The Best Drugstore Shampoos for Oily Hair

If you’re struggling with oily hair, the solution can be found in your local drugstore.

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Best drugstore shampoos for oily hair

If you have oily hair, you know the struggle of finding the right shampoo. Most shampoos on the market don’t remove oil all that well, and if they do, they can sometimes be so drying that they damage your hair.

And yes, you do need a shampoo that’s made for your hair type. According to WebMD, “Proper shampooing is one of the best things you can do for oily hair.” One of their first steps to treating oily hair is to find “a good-quality shampoo made for oily hair to help reduce oil on your scalp and strands.”

And that’s where we come in. There are some gems on the market that can treat oily hair without drying or stripping the color right out of your strands. And the best part is, you can find them at the drugstore!

{RELATED POST: How to Take Care of Your Hair (The Right Way)}

After testing out twenty different shampoos meant for oily hair and documenting our thoughts from scent to formulation, we found that five products were the clear winners in the category. Here are the best drugstore shampoos for oily hair:

5 Best Drugstore Shampoos for Oily Hair

1. L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo

L’OREAL’s shampoos are generally some of the best around (they also own Kerastase, after all), so it’s no surprise that their shampoo for oily hair is a winner. The L’OREAL Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo is an excellent product that contains a host of key ingredients meant to keep scalp oil at bay while moisturizing dry ends.

  • Hair Type: Oily
  • Scent: Floral
  • Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid
  • Cruelty-free? No

Recommended For: If you’re looking for a moisturizing shampoo that will also treat oily scalp, definitely give this product a try.

This shampoo contains salicylic acid (which you might recognize from your skincare routine), which cuts through oil and exfoliates the dead skin from your scalp as you wash. But even with such a strong active ingredient, it doesn’t leave your hair stripped or parched.

Another benefit of this shampoo is that it’s silicone-free. According to Healthline, silicone is a common contributor to buildup on the hair, which can exacerbate oily scalp, so it’s great that this shampoo doesn’t include it.

For best results, I highly recommend using the matching conditioner; L’OREAL advertises this as a system and the products have been extensively tested as a set.


  • Silicone-free
  • Includes three refined clays to rebalance hair and sop up oil
  • Salicylic acid works to exfoliate dead skin on your scalp
  • Shampoo and conditioner bottles are made with 94% recycled plastic
  • Smells nice, very floral


  • L’OREAL products are not cruelty-free
  • Does contain sulfates
  • Very strong scent; not the best if you’re sensitive to fragrance

2. Neutrogena Healthy Scalp Clarify & Shine Shampoo for Oily Hair

If you have oily skin, you’re probably familiar with Neutrogena’s skincare products, so it makes sense that their haircare products would be equally great for oily hair. Their Healthy Scalp Clarify & Shine Shampoo is a superb clarifying shampoo that’s available at any drugstore.

As you may know, if you use hair sprays or heavy conditioners containing silicone, a clarifying shampoo used once every week or two can keep your hair soft and bouncy. Product buildup can make your hair feel greasy, so clarifying shampoos can correct the problem at its source.

  • Hair Type: All hair types
  • Scent: Pink Grapefruit
  • Active Ingredients: None
  • Cruelty-free? No

Recommended For: If you need a good drugstore clarifying shampoo, this product is amazing. It smells incredible and cuts through layers of oil and product buildup to leave your hair truly clarified and clean.

The best part about this shampoo is that it’s sulfate-free and safe for color-treated hair. So many clarifying shampoos will strip the color right out of your hair, but this product performs better in this area. Obviously, overuse of any clarifying shampoo is bad for color, but this is gentler than many other products in the category.

If you suspect hair product buildup could be behind your oily hair issues, I highly recommend giving this shampoo a try! Many fans report completely changed hair after one or two uses.


  • Wonderful pink grapefruit scent
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Easy to find at the drugstore
  • Sulfate-free


  • Neutrogena products are not cruelty-free
  • Can be drying if overused

3. Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff Shampoo

If you have dandruff, you know that Head & Shoulders does not mess around in this area. Their brand is famous for treating dandruff-prone hair, and as such, they make a variety of shampoos to treat different hair concerns in addition to dandruff.

Their Clinical Strength Dandruff Defense Advanced Oil Control Shampoo contains a powerful active ingredient to treat dandruff and address excess oil on the scalp.

  • Hair Type: Dandruff-prone
  • Scent: Citrus
  • Active Ingredients: Selenium sulfide
  • Cruelty-free? No

Recommended For: If you struggle with dandruff and oily hair, this Head & Shoulders shampoo targets both at the same time.

According to the brand, this formula “provides prescription strength flake protection (vs prescription dandruff shampoo 2% ketoconazole) and removes oil and flakes to relieve dandruff symptoms.” It’s one of the strongest drugstore products in this regard.

A word of warning, like most dandruff shampoos, this one does not smell the best. I definitely recommend an extra rinse and following up with a nicely scented conditioner if you’re not a fan of this product’s medicinal scent.


  • Strong dandruff treatment
  • Contains manuka honey to hydrate and cooling menthol to soothe itchy scalp
  • Helps keep hair from getting oily, for longer


  • Head & Shoulders products are not cruelty-free
  • Very strong, medicated-type scent
  • Can be hard to find this particular formula in stores; stock up online

4. WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

I love buying natural, cruelty-free products whenever possible, but it can be difficult to find natural shampoos that are effective. The Wow Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is the exception to this rule, blending natural ingredients with strong effectiveness.

As you may know, apple cider vinegar has long been touted as a natural astringent to fight oil. Many skincare companies include the ingredient in their products for oily skin, so it makes sense that ACV would be effective against oily hair as well.

  • Hair Type: All hair types
  • Scent: Sweet Apple
  • Active Ingredients: None
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

Recommended For: If you want a natural shampoo that’s also mega-effective for oily hair, give Wow Skin’s formula a try. It contains natural apple cider vinegar (which has astringent properties) but doesn’t smell like vinegar at all.

While this product is targeted to treat oily hair, it’s effective for all hair types. Many reviews rave about its balancing properties and effectiveness for treating dry hair, frizz, and breakage. It’s an excellent all-purpose shampoo that’s worth a try if you have any of these hair concerns.


  • Smells great, with a sweet apple fragrance
  • Does not contain parabens, silicones, or sulfates
  • The only product on this list that’s cruelty-free
  • Vegan brand


  • Not available in all drugstores; best to purchase online
  • Does not specifically treat dandruff or any other condition

5. OGX Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo

I’m a huge fan of OGX products because they work well, smell amazing, and come in so many varieties targeted to different hair types. The brand’s Hydrating + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo is an excellent sulfate-free option for those who struggle with oily hair.

These days, many brands are replacing sulfates with other ingredients because sulfates are known to strip hair and contribute to dryness. This shampoo is one such example.

  • Hair Type: All hair types
  • Scent: Mint
  • Active Ingredients: None
  • Cruelty-free? No

Recommended For: If you want a sulfate-free shampoo that will address oily hair and is easy to find at any drugstore, give OGX a try. As with all of their shampoos, this smells amazing and works well. It won’t strip the moisture from hair, but it will leave hair clean, refreshed, and oil-free. It’s also said to work well on dandruff, despite not explicitly being a dandruff shampoo.

The only drawback of the OGX brand is that it is not cruelty-free, so definitely try the Wow Skin option above if you’d prefer a cruelty-free shampoo.


  • Works well for all hair types
  • Smells fresh and clean
  • Contains tea tree oil, milk protein, and peppermint oil
  • Sulfate-free
  • Widely available at drugstores


  • Not cruelty-free
  • Fragrance does not last long on hair, if you prefer a longer-lasting scent

What do you think of our picks for the best drugstore shampoos for oily hair?

Do you struggle with oily hair? How do you treat your hair? Any tips you’d like to share? Tell me what you think in the comments down below.

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