Greasy Hair? These 20 power-house shampoos will sort you out

greasy hair products   women's health uk 
20 shampoos for greasy hair

Find it tricky to go more than a day or two without having to give your hair a wash? No doubt, hair that takes on a 'chip pan' quality without a daily rinse is a beauty bugbear. That then, is where the best shampoos for greasy hair come in.

Not sure where to start? No stress. The Women’s Health beauty editors have picked their top products — as well as expert tips on how to deal with sweaty, post-workout hair and oily roots. On top of that, the Women’s Health Lab also asked 350 women with a range of hair types to test the best shampoos for banishing grease.

Want to get straight to the edit of best shampoos for greasy hair? Scroll down.

What causes greasy hair?

Whilst honing your hair care routine may seem like a quick win for your strands, you may want to hold your horses on the washing part if you constantly contend with greasy hair.

'It may sound bizarre, but washing your hair stimulates your scalp to produce sebum, the scalp's natural oil. Washing your hair too often can over-activate the sebaceous glands producing excessive sebum,' reveals Craig Taylor, Creative Director of Hari's Salon, London.

Before you know it, you're in a never-ending cycle of lather, rinse and repeat. Whilst no one is suggesting you forgo your shampoo completely, your best bet is to invest in shampoos for greasy hair.

Not sure where to start? Here's our edit of the best — as well as expert tips on how to deal with sweaty, post-workout hair and oily roots.

How can I stop my hair getting greasy?

1. Wash your hair less often

'Firstly, experiment to see if you are over-washing your hair by washing it less frequently,' advises Taylor. While hair washing is necessary, too much can clog your roots, and the build-up can be responsible for everything from dandruff to hair loss, which is why a healthy scalp is so important.

If you wash it 4 times a week, try twice. Or if you wash it every day, try reducing it to three times a week. Keep going until you notice a difference.

2. Swap washing for rinsing

Try rinsing your hair well instead of washing to see if this helps. 'Regular exercisers can find themselves over washing their hair out of habit, so try just rinsing after a workout' reveals Taylor.

While sweat is not oily — it's mostly water with some salts thrown in — if you're a frequent gym-goer, then you likely have more build-up around your roots from perspiration that wants zapping, too. So give hair a good rinse.

3. Quit playing with your hair

'Try not to over brush or play with your hair as this has the same reaction. Using dry shampoo helps absorb oils on the hair, be it natural oils or product residue' advises Taylor.

What is good for greasy hair?

'Using dry shampoo helps absorb oils on the hair, be it natural oils or product residue' advises Taylor. Check out the WH round-up of best dry shampoos.

What ingredients should you avoid, if your hair is prone to greasiness?

  • Parabens

  • Formaldehyde

  • Silicone

  • Natural oils: jojoba, rosemary, lemon, argan, tea tree and peppermint

What shampoo should I use for greasy hair?

Chances are you don't just have to contend with grease, right? Therefore it makes sense to invest in a shampoo that helps deal with greasy hair and is suitable for your hair type.

So – whether you’re looking for a bit of a boost or an organic, natural formula or maybe you want to give a shampoo bar a whirl? We've got you covered. Ta-ta stringy fringe.

How we test

In the Women’s Health Lab, we recruited 450 testers to try 33 brands of shampoo and their matching conditioners for two weeks. Their hair types ranged from straight to afro, with each tester judging how well the shampoos helped with their oily symptoms.

They assessed how well each product cleansed hair, their lather and whether they saw any long-term benefits in the reduction of oil. They also reported back on how hair felt after use, focusing on hydration, smoothness, shininess and volume.

In the lab, we applied artificial sebum to hair switches and used a Sebumeter to measure oil and sebum levels after using each shampoo, to see how effective they were at controlling oil.

If you’re concerned about whether they contain parabens, silicones or sulphates, we’ve also listed that info below, so you can shop with ease.

20 best shampoos for greasy hair

1. Redken Amino-Mint Shampoo

Best shampoo for oily hair

The goal of this minty number is to leave your hot and sweaty scalp as cool as a cucumber. It was a star at removing grease and grime, leaving most of our panel with smoother, shinier hair. It was gentle too, causing zero irritation, while also keeping oil under control.

Key specifications
Volume: 300ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: No

2. OGX Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

Best shampoo for healthier hair

Apple cider vinegar has been a beauty secret among celebs for as long as we can remember. It’s normally consumed in the form of a morning shot (ew) for health benefits, but it’s also become popular for balancing out your scalp's pH to promote hair growth.

This shampoo contains the magical ingredient, which we found successfully helped banish excess oil and product build-up. By the end of the trial, testers noticed hair looked smoother and more nourished.

Key specifications
Volume:
Shampoo, 385ml; conditioner, 385ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free:
No
Sulphate free:
Yes

3. Aussie Shampoo Mega For Everyday Cleaning

Best budget buy

This cruelty-free formula will set you back less than £3. It did an excellent job at lifting dirt from post-workout scalps, and it was so superior at keeping oil in check that all testers could get away with washing their hair less. Prepare to make this your new gym bag staple.

Key specifications
Volume: 300ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: No

4. Pattern Beauty Cleansing Shampoo

Best for curls

Keeping up with all the new celeb beauty brands may be getting tiring, but trust us when we say that Tracee Ellis Ross has come to the hair rescue with Pattern Beauty.

The lightweight formula gave curls some extra TLC, being both gentle yet deeply cleansing. Many testers were amazed by how great and grease-free their curls looked after washing.

Key specifications
Volume: 230.7ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: Yes

5. Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo with Thermal Mud

Best for volume

If you've ever sunk into a mud bath at a spa, you'll know the benefits it has for your skin, and this shampoo aims to do the same thing for troubled heads.

It was a champ at soaking up excess oil, leaving scalps feeling refreshed and strands looking smoother and shinier. Added hydration and softness was also reported, making this a winner in our books.

Key specifications
Volume: 250ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free: Yes
Sulphate free: Yes


6. Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

Best for a deep cleanse

Building up a sweat is a sign of a successful workout but oil-slick hair on the other hand, not so much. Time to bring in the big guns with this powerful treatment, which is so effective that it should only be used once a week.

Testers loved how purified it left their scalp feeling and it proved its worth in our lab test too, by managing to cleanse hair of 95% of excess oil.

Key specifications
Volume:
250ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free:
Yes
Sulphate free:
No

7. L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pure Resource Oil Controlling Purifying Shampoo

Best for softer hair

Striving for softer ends? A little went a long way with this gel-like shampoo, which managed to create a rigorous lather that left testers with smoother, silky lengths. They loved the scent too (an added bonus!) and in our lab test it managed to reduce oiliness by 89%.

Key specifications
Volume:
300ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free:
Yes
Sulphate free:
No


8. TRESemmé Deep Cleansing Shampoo

Best value for money

If it seems like you’re buying a new shampoo at the rate of your weekly food shop, this one should keep you stocked up for a while.

Not only is the gigantic size budget-friendly, but we loved the deep cleanse it provided for clogged up scalps, which left tresses pillow-soft. It also reduced oiliness by a whopping 97% in our lab test — not bad for a fiver.

Key specifications
Volume:
Shampoo, 900ml; conditioner, 900ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free:
No
Sulphate free:
No

9. Lush Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar

Best eco-friendly shampoo

Portable and eco-friendly — what more could you want? This bar features zero plastic packaging and it doesn't contain any water (you have to add it to use), making for a more eco product.

Testers were impressed with how well it cleansed scalps, without stripping the hair. The overall result? Strands felt nourished and silky-soft.

Key specifications
Volume:
55g
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free:
Yes
Sulphate free:
No

10. L'Oréal Elvive Clay Oily Roots Shampoo

Best for combination hair

Just like you can have combination skin, you can get combination hair too. This involves oily roots but desert-dry ends — the opposite of what we want!

L'Oréal’s shampoo claims to purify hair for up to 72 hours, while adding hydration where it needs it. A bold claim but we found it worked well at leaving scalps feeling refreshed, while ends were left shiny and smooth, and it was super gentle on hair.

Key specifications
Volume: Shampoo, 400ml; conditioner, 300ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free:
Yes
Sulphate free:
No

11. Head & Shoulders Citrus Fresh Anti Dandruff Shampoo

Best for anti-dandruff

Dandruff isn’t just for the dry scalp sufferers. If your main priority is to get rid of the pesky snowflakes, this is a great buy. Testers were impressed by how refreshed it left scalps, seeing a huge difference in eradicating any anti-social dandruff.

Key specifications
Volume: 500ml
Paraben free: Yes
Silicone free:
No
Sulphate free:
No

12. Lore Originals Cleanse and Purify Shampoo

Best sulphate-free shampoo for oily hair

Naturals meet science at Lore. Enjoy a sulphate-free cleansing formula that works as hard as her chemical-based cousins.

13. OUAI Detox Shampoo

Best balancing shampoo for greasy hair

This Detox Shampoo was created by celeb stylist Jen Atkin. The creamy formula is great for getting rid of product build-up and congestion in the hair without stripping any natural oils. It features keratin, amino acids and tamarind seed to strengthen and repair, too. The smell? Think hints of lemons mixed rose and jasmine. DIVINE!

14. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Best shampoo for fine and greasy hair

Neutrogena's T/Gel is a medicated shampoo that works to treat scalp disorders like seborrhoeic dermatitis.

In this condition the sebaceous glands begin to produce too much sebum which can them leave your scalp itchy, red and inflamed. Citric acid exfoliates the scalp while a coal tar extract will soothe any itches and eliminate flakes.

15. Bumble and bumble Prét-à-powder

Best volumising shampoo for greasy hair

Not only will this gentle Bumble and Bumble pret-a-powder absorb the oil from your roots, thanks to the combination of clay and natural starches, but it also works as a volumising and styling product, too.

16. KLORANE Nettle Shampoo

Best budget shampoo for greasy hair

Now this gives you bang for your buck. KLORANE's Nettle Shampoo is gentle and effective. Crafted with natural botanical ingredients, this sebo-regulating shampoo is specially designed for oily hair and will leave your hair looking fresher and cleaner for longer.

17. KMS Head Remedy Deep Cleanse Shampoo

Best deep-cleanse shampoo for oily roots

For those of us with oily roots but dry ends, KMS Head Remedy Shampoo targets your roots while not drying out your scalp. It contains an Alpha Hydroxy Acid structure complex with lactic acid and malic acid, which support internal reconstruction. This formula evens out the texture of your hair and effectively eliminates any minerals and pollutants.

18. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo

Best dry shampoo for greasy hair

This is one of the best dry shampoos around. Chiefly because it doesn't mask sweat, dirt or oil, but actually eradicates them from your hair. It also doesn't leave behind tell-tale chalky marks, so is suitable for all hair colours and types.

19. Garnier Ultimate Blends Repairing Hair Food Papaya Shampoo For Damaged Hair

Best shampoo for greasy hair and split ends

If your ends are in need of a little TLC, reach for this reparative formula. It's brimming with coconut and papaya that nurse withered locks back to health.

20. Sachajuan Normalizing Shampoo

Best luxury shampoo to de-grease

Yes, it feels extravagant. But if you're in a position to spend higher on your hair, then know that this potent cocktail of protein and mineral extracts will leave your hair wonderfully cleansed.

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