The Best Hair Serums for Oily Hair: Reviews and Buying Guide

Close up of woman touching dirty oily and greasy hair looking in mirror at home. Time to wash head with high-quality shampoo. Back view

Key Points

  • Oily hair is frustrating as it leads to a greasy look and an uncomfortable scalp, and it’s difficult to manage.

  • Using scalp scrubs, clarifying shampoo, and hair serums for oily hair help to combat oily hair symptoms and leave you looking your best.

  • Hair serums with salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and witch hazel control oil production on your scalp.

  • Try some of these top five hair serums for oily hair and discover your new favorite product.

You don’t need to struggle with excess oil on your scalp forever. Discover the ultimate solution for oily hair with the best hair serums. Combat excess oil, revive your locks, and achieve a fresh, vibrant look with these powerful serums specifically formulated for oily hair. Experience the benefits of ingredients such as salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and witch hazel, and say goodbye to greasy hair days. Transform your hair routine and embrace hair serums as your secret weapon for managing oily hair.

Handling Oily Hair

Excess production of sebum, a natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in the scalp, creates oily hair. This excess of sebum makes the hair look greasy, limp, and lifeless. It also makes the hair more prone to dandruff and other scalp problems.

If you have oily hair, you may have to wash your hair more often than people with other hair types. This dries your hair and scalp, so make sure you use a gentle shampoo and conditioner. You may also use a specific wash regimen for oily hair. Shampoos and conditioners for oily hair help to remove excess oil and residue.

Many hair products contain oil and grease, which make oily hair even worse. Avoid using products that increase the oily in your hair. When you do use products that may add oil, don’t apply them to your scalp — focus on your tips.

Oily hair is difficult to style. You likely get creative to try and cover up the oily parts of your scalp. Be careful with heat styling, as it makes your hair even more oily. Always use a heat-protectant serum when you heat-style your hair!

Split-ends appear drier than the rest of the hair. This is especially noticeable in oily hair. Get regular trims to remove split ends and damaged hair to stay looking your best.

Here are some other expert tips to manage your oily hair:

  • Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove excess build-up. Scalp scrubs are helpful too, but don’t overdo it.

  • Avoid touching your hair throughout the day. This can transfer oil from your fingers to your hair.

  • Use a texturizing spray or dry shampoo to help absorb excess oil.

  • Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. This helps to keep your scalp and hair healthy.

  • Manage stress. Stress can contribute to oily hair. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.

Hair Serums for Oily Hair

If you have oily hair, you’ve probably avoided oils like the plague. If your hair is already oily, won’t adding more product just weigh it down more? There are special hair serums for oily hair that help to control oil production without weighing down your hair.

Can hair serum help oily hair?

According to an analytical chemistry scholar Marylyne Ghati, “Yes, hair serum can help control oily hair, but it depends on the type of serum and its ingredients. Some hair serums are specifically formulated for oily hair and contain ingredients that help to absorb excess oil from the scalp.”

Salicylic acid, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and some other ingredients help to control oil production to make your hair less oily. This prevents oil from weighing down your hair and can even improve your sebum production over time.

Hair serums add shine to oily hair by coating the strands and reflecting light. This makes your hair look healthier and more vibrant. Oily hair is often oily at the roots and dry along the shafts. Work to control oil residue at the scalp, and add some shine to the rest of your hair.

Hair serums can help to protect the hair from heat styling, which is drying and damaging to oily hair. Use heat styling minimally, but always add protection when you go for a killer, styled look.

Define your curls or waves by adding more moisture and hold with a hair serum. They also prevent frizz by smoothing the cuticle, controlling flyaways, and reducing static electricity.

Use hair serum sparingly. Too much serum can make the hair look greasy. You should start with a small amount and gradually add more as needed. Some serums should focus on the lengths of your hair, avoiding adding moisture to the scalp. Other serums are for scalp health. Follow the directions on your serum and experiment to find your best routine.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Serum

Different routines, techniques, and products work for different people — even if you have the same type of hair. It’s important to find a serum that caters to the benefits you’re looking for. Do you want to add volume, increase shine, or tame flyaways? Consider your tailored needs, but look for some of these more general qualities in hair serum for oily hair:

  • Lightweight formula: A lightweight formula is less likely to weigh down the hair and make it look lackluster.

  • Non-greasy: A non-greasy serum does not leave a residue on the hair.

  • Oil-free: An oil-free serum avoids adding more oil to your hair.

  • Contains ingredients that help to control oil production: Some ingredients that can help to control oil production include salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and witch hazel.

Top 5 Hair Serums and Treatments for Oily Hair

Want to improve your hair routine? Invest in products that benefit your hair type and hair goals. It may take some trial and error to find the right serum for you, but these top five hair serums for oily hair are the perfect place to start.

Extra Strength Scalp Treatment
$9.00 ($2.25 / Fl Oz)

by OGX 

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OGX Extra Strength Refreshing + Invigorating Teatree Mint Dry Scalp Treatment

Stop your overproduction of oil and detoxify your scalp with this extra strength, yet natural and gentle treatment. OGX Extra Strength Refreshing + Invigorating Teatree Mint Dry Scalp Treatment is a perfect and budget-friendly option for anyone struggling with oily hair.

This product uses tea tree oil, witch hazel, and mint to remove residue on the scalp while leaving it refreshed and invigorated. Leave your scalp feeling happy and healthy while nourishing your hair and making it shiny.

Love the way your scalp feels and the way your hair smells with this hair serum!

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VEGAMOUR GRO Scalp Detoxifying Serum

Tackle your oily hair at the source with VEGAMOUR GRO Scalp Detoxifying Serum. This gel gently removes the build-up on your scalp and soothes any damage. It also locks in moisture on your strands, leaving a semi-permeable barrier against environmental damage.

GRO Scalp Detoxifying Serum
$41.94 ($20.97 / Fl Oz)


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Enjoy a refreshing citrus scent when you use this weekly treatment. If you would also like to grow more hair as you heal your scalp, check out the whole line of VEGMOUR GRO products or The Ordinary Multipeptide Serum.

Exfoliating Scalp Mask
$49.00 ($12.25 / Fl Oz)

by Nutrafol 

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Nutrafol Exfoliating Scalp Mask

Balance sebum production and eliminate excess oil with Nutrafol Exfoliating Scalp Mask. This product is safe for colored hair and extensions, meaning you can clean your scalp between washes without the stress of damaging your salon hair. Prevent hair loss from clogged pores by reducing build-up.

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While this isn’t exactly a hair serum, this scalp mask is too good to skip. It’s guaranteed to maintain your scalp’s natural biome, meaning it’s here to help your scalp recover and work better on its own.

This treatment is suitable for all hair types.

Leave On Anti-Dandruff Scalp Serum
$34.99 ($10.29 / Fl Oz)

by Jupiter 

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03/06/2024 04:30 pm GMT

Jupiter Leave On Anti-Dandruff Scalp Serum

Relieve discomfort from your scalp with Jupiter Leave On Anti-Dandruff Scalp Serum. This scalp treatment reduces itchiness, dandruff, and oil production on your scalp. Zinc Pyrithione, Salicylic Acid, green tea, and aloe vera work together to improve and maintain the health of your scalp.

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This treatment is suitable for all hair types that struggle with scalp irritation, dryness, or oil. Apply this serum one to four times a day, even between washes, to make your scalp happy. This product is especially good for people with braids or extensions.

Enjoy gentle, nourishing properties that soothe and heal your scalp with Jupiter Leave On Scalp Serum.

Scalp Solutions Exfoliating Treatment
$42.86 ($8.57 / Fl Oz)

by Aveda 

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Aveda Scalp Solutions Exfoliating Scalp Treatment

Think skincare for your scalp! The Aveda Scalp Solutions Exfoliating Scalp Treatment gently exfoliates the scalp with a gel formula to remove excess sebum and build-up. This gel is free from alcohol, sulfates, silicones, parabens, mineral oil, and petroleum. This ensures a lightweight gel that won’t weigh down your hair.

Exfoliating your scalp and removing excess sebum allows your follicles to breathe. Your hair won’t be as oily when you remove the oil from your scalp. This treatment is best when used in conjunction with Aveda’s other Scalp Solutions products.

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Fix Your Scalp

Solve your oily hair by healing your scalp. Keep a fresh, balanced feeling on your scalp to give your follicles the power to grow gorgeous hair. Combat your oily look and replace it with a fresh, shiny head of hair.

Be patient in your oily hair journey, as results don’t come overnight, and sometimes it takes a few trial-and-error product attempts.

For more scalp and hair health advice, subscribe to Age Defying.

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