Oily hair just like oily skin: there's no way to stop overactive sebaceous glands because their high-intensity workouts are the product of a hormonal imbalance.
"Oily hair is caused by over-production of the sebaceous glands that are on your scalp," explains NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fucso. "They can over-produce during puberty when hormones are really flying high, or if people have certain conditions where hormones are imbalanced and there’s a little more testosterone or testosterone by-products which lead to increased oil production."
While consulting with your doctor to find a medication that can help balance your hormones, and in turn your oily scalp and hair, the hard truth is that there's no topical solution—whether it’s shampoo, conditioner, or an exfoliant—that can slow down oil production. "Sometimes what people think is oily hair is not really oily, they’re doing an activity that’s made them sweat a lot and the perspiration is mixing with their scalp's regular oil level and kind of spreading all over the scalp and hair, creating an oil slick," Dr. Fusco adds.
In the meantime, the right shampoo can sop up the excess moisture to help keep the appearance of oily strands under control. Dr. Fusco recommends using a product that's specifically formulated for oily hair and scalps, and avoiding at-home treatments that involve coconut oil because although it has a ton of beauty benefits, it's not meant to be used on your head. "Coconut oil is fantastic, but the thing is that it isn’t formulated to go on your scalp and hair. So what happens is that people are over-shampooing to try to get it out, and you’re right back where you started."
Dr. Fusco suggests people with oily hair wash their strands everyday, just like you do with your face to remove the excess oil so it's less noticable in your hairstyles. Here we've rounded up the best shampoos for oily hair to stock in your shower.
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1. Dove Derma Care Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Not all shampoos are designed with your scalp and your strands in mind, which what makes Dove's bottle a fail-safe solution for controlling overly oily hair. Latering up with it clears dead skin and oil buildup from the scalp right down to the tips of your strands.
Dove | $5
2. Nexxus Hydra-Light Weightless Moisture Shampoo for Normal to Oily Hair
Specifically formulated for oily hair, this shampoo cleanses and hydrates hair without weighing it down or making it appear more greasy.
Nexxus | $14
3. Neutrogena The Anti-Residue Shampoo
If your scalp is as sensitive as you are, reach for this non-irritating shampoo. It cleanses residue including dry skin and product buildup, which can make your strands look even oiler.
Neutrogena | $7
4. Christophe Robin Purifying Shampoo with Jujube Bark Extract
Much like your desire to eat Shake Shack everyday, keeping oily hair under control is a balancing act. Filled with juju bark and cherry extracts, Christophe Robin's purifying shampoo tackles oily roots, dandruff, and sensitive scalps.
Christophe Robin | $38
5. Verb Ghost Shampoo
While applying an oil directly to your hair and scalp can make the situation worse, using an oil-infused shampoo Verb's can have a similar effect to using a cleansing oil on your complexion. Just like how oily skin still needs to be moisturized, this moringa seed oil-filled shampoo will keep strands nourished and less greasy.
Verb | $16
6. Redken Maniac Micellar Clean-Touch Shampoo
You love how well micellar water works at clearing makeup and oil from your face, and guess what? It can do the same thing for your hair. This shampoo harnesses the cleansing power of your favorite makeup remover to sop up excess oil from strands.
Redken | $19