The 20 Best Shampoos for Oily Hair in 2020 – Products & Formulas for Less Greasy Hair

Oily hair is not an easy hair trait to tackle. The more you wash it to remove excess oil, the oilier it gets. This is due to your sebaceous glands fighting to replace the oil you keep washing away! They work by ramping up oil production, with the condition of your hair and scalp suffering as a result of over washing. It’s a vicious cycle. And when oily hair is combined with delicate hair conditions, such as thinning hair or dandruff, – it can become the ultimate hair care nightmare.

close up picture of greasy roots.

If your bad hair days are outweighing the good ones, it might be your shampoo that’s the problem. The shampoo you choose and how often you use it is your first and best defence against greasy hair.

Oily hair shampoos differ from others as they feature a higher number of surfactants which attract oil, dirt and unwanted build-up like a magnet, having an emulsifying effect so it can be pulled into the water and washed off easily. Oily shampoos that contain the highest percentage of surfactants, and therefore have more oil zapping power, are called clarifying shampoos. These are designed to be used only once or twice a month unless you use lots of hair styling products, you use very hard water or, furthermore, your hair is often exposed to chlorine and other pollutants so you require more regular removal of unwanted build-up.

close up of a persons oily roots and dandruff.

What is the best shampoo for oily hair”?

I hear you! Well, that all depends on your unique hair type, product use and lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a maximum strength product to completely banish oil and dandruff, as well as detoxing your locks from unwanted build-ups such as pollutants, hard water and styling products, then look no further than MAXI.WASH by Kevin Murphy.

Or perhaps you need an oil busting and volume-boosting formulation for thin hair? We recommend going for Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo.

Check out our list of greasy hair game-changers to discover the shampoo of your dreams. We’ve covered all bases to make sure you’ll find one that’s right for you – whether you’ve got fine hair or thick if you’re wanting to splash the cash or get savvy with your budget – you’ll find one that you adore.

Best Shampoo for Oily Hair/Itchy Scalp

Green People Irritated Scalp Shampoo Bottle.

Green People Irritated Scalp Shampoo. £13.50; available online at Green People.

Green People are one of the UK’s most loved natural and organic skincare brands! This shampoo formulation made to treat the annoying combination of an irritated scalp and oily hair proves once again why the nation loves its products so much. Let extracts of lavender and rosemary soothe your scalp whilst getting grease under control.

Suggested Article: Skin Redness – 7 Reasons Your Skin Is Red and Sensitive and how to Fix It.

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

 

Best Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair

Neighbour Hood Botanicals Sunday Morning Dry Shampoo. £17.50; available online at Beauty Bay.

Sunday Morning Dry Shampoo.

An all-natural dry shampoo that works wonders to calm the scalp, absorb oils, neutralise odour and add volume on second-day hair. The Sunday Morning Dry Shampoo is made from a delicate balance of natural starches, minerals and botanicals, which leave the hair and scalp feeling and looking fresh, without that heavy, white residue associated with inferior alternatives. It’s well worth the higher price tag.

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

 

Best Drugstore Shampoo for Oily Hair

Lee Stafford Keep it Clean Purifying Shampoo. £7.49; available at Boots.

lee stafford purifying shampoo.

Easily remove excess oil and unwanted build-up with this drugstore favourite by Lee Stafford.  This pink clay infused shampoo effectively attracts oil, dirt and product residue – completely removing them from your strands. It clarifies and revitalises, leaving hair squeaky clean.

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Suggested Article: Create a Spa Day at Home like a Pro with these Luxe Products

 

Best Cheap Shampoo for Oily Hair

L’Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-balancing Shampoo. Currently only £2.47 (Was £4.99); available online at Superdrug.

L'Oreal Elvive Clay Shampoo.

 

An obvious feature on our list for both price and performance, L’Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-balancing Shampoo is the best grease busting formulation you can get on a budget. It gives high-end formulations a run for their money, promising that your scalp will feel deeply purified for 72 hours with fresh, light, lifted roots. It hydrates hair all the way to the ends, leaving your strands smooth and shiny with free-flowing movement.

Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Suggested Article: Sea Salt Beauty: 11 Ways to Use Sea Salt for Beautiful Hair, Skin, Teeth and Nails. 

Best Shampoo for Fine, Oily Hair

OUAI Fine Hair Shampoo. £22; available online at John Lewis

OUAI Fine Hair Shampoo.

With its beautiful French girl aesthetic and genius formulations, it’s no surprise that Ouai Haircare blew up on Instagram, quickly attracting a cult following. Bring bounce and brilliant shine back to fine, greasy hair with this volumising formulation infused with hair-strengthening hydrolysed keratin and biotin. Hemp seed extract and chia seed oil naturally hydrate fine locks, giving you the appearance of more hair. And it smells divine! Orange blends with peony, magnolia, jasmine and musk, leaving your strands delicately scented after washing.

Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Best Shampoo for Thin, Oily Hair

Roots Double Effect Extreme Clean Shampoo. £6.65; available online at Superdrug.

Roots Double Effect Silk Finish Conditioner.

This shampoo is a hidden gem! Roots Double Effect® Extreme Clean shampoo deeply cleanses the scalp and oily hair whilst a blend of follicle strengthening oils nourish thinning hair and promote growth. It’s the perfect formulation to treat the delicate combination of oily and thin hair. 

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

 

Best Shampoo for Oily, Colour-Treated Hair

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Colour Shampoo. £14.60; available online at Look Fantastic.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Color Shampoo.

Preserving your hair colour whilst tackling grease is a tough job. A key contender for the task is this anti-fade cleansing formulation fortified with Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil. It works by effectively eliminating impurities and product build-up, whilst soothing the scalp and protecting your colour from fading.

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Suggested Article: Tea Tree Oil: 10 Ways to Use It to Combat Blemishes and Breakouts.

Best Natural Shampoos for Oily Hair

Primal Suds Head Cave Shamsmoo – Oily. £6.00; available online at Primal Suds.

Primal Suds Head Cave.

Aesthetically pleasing, kinder to your skin and the environment, this oil busting natural shampoo bar effectively eliminates excess oils and unwanted build-up. Furthermore, by choosing natural shampoo you will reduce your consumption of one-use plastics as well as your exposure to cosmetic ingredients that are potentially toxic to human health and the environment.

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Lush Big Shampoo. £15.00; available online at Lush.

A volume-boosting, natural shampoo packed full of natural cleansing ingredients including sea salt, fresh seawater and lime juice. Each that leaves the hair deeply cleansed and hydrated with vibrancy and bounce. Suitable for mermaids. 

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Best Shampoo for Oily Scalp and Dry Ends

Leonor Greyl Balancing Shampoo. £28.70; available online at Cult Beauty.

Treating an oily scalp and dry ends are one of the harder combinations to treat! We are happy to inform you that your struggle is over because Leonor Greyl has figured it out with this front running, luxury formulation packed full of certified organic ingredients that banish oil and nourishes from root to tip. French girl glam just got easier.

LEONOR GREYL Shampoo.Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Best Shampoo for Thick, Oily Hair

CHAMPO Kapha balancing shampoo. £18.50; available online at Champo.

Using ancient Ayurvedic principles to determine your hair energy type and luxurious active ingredients, Champo formulations are hard to beat. Their Kapha balancing shampoo will help your thick hair achieve harmony, leaving it looking shiny but not slick.

CHAMPO Kapha Balancing Shampoo.

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Suggested article: Stop common hair myths from harming your locks.

Best Men’s Shampoo for Oily Hair

American Crew Anti-Dandruff + Sebum Control Shampoo. £9.98; available online at John Lewis. 

A problem-solving shampoo that tackles two of the top issues with men’s hair and scalp, in one multi-benefit formula. This scalp therapy shampoo will leave your hair and scalp feeling refreshed and invigorated, deeply conditioned and free of dandruff and excess oil.

AMERICAN-crew-anti-dandruff-sebum-control-shampoo.

ECOOKING Men’s Hair and Body Shampoo. £18.75; available online at Beauty Bay.

If you’re an everyday kind of guy, then this is the daily shampoo of your dreams. This multi-tasking product is formulated for use on both the hair and body. Expect clean, grease-free, fresh locks every time.

ECOOKING Mens Hair and Body Shampoo.

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Scrub Shampoo. £15.00; available online at The Body Shop.

This invigorating scrub shampoo uses a blend of Japanese green tea, mint menthol, salt crystals and honey to gently exfoliate the scalp and purify the hair to remove excess oil, dirt and reduce unwanted build-up. Leaves hair looking revitalised with a healthy-looking shine.

FUJI GREEN TEA The Body Shop Scrub Shampoo.

Cruelty-Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Best Clarifying Shampoo for Oily Hair

Mane ‘n Tail Gentle Clarifying Shampoo. £6.95; available online at Beauty Bay.

Their original formulation was developed for use on horses and has since attracted a cult following that includes the likes of Kim Kardashian – who famously revealed she only washes her hair once every 5 days!

Mane and Tail - Gentle Clarifying Shampoo.This gently clarifying formula is perfect if you require more regular removal of unwanted build-up as this will leave your locks deeply cleansed but not stripped. Over time this gently clarifying product will tame your tresses to be less greasy, giving you more time in between washes.

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Best Oily Hair Shampoo for Dandruff

KEVIN.MURPHY Maxi.Wash.

KEVIN.MURPHY MAXI.WASH. £20.00; available online at Cult Beauty.

This maximum strength shampoo deeply clarifies the hair and scalp to completely remove build-up and brighten the hair. AHA’s gently exfoliate the scalp, dissolving dead skin cells and breaking down fatty acids that irritate the scalp causing inflammation. Dandruff is considered a result of this inflammatory reaction. 

Did you know?

Sebaceous gland secretions metabolise to irritating unsaturated fatty acids by Malassezia – a yeast-like fungus naturally found on the skin surface of humans and some animals that are associated with causing skin conditions such as dandruff, atopic eczema and dermatitis.

This product is the strongest grease and build-up buster on our list and its clever formulation also prepare your hair to absorb further nutrients, just like the cleansing and exfoliating steps to a facial – consider it skincare for the hair.

It almost made best clarifying shampoo, but with its dandruff zapping abilities it just had to win for this category. This is not regular use shampoo, I repeat -this is not a regular use shampoo! If you use this formulation too often, you’ll do more harm than good. Think of it as a detox for your hair and scalp, using it once or twice a month to keep oil, dandruff and unwanted build-up at bay and get more time between washes!

Remember – only use a strongly clarifying shampoo like this formulation more regularly if you use lots of hair styling products, you have very hard water, or, furthermore, your hair is often exposed to chlorine and other pollutants and you require more regular removal of unwanted build-up.

Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

Suggested article: Is your hair causing your acne – 15 ways your hair could be making you break out

 

Best Shampoo for Oily, Teenage Hair

Klorane Oil Control Shampoo with Nettle. Currently £6.00 (Normally £8.00); available at Look Fantastic.

KLORANE Nettle Shampoo.

This is the perfect formulation for teenagers who are conscious of their oily hair and are over washing to eliminate oil. Nettle extract includes polycyclic compounds that regulate the sebaceous gland activity and use of this product over time works to regulate the production of sebum on the scalp, allowing you to wash your hair less frequently. It’s recommended for use with their matching dry shampoo to help lengthen the time between washes and further assist the regulation of sebum production.

Giving you cleaner hair for longer, it’s equally beneficial for teenagers who avoid washing their hair and are more than happy to wait longer in-between washes!

 

Best Volumising Shampoo for Oily Hair

Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo. £17.00; available online at John Lewis.

Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo.

Give limp, oily locks the bodybuilding boost they need with this weightless, volumising shampoo that gives the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. Clever copolymers coat each strand without weighing it down giving you extra body and volume whilst keratin proteins work to repair the damage. If you have fine hair that requires daily washing – this is the one for you.

 

Cruelty-Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free

Best Shampoo for Oily, Frizzy Hair

Bumble and Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil Shampoo. £22.05; available online at John Lewis.

If you’ve got oily hair that’s prone to frizz, this invisible oil shampoo was made for you. 6 feather light oils – coconut, argan oil, macadamia nut oil, sweet almond oil, safflower seed oil and grape seed oil – work to de-frizz and hydrate the hair and scalp. This formula effectively cleanses whilst protecting the hair and keeping the scalp happy. A happy scalp will give you happy hair!

Bumble and bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil Shampoo.Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free

Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Oily Hair

Ouai Haircare Clean Shampoo £22.00 and Clean Conditioner £20.00. Available online at John Lewis | Shop Now.

OUAI Clean Shampoo.Get less greasy hair the French girl way. Gently detox and refresh overworked, oily locks with these luxurious Parisian formulations. This unbeatable duo revitalises oily hair leaving it super clean and shiny. Furthermore, it helps to protect colour from fading.

Cruelty-Free | Sulphate Free | Paraben and Phthalate Free | Silicone Free

 

Which shampoo sounds like the one for you?

Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to know!

 

Wishing you all the good things.

 

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Affiliate Disclosure: We are a professional website and may get commission from the retailers and product brands we recommend in our articles. This in no way directs or effects the content we put out, but it does help to keep the lights on. We are independently owned and the opinions we express are our own, and most importantly they are truthful.