What Is the Best Shampoo for Oily Hair?
October 02, 2018Shampooing is part of any basic hygiene routine, but it definitely takes on much more importance when your hair is oily. When you have oily hair, it feels sometimes like your life revolves around your wash schedule because it's truly an inescapable everyday task. It ends up taking up your time from doing other things – even if it is just staying in bed for 15 more minutes every morning.
Now, the first thing oily-haired people should do to solve their problem is knowing exactly why their hair is so oily. We wrote about this topic in detail in "14 Reasons Your Hair Gets Greasy so Fast", our previous blog post. Once you know what's causing all that oil on overdrive, the next thing to do is know that just any shampoo won't do. Your shampoo choice can keep your grease under control or send it into overdrive, worsening your pesky problem. To avoid becoming a greasier mess – and even to reverse oiliness –, you absolutely rely on a good oily hair shampoo. While we won't mention any specific brands, we want to point out four types of shampoos and treatments that are suitable for oil control to help you make an informed choice.
1. Oily Hair ShampooOily hair shampoo is the obvious choice for your greasy problem. This type of shampoo has the most suitable ingredients to keep oil production in check. You should just make sure that your oily hair shampoo is not overly drying. This is why we issue this warning: sulfate surfactants are the detergents that get rid of oil and buildup, but when they are used in excess, they dry the hair and scalp out. This is an obvious disadvantage for oily-haired people since they need to wash their hair on a daily basis. The drying effect of sulfates will leave hair clean and oil-free for a day, but it will accumulate drying in the long run, which will, in turn, trigger more sebum production to compensate. To escape this vicious circle of drying and subsequent oiliness, even oily hair needs gentle shampoo without sulfates or parabens. If you don't have this type of shampoo at hand, try choosing a shampoo with less concentration of sulfates. You will know by the list of ingredients; they are mentioned in the order of concentration in the formula. Sulfates will surely be among the first on the list, but at least try to find a shampoo that doesn't have sulfates as the first ingredient. Most times, oily hair shampoos will have one or several astringent, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory natural ingredients in their formula. Some popular ones are tea tree, peppermint, citrus fruit extracts, chamomile, rosemary, buchu leaf extract, and sage.
2. Clarifying ShampooThis type of shampoo is designed to do deeper cleansing than regular formulas. It is way better at eliminating sweat, sebum, external pollutants, hard water minerals, chlorine (if you are a pool regular) and product buildup (including shampoo and conditioner buildup). Of course, you don't want to overdo clarifying shampoo, you won't need it more than once a week. Beware if you have colored hair too; it might fade your color quicker.
For the sake of caution, you should use a deep conditioner after the clarifying shampoo. You will restore some moisture to your hair and make it supple and manageable. When you are about to try a new hair product, clarifying shampoo is going to do you a favor: it will clean your hair of any residue from other hair product which might affect the way your new product works. In other words, getting your hair to a "clean-slate" state will help you see how the new product really works.
3. Medicated ShampooWhen your oiliness is paired with a more serious skin problem such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, you need medicated shampoo. Naturally, medicated shampoo is not directed exactly at oiliness, but the skin condition per se. However, attacking the symptoms will also help with grease.
Oil control and an improvement of your skin condition won't happen unless you fully identify the type of condition you are suffering from (get a wider explanation in our blog post ). To give you a quick idea of the best medicated shampoo according to your skin condition, here are the active ingredients you should look out for:
If your issue is psoriasis, coal tar, and salicylic acid are ideal to exfoliate the scalp and relieve the cell accumulation that causes psoriasis scales.
If your issue is seborrheic dermatitis, you can choose antifungal ingredients like zinc pyrithione, ketoconazole, piroctone olamine, and selenium sulfide.
As for dandruff, it is sometimes a symptom of either of the conditions described above. In other cases, if you get oily flaking it might be just product buildup (which can be solved with clarifying shampoo).
4. Home RemediesMany people want to find a natural solution for their oily hair problem. Homemade remedies are easy to find and make, and they can work just as well as other treatments. You have to go through a trial and error phase to assess the results you get with each remedy, though. Remember that everyone has very personal characteristics and needs.
Here are some of the most common remedies for oily hair:
- Aloe vera: this miraculous plant has so many benefits that it should be a staple at every home. Aloe has moisturizing, detoxifying, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that will counter extreme oiliness while improving the overall health of your hair. People prepare aloe vera remedies in different ways, sometimes mixing it with other natural ingredients. A quick way to get the properties of aloe is to use aloe vera gel to massage the scalp gently some a couple of hours before shampooing, to soothe any scalp inflammation and cleanse the scalp from oil and residue. Another way is to add some lemon to aloe vera gel (fresh straight from the plant) and mix until liquefied. Add this concoction to your customary shampoo (preferably a mild shampoo) and wash as usual. Oiliness will stay in check for longer.
- Baking soda: this ingredient will help balance the pH of the scalp and absorb oil. You can make a paste with one part baking soda and three parts water. Wet your hair a bit and apply the mixture, then leave it for some time. Remove with lukewarm water or wash as usual with a mild, sulfate-free shampoo. Once or twice a week will be enough for this treatment.
- Apple cider vinegar: there are many advocates of this vinegar for haircare. It's a must for people who decide to leave shampoo altogether. This ingredient is a natural antiseptic that balances the pH on the scalp and controls dandruff and excess oiliness. Mix 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water and apply this rinse on your roots. Three times a week is a good frequency for this treatment.
- Witch hazel: this astringent will tighten the pores, thus helping to diminish sebum production. Add a few drops of witch hazel and a bit of water on a cotton ball; dab along the scalp. This will do the job.
- Essential oils: choose oils with astringent and antibacterial properties. They will regulate oil production while they refresh, moisturize, and protect the scalp. Mint, rosemary, and tea tree oil are good options. Do not overdo it, because the idea is to find a moisture balance that will stop your sebaceous glands from going into overdrive, not to add more oil to already oily hair. You can try this once a week and see how it goes.
Baking soda can also make a great dry shampoo. Apply it on the scalp and brush thoroughly; the baking soda will do its job attracting oil and dirt.
You don't have to settle for unmanageable and greasy hair forever. As you can see, there are many choices to keep oiliness in check. Try them out and stick to the one that brings best results. The Cosmetic Republic USA offers effective, chemical-free hair care for oily hair and all hair types. Learn about our products and try them in your salon! Call us at TOLL FREE 1-888-513-8815 or fill out the contact form on this website to get in touch with us. Want to get our latest news right in your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.
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