Shampoo for oily hair - I feel like I've tried everything
April 4, 2021 6:36 PM   Subscribe

I am seeking any recommendations for shampoo for my oily hair. Does this product exist?

I have been at this for years and am tired of having to wash my hair every two days. My hair is very thick but also very fine. I keep it long for the most part, and am not looking to cut it short (unless that is the solution). If there is a product available via mass market that says it is for oily hair, I have tried it. Any recommendations?
posted by sundrop to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
No specific shampoo recommendations, but I'd recommend trying to see how dry shampoo would work with your hair between washes. I like Klorane.
posted by VirginiaPlain at 7:20 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

Grandpa's pine tar bar soap or liquid.
posted by firstdaffodils at 7:25 PM on April 4

You may have already tried this, but I'm a huge fan of L'Oreal Elvive Clay Shampoo and Conditioner. I've had really good luck with it.

Also, regarding dry shampoo- my stylist told me to use it immediately after drying my hair. Basically, use it way before you need it.
posted by bluloo at 8:21 PM on April 4

The shampoo I use is Earth Science Ceramide unscented.

My hair was extremely oily all my adolescent and adult life. I found it very annoying when so many people were all, "no poo, co-washing, blah blah." But I couldn't get through 36 hours without my hair getting visibly oily, so I decided to shampoo less often. FIrst, it was every two days. After several months, three days. Now I can do four days. All this requires dry shampoo the day before I shampoo; without it, I'd have to shorten the between-shampoo time. I use Batiste because it's relatively inexpensive and leave less white residue than Psssst. My stylist told me to use dry shampoo before I really need it, but I haven't tried that.
posted by wryly at 8:44 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

I have an extremely oily scalp and very fine, dry hair, so I feel your pain immensely. I have come to the conclusion that no shampoo will make my scalp less oily. The oil gland are going to keep doing their thing, and nothing topically will ever make a bit of difference because it's biology. However, the wrong shampoo can make things much worse. For me, the thing that instantly makes it worse is silicone. It's like the moment my scalp oil touches silicone on my hair, it turns into twice as much oil. I also avoid sulfates because of skin sensitivity, but that doesn't effect the oiliness, so YMMV.

I generally wash my hair at night. Here's my routine:
Night 1, wash and condition --
Kevin Murphy Angel Wash and Angel Rinse (when I want light bouncy air) OR
Rahua Voluminous shampoo and conditioner (when I want my hair to be less wavy and more manageable)
If you need more moisture on the ends of your hair, use a light leave-in conditioner with no silicone, and only apply it from your chin level down.

Before styling apply --
Living Proof Weightless Styling Spray OR
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment (when I want it to be more perfectly styled)
Both of these help defrizz my dry hair without silicone and without making my scalp look oily faster. Blow drying seems to keep my roots looking better longer than air drying because it adds volume at the roots, lifting them away from my scalp.

The next morning or night 2, as needed, dry shampoo!
I like Klorane Dry Shampoo With Nettle (not the oat milk one!) or Verb Dry Shampoo
I don't like to use it on my freshly washed hair because it makes my scalp unhappy, but as many people have said, it works much much much better if you use it before your in major greaseball territory. It's almost like it forms a barrier between the hair shaft and the scalp.

Night 3:
Wash again!
I always needs to lather twice. Be sure to rinse the shampoo and conditioner really well. If I'm feeling like a risk taker, I'll wait one more day apply more dry shampoo on the morning of the next day.
posted by mostlymartha at 10:31 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]

So I've a really oily scalp and the only thing that works for me is washing my hair once a day. I've done a bunch of different approaches, but not washing just builds it up and up and then I have to take it out later. For me it clumps and doesn't sit well, even 18 hours after I can tell it's building up.
posted by Carillon at 11:23 PM on April 4 [3 favorites]

The pH of your shampoo is important for keeping your scalp in good condition, which also includes balancing the oil at your roots. The scalp, like the rest of your skin, is around pH 5.5 so ideally you'd want a shampoo in the 4.5 to 5.5 range. Unfortunately, I can't recommend a shampoo for oily hair specifically (It's not an issue I have plus I live in NZ so the shampoos I have access to are undoubtedly different) but this incredibly longwinded article talks about the science behind shampoo pH and has some recommendations.

Your hair shaft is around pH 3.7 which is why the article refers to ideal shampoos being 3.5 to 4.5, but if you are more worried about your scalp I would ignore that. Ultimately I'd go for a clarifying shampoo that is no more than pH 5.5.
posted by BeeJiddy at 1:29 AM on April 5

I cannot talk about the pH but I can talk about what has worked for me, a person with voluminous long fine hair, when I was specifically concerned about extending time between washes and not using products that left my hair oily.

Don’t use an opaque/pearly shampoo. You want a clear shampoo only. One from a decent salon brand will probably be gentler on your hair (I have liked volumizing shampoos by Framesi and Matrix).

I also think the dry shampoo advice given here is good. I use Batiste at night, put my hair up, and have not-oily roots in the morning.
posted by verbminx at 2:17 AM on April 5

I apologize if you've tried this already, but have you considered that your scalp (=skin) might be oily because it is dehydrated? You could try using an oil-free toner (like an Asian watery lotion) on your scalp after you wash to see if that has an effect.
posted by LoonyLovegood at 2:47 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

Seconding the recommendation for L'Oreal Elvive Clay Shampoo and Conditioner. I have baby-fine hair that tends towards being oily and I swear by it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hey everyone - thank you for these recs! I took notes and will give these a try.
posted by sundrop at 5:43 AM on April 5

What's your conditioner situation like? Whatever you do, dont put conditioner on any hair above chin level, it will coat your roots and can make oily scalps even worse.
posted by ananci at 7:44 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

I have thick fine hair too, and an oily scalp (and oily skin). Living Proof Perfect Hair Day is where I've settled, for a good combination of keeping hair looking nice (shiny!) and extending time between wash days. I still wash every 3 days (ie wash one day, skip two days) because I sweat (from workouts etc) and that makes my hair pretty limp, and I prefer not to use dry shampoo if I don't have to. If I end up sweating on the second skip day, I will use Klorane dry shampoo to fix my hair right up.

Living Proof is expensive but you can get mini sizes pretty easily to try it out. Ooh--I also like the Living Proof Dry Volume Blast and sometimes use that in lieu of the dry shampoo.

Let us know how it works out!
posted by CiaoMela at 9:31 AM on April 5

Only thing that works for me is Prell.
posted by serena15221 at 10:42 PM on April 6

Between washes maybe every other week rinse your hair in half distilled water half apple cider vinegar. It will remove the residue of other shampoos.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 1:30 AM on April 7

« Older Suggestions for Reasonably-Priced Teaching Cameras...   |   Cross Border Vaccination Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments