Best shampoos for oily hair to keep it clean and strong

 (Andrew Fitzsimons)
(Andrew Fitzsimons)

If you’re someone who struggles with oily hair, you’ve probably become something of a master when it comes to grease-proof hairstyles. French plaits? A scraped-back ponytail? Maybe even a hat?

The trick, of course, is nipping the oily hair problem in the bud before it gets to the point where you're having the "wash or disguise" debate once again. And the best way to do that? By investing in a good oily hair shampoo that's specifically formulated to keep your locks looking fresher for longer.

The best oily hair shampoos make good use of cleansing ingredients that help to tackle build up and keep the scalp feeling healthy. Tea tree, witch hazel, coconut oil and mint are known as some of the best ingredients for doing just that.

Trichologist Dr Derrick Phillips recommends washing your hair every other day if you have greasy hair. He says: "When shampooing, concentrate on scrubbing the scalp moderately (enough to rub in the soap) but not so hard that you’re irritating your scalp. Any irritation can overstimulate the glands and cause them to produce more sebum, leading to even oilier hair.”

He also stresses a switch-up to your conditioning routine, “Don’t apply conditioner to your scalp, massage it into your ends instead: your ends may need a little extra love, but your scalp doesn’t need help getting greasy.!

“Over time, products can build up on your hair”, he adds. “This may contribute to your hair feeling greasy. A clarifying shampoo should be used once or twice a month to get rid of any residue from styling products.”

Last but not least, Philips suggests that, “If your scalp is already producing too much oil, using an oil-based styling product isn’t the best idea. Use a hairspray or mousse to style without weighing hair down or adding more grease”.

We’ve rounded up all of the best oily hair shampoos below.

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Like its name suggests, the Tea Tree Special Shampoo is a seriously special one. Not only does it come in a huge bottle that refuses to run out, but it’s also filled with a deliciously fresh tea tree smell that you’ll love for its reinvigorating benefits first thing in the morning.

This cleansing shampoo is one of the best for balancing oily hair with nourished lengths, using the antibacterial properties of tea tree to rid your scalp of impurities while adding strength and vitality to your hair. A little goes a long way too, so it’ll definitely take you a while to get through a bottle of this size no matter how frequently you wash your hair.

Buy now £38.95, lookfantastic

Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

The optimists among us will wonder whether Bumble and Bumble’s “Sunday” Shampoo is so effective that it only needs to be used once a week. While that might not quite be accurate, this is still one of the best shampoos to carefully strip the grease from your hair so you can cut back washing times a little longer than before.

It comes with a soft subtle scent and a dense enough formula to truly feel like it’s getting up close and personal with each hair follicle. Helping to restore fullness and shine, it gently balances your hair’s pH to keep you feeling extra clean.

Buy now £24.50, ASOS

Redken Retail Amino-Mint Scalp Shampoo

Redken ticks all the boxes in the haircare world and the brand’s oily hair shampoo is no exception. Another bottle with a refreshing scent that adds a little extra cleanliness to your day, this minty shampoo works to balance the pH of your hair and scalp, while minimising the risk of irritation.

It does that by incorporating peppermint into its formula, famed for its soothing properties that refreshes your scalp and cleanses your hair at the same time. Its added amino acid strength complex also helps to fortify your hair by promoting moisture retention.

Buy now £17.00, lookfantastic

Oribe Serene Scalp Balancing Shampoo

Some oily hair shampoos can do their job a little too well and leave you with oil-free but also dry locks. Not Oribe. A great option if you have a sensitive scalp or just want to gently remove any oil build up, this balancing shampoo does the job without too much stress on the scalp.

Ridding you of any dandruff, while giving your hair a makeover at the same time, it’s fortified with salicylic acid to ensure a soft, clean scalp with luscious lengths that’ve never looked more hydrated. Its orange and maple extracts give it a brilliant scent, too.

Buy now £49.96, Amazon

L'Oreal Elvive Clay Oily Roots Shampoo

L’Oreal’s powerful formula is one of the best budget friendly oily hair shampoos out there and doesn’t hold back when delivering the goods. This clay-infused shampoo has a different, thicker formula than many oily hair shampoos and digs deep into your scalp to cleanse like never before.

If your hair is only a little bit greasy, this shampoo might be too powerful. But if you’re playing the long game and want to give your hair the complete 180 it deserves when you finally step in the shower, this potent formula certainly does the job.

Buy now £6.00, Boots

OGX Clarify & Shine+ Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

Choose OGX if you’re someone who washes their hair a lot or who travels often. This pleasingly priced shampoo is a great choice for stocking up on that does the job without costing a fortune. Some oily hair shampoos work by introducing essential oils, while this bottle makes good use of apple cider vinegar’s clarifying properties.

Designed to help eliminate residue and build up, balance the scalp, remove unwanted oil and leave hair super clean and shiny, it’s an all-rounder and a crowd pleaser with a soft apple scent to match.

Buy now £8.49, Superdrug

Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo with Thermal Mud

Christophe Robin’s purifying shampoo uses thermal mud to cleanse the hair. While that might not initially sound like something you’d want to throw over your head a few times a week, it’s a product that goes above and beyond with traditional and modern remedies to leave you with soft and healthy looking hair.

The mineral-rich nature of its thermal mud adds a little extra nourishment than the usual shampoo and its rich-creamy texture feels luxurious to apply. The final touch? Its baltic sea red algae, which is the secret ingredient for keeping your hair feeling clean for longer.

Buy now £29.00, lookfantastic

L’Oréal Professionnel Shampoo With Citramine for Oily Hair

L’Oréal Professionnel’s line may be a little more expensive than standard L’Oréal products but it also comes formulated with a few more extra special ingredients that your hair will definitely appreciate.

With its purifying aqua crystal formulation, which incorporates both Citramine and Vitamin E, it’s especially useful in places with hard water. This shampoo works to remove residue and product build-up and rinses away any residue leftover, leaving you with fresh hair that feels a little lighter at the same time.

Buy now £9.36, Amazon

Davines SOLU Shampoo

You’ll probably spy Davines products at fancy hair salons and this is a brand regularly recommended by hair experts for its powers. The SOLU shampoo brings together a little of everything that Davines is famed for: its ability to make your hair look just-out-the-salon ready, while cleansing, hydrating and boosting it all at the same time.

Something of a miracle product for the way it cleans without stripping, this oily hair shampoo is gentle, sustainably sourced and abundant in mineral salts and amino acids to promote luscious hair growth.

Buy now £18.50, Liberty

Kérastase Genesis Bain Nutri-Fortifiant Shampoo

Kérastase makes perhaps the most nourishing oily hair shampoos around. While it’s marketed at those with normal to oily hair, it’s a brilliant option for regular use that cleans away any build up while encouraging growth and scalp health.

Designed to revive dull, weakened strands that are prone to falling, out it’s an all rounder made up of a whole host of beneficial ingredients. Aquaxyl aids in the improvement of moisture retention while Ginger Root delivers anti-inflammatory benefits to calm and comfort the scalp. If you’re trying to grow your hair while also keeping oil away, this is one of the best options out there.

Buy now £19.95, The Hut


Looking for an oily hair shampoo that wakes you up, cleans your hair and refuses to run out? Look no further than Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Special Shampoo. This huge bottle not only reduces the frequency of your hair washing but also makes it a more enjoyable experience at the same time.