Best Homemade Shampoo For Oily Hair

Woman rinsing shampoo out of her hair in an outdoor shower.

Oil-producing glands are found all over your body except for your palms and the bottom of your feet. However, they are found in the greatest concentration on your face and scalp.

The oil produced protects and moisturizes skin and helps keep the hair shiny, healthy, and strong, which is a good thing.

As those of us who are prone to greasy hair know, too much of a good thing can definitely be bad.

Dealing with oily, lifeless hair is a daily struggle, and the fight can become expensive as we try product after product in an effort to win the battle. There must be a better way!

What is the best homemade shampoo for oily hair? Oily hair will benefit from using a homemade shampoo containing ingredients known to slow oil production and remove existing excessive sebum. These ingredients include green clay, castile soap, honey, vinegar, tea, and essential oils such as tea tree and lavender.

Using a homemade shampoo to beat oily hair is not only better for your scalp, hair, and overall health, but it’s a lot more economical too!

Get ready to learn how easy it can be to achieve healthy, nongreasy hair with DIY shampoos made with natural ingredients.

The Best Shampoo For Oily Hair

Chances are that you’ve already tried several commercial shampoos, each promising to eliminate excessive oil and deliver healthy, clean hair.

Maybe a few of them did seem to make good on their promises, at least at first, but after several hours or by the next day, the all-too-familiar greasy hair was back.

Why Commercial Shampoos May Not Help

Oily, greasy hair and many store-bought shampoos result in an endless, vicious cycle.

You see, most commercial shampoos strip your scalp and hair of naturally occurring sebum.

This causes your sebaceous glands to “panic” and increase their production of oil to make up for what was stripped away.

The result? Yep. Greasy hair again.

What do you do? Wash it again with the same stripping product and the cycle begins. Strip oil, oil production increases, strip again, and on and on.

Are Homemade Shampoos the Answer?

The beauty of homemade shampoos is that they cleanse gently without removing all of the beneficial oils.

After a week or so, your sebaceous glands will realize that there’s no longer a need to overproduce oil, and they calm down, resulting in less greasy hair that doesn’t need to be washed as frequently and a healthier scalp.

That said, it’s true that some people’s oil glands are just more active than other people’s.

Even with homemade shampoos, they still may find that their hair tends to be on the oily side.

The good news is that homemade shampoos are completely customizable, and after some trial and error, even those whose hair always seems to be greasy may find an ideal combination that works for them.

The Recipe

  • 1 tbsp. French green clay (I found Life-Flo on Amazon and love it!)
  • 3 tbsp. liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s is my favorite.)
  • 1 tbsp. organic honey
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup freshly brewed and cooled green tea
  • 10 drops tea tree oil

All you need to do is carefully mix all the ingredients together and, using a funnel, pour into a container that you feel comfortable with using in the shower.

I would recommend avoiding glass bottles in the shower for obvious reasons. 

Since you’ll want to store any unused portion in the refrigerator to delay the growth of bacteria and mold, a good option would be to simply use an empty shampoo or conditioner bottle.

This way, no hungry family members will mistakenly snack on your shampoo!

You may be wondering why this particular recipe is so effective in slowing oil production. Without going into boring, scientific details, I’ll briefly explain.

  • French green clay is known for its oil-absorbing properties and cleansing abilities. It helps to restore balance to pH levels.
  • Castile soap is an all-natural, gentle soap made with plant-based oils and considered safe even for those with sensitive skin.
  • Honey has antimicrobial properties and is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts moisture from the air to help hair stay hydrated.
  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) not only helps eliminate tangles and brings the pH of the scalp back down to between 4 – 5 (the ideal range) but also effectively helps to remove residue and natural buildup.
  • Green tea has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties and, according to Healthline, is effective in reducing serum production.
  • Tea tree oil is widely used in many skin care products due to its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties.

Other Great DIY Shampoos for Oily Hair

While the above recipe is great for combatting oily hair, what works for some people may not work as well for others.

Each person is unique, and different hair types, such as straight and thin or thick and curly, will respond differently to various ingredients. 

Thus, there is no one shampoo that is guaranteed to work perfectly for every single person.

Experiment with several different formulations before deciding which one is ideal for your hair, and be patient.

Sometimes it can take a week or two before your hair adjusts to the new treatment and begins to behave “normally.”

Aloe Vera Based 

Many people plagued by greasy hair have had great results using an aloe vera-based shampoo.

You can simply add 4 teaspoons or so of aloe vera juice to your favorite DIY shampoo recipe.

Aloe vera gel can also be used, but it doesn’t mix with the other ingredients as easily as the juice will. 

Alternatively, you could make a shampoo with aloe vera as the main ingredient. Try this easy blend:

  • 2 tbsp. aloe vera juice
  • 1 tbsp. almond oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

Here’s another simple one:

  • 4 tsp. aloe vera juice
  • 3 tsp. liquid castile soap
  • 3 tsp. water
  • 10 drops each of lavender and tea tree essential oil

Tip: If your hair is extra greasy, try adding a pinch of baking soda to whatever recipe you’re using.

Egg Based

Eggs in your hair? I know it sounds disgusting, but proponents claim it does wonders. Get your courage up and give it a try.

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 5 -10 drops basil, cedarwood, lavender, lemon, orange, or tea tree essential oil

For those with only borderline oily hair, substitute the 2 egg whites with 2 whole eggs. The whites help to remove oils and the yolks provide nourishment.

Tea Based

Both black and green teas can work to decrease the excessive oil production you’re experiencing. Use whatever you have on hand confidently.

  • 1 cup freshly brewed and cooled tea
  • 1 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 scant tsp. almond oil

Tips to Help Decrease Oil Production

In addition to experimenting with ingredient combinations for your homemade shampoo, there are several other proactive steps that you can take to fight greasy hair.

Even though it seems as if you’re fighting a battle, and in a way you are, you want to be gentle when treating oily hair.

When shampooing, massage your scalp lightly – don’t scrub as this can aggravate the scalp and worsen the problem.

Also, try to avoid direct contact with heat sources such as curling irons and blow dryers, as these too can be irritating.

While clarifying treatments such as baking soda rinses are quite effective at removing residues and buildups and are well tolerated by some people, they can be overly drying, which could lead to the same result that using a commercial shampoo does.

For tips on when and how to clarify your hair, head on over to my article, “Will Homemade Shampoo Leave Behind a Residue?”

However, using a diluted ACV rinse will restore your scalp’s ideal pH level, maintain a healthy shine, and help remove any buildup and tangles.

An often neglected chore, washing your hairbrushes and combs routinely will help you avoid re-introducing oils to your freshly cleaned hair.

Use hot water and dishwashing soap or shampoo at least once a week to get rid of accumulated oils and dirt.

We are what we eat, right? The less greasy, fried food you consume, the more your pores and scalp will thank you.

Studies have shown that drinking green tea may have as many benefits for your scalp as topical application does, so drink up!