My most common complaint when I am behind the chair, especially during the winter months, is Why is my hair so oily and how can I keep it from looking greasy? Firstly, this is completely normal and most of the time the one suffering from greasy hair isn’t even a dirty or a gross person. The solution can actually be very simple, once you figure out what causes the problem and find a proper oily hair treatment.
An oily substance called sebum is a natural oil that our oil glands produce to protect the hair shaft from drying out and keep our locks healthy. A healthy hair care routine and diet support the correct oil production. However, there are certain practices that may cause glitches in the work of sebaceous glands, making them produce more oil than it’s needed. Excess grease may be also due to not properly cleansing oily scalp and dirt that accumulate in the hair over time from hands, brushes, hats, and hair products we use.
Keep in mind that sebum production is different for every person and hair type. For example, straight and fine hair texture is more prone to getting oily, and greasy hair may show up quicker. Curly hair is naturally drier and the oil the scalp naturally produces finds it hard to move down the hair shaft, eventually causing dry split ends. Thus, be sure that you appreciate scalp oil, but also learn to keep it under control. This is where the tips below can help.
As mentioned above, our scalp produces sebum, our body’s natural oil and form of lubrication. This oil is very good for the hair, it nourishes the scalp and the hair strands. The trick is, if your scalp is very dry it will send a message to produce more oils.
When the scalp is overly dry from over washing or if other scalp conditions are present, it will overproduce oily substance thinking that will solve the problem. But, in your eyes, excess oil means your hair is greasy and you wash more often, which dries your scalp out even more, creating a never-ending cycle. To fight against this, get a good quality hydrating shampoo, and go an extra day before washing. I promise your scalp will readjust over time.
Related Post: How Often Should You Wash Your Hair to Keep it Healthy
Did you know shampoo is mostly meant to cleanse the scalp? First get a small amount, concentrate on your scalp and get a good lather going. If you do not get a good lather, rinse, and repeat; once you have a good lather, go ahead and bring through to the end and rinse completely.
Conditioner is not needed on the root or scalp area for most hair types and a big no for fine or straight hair. If you have a naturally dry texture and curls, you may want a small amount of conditioner on the scalp and root. Leave in about 2-5 minutes and rinse completely. Be advised, any product left in or used excessively will cause oily hair and a greasy scalp feeling.
Also, look for shampoos with ingredients like tea tree oil, thyme extract, and rosemary extract. These balance oil production and thus help you deal with oily hair.
How often do you wash your brush? If you now ask yourself if you should be cleaning your hairbrush at all, you might have found the root of your greasy hair problem. Imagine using a dirty napkin to clean your hands. A dirty brush on clean hair is essentially the same thing.
Your brush should never be shared and should be cleaned at least weekly. Simply remove all the hair from your brush, spray with cleaning alcohol, or soak in a sink with clarifying shampoo or a gentle soap for about 5 minutes.
That being said, make sure that towels and pillowcases that contact your hair are just as clean and fight a nasty habit of touching your hair frequently.
Now, I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers, but did you know most drug store-bought products will leave oily buildup on your hair? It’s true. I know of several drug store brands that use the same ingredients as floor wax. They may really make hair feel amazing and look soft and shiny like a freshly waxed floor. However, since those ingredients are not water-soluble, they will layer on top of your hair even after you shampoo. These products build up and do not wash away until you clarify those products off your greasy strands.
Using many sticky styling products such as wax or hairspray and using too much dry shampoo are well-known contributors to oily scalp and greasy hair, too. If washing your hair with gentle shampoo often leaves you with oily strands, you may want to alternate it with a clarifying shampoo or an apple cider vinegar rinse to be sure it is clear of build-up.
Didn’t I just tell you that dry shampoo may cause greasy hair? Well, if you don’t skip washing your hair or keep layering dry shampoo over oily roots and irritated scalp, it is a great product to use.
Simply spray at the root area in sections where needed, brush or blow dry the product to evenly distribute. Sometimes, I like to spray my root area before I go to bed. This absorbs oils and sweat as I sleep. Once again, be advised, too much will cause dryness and your scalp will produce more oil.
Lastly, I want to mention hormones. They are natural, they are so common, they are also so mean. Especially, for female clients, when we reach a certain age, our bodies go through so many changes (puberty, birth control pills, pregnancy, menopause, to name a few) and we get an influx of hormones and a drop of hormones, those always reflect in our hair, skin and nails. In this instance, be patient with your body. Wash your hair as needed until those hormones can rebalance.
My personal recommendations are to find a salon guaranteed hydrating or moisturizing shampoo, try to extend your shampoo out one more day, and I recommend brushing your scalp at least once daily, to help those natural oils distribute to those beautiful ends and let them do the nourishing they are built to do. You can find even more tips, tricks and hair education on my social media pages @its.jessica.d on Facebook and Instagram.
Featured Image via drobotdean – Freepik