If your hair is limp and greasy 24 hours after washing it, you probably suffer from oily hair. With thousands of shampoos, conditioners, hair products and natural remedies, it’s hard to choose a regimen that will keep the grease at bay. Most conditioners are laden with heavy moisturizers that can spell disaster for oily hair, and hair products can irritate the scalp and cause even more grease. What’s an oily hair sufferer to do? Read on for some suggestions that will have your tresses in tip-top shape in no time!
What Causes Oily Hair
Before you can treat oily hair, you need to have a better understanding of what causes it. All greasy hair is not created equal. Some people have a grease problem from their scalps to the ends of their hair, while others have an oily scalp and dry hair.
There are a variety of reasons that hair can become oily:
- Genetics can play a big part in what type of hair you have. People with balding or thinning hair tend to have oily hair as well.
- Some people have perfectly normal hair, but use the wrong products for their hair type. Chemicals in some hair products can cause waxy buildup and make hair seem greasy. Using too much styling product can stress out the scalp and cause greasiness.
- Sometimes the issue is simply not shampooing enough. Even hair that is dry can become limp and greasy from a lack of washing.
- Some studies show that spending time around cigarette smoke and other pollutants can cause an increase in the scalp’s oil production. It’s believed that the body tries to protect the skin on the scalp by producing excess oil. Avoiding smoky rooms and other heavily polluted places or wearing a hat or scarf in those environments can help curb oil overload.
- Sweating can cause oil glands to overproduce.
- Hormones can throw the body’s chemistry out of whack and cause greasy hair. Most people notice an increase in greasiness during puberty and many women report the same during menstruation or menopause.
- Short, thin hair is more likely to be oily. Greasy hair occurs less in those with curly and long hair because the oils have a harder time working down the hair shaft.
How to Choose the Right Shampoo and Technique
Experts agree that a clarifying shampoo or special oil reducing shampoo works best. They also advise against using conditioners on the scalp area. Below you can find the best shampoo for oily hair:
There are two schools of thought when it comes to how often to shampoo oily hair. The first says to shampoo daily to remove oil and hair products that can cause oil glands to go into overdrive. The second says to shampoo every other day or less frequently, because shampooing everyday will stimulate oil glands. The jury is out as to which method works better – try both ways and see what works for you.
Stylists recommend washing hair in cool or lukewarm water. Hot water can encourage oil glands to increase production and exacerbate your problem. Concentrate shampooing efforts on the scalp. Be sure to use an appropriate shampoo on your lower locks if you have oily scalp and dry hair. To avoid transferring scalp oil to the hair, don’t pile your hair on top of your head. Gently massage your scalp when you’re shampooing; too much stimulation of the scalp can lead to an increase in oil production. Comb conditioner two inches away from the scalp to the ends of your hair. If hair is super oily, only condition the ends. There are special conditioners for oily hair, but they should be used very sparingly. Be sure to rinse with cool water to cut down on oil production. In between shampoos, use a dry shampoo to give your hair a lift and minimize oiliness.
- Don’t brush your hair more than is absolutely necessary. Brushing can stimulate oil follicles on your scalp and cause them to produce even more oil. Oil can also transfer to brushes and combs and be redistributed throughout the hair.
- Wear your hair off of your face and ditch the bangs. Oils from your hair can transfer to your face and vice versa causing issues with acne.
- How you style your hair can help. Style your hair in sleek styles with neat lines. Layers can help add volume and body to limp tresses. Choose a style that doesn’t require the use of a lot of hair products as many styling products irritate the scalp and cause an increase in oil production.
- Chemically processing your hair can help minimize greasiness. Perms, color and straightening treatments all add a slight lift to the hair and rough up surface of the hair shaft, which makes it more difficult for oil to coat the hair shaft.
- Zinc and Evening Primrose Oil supplements have been successful remedies for oily hair for some people. Some studies show the homeopathic remedy phosphoric acid can help as well.
- Wash or change your pillowcase often. At night, oils from the hair can rub off onto your pillowcase and then transfer back to your hair. Frequently wash your combs, brushes, hair accessories and hats as they can collect oil from the scalp and transfer it back onto your hair.
- The link between diet and excess oil production has been known for quite some time. Cutting down on processed foods, sugar, and refined flours has helped in certain cases.
- If you’ve tried everything, a visit to your doctor may be in order. Severely greasy hair that doesn’t respond to treatment can be a symptom of a hormonal disorder. Your doctor can perform tests and, if necessary, direct you to a specialist.
Oily, limp hair doesn’t have to be a permanent issue. Using the tips and remedies in this article just might be your ticket to healthier hair.