Oil-Based Shampoos: Do You Need One?

Shampoos infused with oils may seem contradictory. After all, you’re trying to remove the oil from your hair, not add more. However, these products aren’t meant to make your hair oily (in fact, they don’t). If you’ve ever slathered coconut or olive oil on your strands for some DIY deep conditioning, you know the super smooth, transformative effect it has on your hair. Think of these shampoos as a lighter, everyday version of that. Here, Jasmine Anna Galazka, artistic educator for Kérastase and stylist at Warren Tricomi Salon at The Plaza Hotel in New York City tells us more.

What they are: Oil-based shampoos contain oils that penetrate the hair shaft to help repair the internal structure of the hair while simultaneously cleansing it. “They are great for hair that feels depleted, has heat damage, or just overall feels dry, brittle and weak,” says Galazka.

Who should use them: Galazka says oil-based shampoos are the ultimate luxury in hair care and can be used on all hair types. “The products are water-soluble, which means the oil doesn’t stay in the hair, but rather it comes right out. They also don’t have silicone in them, which is what makes hair appear greasy and heavy,” she adds. “I also highly recommend oil-based shampoos to clients who color their hair frequently or double-process, or if they have gone through an intense coloring of their hair, either from brunette to blond or vice versa.”

Galazka’s product of choice? Kérastase Bain Elixir Ultime Shampoo ($42), which she says is incredibly rejuvenating, silicone-free and water-soluble, and can be used on all hair textures, even fine hair.