down greasiness over time. It’s color-safe, too, and leaves hair super shiny and voluminous.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: No | Scent: Lemon | Size: 16.9 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $16

What Our Testers Say

"After using this shampoo, my hair felt extra clean and there was absolutely no product buildup left over in my hair whatsoever." — Ashley Rebecca, Product Tester.

FYI: How you use these shampoos matters, too. “Really focus on working the shampoo into the scalp and roots since the mid-lengths and ends need less cleansing,” explains Susan Ford, Master Stylist and Creative Director at Asha Salon Spa in Chicago. Additionally, spend a little extra time under the water to ensure you thoroughly rinse out your shampoo.

Best Clarifying: WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

4
WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Natural formula

  • Balances pH

  • Adds shine

What We Don't Like
  • Strong fragrance

Is there anything apple cider vinegar (ACV) can’t do? When it comes to your scalp and hair, its high acidity makes it choice for deeply purifying and balancing pH levels to help keep both healthy. It’s also a great astringent, which may help minimize excess oil. This formula uses raw and natural apple cider vinegar to do all of the above.

Hair Type: Dry | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Sweet apple, coconut | Size: 16.9 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $26

wow apple cider vinegar shampoo

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

What Our Testers Say

"I was a fan of the results I got from the WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo. I did pair it with the recommended conditioner, which includes coconut oil and avocado oil, and I found that my hair was shinier, smoother, and healthier-feeling the next day." — Leigh Weingus, Product Tester

Best Clarifying, Runner-Up: Fekkai Apple Cider Detox Shampoo

Fekkai Apple Cider Detox Shampoo

Ulta

What We Like
  • Exfoliates

  • Protects against environmental factors

  • Can use daily

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

Here’s another great option to reach for when your hair really needs a deep clean. We appreciate that it contains both apple cider vinegar to purify, prevent bacteria build-up, and offer anti-inflammatory benefits, along with salicylic acid to help gently exfoliate and extra dead skin cell build-up. Still, it’s gentle enough to be used daily, a good thing since it contains a proprietary environmental protection complex to shield your hair from sun and pollution.

Hair Type: Oily | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Green apple, mint | Size: 8.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $28

Best for Volume : Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo

Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo

Ulta

What We Like
  • Color-safe

  • Concentrated formula

  • Volumizes

What We Don’t Like
  • May be drying

Reach for this guy if you have oily hair, fine hair, or that oh-so-fun combination of both. (Oh, and it’s safe for color-treated hair, too.) In our experience, it’s ideal for completely and totally removing any excess oil or residue while also imparting tons of lift and volume at the roots and throughout the length of our hair. 

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Minty, herbaceous | Size: 9 ounces, 33.8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $28

Best Sulfate-Free: Drunk Elephant Cocomino Glossing Shampoo

Drunk Elephant Cocomino™ Glossing Shampoo

Space NK

What We Like
  • Softens hair

  • Lathers well

  • Adds shine

What We Don't Like
  • May be drying

The truth of the matter is that many clarifying shampoos for oily hair rely on a good amount of sulfates; they’re the detergent-like soaps that work to effectively de-grease. In short: They can be very harsh and stripping (not to mention a no-no for those with colored hair). If you’re searching for a sulfate-free option, try this go-to recommended by former Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue. Rather than using sulfates, it relies on coconut-based surfactants to do the hard-hitting cleansing, removing dirt, products, and oil while imparting plenty of softness and shine. Plus, unlike many other sulfate-free shampoos, this still lathers beautifully.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: N/A | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $25

Best for a Combination Scalp: SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo

SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleansing Shampoo

 Courtesy of Sally Beauty

What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Reduces itch

What We Don't Like
  • May be drying

Just like you can have combination skin, you can also have a combination scalp. (Telltale signs included both oily and dry patches or having either one at different times of the year.) When that’s the case, you want a shampoo that’s going to effectively remove the excess oil, but not make any dryness worse—this one does exactly that. The formula is infused with charcoal and willow bark extract, a natural precursor to oil-dissolving salicylic acid, and for the dry parts, there’s balancing and skin-soothing tea tree oil.

Hair Type: Curly | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Bamboo charcoal | Size: 13 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $13

Best Shampoo Alternative: GIRL+HAIR CLEAR+ Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Rinse

Girl and Hair Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Amazon

What We Like
  • Natural formula

  • Balances pH

  • Strengthens

  • Detangles

What We Don't Like
  • Strong fragrance

If you’re trying to stretch out the time in between shampoos, but dry shampoo just isn’t cutting it, try this rinse instead. You use it like you would a shampoo, though rather than being detergent-based, it instead relies on acidic apple cider vinegar to remove oil and balance the pH of both your hair and scalp. The formula also boasts rice water with strengthening proteins and works as an effective detangler, too.

Hair Type: Wavy, curly, chemically-treated | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Apple | Size: 10.1 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $12

Best for Dandruff: First Aid Beauty Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

First Aid Beauty Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Ulta

What We Like
  • Has pyrithione zinc

  • Softens hair

  • Adds shine

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey

Dandruff is a complicated condition with a variety of factors that come into play. But to put it simply, oil is one of the major factors, and those dealing with dandruff often tend to have an oilier scalp and hair as well. Enter this shampoo, which uses pyrithione zinc (one of the best flake-fighting ingredients there is) while also soothing the scalp and leaving hair smooth and shiny. And true to brand fashion, the formula is safe for sensitive skin with naturally-derived fragrance.

Hair Type: Dandruff | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Tropical | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $30

Best for Long-Lasting Oil Control: Klorane Oil Control 2-in-1 Mask Shampoo

Klorane Oil Control 2-in-1 Mask Shampoo

Amazon

What We Like
  • Travel-friendly

  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like
  • May be drying

If shampoo alone just isn’t cutting it, consider working this into your routine. As the name suggests, it’s part mask, part shampoo, but we like to think of it as more of a treatment product than anything else. It’s meant to be used weekly, in place of shampoo, for two months; all you have to do is mix the powder with water (it transforms into foam), and let it sit on your scalp for one to two minutes. Organic nettle and clay help combat excess oil and keep it under control for up to 48 hours, making this the ideal heavy-hitter to try when your hair is feeling super oily.

Hair Type: Oily | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: N/A | Size: 3 grams per sachet | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $24

Best for Preserving Curl Pattern: Pattern Beauty Clarifying Shampoo

Pattern Clarifying Shampoo

Ulta

What We Like
  • Revives scalp

  • Clarifies

  • Controls oil without stripping hair of moisture

What We Don't Like
  • Some reviewers note the scent is perfume-y

If you're a low porosity hair type wanting to clarify your hair without totally stripping it of its natural oils, (and thus, moisture) this antioxidant-rich formula can be highly effective. A blend of matcha green tea, aloe vera, and panthenol help to control oiliness while letting hair retain the necessary moisture needed to maintain a healthy curl pattern. We love how the formula cuts the grease out of build-up, without a drying effect.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Coconut | Size: 7.8 ounce | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $20

Best Treatment: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment Serum

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment
What We Like
  • Exfoliates

  • Helps balance oil production

  • Promotes healthy scalp

What We Don't Like
  • Some reviewers note a strong scent

  • Expensive

This treatment can be used pre-shampoo for those seeking a little extra help targeting an oily scalp. A powerful combination of witch hazel water, tea tree, and charcoal work to effectively normalize oil production, leaving your scalp soothed and hydrated. Although this product is expensive, we think it's worth adding to your shower routine, especially if oil build-up is a concern.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Tea tree | Size: 1 ounce | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $32

Best for Color-Treated Hair : Color Wow Color Security Shampoo

Color Wow Color Security Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Protects color

  • pH balanced

  • Removes residue

What We Don't Like
  • Can be a bit drying

Safe for color and chemically treated hair, this formula promises to clarify hair and scalp completely within three shampoos. We love the gentle formula that removes oil without stripping the cuticle. It is worth noting that some reviewers find it a bit drying, especially for the scalp, so it might work best on very oily hair.

Hair Type: Coarse, oily, fragile, frizzy, chemically treated, damaged | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Unscented | Size: 8.48 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $24

Best for Sweat: Acure Daily Workout Watermelon & Blood Orange Shampoo

Daily Workout Watermelon & Blood Orange Shampoo

Acure

Oil and sweat can go hand-in-hand, especially if you are prone to perspiring or workout a ton. We love this natural, clean formula fortified with lightweight oils like watermelon seed and avocado to hydrate your hair without causing oily residue to build up. Free-from any sulfates, parabens, mineral, or petroleum oil which can weigh hair down and build up on your scalp, the formula is gentle enough for daily use, and particularly great for eliminating post-workout sweat.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Watermelon and orange | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $10

Best Strengthening : Kevin Murphy Balancing Wash

Bottle of shampoo

Kevin Murphy

What We Like
  • Adds shine

  • Hydrating formula

  • Amazing scent

What We Don't Like
  • May weigh down fine hair

This balancing formula is ideal for those who want to wash daily, as it's fortified with ingredients to hydrate the hair cuticle, like amino acids and antioxidants. The protein-rich formula is great for adding strength to fragile hair types without being too heavy that it causes residue. Team Byrdie is obsessed with Kevin Murphy's aromatic blends, and this shampoo is no exception.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Botanical | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $35

Best Natural : Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo for Oily Hair

Bottle of shampoo

Amazon

What We Like
  • Clarifying formula

  • Absorbs and prevents oil production

What We Don't Like
  • Can be a bit stripping

This highly effective formula goes to work on oil using an intense concentration of tea tree, to not only absorb but control grease from the scalp. It's free-from formula ensures a you're not garnering any extra build-up, though as a result, don't expect much of a sudsy lather.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Tea tree | Size: 8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $11

Final Verdict

For anyone and everyone with oily hair, the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Shampoo is a surefire pick, boasting three different types of clay that work wonders when it comes to sopping up excess oil from the start. It’s just one of many affordable options that work wonders when it comes to deep cleansing greasy hair. If you’re battling both excess oil and flakes, try the classic First Aid Beauty Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, which is effective yet still gentle on both scalp and hair.

Meet the Expert

Best Shampoos for Oily Hair

Byrdie / Michela Buttignol

What to Look for in a Shampoo for Oily Hair

Clarifying or Rebalancing Formulas

"This terminology indicates that the shampoo contains higher amounts of cleansing and exfoliating ingredients, which ultimately will help better rid your scalp of excess oil," says Draeger.

Sulfates

"While you can totally go sulfate-free if you prefer, this is one instance where a shampoo that does contain sulfates may be a good idea, simply given that they're better at providing a deep clean," says Ford.

L'Oréal Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo
Byrdie / Ashley Rubell
FAQ
  • How much shampoo should you use on oily hair?

    The correct amount of shampoo varies depending on your hair length, but getting it right is crucial; you want to end up with clean hair and minimal product waste. Use this guide: Those with short hair should use a nickel-sized amount; for medium hair, aim for a quarter amount; and for long or thick hair, use a half-dollar amount.

  • How often should you wash oily hair?

    According to hairstylist Sal Salcedo, it’s best to shampoo twice in a row instead of washing your hair more frequently. This provides a more thorough cleanse, allows you to go longer between shampoos, and minimizes oil without stripping.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She considered dozens of products for this roundup, researched peer-reviewed journals, and consulted our testing insights. Our product testers tried some of the top-rated products for weeks at a time, taking note of how well they delivered results as well as any extra product features. Melanie's hair is both fine and oily (as in, she has to wash it every day kind of oily), so she’s extremely familiar with and has used many of the oily shampoos on the market. Among the ones on this list, the Pantene and Drunk Elephant options are currently in her shower.

Updated by Jill DiDonato
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Punyani S, Tosti A, Hordinsky M, Yeomans D, Schwartz J. The Impact of Shampoo Wash Frequency on Scalp and Hair Conditions. Skin Appendage Disord. 2021;7(3):183-193. doi:10.1159/000512786

  2. Gavazzoni Dias MF, Pichler J, Adriano A, Cecato P, de Almeida A. The shampoo pH can affect the hair: Myth or Reality? Int J Trichol. 2014;6(3):95. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.139078

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