If you have oily hair, you know all too well how difficult it is to find a shampoo that keeps your scalp from getting greasy and keeps your hair looking fresh. Like most people, you probably have some dandruff as well. Shampoos made specifically for dandruff can dry out oily hair, making the problem worse.
In search of the best drugstore shampoo for oily hair, I combed through ingredient lists and read tons of reviews.
The goal was to find shampoos that are highly rated with hundreds or thousands of rave reviews. They had to be available at a drugstore close to me (and most will be found at your local drugstore).
What are drugstore shampoos for oily hair?
A drugstore shampoo is considered any shampoo that you can buy at the drugstore, including Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, and other similar stores. These are shampoos that are both cheap and easy to find. They are usually under $10 but there are exceptions.
That, plus the fact that they are specially formulated for oily hair.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Interested in seeing some super-hydrating drugstore hair oils? Check out our article now!
What is the benefit of using a drugstore shampoo for oily hair?
Choosing the best drugstore shampoo for oily hair will solve a lot of problems for you.
You will save money while tackling your problem of a greasy scalp, while keeping your hair fresh. I was able to find powerful clarifying shampoos that cost as little as $5 and many were around $10 or even less.
How do you use a drugstore shampoo for oily hair?
You use a drugstore shampoo for oily hair the same way you would any other shampoo. You lather up, rinse thoroughly and repeat if necessary.
If you have an oily scalp, you can leave the shampoo in your hair for 5-10 minutes while it works its magic.
The Best Drugstore Shampoo For Oily Hair: 21 Choices
I was able to find 21 drugstore shampoos for oily hair that were highly rated and recommended by hundreds, sometimes thousands of buyers.
Best overall: Neutrogena Exfoliating Healthy Scalp Clarify & Shine Shampoo
With so many amazing choices on this list, picking the best drugstore shampoo for oily hair wasn’t easy. But first place for the best overall goes to Neutrogena® Naturals Purifying Shampoo .
The first thing that jumps out to me about this shampoo is that it has salicylic acid, which is excellent for dandruff and an ingredient that drugstore shampoos usually don’t have. The great thing about salicylic acid is that it works as an exfoliant, which helps to rid your scalp of dead skin cells.
Salicylic acid also penetrates the hair follicle and pores on the skin, helping to remove any blockages or buildup there. This ingredient helps with acne breakouts as well – meaning it’s not just for oily hair, but oily skin too.
Best of all, this is one of those clarifying shampoos that has a creamy lather – gentle enough to use every day if you need to, but it does have sulfates, so if your scalp is extra oily, try using it two or three times a week instead.
Neutrogena® Naturals Purifying Shampoo is available at local drugstores and on Amazon for $8.97
Best for greasy hair: Nexxus Hydra-Light Weightless Moisture Shampoo
This shampoo was voted as one of Good Housekeeping’s top picks in their Best Shampoos feature, and I see why: it’s a great drugstore shampoo for oily hair.
Nexxus Hydra-Light Weightless Moisture Shampoo has a light and airy feeling to it, like there is no product in your hair at all. It does not leave any residue or buildup on the scalp or hair either which is great if you use styling products regularly.
People with fine hair swear by this shampoo’s ability to give them volume while providing moisture at the same time – earning it the #2 spot on our list for best drugstore shampoos for oily and greasy hair.
Nexxus Hydra-Light Weightless Moisture Shampoo is available at local drugstores and on Amazon for $7.99 – 8.75
Best with natural ingredients: AMOS PROFESSIONAL The Green Tea Shampoo Refresh
This shampoo has a great list of ingredients which are all natural, no harsh chemicals here. It also has a very pleasant smell to it that reminds me of green tea and cucumbers.
The formula is quite gentle and will not strip your scalp of its natural oils, but it will get rid of any scalp buildup and impurities that may be causing your oily hair.
AMOS PROFESSIONAL The Green Tea Shampoo Refresh is available in drugstores everywhere and on Amazon for $14.99.
Best for thin hair: Nexxus Clean and Pure Clarifying Shampoo
With a unique blend of natural ingredients extracts, this shampoo adds volume to my oily hair without weighing it down at all. Because it has apple cider vinegar, it leaves an invigorating tingle on the scalp that wakes you up in the morning or after a workout.
I have noticed a reduction in my hair fall since I started using this shampoo regularly, probably because it does such a good job of rinsing oily hair from excess oil. This product is great for thin, flat, greasy hair. It gives it volume and leaves it smelling fresh.
Nexxus Clean and Pure Clarifying Shampoo is available at local drugstores and on Amazon for $8.97.
Best for hair growth: HoneyDew Lemon Sage Shampoo
One of the things that I love about this shampoo is that the lemon and sage combine to give it a lemony smell, but with an herbal twist. This combination makes me feel like my hair has gone on vacation without me.
The formula contains powerful natural ingredients such as lemon: an astringent which helps to tone oily hair, while aloe vera nourishes the scalp.
Another ingredient that I love in this shampoo is castor oil. This thick, viscous oil stimulates hair growth thanks to its high concentration of omega-9 fatty acids. Castor oil also contains antibacterial properties that fight bacteria on the scalp that causes dandruff.
HoneyDew Lemon Sage Shampoo is available at local drugstores and on Amazon for $7.69 – 8.75
Best for sensitive scalp: BIOLAGE Cooling Mint Scalp
Want the best drugstore shampoo for sensitive scalp? Look no further than this clarifying shampoo from BIOLAGE.
Packed with powerful natural ingredients, this shampoo has a thick, luxurious texture that works well with thin or fine hair. Since this shampoo lathers up so much, it does end up stripping oily hair of its natural oil if you use it too often.
The cooling mint shampoo is ideal for people with sensitive and dry scalp conditions like eczema because of its gentle formula and lack of sulfates and parabens in the ingredients list.
BIOLAGE Cooling Mint Scalp is available in many drugstores nationwide and at Amazon for $8.99.
Best to absorb excess oil: OGX Kandee Johnson Collection Mermaid Dust
So technically this is not a traditional shampoo, but rather a dry shampoo.
I have been experimenting with this product instead of my traditional shampoo for the last few months now and it does a great job absorbing excess oil from my scalp.
Another thing I love about this dry shampoo is that it smells amazing! It smells like a tropical island mixed with a creamy coconut, which makes me feel lazy and relaxed at the same time.
But while using a dry shampoo for oily hair is a good quick fix, it’s not a permanent solution.
OGX Kandee Johnson Collection Mermaid Dust is available at local drugstores or on Amazon for $11.99.
Best for kids: TBH Kids Shampoo
There aren’t a lot of articles on the best drugstore shampoos for kids, so any moms out there: listen up!
My 7-year-old daughter has been using this organic shampoo for the last few months and she loves it. She says that her normally-oily hair feels cleaner and softer to the touch after each wash.
Even though it contains apple cider vinegar, this formula is gentle enough for daily use and it didn’t cause any irritation on her scalp even though her skin was a little sensitive at first.
TBH Kids Shampoo is available on Amazon for $9.73.
Best budget: Aveeno Scalp Soothing Shampoo
This clarifying shampoo has a very strange smell that I find intolerable, but it is great for people with dandruff, flaky scalp, or oily hair.
The formula is sulfate-free and contains the natural antiseptic properties of apple cider vinegar. The acidity of this product can reduce flakiness on your scalp while giving you shiny hair while taking care of your oily scalp.
Plus, it’s made with mainly natural ingredients – so if you’re anti-chemicals, then this is a good choice for you.
Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Sulfate-Free Shampoo is available in many local drugstores nationwide or on Amazon for $7.99.
The rest of these shampoos didn’t make the cut, but we wanted to include them anyway because they’re pretty dang good.
Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo
Defeating greasy hair is as easy as using the right clarifying shampoo for oily hair – like this one from Maple Holistics.
This is a really light formula which makes it very easy to wash out. It has a very neutral scent and the pump design of this bottle makes it really practical for traveling or bringing in your gym bag. This shampoo does a good job of cleaning oily hair without stripping the natural oils from it.
Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo is available in many local drugstores nationwide or on Amazon for $9.99.
OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp + Teatree Mint Shampoo
When it comes to cleaning oily hair, very few things are better than tea tree oil.
This shampoo has a very strong tea tree oil smell to it which may not appeal to everyone. If you like the smell of tea tree, you will love the scent of this shampoo.
The formula contains a powerful mix of ingredients to fight dandruff and oily scalp conditions like psoriasis and eczema: peppermint oil, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, and micro-exfoliating scrub particles that get rid of any dead skin cells on your scalp.
OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp + Teatree Mint Shampoo is available in many local drugstores nationwide or on Amazon for $7.75.
Tea Tree Special Shampoo
Any of these drugstore shampoos could be a great choice for keeping oily hair in check, but the Tea Tree Special Shampoo has a formula that is specifically designed to fight off excess oil and itchy scalp problems.
The natural extracts included in this shampoo (tea tree oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus leaf) make it extremely effective in reducing any redness or irritation on your scalp.
Just be careful if you have frizzy hair, as this one can make it even more frizzy!
Tea Tree Special Shampoo is available at local drugstores nationwide or on Amazon for $8.99.
Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo
When you have an oily scalp, it can feel like the world is coming to an end. The excess oil builds up until you can’t take it any more! But clarifying shampoos can be harsh on your hair – so what do you do?
This shampoo has a fresh and invigorating scent. It does a good job of cleaning oily hair without stripping out the natural oils from it.
The formula is packed with organic lemon extract, tea tree oil, and aloe which moisturizes your scalp while restoring your hair’s shine.
Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo is available in many local drugstores nationwide or on Amazon for $13.95.
Botany Natural Shampoo with Organic Coconut Oil, Tea Tree, and Aloe Vera
You may think it’s a bad idea to use coconut oil in a shampoo for oily hair, but you’d be wrong. Coconut oil is a natural anti-microbial, so it will kill all of the bad bacteria that collect in your scalp buildup.
This is a wonderful shampoo that leaves my oily hair clean, soft and shiny! It has a very subtle floral scent that I absolutely love and it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients like parabens, silicone, sulphates, etc.
It also does a great job of removing excess oil, thanks to its tea tree oil component.
Botany Organic Shampoo is available on Amazon for $12.97.
Unwash Charcoal Detox Scalp Shampoo
This shampoo has a very subtle minty smell which I love! It leaves oily hair shiny and bouncy, yet clean.
This shampoo from Unwash is made with activated charcoal, tea tree oil, and peppermint which absorb dirt and excess oils from the scalp without over-drying it.
Unwash Charcoal Detox Scalp Shampoo is available at local drugstores nationwide or on Amazon for $12.99.
These are the 21 best drugstore shampoos for oily hair, according to 237 women who tested them out themselves.
Just remember: when choosing a shampoo for oily hair, it’s ok to try a few. You don’t need to get it right the first time.
Some of these products will work better than others depending on your hair type and any scalp issues you might be experiencing, but they all do a decent job at keeping oily hair in check.
Do you have a favorite drugstore shampoo for your hair type?
Let me know in the comments section below!