The Best Shampoos For An Oily Scalp & Dry Ends
“Combination” hair is hardly uncommon, so if you need a shampoo that’ll tackle both your dry ends and oily scalp, you’re in the right place. According to hairstylist and salon owner Jessie Lee Montague, who spoke to Elite Daily for this article, the best shampoos for an oily scalp and dry ends are free of sulfates, since sulfates can exacerbate dryness, and you may want to avoid silicones as well, since those can contribute to a greasy scalp over time.
Montague says that sometimes her clients get oily scalps from shampooing too frequently, so you may want to try washing your hair less often if you’re dealing with greasiness at your roots, counterintuitive though it may seem. How you use your shampoo matters, too. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests concentrating your shampoo only on the scalp, where you need it the most, and not applying shampoo elsewhere (you’ll still get the its benefits when you rinse your hair). Conversely, only apply conditioner towards the middle and ends of your hair, and try not to get it anywhere near your scalp. If you have very dry ends, try applying a hair mask on your ends only, in lieu of conditioner.
Elite Daily beauty editor Adeline Duff has another tip for dealing with an oily scalp and dry ends. “Just like how some people use different masks on their face at the same time to treat different concerns (e.g., an oily, congested T-zone and dry cheeks), I follow a similar approach with my hair, which is mostly dry, but quickly gets oily at the root. To tackle both concerns at the same time, I use a purifying or volumizing shampoo on the top of my head, and a richer moisturizing shampoo towards the bottom. It works!”
Whatever approach you decide to follow, you can do so with any of the shampoos featured ahead, all of which are sulfate- and silicone-free.
Shop The Best Shampoos For Oily Scalps & Dry Ends
In a hurry? These are the best shampoos for an oily scalp and dry ends:
- Best Daily Shampoo: Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo
- Best For Curly Hair: SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
- Best For Damaged Hair: Biogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo
- Best For Thin Hair: Pureology Hydrate Sheer Shampoo
- Best Clarifying Shampoo: OUAI Detox Shampoo
- Best Peppermint Shampoo: Pacifica Rosemary Purify Invigorating Shampoo
1. Best Daily Shampoo
One job silicones excel at is smoothing down unwanted flyaways and frizz, which is why you’ll see silicones in all sorts of leave-in conditioners and smoothing serums. However, you can still get similar benefits without silicones via other ingredients, like the jojoba esters and slip modifiers found in Living Proof’s No Frizz Shampoo. The formula aims to reduce humidity-induced frizz as it fights off dirt and oil to give your hair a gentle clean (thanks to the brand’s Proprietary Amino Cleansing Complex rather than sulfates), and it leaves hair feeling smooth and soft, but not heavy or weighed down. This is a great daily shampoo for just about everyone, and it comes in two sizes: 8 ounces (featured above) and a massive 24 ounces, which comes complete with a pump dispenser.
Key Ingredients: Living Proof Proprietary Amino Cleansing Complex, Marine Algae, Phytantriol | Size: 8 oz. | Sulfate-Free? Yes | Silicone-Free? | Yes
Relevant Review: “Love this shampoo [...] it absorbs the oils so I can skip a wash day.”
2. Best For Curly Hair
- Also available on Walmart, $11
For curly hair that’s on the thicker side, SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo is a wonderful choice. Free of both sulfates and silicones, it adds much-needed moisture to dry, curly hair thanks to ingredients like shea butter, coconut and neem oils, and silk protein. It also has a slightly sweet, tropical scent its (many) devotees love, and it rings up at less than $10 for a large, 13-ounce bottle. Just be sure not to use too much shampoo, since it is on the richer side.
Key Ingredients: Silk Proteins, Neem Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil | Size: 13 oz. | Sulfate-Free? | Yes Silicone-Free? | Yes
Relevant Review: “Doesn’t make my hair oily and helps define my curls and doesn’t make my hair frizzy when I air dry!”
3. Best For Damaged Hair
If on top of dryness, you’re dealing with damage, try Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Super Moisture Shampoo. As its name suggests, this nourishing blend of coconut, algae extract, and panthenol will help strengthen and repair your hair, whether you’re dealing with damage from dye, keratin treatments, excessive heat styling, or something else. Like the shampoo above, this one is on the richer side, so you don’t need to use a ton of product. To really double-down on repairing your dry ends, consider splurging on the brand’s best-selling hair mask, also from the Don’t Despair, Repair! line.
Key Ingredients: Rosehip Oil, Shea Butter, Algae Extract, Panthenol | Size: 16 oz. | Sulfate-Free? | Yes Silicone-Free? | Yes
Relevant Review: “I love this one for repairing my hair when I’m giving my hair a break. I have super fine hair & this moisturizes without making my hair limp, greasy, or too fluffy.”
4. Best For Thin Hair
Restoring moisture to dry, color-treated hair without weighing it down can be tricky if you have thin hair, which notoriously gets limp and oily easily. Pureology’s Hydrate Sheer Shampoo, however, was designed with your exact hair type in mind. Made with the brand’s signature AntiFade Complex to prevent your color from fading, this sulfate- and silicone-free shampoo lightly hydrates without being at all heavy, and it leaves behind a lovely, herbal scent. It even comes in a tiny 1.7-ounce size for when you travel.
Key Ingredients: Jojoba, Green Tea, Wheat Protein, Eucalyptus Extract | Size: 9 oz. | Sulfate-Free? | Yes Silicone-Free? | Yes
Relevant Review: “I never thought I would spend this much and shampoo but it’s worth it. My hair is healthy now. Most moisturizing [shampoos] leave my hair feeling weighed down and like it’s coated with something. Also, awesome fresh smell.”
5. Best Clarifying Shampoo
Though clarifying shampoos are notoriously drying (which is why they’re designed for occasional, not daily, use), OUAI’s Detox Shampoo lacks the sulfates that can dry out your hair and irritate your scalp, so it isn’t too harsh. Instead, apple cider vinegar gives your scalp a deep clean, removing any leftover product buildup in the process, while keratin promotes stronger, healthier hair. (Remember, product buildup is what tends to contribute to the appearance of greasy roots, which is why it’s especially important to use a clarifying shampoo if you use a lot of dry shampoo or styling products.) This is a great shampoo to use once or twice a week to give your hair the volumizing and purifying refresh it deserves without drying out your ends.
Key Ingredients: Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrolyzed Keratin | Size: 10 oz. | Sulfate-Free? | Yes Silicone-Free? | Yes
Relevant Review: “This shampoo keeps your scalp so clean for several days. I alternate it with their moisturizing shampoo. It doesnt strip your hair or dull your color. It keeps your hair hydrated unlike most clarifying shampoos. Smells great. You need very little of the product.”
6. Best Peppermint Shampoo
- Also available on Ulta, $10
When it comes to controlling excess oil production, Montague likes to turn to peppermint oil for people with oily scalps. That’s the key ingredient in Pacifica’s Rosemary Purify Invigorating Shampoo, which is free of both silicones and sulfates. It works to clear up congested, oily scalps with a blend of willow bark and rosemary leaf oil, in addition to peppermint oil, and it leaves hair feeling fresh and clean, but not stripped or dry. The minty scent is an especially nice touch for morning showers. Just be sure to follow up with a rich conditioner on your ends.
Key Ingredients: Rosemary Leaf Oil, Peppermint Oil, Panthenol | Size: 12 oz. | Sulfate-Free? | Yes Silicone-Free? | Yes
Relevant Review: “This leaves your hair clean without feeling stripped. The mint makes your scalp feel awesome. It's perfectly complimented by the matching conditioner.”
Jessie Lee Montague, owner of Hairstory salon
This article was originally published on