The presence of oils in oil shampoos will bring a result that is far from exemplary. Now you have heard about this and roll your eyes in confusion. Are oils not meant to be healthy for everything (from foods to hair to skin care)?

Best Cleansing Oil Shampoos: How Oil-Washing Hair Works

Well, it turns out oils can hinder the ingredients of the shampoo from producing the desired effect. If you have an oily scalp, you might be on a wrong journey using just any form of oil-based shampoo.

Shampoos are meant to remove oils from your scalp. Oil shampoos can get in the way, which makes the shampoo fail to lather and make the desired cleaning experience to become ineffective – except for some products, of course.

Today, we will show 11 of the best cleansing oil shampoos that have a form of oil as a channel or main ingredient and still produce the result that makes you want to celebrate yourself for choosing them in the first place.

What are the components of oil shampoos? What tricks or features do the best oil shampoos have that make them turn your hair’s dullness to a glowing counterpart? There is a number of methods and information you need to know to ensure you use them appropriately. Let us get down to them!

Best Cleansing Oil Shampoos to Oil-Wash Your Hair: Contents

11 Best Cleansing Oil Shampoos to Buy
What Are Oil-Based Shampoos All About?
How Do Oil Shampoos Work?
Benefits of Oil Shampoos for Your Hair
What Oils Should You Choose for Oil-Washing Your Hair?
How to Oil-Wash Your Hair Correctly
How Often Should You Oil-Wash Your Hair?
Must You Use a Conditioner?
Oil Washing vs. Pre-Pooing

11 Best Cleansing Oil Shampoos to Buy

However contradictory it may sound, oil-cleansing hair can leave your mane looking clean, shiny, healthy, but never oily and greasy as far as you get any of these oil shampoos that are the best on the market right now.

1. IGK Smoke & Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil

This is an indulgent two-in-one cream cleanser that cleanses and conditions the hair without stripping its natural oils. Moreover, it rejuvenates the hair and provides sun protection as well. Perfect for all hair types, it’s also a great oil shampoo for color-treated hair and dry scalps. Get a bottle for yourself from Sephora!

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: IGK Smoke & Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil

2. Ouidad Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Oil

Restoration of moisture to your hair will be fast when you pamper it with this oil shampoo. The product is made up of nutrient-rich mafura butter, coconut oil and Kalahari melon seed oil. It shields the skin at the hair shaft with a cushion-like concentrated fatty acid. This acid is an excellent source of nourishment, hydration and protection for your hair.

Coconut oil hydrates and prevents damage so your hair can turn over a brilliant, shiny look. Perfect for dry, damaged hair, this oil-based shampoo can be found at Sephora.

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: Ouidad Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Oil

3. Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Micro-Oil Shampoo

What type of hair do you have? Is it curly, wavy, or fine hair? Regardless of which you are blessed with, feed your hair with a rich victual like this oil shampoo and enjoy a sensational look.

The product is rich in moringa, macadamia, coconut and almond oil. When combined together, this oil shampoo cleanses the hair, nourishes and replenishes it with fresh oils and nutrients, and ensures an exquisite glow as soon as possible. Get it from Ulta Beauty!

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Micro-Oil Shampoo

4. Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Cleansing Oil-Crème Duo

You can enjoy the most unique wash in one easy step. All you need to do is use a product that has a unique mixture: a blend of gentle cleanser (inner chamber) and a strong moisturising cream (outer chamber).

This is the right oil-based shampoo that softens, silkens, tames, defrizzes, detangles, and protects your hair. Also, the hair’s natural oils will remain untouched. Safety is important too, as it is neither formulated with parabens nor alcohol. You can find this oil shampoo at Sephora.

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Cleansing Oil-Crème Duo

5. TXTR. By Cantu Color Treated + Curls Cleansing Oil

This cleansing oil shampoo is a color-safe and rich-in-moisture formula, which consists of shea butter, spearmint oil, and castor oil. Each ingredient has special functions that will interest you. Shea butter is known to hydrate and nourish the hair, spearmint oil pampers dry scalp, and castor oil helps to keep moisture. In summary, this oil shampoo from Ulta Beauty will make your hair shine.

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: TXTR. By Cantu Color Treated + Curls Cleansing Oil

6. Alterna Haircare Moisture Intense Oil Crème Shampoo

You can call this oil-based shampoo an anti-aging cream for the hair because that is what it is. Made of Abyssinian oil, it gently gets rid of unhealthy and faulty hair oils and dirt, and leaves your hair with its moisture but smoother and cleaner. Dry and brittle hair will become soft and beautiful after using this product, which is available at Sephora.

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: Alterna Haircare Moisture Intense Oil Crème Shampoo

7. Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Jamaican Black Castor & Murumuru Oils Ultra-Moisturizing Co-Wash

This is a co-wash shampoo with a dual encapsulation technology. This means the tiniest part of your hair will receive the necessary amount of oil and nutrients. Unlike conventional shampoos, your curls and coils will remain intact and flexible. Apply some in-between wash and let the oil renew the moisture content of your hair. Get your magic bottle from Sephora!

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture Jamaican Black Castor & Murumuru Oils Ultra-Moisturizing Co-Wash

8. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Nourishing Olive Fruit Oil Shampoo

If your hair is dry or undernourished, there is a way to add glitter, which is by indulging in some oil shampoo. This is a mild, rich and creamy product made of olive oil, avocado oil, and lemon extract. It handles three jobs like no other shampoo: it locks in moisture, hydrates the hair, and generally improves the hair appearance. It’s available for purchase at Sephora.

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: Kiehl’s Since 1851 Nourishing Olive Fruit Oil Shampoo

9. The Art of Shaving Rosemary Essential Oil Shampoo

If you want to stimulate the hair senses, The Art of Shaving has one of the best oil shampoos on the market. Instantly remove the dirt and impurities in your hair with this product. This oil-based shampoo is meant to be used daily, thanks to its combination of rosemary, peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils. The formula works to improve the overall health of the hair. It can be found online at Ulta Beauty.

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: The Art of Shaving Rosemary Essential Oil Shampoo

10. Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Shampoo

Shampoos made of ionized water are not the best for your hair. As a result, Maui Moisture gives you something totally different. To do this, the manufacturer blended aloe vera juice and coconut water with coconut oil, papaya butter, plumeria extract, and many other ingredients. The result is a creamy, rich, and gentle oil shampoo that defrizzes the hair, improves curls, moisturizes hair strands, corrects split ends, and softens the hair. Get yourself a bottle from Ulta Beauty!

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Shampoo

11. Chi Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

This oil shampoo is a unique blend of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, silk and chamomile. Perfect for oily scalp because of these ingredients, the shampoo helps to remove excess build-up and controls the level of moisture on the scalp. You can use it on either wavy or straight hair and watch as it soothes and pampers the hair. Pick it up from Ulta Beauty!

Cleansing Oil Shampoos for Oil-Washing Hair: Chi Tea Tree Oil Shampoo


What Are Oil-Based Shampoos All About?

Oil-based shampoo is used in oil-washing hair. In this process, you are going for oils instead of using generic shampoos. This is because oil shampoos help lift debris, excess oils, and dirt from the scalp without stripping your hair of its natural oils.

When you first hear the name ‘oil shampoo’, you might think it is an assortment of several oils. However, the oil makes just a small percentage, making oil shampoos just a marketing concept.

Some ordinary shampoos might dry out the hair, while oil shampoos, on the other hand, are game changers, as the surfactant is less powerful. Oil shampoo contains oils that combine with oils on the scalp to make the removal of excess oils easier and faster.

Nonetheless, some oil-based shampoos still fall short pertaining to this attractive feature. To avoid this, a good shampoo will contain glycerin and panthenol. These are known to help maintain moisture content on the scalp and improve hair shine.

It is, however, important to know that the ability to retain the little amount of oil on the scalp is not good for everyone. For those who have skin issues such as dandruff, the leftover oils when you use oil-based shampoos can feed the microbes, and it could worsen.


How Do Oil Shampoos Work?

The best oil shampoos are devoid of strong surfactants that could strip the hair of oils. Just like the oil cleansing method for skin, once the shampoo mixes with your hair, it washes the hair like a normal shampoo would.

What Are Oil-Based Shampoos All About?

In addition, it helps control the amount of oil on the scalp. The hair will then turn out cleaner and more nourished, and there is no oil residue left after oil-washing hair.


Benefits of Oil Shampoos for Your Hair

The best oil shampoos bring the following benefits for your hair:

• They cleanse your hair and get rid of dirt and impurities from your scalp without stripping your hair.

• Maintain the moisture on the hair; some would lock the moisture and prevent excess oils on the scalp.

• Help to remove oil residue from the scalp.

• Give a final appearance of better, lighter, more radiant and softer hair after oil-washing the hair.


What Oils Should You Choose for Oil-Washing Your Hair?

Well, this depends on both your preference and type of hair. First, you can add oils to your shampoo for one of these reasons:

• Scent
• Hair nourishment
• Health benefit
• Shiny appearance

Some of the oils and melted kinds of butter (yes, melted butter also counts as oil-washing) you can add to your shampoo are:

• Shea butter
• Rosemary essential oil
• Lavender essential oil
• Geranium essential oil
• Jojoba oil
• Coconut oil
• Sweet almond oil
• Lemon essential oil
• Olive oil
• Cedarwood essential oil
• Argan oil
• Thyme essential oil
• Chamomile essential oil
• Avocado oil
• Castor oil

Benefits of Oil Shampoos for Your Hair

If you have oily hair, you should choose from:

• Lemongrass essential oil
• Ylang-ylang essential oil
• Cedarwood essential oil
• Lemon essential oil
• Tea tree essential oil
• Rosemary essential oil

If you have frizzy or dry hair, you should choose from:

• Argan oil
• Macadamia oil
• Marula oil

If you have curly hair, you should choose from:

• Coconut oil
• Castor oil
• Sweet almond oil
• Argan oil
• Avocado oil

If you have fine or straight hair, you should choose from:

• Abyssinian oil
• Jojoba oil
• Grapeseed oil
• Sunflower oil
• Neem oil
• Rosemary essential oil


How to Oil-Wash Your Hair Correctly

This is an easy process if you understand how to shampoo your hair. The only difference is the additional essential oil(s) contained.

To oil cleanse your hair with any of the store-bought oil shampoos, simply apply a bit of the product to your wet hair, massage your scalp with it and rinse it. There is no need to combine it with a regular shampoo or to use a conditioner afterwards.

If you want to go the DIY route, you can oil-wash your hair adding some essential oils to your regular shampoo. Here is how you do it:

How to Oil-Wash Your Hair Correctly

• After choosing your preferred essential oil, you should do a patch test. Add some to your inner forearm and use an adhesive to cover the area.

• After a while, check your forearm to see the effect. If you are allergic, the area will show signs of irritation, blisters or any other side effect. Now that you are sure the oil is bad for you, you should get rid of it and choose an alternative.

• Once you have picked an oil that works for you or the first oil shows no side effect, you can move on.

• Get different sizes of containers and glass bottles.

• Add 20 drops of the oil in a container and mix with ½ cup of shampoo. Do note that you can add more than one oil in a mixture.

• Stir and shake the container or bottle, and you are done.

• Alternatively, oil washing hair can be done by using a combination of oils or just a single oil; that is, without shampoo.

• Simply add the oil or mixture to your hair strand and massage the length of your hair down to the root of the hair.

Meanwhile, there is a widespread oil-washing recipe for any type of unhealthy hair. Follow the following religiously:

• In a bowl, mix 10 drops each of tea tree, rosemary, and lavender essential oils.

• Add about 20 drops of clary sage, 15 drops of wild orange, and 15 drops of lavender.

• Add 10 drops of cedarwood, rosemary and peppermint.

• Add the mixture to 1 cup of your regular shampoo.

• Then, apply to your hair.


How Often Should You Oil-Wash Your Hair?

There is no general rule to this but most people stick with the shampoo recommendation. If you have straight or fine hair, you can oil-wash your hair every day. If you have curly hair or wavy locks, you can oil-wash two or three days apart or three times a week.

Oil Shampoos: Oil-Washing Hair


Must You Use a Conditioner?

Well, the eventual answer is no because using a conditioner is not compulsory. You can ditch your conditioner and enjoy the oil shampoo while it cleanses your hair and defrizzes.

However, we cannot ignore the positive effect of conditioners when you use them together, and the fact that it has no side effect on your hair whatsoever. In fact, conditioners can protect your hair from damage caused by heat and sun. The trick is to choose a quality conditioner that would increase the efficacy of using oil shampoos.


Oil Washing vs. Pre-Pooing

These two are widely mixed together, but they have their differences – though minuscule. Oil washing hair means washing your hair with oil instead of shampoo while pre-pooing means adding oil – or any other rich item – to your hair before shampooing.

As you can see, both seem like the same process. However, time differs between these two. Oil washing hair is usually done in a small time frame, i.e. 60 seconds to 10 minutes. On the other hand, pre-pooing could take up to 3 hours.

Photos via @hairbykirrajade, @whatlucyloves, @victoria.blush