The 9 Best Drugstore Shampoos For Oily Hair

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by Jenny White and BDG Commerce
Originally Published: 
Amazon / Bustle

If you have oily hair, the wrong shampoo can actually make it greasier. Luckily, the right shampoo doesn’t have to be expensive. The best drugstore shampoos for oily hair utilize clarifying and oil-absorbing ingredients like apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, salicylic acid, clays, and sulfates to help keep grease in check, without stripping the hair of the natural oils it needs to remain hydrated and soft.

What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Drugstore Shampoos For Oily Hair

When shopping for the best shampoos for greasy hair, it’s important to pay close attention to the ingredients list. Ingredients like salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and clay work to absorb excess oil, sebum, and other impurities to balance and refresh oily scalps. Sulfates tend to get a bad rap because they can be irritating for some people, but if they don't bother you, they can also work wonders in terms of getting rid of excess oil. Also, seek lightweight hydrators like aloe, coconut water, or hyaluronic acid (aka sodium hyaluronate) to replenish your hair’s moisture, without loading it up with excess grease.

That said, you should also know which ingredients to avoid. As a rule of thumb, you can steer clear of formulas labeled “moisturizing,” since they tend to contain heavier, richer ingredients (like shea butter), that can weigh down oily hair.

In addition to your daily shampoo, you may also want to consider adding a clarifying shampoo to your routine. These extra-powerful shampoos are specifically formulated to cut through product buildup and oil, leaving your hair squeaky-clean. They should be used once a week at most to avoid drying out your hair.

Shop The Best Drugstore Shampoos For Oily Hair

In a hurry? Here are the best drugstore shampoos for oily hair:

1. The Fan-Favorite Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair: OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo

2. Best Budget Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair: Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Silicone-Free Purifying Shampoo

3. Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair: Love Beauty And Planet Delightful Detox Sulfate Free Shampoo

4. Best Premium Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair: Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two

5. Best Organic Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair: Avalon Organics Scalp Treatment Tea Tree Shampoo

6. Best Strengthening Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair: Maple Holistics Degrease Cleansing Shampoo

7. Best Volumizing Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair: Aveeno Scalp Soothing Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Shampoo

8. Best Shampoo With Clay: L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo

9. Best Premium Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair: Biolage Cooling Mint Scalp Sync Shampoo

Keep grease at bay with the nine best drugstore shampoos for oily hair. Most are under $15, and thousands of Amazon reviewers attest that these oily hair-approved shampoos all leave your hair and scalp feeling cleansed, refreshed, and super-soft.


The Fan-Favorite Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair

With more than 13,800 five-star ratings on Amazon and a 4.5-star rating overall, reviewers report that this OGX shampoo is perfect if you’re looking for hydration without greasiness. It contains tea tree oil and peppermint oil, which both work wonders to balance excess oil and soothe itchy or uncomfortable scalps — which also makes this a great pick for people with dandruff. Meanwhile, hydrolyzed milk protein strengthens the hair, and panthenol (aka vitamin B5) improves your hair’s moisture retention for long-lasting hydration. This is labeled “sulfate-free,” but it does contain sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate — a coconut-derived surfactant that lathers and cleanses, but can still be potentially drying or irritating for some.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This is the only shampoo I've found that cleans my hair without completely stripping it. I have lots of thick, wavy hair that has gotten more oily since having kids. I can't use anything too conditioning or my hair looks gross by the end of the day, so this is the perfect balance. I can wash with this, flat iron and curl, and then get 2-3 days out of my hair with the help of a little dry shampoo if needed.”

Key ingredients: Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Peppermint Oil, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Sodium Hyaluronate | Size: 13 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: No (contains sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate)


Best Budget Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair

At just under $3 for a 12.5-ounce bottle, the value of this Garnier shampoo can’t be beat. But the price doesn’t sacrifice performance: The thoughtfully designed formula uses salicylic acid and sodium laureth sulfate to clarify oily scalps, but it won’t dry out your ends, thanks to plenty of lightweight hydrators like aloe and apple fruit extract. Vitamins E, B3, and B6 work to strengthen your hair. With over 9,600 stellar ratings and a 4.5-star rating overall, it’s another fan-favorite.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I love this shampoo! I only use it a few times a week (not every day) instead of my normal shampoo just so my hair doesn't get so greasy looking between washes. It's gentle enough on my hair to not make it feel brittle after use and my hair looks a lot less greasy 24 hours after using this shampoo.”

Key ingredients: Aloe Leaf Juice, Salicylic Acid, Vitamin E, Sodium Laureth Sulfate | Size: 12.5 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: No (contains sodium laureth sulfate)


Best Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair

If you’re looking for an extra-deep clean, this Love Beauty And Planet clarifying shampoo can certainly provide it. The formula is cruelty-free and made with 93% naturally derived ingredients, like charcoal powder to remove residue and impurities; and coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, and glycerin to keep your hair moisturized and soft, not stripped and dry. It’s also safe for color-treated hair and free of irritating or drying sulfates — instead, it contains sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, a coconut-derived foaming surfactant that, according to INCIDecoder, is biodegradable and non-irritating.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Been using this shampoo for a year plus and I am so stoked because it works for me. I don't have dandruff, but I have an oily scalp as well as a light case of psoriasis. Used all kinds of outstanding shampoos that were supposed to be gentle and keep the itching down. Not out there. But, since my daughter found this ... the psoriasis is under control, my hair is very clean, and the scent, while washing, is quite pleasant.”

Key ingredients: Charcoal Powder, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Glycerin | Size: 32.3 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: Yes


Best Premium Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair

Paul Mitchell is a salon staple, but luckily for us, it’s also available at the drugstore — and at under $30 for a 33.8-ounce bottle, the brand’s classic clarifying shampoo isn’t as much of a splurge as you might expect from a premium brand. This is a particularly good choice for folks with oily scalps (or anyone looking for a great-quality clarifying shampoo). It’s formulated both to remove product buildup, excess grease, and other impurities immediately, as well as prevent the scalp from producing excess oil in the future — hence why one Amazon reviewer dubbed it a life-changing purchase. You’ll also love the fresh-from-the-salon citrus scent. This formula is pretty heavy-duty, though, so limit your usage to once a week at most.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “My color treated dry ends hair has been getting greasy lately, especially in the crown area. I would try to change shampoos, but the greasiness seemed to get worse and worse. I would literally have to use dry shampoo immediately after Washing and blow drying my hair. It finally just got to the point where I dried my hair, and it was so greasy, my whole head looked like it was still wet. I did some research and decided on this shampoo. I just used it for the first time and dried my hair, and it’s not greasy at all!! It’s super soft and feels so clean. I would definitely recommend this product if you have greasy hair.”

Key ingredients: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Panthenol, Aloe Leaf Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract | Size: 12.5 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: No (contains sodium laureth sulfate)


Best Organic Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair

The Avalon Organics Scalp Treatment Tea Tree Shampoo bears the NSF/ANSI 305 certification for personal care products, making it the rare drugstore shampoo that’s truly organic. Made specifically for oily and/or itchy scalps, the sulfate-free formula is made with clarifying essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and rosemary, which all work to cut through grease and soothe irritation. Oat bran and calendula offer more soothing benefits, while quinoa seed, babassu oil, and aloe leave your hair shiny, soft, and strong.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “​​I love the smell of this product and you don't have to use much to get the job done which makes it last a long time. This seems to be the only product that thoroughly cleans my hair without stripping it of color and shine. It smells great and works wonderfully on my usually greasy hair. The grease is gone and stays gone for a few days!”

Key ingredients: Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Peppermint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Quinoa Seed | Size: 32 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: Yes


Best Strengthening Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair

If your hair is fragile, thinning, or damaged in addition to oily, the Maple Holistics Degrease Cleansing Shampoo is a great choice. The formula is loaded with plant proteins that fortify and rebuild brittle hair, including hydrolyzed corn, wheat, and soy proteins, as well as fatty acid-rich jojoba seed and peach kernel oils to replenish hair. That said, this is made as a clarifying shampoo powered by essential oils, so you’ll also find lemon peel, rosemary leaf, cypress, and basil oils that offer the scalp a deep, thorough, yet gentle cleanse.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I have fine hair that has always looked oily. By the time I would get home from work, my hair would look like I hadn't washed it that day. Degrease from Maple Holistics changed all of that. My hair now looks healthy and shiny, even at the end of the day. [...] This is not a volumizing shampoo, but I have found my hair to have more volume than before just because it is no longer weighed down with excess oil.”

Key ingredients: Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil | Size: 16.8 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: Yes


Best Volumizing Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair

This Aveeno shampoo uses apple cider vinegar as the hero ingredient, which removes excess oil and can help restore a healthy pH balance in your scalp, resulting in hair that’s volumized, soft, and next-level shiny. Colloidal oatmeal in the formula also works to calm inflamed or itchy scalps. Amazon reviewers mention that they’ve noticed a dramatic difference in their hair after making the switch to this shampoo; they gave it a solid 4.4-star rating overall, among 9,000 and growing ratings. Heads up: This also contains sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “A product that truly deals with greasy hair. I have tried them all. I have oily hair & once in a while I want to switch from my same 'ol base line shampoo that takes care of the grease, but leaves my hair flat.. But, nothing suitable has come along until now. This is a really effective shampoo for oily hair. Yes, it does sooth the scalp. But, it also leaves my hair looking fresh & fluffy. This is one of the best shampoos I have ever tried for my hair types: thin hair, long, oily. I'm sold.”

Key ingredients: Colloidal Oatmeal, Apple Cider Vinegar | Size: 12 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: No (contains sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate)


Best Shampoo With Clay

This shampoo from L’Oréal is like a miracle worker when it comes to oiliness. The shampoo is formulated with a grease-fighting blend of sodium laureth sulfate, salicylic acid, and three clays to wash away dirt and oil in order to purify the scalp and hair. Amazon reviewers indicate that this pick has helped them go longer between washes, a biggie if you deal with oily hair.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I have very thin, very oily hair. So, finding a shampoo that takes out the oil but doesn't make my hair super flat is super hard! I was skeptical about ordering a shampoo online but I needed something to help so I figured I'd give it a shot. I instantly fell in love with this shampoo. I've waited to do a review until I tried it out for awhile, and 2 months later I still love it just as much! Definitely a steal for the price.”

Key ingredients: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Salicylic Acid, Refined Clays, Sodium Hyaluronate | Size: 12.6 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: No (contains sodium laureth sulfate)


Best Premium Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair

Even though Biolage is available at most drugstores, it boasts salon-quality, premium formulas — so if you’re in the market for a splurge, the Biolage Cooling Mint Scalp Sync Shampoo is an excellent option. As the name suggests, this formula harnesses the cooling powers of peppermint leaf, which not only leaves behind a subtle tingly sensation — a refreshing treat for itchy scalps — but also works to cut through grease and product buildup, as well as stave away bacteria, thanks to mint’s natural anti-bacterial properties. Salicylic acid further cleanses the scalp of impurities. Hundreds of reviewers claim this keeps their hair feeling clean for a couple days at a time — a huge plus for people with oily hair. Also, note that the bottle clocks in at a generous 33 ounces, so you’re getting a lot of product for the money.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Have struggled with oily scalp & hair all my life. Lately it's to the point where it's oily right after a wash and dry. I finally found something! THIS! Noticed instantly. Towel dried my hair and it felt free of heavy weight and product. Styled my hair and it had bounce! Feels so clean and looks amazing! I can now go more than 48 hours (sometimes 72) without washing and it still doesn't look greasy! This is life changing. Hope this helps someone else too! Get this!”

Key ingredients: Peppermint Leaf Extract, Menthol, Salicylic Acid | Size: 33.8 Fl. Oz. | Sulfate-Free: No (contains sodium laureth sulfate)

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