Oily Hair Care Tips

A good hair day isn’t something everyone is blessed with often. We cherish it whenever we can get one, of course. But once it’s over, waking up the next day, noticing that your hair has gone back to its usual greasy state, can be quite a downer. Well, if you’re the kind of person who has more need-dry-shampoo-every-three-hours days than good hair days, you’re in the right place.

Having to wash your hair almost every day can be quite troublesome - but may feel necessary for people who have oily hair. Your skin, including your scalp, is covered with sebaceous glands. These glands produce an oily substance called sebum, which protects your skin and keeps it lubricated. Too much sebum production can cause your hair to feel oily, greasy and heavy. Sometimes it can even be accompanied by dandruff. But just washing your hair over and over again isn’t the solution (and sometimes it is a cause for oily hair!). Let’s first look at what could be causing your hair to feel oily.

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  1. Causes of oily hair
  2. Ways to manage oily hair

Causes of oily hair

Wrong hair care can cause oily hair

When you go into the beauty section of the store, you know there are a million different options to choose from. It’s understandable to find this frustrating - buying a shampoo shouldn’t be that hard. But don’t give up and pick up the first thing you see. Using products that aren’t meant for oily hair could be making your situation even worse. For example, using a creamy or moisturising shampoo would result in even more oiliness.


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Overbrushing can cause oily hair

Have you ever noticed that the more you comb, the shinier your hair becomes? Brushing your hair stimulates the sebaceous glands present on the scalp. If you’re brushing more than required, the sebum production may increase and your hair could start feeling greasy within a few hours of washing it. It can even cause hair loss and hair breakage.

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Oily hair as a result of using dirty hair tools

Managing your hair and experimenting with its look has gotten a lot easier with so many hair tools available in the market. But just like with your makeup, you need to care properly for the tools you use for your hair. Using an unclean hairbrush or hair straightener could be adding to your hair’s greasiness if they’re transferring oil and dirt to your hair. Make sure you clean your tools before use and after. Straightening your hair too often may also make it seem like it’s more oily as it lays flatter than usual.

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Washing your hair too often can make it oily

It’s a vicious cycle - you may think that oily hair means it’s time for a hair wash, but washing your hair too often can also cause it to become more oily. When you shampoo your hair, the process strips your scalp of dirt and sebum. This pushes the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum to replace what was lost.

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Overuse of hair products can cause oily hair

Like with hair tools, we also have so many hair products to choose from now. The job doesn’t end at applying oil, shampoo and conditioner. No, you have hair serums, hair creams, hairsprays and mousses. Oh, and hair mists, because who doesn’t want their hair to smell amazing? Well, all of these products come with a downside. Using too many of them, or too often, can cause them to buildup in your hair and cause more greasiness. Limit the use or use ones that don’t cause your hair to become so heavy with excess oil.

Hormonal changes can make hair oily

Oily hair and oily skin often go hand-in-hand and the cause behind them can sometimes be hormonal. A fluctuation in the levels of androgens, a type of hormone in the body, can lead to an increase in sebum production. A fluctuation like this can occur during puberty (which is why acne often shows up then), before menstruation, during pregnancy and around menopause.

Effects of environment and weather on hair

The summer season has a tendency to make your hair greasier. It’s possible for your hair to be very easily influenced by the moisture levels in its environment. If it’s too dry, your scalp will feel dry and, in turn, the sebaceous glands will start producing more sebum to make up for it. Also, the heat can make sebum mix with sweat and move down your hair, giving an overall appearance of oily hair - rather than being restricted to an oily scalp.

Touching your hair too much can make hair oily

It may be a nervous tick or a force of habit or even a flirting technique. But many of us are guilty of touching our hair unnecessarily during the day. Our hands can easily transfer dirt and oil to the hair, which causes it to become more oily. So keep your hand out of the way as much as possible and try a new flirting technique that works better for your hair.

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Ways to manage oily hair

Finding the right balance of sebum production is hard, given that so many factors can influence it. From family history to washing your hair too often, there are many things that could be working against you. But getting your hair to become less oily is possible, with a few adjustments in your routine. Here’s where to start:

  • Leave your shampoo in for a little bit longer to do its job of detaching the oil and dirt from your hair and scalp.
  • Use conditioner the right way, by applying it only to the ends and not at the root, as the roots already have sebum to lubricate it. If you have extremely oily hair, you can even skip conditioner altogether. 
  • Brush your hair as required or when styling it and not for a fixed amount of time every day.
  • Use products that are specially formulated for oily hair so you can provide targetted care for your locks. These may actually help by reducing sebum production. Most e-commerce websites will have a separate section according to hair type if your local store doesn’t carry that many options. 
  • Don’t get on to the all-natural trend. We know there are many organic options these days and they may seem tempting. You might even think you’re doing your hair a favour. But some chemicals like sulphates present in shampoos can actually help remove excess oil and dirt from your scalp. Those natural products may be okay for people with dry hair but they may not work as well for you.
  • Take a break from hair tools like dryers and straighteners. After a hair wash, let your hair dry naturally instead.
  • You can turn to dry shampoo if you’re in a real fix. And if you don’t have one, dab a little bit of talcum powder at the roots instead. It’ll help absorb the oil and give a matte look. Run your hands through your hair and it won’t be noticeable after a minute or two. 

If you wish to try home remedies for oily hair, you can give witch hazel or green tea a try. Use of shampoos that contain tea tree oillemon or vinegar may also be helpful.

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