Finding the right shampoo for oily hair is a tall order. It's a common misconception that the oil needs to be aggressively washed away until the hair is squeaky-clean; the culprit of oily hair is overactive sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, the waxy substance made by the body intended to keep hair soft, moisturized, and waterproof. Stripping the scalp of its oils causes these glands to overcompensate, producing even more oils and creating a counterproductive result. The best shampoo for oily hair is one that has a balanced formula that's tough enough to control the oils without over stimulating the glands.
Specialized products, albeit on the pricier side, deliver results that garner a loyal customer base. The Phyto Phytocedrat Sebo-Regulating Shampoo retails for $24 and is full of plant-based ingredients, such as geranium and lemon essential oil. Tea tree oil is a common botanical ingredient used for effective but gentle cleansing. Desert Essence carries a line of Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo that contains Leptospermum Petersonii Oil, a type of tea tree that smells like lemons but has the expected astringent characteristics. Other main ingredients include coconut oil and sugar cleansers. Retailing for $8-$9, the product is concentrated to last through many applications and comes in several fruity scents, including green apple ginger and Italian red grape.
If budget is a concern, many drugstore brands offer formulas that work well. Sauve's Daily Clarifying Shampoo, $1.50 for 15 ounces. is meant to deep clean hair with its special pH balanced formula. The Charles Worthington Results Balancing Act Shampoo, $5, regulates oil and leaves hair soft. Neutrogena's T/Gel Shampoo is specially formulated for those with oily hair and is available for $8.99 at drugstores and online retailers. It is recommended to use the T/Gel every other day, but this product is one that customers swear by.