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Dealing with an oily scalp is a widespread issue where the scalp’s sebaceous glands produce too much sebum. This natural oil is crucial for keeping the scalp and hair moisturized, but its excess can lead to issues such as itching, dandruff, and hair thinning. This guide explores the top vegan hair care solutions for an oily scalp and offers tips on incorporating them into your daily regimen.

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Understanding Oily Scalp Causes

The key points regarding the causes of an oily scalp are:

  • Genetics: The size and activity of the sebaceous glands on the scalp can be genetically determined, making some people more prone to an oily scalp than others.
  • Hormones: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly increases in androgen hormones, can lead to increased sebum production and an oily scalp. This is often observed during puberty or certain times in the menstrual cycle.
  • Diet: A diet high in fats and oils may contribute to increased sebum production and an oily scalp, while a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help maintain a better balance.
  • Hair care habits: Overwashing the hair or using harsh shampoos can strip the scalp of natural oils, causing the sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum in response. Conversely, not washing the hair frequently enough can also lead to oil buildup.

In summary, the primary causes of an oily scalp are genetic factors determining sebaceous gland activity, hormonal influences, dietary habits, and hair care practices. While an oily scalp can be managed, the underlying genetic predisposition may make it difficult to eliminate completely in some individuals.

Vegan Solutions for Oily Scalp

Solution #1: Shampoos with Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural ingredient that has been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce the production of sebum and fight against the bacteria and fungi that contribute to oily scalp. Tea tree oil can soothe the scalp, reduce inflammation, and help to reduce itchiness.

Tea Tree Purifying Shampoo

  • Helps control sebum production
  • Purifies accumulated scalp impurities and clogged scalp pores
  • 100% recycled plastic bottle
  • No silicone or sulfates
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 13.53 fl oz / 400 mL
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💬 What Customers Say About This Shampoo
👍 Pros:
  • Effect on Hair: Customers appreciate the refreshing and relaxing effect the shampoo has on their hair, leaving it soft and clean. The presence of ingredients like salicylic acid and menthol is praised for providing a cooling sensation, gentle exfoliation, and preventing build-up without drying the scalp or hair.
  • Smell: The herbal fragrance of the shampoo, while strong, is considered pleasant by many customers. They enjoy the natural, medicinal scent it offers.
  • Quality and Ingredients: High-quality, natural ingredients are a significant positive aspect. Customers are satisfied with the shampoo’s quality, mentioning its ability to rejuvenate the scalp and contribute to hair growth.
  • Special Benefits: Some customers report specific benefits such as the cessation of telogen effluvium after a few uses, noticeable hair growth, and an excellent cleansing effect that leaves the scalp feeling lighter and cleaner.
👎 Cons:
  • Scent Strength: The herbal scent is described as quite strong, which might not be suitable for individuals who prefer milder fragrances or are sensitive to strong smells.
  • Ingredient Transparency: There is a concern about the accuracy of the ingredient list, with one customer noting discrepancies and potential issues with ingredients like sodium chloride (salt) that can be drying.
  • Value and Performance: There are mixed opinions regarding the shampoo’s value and performance. While some find it worth the investment, others are on the fence, especially concerning its effectiveness in promoting hair growth beyond the placebo effect.
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Solution #2: Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to treat various skin and scalp conditions, including oily scalp. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the pH of the scalp and hair, which can reduce the production of sebum and promote a healthy scalp environment. To use apple cider vinegar as a rinse, mix one part vinegar with two parts water and apply it to your hair after shampooing. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out thoroughly.

Organic Non-GMO Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Certified organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Non-GMO Project Certified
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 2x 34 fl oz / 2x 1006 mL
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💬 What Customers Say About This Apple Cider Vinegar
👍 Pros:
  • Health Benefits: Significant health improvements were noted, including reduced fruit consumption and normalized blood glucose levels, after incorporating apple cider vinegar into one’s diet, emphasizing the health benefits of vinegar.
  • Quality and Value: The quality and value of the products are highly appreciated, especially for being organic and including “the mother” in apple cider vinegar, which denotes high quality.
  • Packaging: Secure packaging, particularly for glass bottles, ensures the product arrives without leaks or damage, receiving positive feedback.
  • Versatility: Vinegar is celebrated for its versatility, proving great not just for health benefits but also for cleaning purposes, with several reviewers mentioning its efficacy in tasks like declogging drains and removing built-up minerals.
👎 Cons:
  • Potency and Taste: Some found the apple cider vinegar too strong when not diluted properly and cautioned about the potential risk to tooth enamel, suggesting the use of a straw during consumption.
  • Preference for Smaller Quantities: There was a desire expressed for the option to purchase a single bottle instead of a multipack, indicating a preference for smaller quantities or trial sizes for those new to the product.
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Solution #3: Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove buildup from the scalp and hair, which can help to reduce the production of sebum and improve the overall health of the scalp. Clarifying shampoos can be harsh on the hair, so it’s important to choose a gentle, vegan formula.

Charcoal & Bergamot Detox Clarifying Shampoo

Love Beauty And Planet
  • Removes excess dirt and oil, leaving your hair and scalp ultra clean
  • 93% naturally derived
  • No parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicone or dye
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 13.5 fl oz / 400 mL
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💬 What Customers Say About This Shampoo
👍 Pros:
  • Effectiveness and Feel: Many customers report satisfaction with the clarifying ability of the shampoo, mentioning that it leaves their hair feeling soft, manageable, and thoroughly cleaned without stripping moisture.
  • Scent: The mild bergamot scent is highlighted positively, described as nice, clean, and pleasant by several reviewers. The smell is appreciated for being good without being overpowering.
  • Design and Quality: The attractive design of the bottle is noted, along with the quality of the shampoo itself. Customers are pleased with the plant-based formula, emphasizing the absence of harmful sulfates.
  • Value: The price point is mentioned favorably, with customers feeling that the product offers great value for its cost. The size of the bottle in relation to the price is seen as a good deal.
👎 Cons:
  • Sudsing: A drawback noted by one customer is the shampoo’s lack of lather during the first application, requiring a second shampoo for satisfactory suds. This could imply a need for more product per wash than expected.
  • Sealing and Packaging: An issue highlighted by a customer outside the United States involves the packaging; the shampoo bottle was not sealed properly, leading to leakage during transit and potential mess in storage, such as in a swim bag.
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Degrease Clarifying Shampoo for Oily Hair

Maple Holistics
  • Cleanses hair and scalp's oiliness and grease, providing the necessary nourishment to help mitigate buildup
  • Removes impurities, get excess oils and flakes off your scalp, and improve scalp wellness
  • Made with Jojoba, rosemary, lemon and cypress oils
  • No sulfates
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 16 fl oz / 473 mL
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💬 What Customers Say About This Shampoo
👍 Pros:
  • Effective Oil Control: Customers highlight the shampoo’s effectiveness in degreasing oily hair and scalp without removing essential moisture. This leads to an extension of time between washings, with many appreciating the product’s performance in fulfilling its purpose.
  • Scent: The smell of the shampoo receives positive comments for not being overly fragrant or flowery, which is preferred by customers looking for a clean scent.
  • Hair and Scalp Health: Several reviews mention improvements in hair and scalp health, including reduced itchiness and eczema, and the prevention of hair thinning. The product is valued for its gentle yet thorough cleansing properties.
  • Ingredients: The shampoo’s formulation, free from harmful sulfates and suited for sensitive skin conditions like eczema, is praised. Key ingredients like rosemary and tea tree are mentioned as beneficial for scalp health.
  • Packaging and Value: Some customers express satisfaction with the product’s size and price, noting it as a good value, especially considering its effectiveness and the amount needed for each use.
👎 Cons:
  • Potential Dryness: A few customers note that while the shampoo is effective at oil control, it may leave the hair feeling somewhat dry, suggesting the need for a complementary conditioner to maintain moisture balance.
  • Packaging Size Perception: One review indicates that the product’s bottle appears larger in pictures than in reality, which could set incorrect expectations regarding the size of the product received.
  • Price Concerns: While many find the shampoo worth its cost due to its benefits, there are mentions of the price being on the higher side, especially when comparing to other brands available in health food stores or online.
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Solution #4: Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a great option for those who want to extend the time between washes without making their hair look oily. Dry shampoo works by absorbing excess oil from the scalp and hair, leaving it looking clean and refreshed.

Lavender and Clary Sage Dry Shampoo

Lulu Organics
  • Soaks up oil at the scalp and removes excess dirt, leaving your hair looking and smelling as fresh as a day-1 wash
  • Clean aroma of lavender, perfectly partnered with clary sage
  • No talc, parabens
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 4 oz / 113 g
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💬 What Customers Say About This Shampoo
👍 Pros:
  • Eco-Friendly and Effective: Customers love the eco-friendly packaging and the product’s effectiveness in absorbing oil, making it an excellent alternative to aerosol versions. Many appreciate the generous amount of product provided, noting it lasts much longer than aerosol counterparts.
  • Pleasant Scents: Various scents like Jasmine, Patchouli and Lavender, and Rose Musk receive positive feedback for being subtle and nice. Customers also appreciate that these scents are not overpowering.
  • Ease of Use: Though there is a learning curve, users find the product easy to use once they get the hang of it. Tips for avoiding a white cast on darker hair are shared, such as applying the powder to hands first before distributing it through hair.
  • Value for Money: Many reviewers highlight the product’s value for money, pointing out how long a single bottle can last even with daily use.
  • Versatility: Users mention the dry shampoo works well even on gym days, extending the time between washes and providing a little volume.
👎 Cons:
  • Application Technique Required: Some users find the powder can be tricky to apply evenly, with a few noting it can pour out too quickly or leave a white cast if not applied carefully.
  • Variability in Effectiveness: A few reviews indicate that the product’s effectiveness may have changed over time or varies between scents, with some users feeling it doesn’t absorb oil as well as previous formulas.
  • Potential for Hair Feeling Worse: A minority of users feel that the product can make their hair feel greasier or chalkier, suggesting it might not work well for all hair types or in combination with certain hair products.
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Solution #5: Scalp Serums

Scalp serums are designed to nourish the scalp and promote healthy hair growth, while also reducing the production of sebum. Look for vegan scalp serums that contain natural ingredients such as aloe vera, witch hazel, and peppermint oil.

Pure Aloe Vera Oil

  • 100% pure aloe vera oil
  • Non-GMO
  • Cruelty-free, vegan
  • 3.4 fl oz / 100 mL
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💬 What Customers Say About This Oil
👍 Pros:
  • Quality and Purity: The oil is praised for its quality, with many customers appreciating its purity and the difference it makes, especially for skin problems. It is described as light, almost clear, and very useful for various applications.
  • Softness and Moisturization: Reviewers frequently mention the product’s effectiveness in making their skin and hair soft and smooth. It is particularly noted for its hydrating properties, soothing irritated skin, and providing a refreshing feeling.
  • Value: Many users find the oil to be a good value for the money, highlighting its lasting duration, especially when stored in the fridge, and the adequate amount provided in each bottle.
  • Versatility: Customers appreciate the versatility of the oil, using it for facial care, hair care routines, and even after shaving to soothe the skin. It is effective both by itself and when mixed with other products like clay powder or essential oils.
  • Scent: While the scent opinions vary, the product is available in unscented options or with subtle, pleasing fragrances like Jasmine, Patchouli, and Lavender, and Rose Musk. It has been reported to receive compliments for making hair smell good.
👎 Cons:
  • Scent Issue: Some customers complain about the product smelling like old cooking oil, indicating a potential inconsistency in the freshness or quality of the oil in certain batches.
  • Packaging Concerns: A few reviews suggest that the oil can be difficult to dispense in controlled amounts due to the packaging design, potentially leading to waste or overapplication.
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Scalp Treatment with Tea Tree & Witch Hazel

Yes To
  • Relieves itchiness and balances even the most delicate scalp
  • Witch Hazel to soothe, sage oil to help balance, and apple cider vinegar to help clarify and remove build up from the scalp
  • No parabens, SLS or silicones
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 3 fl oz / 88.7 mL
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💬 What Customers Say About This Scalp Treatment
👍 Pros:
  • Effectiveness: Many users find the product effective in soothing their scalp, reducing pimples, sores, and providing relief for dry or flaky patches. It is especially praised for its ability to make most of the scalp feel good, indicating its usefulness in addressing scalp issues.
  • Ingredients: The positive remarks about the product’s ingredients suggest that it contains beneficial components that contribute to its effectiveness in treating scalp problems.
  • Scent: Some users appreciate the product’s scent, implying that it has a pleasing aroma that contributes to the overall positive experience of using it.
  • Ease of Use: The product is described as easy to apply, which is a significant advantage for users looking for a hassle-free solution to scalp problems.
👎 Cons:
  • Packaging Issues: Some reviews mention problems with the product being leaky and difficulties in application, especially for those with thick hair. The built-in comb applicator does not effectively reach the scalp for users with very thick hair.
  • Mixed Results: While many users report positive outcomes, some note that the product did not provide enough relief for their specific conditions, such as psoriasis, or did not significantly improve dry or flaky scalp issues.
  • Usage Frequency: A user mentioned the need to use the product three times a week to prevent flakes from returning, suggesting that regular application is necessary for sustained benefits.
  • Product Quantity: Concerns are raised about the quantity of the product, with one user noting that even sparing use seemed to deplete the tube quickly, making it less cost-effective for those with extensive scalp issues.
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Solution #6: DIY Remedies

There are several DIY remedies that can help to treat oily scalp using natural ingredients found in your kitchen. For example, a mixture of lemon juice and water can help to reduce the production of sebum and promote a healthy scalp environment. Simply mix equal parts lemon juice and water and apply it to your scalp before shampooing. Another option is to use a mixture of baking soda and water as a natural clarifying shampoo.

Organic & Pure Lemon Juice

Santa Cruz
  • 100% pure organic lemon juice (no sugar)
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Non-GMO Verified (Non-GMO Project)
  • Vegan
  • 32 fl oz / 946 mL
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💬 What Customers Say About This Lemon Juice
👍 Pros:
  • Ease of Use: Many customers appreciate the convenience of using this bottled lemon juice over squeezing fresh lemons, highlighting its ease of use in various culinary applications.
  • Taste: The product is praised for its wonderful taste, with users noting its natural lemon flavor that enhances beverages, cooking, and baking.
  • Quality and Organic: Customers are pleased with the organic quality of the juice, valuing the absence of additives and the use of organic lemons, which contribute to the product’s overall purity and healthiness.
  • Packaging: The juice coming in a glass bottle is a significant plus for many users, who prefer glass over plastic for health and environmental reasons. The packaging also receives compliments for its safety and effectiveness in preventing leaks during shipping.
👎 Cons:
  • Freshness Issues: Some users report problems with the product’s freshness, mentioning that the juice spoiled quickly or that the seal was inadequate, leading to spoilage within days of opening.
  • Value and Price Concerns: There are mixed opinions regarding the juice’s value, with some customers feeling it’s too expensive despite its quality and convenience.
  • Packaging Flaws: Despite overall satisfaction with the glass bottle, there are reports of inadequate packaging leading to broken bottles upon delivery, suggesting improvements could be made in how the product is shipped.
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Other Tips

In addition to using the right hair products, there are several other tips to help manage oily scalp.

  1. Avoid using too much heat on your hair, as this can dry out the scalp and cause it to produce more oil.
  2. Avoid using too much styling products, as these can also contribute to oily scalp.
  3. Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support healthy hair and scalp, such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
  4. Make sure to keep your hair clean by washing it regularly, but not too often, as over-washing can also lead to oily scalp.

It’s important to note that while these vegan hair products can be effective in treating oily scalp, they may not work for everyone. If you have severe or persistent oily scalp, it’s important to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment.


In conclusion, oily scalp is a common hair condition that can be managed with the right hair care routine and vegan hair products. Shampoos with tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar rinse, clarifying shampoos, dry shampoo, scalp serums, and DIY remedies can all be effective in reducing the production of sebum and promoting a healthy scalp environment. By incorporating these products into your hair care routine and following healthy hair and scalp practices, you can effectively manage oily scalp and promote healthy, beautiful hair.

Even if well-documented and carefully written, this content should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Consult a qualified health care provider before making any health care decisions about any specific medical condition.

Amie A.

With a pen in my wand and a hairbrush as my scepter, I craft tales as captivating as my coiffures. Words and hair do more than just impress – they inspire in a style that's my own.

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