Even though he showered daily, my cousin used to wake up with his hair practically dripping with grease. He tried everything to solve the problem, even bathing twice a day. One day, I noticed he looked different in the morning. His fine hair was limp, but not plastered to his head. He said he’d switched to the best drugstore shampoo for oily hair. It worked better than all those fancy solutions and prescription formulas he’d tried.
So, which is the best drugstore shampoo for greasy hair? Well, there’s actually more than one. Here are our top picks:
|The best drugstore shampoos for oily hair||Why we love them|
|Prell Shampoo, Classic Clean|
|Head and Shoulders Instant Oil Control Dandruff Shampoo|
|L'Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo|
|Aveeno Scalp Soothing Shampoo, Apple Cider Vinegar Blend|
|Herbal Essences, Clarifying Shampoo|
|OGX Hydrating + Shampoo Nourishing Invigorating Scalp Shampoo|
|Ethique Shampoo Bar for Oily Hair, St. Clements|
As we go through the reviews of the best drugstore shampoos below, I’ll let you know which one my cousin uses. But don’t take our recommendation for it. We suggest choosing a shampoo that meets your needs. Here’s a little guidance.
Table of Contents
- The different types of drugstore shampoo for oily hair
- Best Drugstore Shampoo for Oily Hair in 2021
- Prell Shampoo, Classic Clean
- Head and Shoulders Instant Oil Control Dandruff Shampoo
- L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo
- Aveeno Scalp Soothing Shampoo, Apple Cider Vinegar Blend
- Herbal Essences, Clarifying Shampoo
- OGX Hydrating + Shampoo Nourishing Invigorating Scalp Shampoo
- Ethique Shampoo Bar for Oily Hair, St. Clements
The different types of drugstore shampoo for oily hair
There are different kinds of shampoo for oily hair. One of the most common is dandruff shampoo since greasy hair and dandruff tend to happen together. Regular flaking and itching are straightforward to treat with pyrithione zinc, a common ingredient in dandruff shampoo.
Some dandruff shampoos feature salicylic acid, which exfoliates and unclogs pores, making it extra nice for treating an oily scalp.
But there are also clarifying shampoos with ingredients like apple cider vinegar. These clear out residue from styling products and the like. The extra greasiness in your hair could also come from shampoo with silicone or too many moisturizers.
In any case, shampoo for oily hair should be lightweight and refreshing. Steer clear of creamy formulas in favor of transparent shampoos.
When you wash, scrub the scalp, but don’t try to clean the entire length of the hair if it’s not necessary. Otherwise, the shampoo may be too drying for the strands. If you start experiencing frizz and flyaways, try applying conditioner only on the tips of the hair (1).
Best Drugstore Shampoo for Oily Hair in 2021
Prell Shampoo, Classic Clean
The Classic Prell shampoo is packed with all the stuff that modern hair experts would tell you to avoid. For example, it contains lots of sulfates, an artificial fragrance, and artificial colors. So, why in the world would we recommend it? For the very reason that it works. If it ain’t broke…
It’s a time-tested formula that’s been around for decades. Some folks have been buying it since it was packaged in glass bottles. They reminisce in reviews about how the fragrance takes them back to childhood. It also happens to be the shampoo for oily hair that my cousin uses so successfully.
It’s made to leave the hair squeaky clean, shiny, and soft. It lathers well and rinses easily. What more could you ask for?
By the way, we’re not certain that it’s safe for color-treated or permed hair. It might fade the dye or relax the curls faster than non-sulfate shampoos. On the plus side, we found several reviewers who said it didn’t seem to hurt their styles.
- Time-tested formula that’s proven to cleanse oily hair
- Leaves the hair shiny, soft, and squeaky clean
- Clean fragrance, pleasant lather, rinses easily
- Contains sulfates which may or may not fade color treatments
Head and Shoulders Instant Oil Control Dandruff Shampoo
Here’s the best drugstore shampoo for oily hair and dandruff. There are different versions of Head & Shoulders including two-and-one shampoo and conditioner. But we selected the Instant Oil Control version because we saw so many people were happy with it. They praised it for clearing up the itching and flaking and leaving their hair cleaner and fresher than ever before.
Moreover, it’s pH-balanced to avoid stripping moisture or upsetting the scalp. It feels cooling on contact and doesn’t necessarily need a conditioner after use. (If you want conditioner, they offer a companion product).
The active ingredient is pyrithione zinc, an effective antifungal that’s mild enough for treating children. It also has citrus and mango essence for extra cleansing power. For the most benefit, use the shampoo at least twice a week.
And no, this is not a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates get a bad rap, but they’re actually an excellent surfactant for getting rid of excess oil and grime. While not ideal for dry or sensitive scalps, sulfates are usually helpful for oily skin.
- Active ingredient pyrithione zinc clears up dandruff
- Cooling sensation that relieves itchiness
- Gets rid of flakes and leaves the hair soft
- Those with oily scalps and dry hair may need to use the matching conditioner
L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo
What’s the best shampoo for oily, thin hair? We like L’Oreal’s Elvive Extraordinary Clay shampoo. It clears up a greasy scalp without drying out the tips of the hair. Moreover, it adds a bit of volume.
It has a blend of ingredients that fight excess oil and purify the hair and scalp. These include salicylic acid, sulfates, and three clays. Who knows, you might be able to go more than a day between washes with it. After all, it helps dry hair retain moisture for up to forty-eight hours.
Users say it lathers away excess oil without making the hair flat, dry, or lifeless. Instead, their hair is soft and manageable. The only downside is that it has a thick texture and may take a generous amount to avoid shampooing twice.
- Salicylic acid and three clays purify the scalp and reduce oiliness
- Hydrates dry strands for up to forty-eight hours
- Adds a little volume to thin hair
- Thick texture may lead to the user using a larger amount
Aveeno Scalp Soothing Shampoo, Apple Cider Vinegar Blend
The best shampoo for oily scalp and frizzy hair is an easy choice. Aveeno’s Apple Cider Vinegar Blend is a clarifying shampoo that doesn’t strip moisture from the skin or hair. Instead, it removes buildup from styling products and other shampoos and conditioners. It also refreshes an oily scalp while leaving hair super shiny and manageable.
Furthermore, it doesn’t smell like vinegar at all. It’s free of artificial colors, parabens, and sulfates. Feel free to use it on color-treated hair as it won’t cause fading.
- Clarifying shampoo that removes buildup and excess oil
- Gentle enough for all hair types including color-treated
- Has a fresh fragrance and adds volume and shine
- Has no artificial color, parabens, or sulfates
- The shampoo may be stolen by other household members because it’s so pleasant to use
Herbal Essences, Clarifying Shampoo
Here’s another clarifying shampoo that silicone-free and pH-balanced. It’s mild enough for color-treated hair, plus it helps with detangling and frizz, too. Swimmers find that it combats discoloration and dryness caused by chlorinated water. Don’t be surprised if it tingles a little bit on the scalp.
Why did we select two clarifying shampoos for oily hair? Part of it is fragrance – we know it matters to you how your shampoo smells. Don’t be deceived by the name. Although it contains jasmine and tea tree oil, this one as a clean unisex fragrance.
- pH-balanced and silicone-free
- Protects against damage and frizz, helps with detangling
- Clarifies the scalp, removing build-up and oil
- Helps swimmers avoid discoloration and dryness
- Clean unisex fragrance
- Use the accompanying conditioner if you plan to shampoo daily and have long hair
OGX Hydrating + Shampoo Nourishing Invigorating Scalp Shampoo
We kept seeing beauty sites recommending this shampoo for oily hair. It made us curious enough to investigate as it was one we’ve never tried. It’s a tea tree mint formula suitable for all hair types and textures.
It promises to nourish damaged hair and ward off frizz and tangles. It doesn’t contain harsh sulfates. Instead, it features tea tree oil, milk protein, and peppermint oil. It’s the tea tree and peppermint that help with the oily scalp while milk protein strengthens the strands.
On the downside, it also has silicone which may weigh down fine or oily hair.
Our experience was positive. It has the perfect wake up fragrance for a morning shower. Happily, the scent is fresh, clean, and gender-neutral so that everyone in the family can enjoy it.
- A shampoo for oily hair that everyone in the family can use because it’s mild enough
- Suitable for all hair types and textures , has a clean fragrance
- Protects damaged hair and defends against tangles and frizz
- Contains silicone which could weigh down the hair and lead to buildup
Ethique Shampoo Bar for Oily Hair, St. Clements
No, this is not a drugstore shampoo. Why did we include it? Because we’re trying to use less plastic. We know we have readers who are concerned about the environment as well.
Solid shampoo isn’t for everyone, at least not yet. But it’s surprisingly good for oily hair as it tends to be more drying than liquid shampoo.
We’ve tried various brands where we had to rinse with apple cider vinegar or use conditioner afterward. Sometimes we had to lather up more than once because the first time wasn’t enough. That’s all too complicated. Instead, we love the simplicity of this shampoo bar.
It’s made with natural ingredients and scented with essential oil. It’s sustainable and ethically-sourced. Most importantly, there’s no plastic packaging. Not surprising as it’s made by a zero-waste beauty brand from New Zealand.
Also, it travels well. It will never leak in the luggage or max out your carry-on liquid limit. Each bar is equal to two or three bottles of liquid shampoo. Plus, the formula is pH-balanced so it won’t make your scalp itch or wreck your hair. You might not even need a conditioner – I didn’t. It leaves the hair squeaky clean and weightless with no tangles.
- Kind to the environment since there is no plastic packaging
- Natural ingredients that are sustainable and ethically-sourced
- Lightly conditioning, pH balanced
- Cleanses oily scalp and hair, leaving it weightless and tangle-free
- Imported from overseas
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Try one of these drugstore shampoos for oily hair. We’re sure you’ll be pleased with the results.
We hope we helped you find the hair care product you need today. If so, we’d love to hear about your experience with it in the comments below.
1. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/hair-scalp-care/hair/healthy-hair-tips Tips for Healthy Hair, accessed May 13, 2021