Shampoos for Extremely Oily Hair

Suds up with a clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of excess oil.

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When you have extremely oily hair, just about every day can be a bad hair day. If your sebaceous glands pump out more oil than a West Texas oil gusher, your hair can feel heavy and hang limp --- not a hot look. Plus, extremely oily hair and scalp can bring unwelcome friends: dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. These two can add flakes and itchy red patches to the picture. So suds up with the right shampoo and wash that oil right out of your hair!


Clarifying shampoos and others labeled specifically for oily hair cut grease from your locks. In "Help for Oily Hair," Roy Teeluck of New York City's Julien Farel Salon told "Cosmopolitan" readers to use a clarifying shampoo such as Pantene Pro-V Clarifying Purity Shampoo once per day for seven days to get excess oil under control. Then take a two-day break so you don't overstimulate your oil glands. Follow your hair's little vacation with daily sudsing with a gentle shampoo. If your 'do gets overly oily again, degrease with the clarifying shampoo for another week.


Monstrous little microbes called malassezia live on scalp, and when they have a steady diet of oil, they can cause itchy, flaky skin, also known as dandruff. If your extremely oily hair has resulted in what looks like snowfall on your shoulders, choose a shampoo formulated for dandruff. Shampoos containing the anti-fungal zinc pyrithione, including Selsun Salon and Head & Shoulders, help control those little critters and reduce the flakes, reports the Mayo Clinic. If you find you need a stronger anti-fungal, the clinic recommends Nizoral, which contains ketoconazole.


If the anti-fungal shampoos don't work for you or irritate your scalp worse, the Mayo Clinic advises using a tar-based shampoo such as Neutrogena T/Gel. The clinic says that it slows the death and flaking of the skin cells on your scalp. Selsun Blue, which contains selenium sulfide, does the same thing and also may stop the oil-chowing malassezia. However, the clinic warns that this product can discolor blond, gray or chemically treated hair, so be forewarned and follow the directions carefully.

Dry Shampoo

If you don't have time to shower and shampoo before a big date or just need a mid-day freshening up, grab a dry shampoo. "Allure" magazine recognized Tresemmé FreshStart Waterless Foam Shampoo and Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo in its Best of Beauty Master List in 2010.

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