The Best Natural Shampoos For Oily Hair

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No matter how committed you are to using a shampoo that calls itself "natural" or "clean," it's time to face the facts: There's not a whole lot of meaning behind those terms. That's because the beauty industry is self-regulated, and what constitutes as "clean beauty" isn't clearly defined by the government or any authorized body. That said, there are certain ingredients that have been deemed potentially harmful or irritating, which you can try to avoid. When it comes to the best natural shampoos for oily hair, the “cleanest” formulas will be free from potential endocrine disruptors and carcinogens like parabens, phthalates, petroleum, and coal tar. Depending on your personal preferences and sensitivity levels (or allergies), you may want to steer clear of potential irritants like fragrance, too. And when it comes to shampoos, sulfate- and silicone-free formulas tend to be sought after by people with oily hair (sulfates can be stripping, especially on color-treated hair, and silicones can build up over time, leaving fine and oily hair types looking weighed down).

What To Look For In A Shampoo For Oily Hair

Now that you know which ingredients to skip, you'll want to study up on the ingredients that can be helpful for leaving oily hair feeling truly clean. Plant-based ingredients are what you’re looking for when it comes to "natural" products, and they're easily identifiable on the INCI list as they'll typically be listed as plant or fruit extracts. For shampoos, aloe vera leaf juice, green tea leaf extract, and avocado oil are common for their moisturizing and calming benefits, while hydrolyzed wheat, vegetable, and rice proteins can add volume as they help to repair damage and improve hydration without weighing the hair down. For oily hair in particular, apple cider vinegar can help with gently cleansing away product buildup and excess oil without messing with the balance of your scalp. And on the list ahead, you'll also find formulas that contain ingredients like nettle root extract and eucalyptus leaf oil, which are thought to help regulate sebum production.

Shop The Best Natural Shampoos For Oily Hair

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

  1. Best Natural Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair: ACURE Buildup Balancing Hemp & ACV Shampoo
  2. Best Natural Shampoo For Oily Hair & Sensitive Scalps: SEEN Shampoo
  3. Best Natural Volumizing Shampoo For Oily Hair: Innersense Pure Harmony Hairbath
  4. Best Natural Shampoo For Oil Control: Klorane Oil Control Shampoo With Nettle
  5. Best Natural Shampoo Bar For Oily Hair: Superzero Shampoo Bar For Normal, Oily, Fine Hair

1. Best Natural Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair

Whether you've been loading up on styling products and dry shampoo, or your hair just feels greasier than usual, a clarifying shampoo with apple cider vinegar can give you the reset you need. In this ACURE shampoo, apple cider vinegar cuts through oil and buildup as it works to rebalance the scalp, and hemp seed oil has been added into the mix for its moisturizing benefits, as well as its potential ability to promote hair growth and thickness. Additionally, botanical extracts like aloe leaf juice, blackberry fruit, and chamomile flower further help to nourish the hair and scalp while still being lightweight. All of ACURE's products are manufactured in the U.S., and the company has pledged to support charitable organizations like Turning Green, which advocates for environmental sustainability.

Beneficial Ingredients: Apple Cider Vinegar, Hemp Seed Oil, Aloe Leaf Juice, Chamomile Flower Extract, Calendula Flower Extract, Pomegranate Fruit Extract Size: 8 oz. Sulfate-Free: Yes Silicone-Free: Yes Synthetic Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “I have thick hair and its hard for me to get out all the dry flakes and oil beads all in my hair. I've tried so many products that just leave my hair greasy like I didn't even wash it. After one wash with this Acure brand I could already tell a big difference. Then after more and more washes my hair is cleaner and STAYS clean. Thank you, Acure!!”

2. Best Natural Shampoo For Oily Hair & Sensitive Scalps

If you have a sensitive scalp that's prone to irritation that presents as dryness, eczema, and even breakouts, this SEEN shampoo may end your search for the perfect shampoo. Developed by Harvard-trained dermatologist Dr. Iris Rubin, SEEN was created with the goal of caring for both your skin and your scalp. The brand's products are backed by rigorous testing and clinical studies, and they've been given the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. This shampoo's star ingredient is hemisqualane, a sugar-derived substitute for silicone that protects and smooths hair without creating buildup or clogging your pores. Plus, it's safe for color-treated and keratin-treated hair.

Beneficial Ingredients: Hemisqualane, Bisabolol, Vitamin E Size: 8.6 oz. Sulfate-Free: Yes Silicone-Free: Yes Synthetic Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “This is a great shampoo. I have fine hair that has a tendency to get oily often. I wash a few times a week and need a shampoo that doesn't dry the hair or weigh it down. This shampoo cleans my hair very well without stripping it of it's natural oils. It has a nice lather and a subtle, clean scent. My hair ends up looking full and healthy- I highly recommend!”

3. Best Natural Volumizing Shampoo For Oily Hair

Oily hair often tends to be fine, and this Innersense Pure Harmony Hairbath can add a little lift to flat, limp hair. Hydrolyzed quinoa and hydrolyzed rice protein help add volume, while lemon peel oil works to reduce sebum and add shine. You'll also get plenty of moisture for your hair and scalp thanks to ingredients like avocado oil and shea butter (something that's especially helpful if your oily hair is due to dryness caused by over-washing). Though the shampoo is not certified organic, it does contain several USDA-certified organic ingredients, including green tea leaf extract, mango fruit extract, and pumpkin seed oil, which is thought to promote hair growth. It's also important to note that while there are no synthetic fragrances in the shampoo, it does contain essential oils, which can be irritating to some.

Beneficial Ingredients: Shea Butter, Lemon Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Avocado Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Avocado Fruit Extract, Mango Fruit Extract Size: 10 oz. Sulfate-Free: Yes Silicone-Free: Yes Synthetic Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “I have read a lot of amazing things about this line of hair products from people in the wellness/natural industry and decided to try the small travel size. It works AMAZINGLY! it's moisturizing without being oily and smells like fruit punch! It also lathers wonderfully which can be hit or miss with healthy shampoos.”

4. Best Natural Shampoo For Oil Control

To help reduce excess oil production altogether, Klorane's Oil Control Shampoo uses nettle root extract, which is cultivated with certified organic farming methods in Eastern Europe. In addition to regulating oil production, the ingredient helps to cleanse the hair and leave it smooth and shiny. Klorane is a French pharmacy brand with more than 50 years in the business making plant-based beauty products. And the brand has deepened this commitment since its launch in 1965, with the founding of its Klorane Botanical Foundation and Budding Botanist grant.

Beneficial Ingredients: Nettle Root Extract Size: 13.5 oz. Sulfate-Free: Yes Silicone-Free: Yes Synthetic Fragrance-Free: No Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “This is the oil shampoo I have ever used that maintains my oily hair. Before, with any shampoo I'd have to wash my hair everyday because without fail, 24 hours or less, I'd look like a grease ball. With this shampoo I can go two days without washing my hair. [...]”

5. Best Natural Shampoo Bar For Oily Hair

For a more sustainable (and longer-lasting) alternative to traditional bottles of shampoo, try a shampoo bar like this one from Superzero, which was made with oily hair types in mind. It uses ingredients like eucalyptus leaf oil, hydrolyzed soy protein, and hydrolyzed wheat protein to reduce grease while increasing moisture and volume. There's no plastic or microplastic involved in the packaging, and the brand points out that shampoo bars have an 80 to 90% lower carbon footprint than liquid shampoo. At least 95% of each shampoo bar from Superzero is plant-based, and they've chosen to follow the stricter European Union ingredient regulations. If your skin is on the sensitive side, it's worth pointing out, however, that Superzero contains essential oils (instead of synthetic fragrances).

Beneficial Ingredients: Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Juniper Fruit Oil Size: 3 oz. Sulfate-Free: Yes Silicone-Free: Yes Synthetic Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “I have always struggled with hair that feels oily due to the chemicals/plastics in most shampoo and conditioner brands. I have tried multiple sulfate free brands and while most were good, none really helped fix the oily issue completely. Superzero is the first brand that worked 100% on the very first wash! I am already in love with this shampoo and condition and my hair hasn't felt this great in years, even after a [professional] hair wash!”

About The Author:

Marissa DeSantis has worked as a beauty writer and editor for nearly 10 years. Her pieces can be found across print and digital publications like Bustle, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and InStyle.

Studies referenced:

Clean cosmetics: The science behind the trend, by Molly Wanner, MD, Neera Nathan, MD, MSHS;

Modification of wheat gluten for improvement of binding capacity with keratin in hair, by Shukun Wang, Danyang Meng, Sisi Wang, Zhong Zhang, Ruijin Yang, Wei Zhao;

Beneficial effects of pumpkin seed oil as a topical hair growth promoting agent in a mice model, by Valiollah Hajhashemi, Parvin Rajabi, Mahdieh Mardani;