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What to Look For

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Because Asian hair is typically very straight, oil from the scalp moves down the hair shafts easily and quickly, resulting in oily hair. To treat this condition, Asian consumers are advised to use clear shampoos rather than heavy, cream-based ones. Products containing fruit acids and natural astringents like rosemary, sage and tea tree oil also help cut oil. Some reliable shampoos for oily hair include: Desert Essence Shampoo, Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo, Phytopanama+ Frequent Use Shampoo and Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo.

Common Pitfalls

When washing Asian hair, shampoo needs to be used properly to be effective. Do not use fingernails when lathering the scalp as this damages the hair. Instead, use the pads of your fingertips. Don't neglect to completely rinse shampoo out of your hair, otherwise you will end up with a dry, sticky, tangled mess. If hair is very oily, skip conditioner or only apply it to the ends of hair. Conditioner added to the scalp will only increase oiliness. Clarifying shampoos can control oil but also strip the hair. Look for products with natural astringents like tea tree oil instead of chemical substitutes.

Where to Buy

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Desert Essence Shampoo, Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo and Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo can all be purchased at The Desert Essence and Suave products are often available in local grocery stores and drugstores as well. The more expensive option, Phytopanama+ Frequent Use Shampoo is available at Ulta stores or through the Ulta website.


Products containing pure plant extracts are more expensive than shampoos with pro-vitamins. Desert Essence Shampoo is an effective, inexpensive shampoo for Asian hair at about $6 a tube. Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo is also reliable and inexpensive at about $3 a bottle. At around $10 a bottle, Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo is still a cost-effective choice for oily hair. A more expensive option is Phytopanama+ Frequent Use Shampoo at about $25 a bottle.