Choosing the right natural shampoo is a lot like high school: it’s kind of a nightmare, but a necessary (if slightly overwhelming) one. Especially if you have specific hair concerns or, Al Gore forbid, want to use something that isn’t toxic garbage for the sake of your body and the planet.
Well, consider us your Social Tour Guides - we are about to show you the ropes via a quick meet ‘n greet with the 5 best natural shampoos - and shampoo brands - for oily hair (bonus: no actual socialization required).
Prose Custom Hair Care: The Ultra-Specific Option.This clean cut, education-focused company is nothing if not thorough; they are so confident in their ability to cure your oily hair ills that they only offer custom shampoo formulas.
Pros: The 4 section, extensive hair assessment evaluates everything from your hair thickness to your local climate to your fragrance preferences. You’ll learn everything you never knew you needed to know about shampoo, hair, ingredients, the shampoo industry, etc.
Cons: If you tend to be decision anxious, proceed at your own risk; the process feels vaguely like you’re taking an exam for a degree in Shampoo-ology.
Consider Prose the Hermione Granger of hair care - aka, the Overachieving Intellectual with a Cause. A sure bet for any (and all) hair concerns…particularly if you are a knowledge junkie.
& Goodies Stimulating Rosemary Shampoo & Conditioner Set: The Delicious Option With Universal Appeal.This no-BS brand feels like the life of the party - squeaky clean ingredients with a high emphasis on diversity, honesty, and spunk.
Pros: Their confidence in who they are, what they offer, and its ability to deliver is instantly attractive. Their website, refreshingly straightforward and intuitive. Their products, environmentally friendly and biodegradable. (Also, THAT BRANDING THO.) High-school wise, they’d be the low key, adorably irresistible Paul Rudd (mmmm…you’re welcome).
Cons: Farewell, impulse control! Wanting to buy it all and not being able to is sorta the worst, right?
Descriptive ditties like “Bye-bye frizz & scalp itchiness & oily messes” feels akin to getting recommendations from a close friend - the kind that’ll tell you like it is.
Add that to scrumptious scents like Rosemary Lavender and Peppermint, plus the claims that it smells good enough to eat, and…let's just say it’s hard to justify not ordering that Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner set right now. (Okay, okay - we did. We totally did.)
Aesop Equalising Shampoo: The Environmentally Friendly (if Somewhat Aloof) Socialite.
Pros: Minimalist, modern, vegan, and oozing with elegance, everything about this brand makes you feel…important. Glamorous. If we’re honest, a little like a celebrity (or, at least, like a very important social media influencer…the Kardashians come immediately to mind).
Cons: The celebrity vibes don’t stop with the branding; their Equalising Shampoo (because American spelling is so five years ago) is a great option, but it’ll set you back a whopping $50 (ouch). And luxurious though the products may be, they’re not the cleanest, ingredient-wise (here’s looking at you, sulfates). Finally, their site is the tiniest bit intimidating (after all, how many shampoo companies use words like herbaceous and camphorous in their product descriptions?).
Ouai Hydrating Shampoo: The Passionate (If Somewhat Distracted) Option.You know the type - the person who has a lot of good ideas, and who you really vibe with…IF you could just keep them focused (aka, April and Andy from Parks and Rec).
Pros: Ouai seems to have a beautiful, diverse, cleanish product line. The scents seem yummy and the vibe, spunky and feminine. Case in point? Descriptions like “Shampoo so rich, you’ll need a prenup”.
Cons: There’s slightly more emphasis on hair thickness than hair concerns, which makes the search for an oily-hair specific product elusive. (Honest question: does hair thickness dictate oiliness? Unless there’s something we don’t know, it probably shouldn't. Then again, maybe we should’ve paid more attention to that Prose questionnaire earlier.) Ouai’s process makes shopping almost feel like a hair trust fall - you’ll have to make your selection and hope for the best.
Kiehl’s Rice and Wheat Volumizing Shampoo: The Dependable, Mainstream Classic.You know the type - the person who has a lot of good ideas, and who you really vibe with…IF you could just keep them focused (aka, April and Andy from Parks and Rec).
Pros: This apothecary-turned-empire company feels like the safe choice; the branding is clean, the price point reasonable. It’s the choice that’s known and loved by everyone without even trying. (In a word? Chip and Joanna Gaines.) And given inflation, at that price tag, it could very well be the wise choice.
Cons: The product names leave a little to be desired - Wheat and Rice seems more fitting for a soup than a shampoo, no? Plus, it has to be said: the ingredient list is environmentally abysmal.
For all their quirks, this motley crew of natural shampoo companies do the best job we’ve seen at offering a diversity of options for every fancy of the hair care connoisseur.
If you’re on the hunt for help with paring down the oil problem, and are looking for sulfate, cruelty, and toxin free options, these should be at the top of your list.