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How to Deal With Oily Hair and List of Products That Can Be Used to Control Oily Hair

I love to share advice and tips gleaned from my own experiences.

Anyone who has to live with oily hair knows that it can be very frustrating trying to find methods on how to deal with it. When dealing with oily hair there are a few things you need to do first.

  1. You need to choose the right type of shampoo for your hair type. Use a shampoo that has a clear consistency and stay away from cream shampoos.
  2. Invest in a good clarifying shampoo and then use this at least every two weeks to ensure that you get rid of any product build-up from the use of styling products.
  3. Use a hair conditioner designed for you hair type and then use this on your hair at least once a week.
  4. Invest in a good brand of dry shampoo spray/powder to use in between washes so that you can get an extra day or two of from shampooing your hair.

If you don't see some positive results from the shampoo that you are using to deal with your oily hair, then don't repurchase it when it is finished. Instead try using another brand of shampoo that is designed to treat oily hair.

Suggestions for how to deal with oily hair

Suggestions for how to deal with oily hair

Don't use a cream based shampoo, instead try to only use a shampoo that has a liquid type of consistency.

1. Double Cleanse Your Hair If You Have Oily Hair

When you visit the hair salon the hair stylist washes your hair twice. You need to get into the practice of double cleansing your hair and then conditioning it at home too.

Prior to washing your hair brush it from root to tip to remove any knots and dead hair.

When you wash your hair, the first wash is to remove grease and dirt that has build-up on your roots. The second wash is to actually finishing cleansing your hair to remove any excess dirt still remaining on your hair and to clean your scalp.

Washing Your Hair

When you shampoo your hair, always try to focus on the roots at the top, the back and the sides of your head. This is where grease and dirt builds ups on your scalp. In the second shampooing let the shampoo sit at your hair roots for at least one minute before you rinse it off after shampooing your hair.

Don’t scrub your scalp with your nails, learn to massage your scalp to loosen any dirt in your hair and this massages your hair roots too.

Try to focus on your roots as this is where the dirt is. The hair strands will get washed when you rinse your roots with water to remove the shampoo.

8 of the Best Types of Shampoo for Oily Hair

Shampoo BrandsPricing

Klorane Nettle Shampoo 200ml / 2 fl oz

Mid Range

Vichy Dercos Ultra Soothing Shampoo for Oily Hair 200ml / 2 fl oz

Mid Range

Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo 100ml / 8.5 fl oz

High End

Faith in Nature Rosemary Shampoo 400ml / 13.5 fl oz

Low End

Neutrogena T-Gel for Oily Scalp 250ml / 8.8 oz

Low End

OGX Tea Tree Mint Shampoo 385ml / 13 fl oz

Low End

Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash Shampoo 250ml / 8.4 fl oz

High End

L’oreal Professional Serie Pure Resource Shampoo 300ml / 10 fl oz

Mid Range

Oily hair is due to the production of excess sebum which is a natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in your scalp.

2. Use a Clarifying Shampoo for Oily Hair

A clarifying shampoo is a shampoo used to help remove any buildup of product on your scalp that is causing your hair to be lank and flat.

You should try to use a clarifying shampoo at least two to three times a month. If you are a fan of using lots of different styling products in your hair like leave-in conditioner, dry shampoo, hair mousse, hair spray or heat protection spray, then there will be a build-up of product in your hair roots. Using a clarifying shampoo will help to remove all this product buildup at your hair roots.

There are a lot of brand of clarifying shampoo on the market so it will be trial and error when it comes to your hair type. If a brand makes you hair feels too dry, then switch to another brand. But remember that this type of shampoo is only to be used two to three times a month, not weekly. A clarifying shampoo can really dry out your hair so only use it as required.

The aim of a good clarifying shampoo is to thoroughly cleanse your hair scalp of any product buildup due to the use of styling products.

6 Clarifying Shampoo Brands for Oily Hair


R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo 127ml/ 6 fl oz

High End

Paul Mitchel Clarifying Shampoo Two 500ml / 16.9 fl oz

Mid Range

Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo 175ml / 6 fl oz

Low End

Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo 200ml / 7 fl oz

High End

Virtue Refresh Purifying Shampoo 120ml / 4 fl oz

High End

Therapie Boost Hair & Body Wash 100ml / 3.5 fl oz

Mid Range

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3. Using a Conditioner on Oily Hair

Hair Oils

If you have oily hair then don’t need to use hair oil on your hair. The purpose of hair oil is to increase hydration in your hair and to add moisture to your hair. If you already have oily hair then you don’t need extra hydration or moisture because it's already oily. Hair oils will suit those individuals who bleach or dye their hair and those who have curly hair or hair with dry ends caused from the overuse of styling tools on their hair.


If you are using a shampoo for oily hair then the side effect of this type of shampoo could be that it dries out your hair and your ends. If you are also using hot styling tools on a regular basis then this will also dry out your hair. So it is important that you get into the habit of using a conditioner on your hair strands but not your scalp at least once a week. Try using a hydrating conditioner to help keep your locks from drying out.

Using a clarifying shampoo helps to remove any buildup of product in your hair which is caused by frequent use of styling products in your hair.

How to Style Your Hair If It's Oily

Drying your Hair

Once you have washed your hair, wrap your hair in a hair turban or in a towel. Do not rub your hair with a towel as this will damage your hair strands. If you have the time just put a towel on your shoulders and let your hair semi dry till it stops dripping. Then start styling your hair.

Using a Hair Dryer

When it comes to using your hairdryer, use the lowest heat setting with the lowest speed setting to dry it. Using the high speed and the highest heat setting on your hairdryer can dry your hair out very quickly and too much heat can damage your hair in the long run.

You use the high heat towards the end after your hair is 80% dry to help you set the style you want on your hair using a round brush or a paddle brush.

4. Dry Shampoo Powder

Some people with oily hair might find that the aerosol dry shampoo does not work too well on their hair type. While the aerosol dry shampoos are handy, if they make your hair look like there is more oil in it after using them, then try using a dry shampoo powder instead.

There isn't a large range of dry shampoo powders out there so finding one that works well on your hair type will be trial and error. But unlike with an aerosol dry shampoo, some people might find that the powder is easier to distribute onto your hair.

Applying Dry Shampoo Powder

You will need a comb so you can apply the dry shampoo powder to the hair segments that are oily. Using a comb also makes it easier to divide your hair up into parts.

Oily Parts

Once you have applied the powder to all the parts of your hair that are oily rub these areas with the tips of your fingers to help distribute the powder evenly around your scalp. When your roots no longer look greasy, brush your hair and style as normal.

Whole Head

If you need to do your whole head, then apply the powder to your hair like you would apply hair dye. Using a comb separate your hair into one inch parts starting above your left ear. Shake the powder into each segment close to the roots. Repeat this process and technique all the way to the top of your head until you have reached the hair line above the right ear. Then follow the same process and work back from the crown of your head to the back of your neck if there are areas here that are oily too.

5 Brands of Dry Shampoo Powder That Suit Oily Hair


Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder 56g / 2 fl oz

High End

Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 60 g / 2.1 fl oz

Mid Range

Verb Dry Shampoo 56g/ 2 fl oz

Mid Range

Acure Dry Shampoo 48 g / 1.7 fl oz

Mid Range

R+Co Skyline Dry Shampoo Powder 57g / 1 fl oz

High End

Hair Brushes for Oily Hair

There are two types of brushes that are really good but each one has a different purpose.

Brush One: The Flexi Brush

The aim of this hair brush is to help distribute the hot air from the hair dryer evenly throughout the hair when you are drying it. It also increases the speed it takes to dry your hair. This brush is not really a styling brush but it helps dry your hair and give it some volume. You use this brush until your hair is about 80% dry then you switch over to your round bristle brush or paddle brush.

Brush Two: A Boar Brush

One of the reasons that this type of hair brush is recommended for using on your hair is that it helps to spread the natural oils evenly throughout your hair. It is also gentle on the hair strands and helps to reduce electricity that occurs when your hair is really dry. You can use it on wet hair if you don't have a large tooth comb or wet brush.


Trying to reduce the number of times you have to wash your hair because it is oily will be a challenge but if you can get it to twice a week, it is better than every day.

It will be trial and error when it comes to testing different shampoos and dry shampoo powders because some of these products might not work the same for everyone. That's why you always need to get products specifically designed for your hair type.

If possible try using the trial sizes of the shampoos and dry shampoo powders first before committing to a full size products to avoid wasting money on something that might not work.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Sp Greaney


Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on September 11, 2020:

@MG Singh emge, thank you. It's one of those hair issues we all have to deal with at some point.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on September 11, 2020:

An interesting article and my GF liked it also.

Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on September 10, 2020:

@Andrienne, thanks. That's a great tip about the bubble gum. I had not heard that before. Yes, clarifying shampoo is so much better than regular shampoo.

Adrienne Farricelli on September 09, 2020:

Good read. I once used a clarifying shampoo to remove bubble gum from my hair and it worked great. I can see how it would work well for oily hair.

Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 04, 2020:

@ Eurofile, its a good habit to have adopted. :) I also do it and more of us should do it.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 03, 2020:

I was especially interested in your tip about double cleansing. I always do this, but couldn't explain why, other than out of habit.

Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 02, 2020:

@Chitrangada Sharan, thank you. I think some people just escape having this issue. Having a good haircare system in place helps to keep it under control.

@Louise Powles, thanks for commenting. Yes, it's one of those things many of us can't escape.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on June 02, 2020:

Thanks for the advice. I have oily hair, so this was really useful to read, thankyou. :)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 02, 2020:

A well written article, giving all the relevant information about the oily haircare.

I didn’t know so much about this, since I have normal hair. But, I believe it needs lot of look after and efforts, to manage both oily and dry hair type. Passing this article, to some of my friends.

Thanks for sharing, this useful information.

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