You wash your hair every morning. But as dusk falls, your scalp turns greasy! Is that true? We get you.
Oily hair is a common concern among many Indians. Very often, it is not just the feeling of grease that can be annoying, but also the itchiness, dandruff and other concerns that an oily scalp brings with it. Thus, we have put together remedies to help you maintain a healthy and oil-free scalp. Read on.
Causes Of Oily Scalp And Hair
An oily scalp is the result of overactive sebaceous glands. Your scalp contains tiny pores beneath which lies the sebaceous glands. They produce a natural oil called sebum.
Sebum is vital to maintain a healthy scalp and hair. But sometimes, certain factors may contribute to an overproduction of sebum in your skin/scalp, making your hair greasy. These factors may be internal or external.
Let’s take a look at what can possibly contribute to an oily scalp:
1. Internal Factors
Your genes play a major role in determining whether or not you will have an oily scalp. If your immediate family members have oily scalps/skin, there is a possibility that you may have it as well.
2. External Factors
A. Washing your hair too often/scrubbing hard
Washing your hair too hard/often can contribute to the eradication of your protective barrier. This may result in an overproduction of oil by your sebaceous glands in an attempt to keep your scalp hydrated.
Your diet may have a role to play here as well. Eating high-carb diets have been linked to oily skin and scalps.
If your stress levels are high, chances are that your sebaceous-gland activity may increase. This may cause your scalp to get oily.
D. Hair care products
Using harsh hair care products may damage your scalp’s protective barrier. This may result in the loss of essential oils, causing your sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum.
How To Treat An Oily Scalp And Greasy Hair?
1. Keep a track of how frequently you wash your hair
The frequency at which you wash your hair is a key factor in determining how oily your scalp can get.
Paying attention to the cause of your oily scalp is important to determine how often you should wash your hair. If you’ve always had oily hair and a greasy scalp, it’s probably genetic. If you have developed it over the years, external factors are probably contributing to it.
If you don’t wash/clean your scalp regularly
Keeping your scalp clean and removing excess oil is important to get rid of that grease. Shampooing your hair helps remove excess oil and debris. It keeps your scalp clean and promotes healthy hair. Wash your hair at least 3 times a week to keep it clean and oil-free.
If you wash your hair too often
If you’re somebody who washes your hair too often, there is a possibility that over-washing is causing your scalp to feel oily. Shampooing your hair too often can strip away essential oils and moisture from your scalp. This may cause your sebaceous glands to overproduce oil to makeup for a dehydrated scalp.
2. Shampoo properly
Sometimes we may take washing our hair for granted. Just rubbing-in some shampoo isn’t enough. Shampoo removes unwanted dirt and debris from your hair. It also takes out excess oil from your scalp.
What is the right way to shampoo?
More often than not, you’d have the instructions given on the bottle of your shampoo.
- Take a small amount of shampoo and massage it into your scalp.
- Avoid scrubbing with your nails. It can eradicate your skin barrier, causing a loss of oils and moisture.
- Stick to applying your shampoo to your scalp only. The ends of your hair will receive it while you rinse it off.
3. Condition your hair properly
Using too much conditioner on your hair may result in a product build-up. This can cause your hair to feel more greasy and heavy. Use as much conditioner as recommended on the product bottle.
4. Invest in products that are meant for oil-free scalp and hair
There are products available in the market that specifically target oily scalps. Just like your skin, your hair is unique. Invest in products that address your hair concerns.
Look for shampoos that contain these ingredients if you have oily scalp:
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Selenium sulfide
- Sodium sulfacetamide
5. Clean your brushes regularly
The grease and dirt that gets onto your brush when you use it on your hair has to be cleaned. Your brush may also carry product residue on it. When you use the same brush on your hair, you’re basically just adding excess grease and dirt to your scalp.
6. Don’t scrub or brush too hard
Scrubbing or brushing too hard can damage your scalp’s protective layer that locks-in moisture and essential oils. This may strip away your scalp’s natural oils, causing your sebaceous glands to overproduce oil. It can contribute to a greasy scalp and hair.
7. Rinse thoroughly
You don’t want any product build-up to take place. Not washing your hair thoroughly after you shampoo or condition it can cause your hair to feel extra heavy.
8. Avoid using heavy products like leave-in conditioners
These will cause your scalp to feel heavy and greasy. You don’t need extra moisture with an oily scalp. Avoid anything that will weigh your hair down or cause it to feel heavy.
9. Wash your hair post work-out
Your scalp may feel too sweaty after a good exercise. This sweat that has been accumulated on your hair and scalp can cause it to feel extra greasy and can be quite annoying. Make it a point to wash your hair with shampoo after your work-outs.
10. Avoid using styling products (the ones that use heat)
Heat produced from styling products can cause a considerable amount of damage to your hair. They not only cause breakage but can strip away essential oils from your hair in the long run. This can cause your scalp to overproduce oil again, making your hair greasy and feeling heavy.
Home Remedies For Greasy Scalp
1. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that can help you maintain a healthy scalp. It also reduces dandruff and greasiness (1). Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo. Massage into your hair and rinse off thoroughly.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can prove to be useful in reducing product build-up. Every time you condition your hair, a thin layer of the product coats your hair shaft. This is what gives your hair the soft, frizz-free texture that is easy to style.
However, too much conditioner can sometimes weigh your hair down and cause it to fall flat. This makes it feel extra greasy and heavy. Apple cider vinegar is effective in removing product build-up, balancing the pH levels of your scalp and reducing frizz.
3. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is extremely useful to get rid of grease on your scalp and hair. This ingredient can help close oil-producing pores and relieve your scalp of itchiness (2).
If you have a sensitive scalp, witch hazel may be a good option for you (3). However, always conduct a patch-test before applying anything to your skin/scalp.
4. Green tea
Other Conditions Linked To An Oily Scalp
1. Seborrheic dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as dandruff, tends to occur in those parts of your scalp with many oil glands. The condition results in a flaky and itchy scalp. Although not a serious condition, seborrheic dermatitis can be quite annoying.
2. Forehead acne
Forehead acne may be the result of an oily scalp. The oil on your scalp may get transferred onto your forehead via your hair strands. This may clog your pores and lead to the development of acne.
When To See Your Doctor?
If you have tried these remedies and did not notice any major improvement, talk to your dermatologist about it. He may recommend a medicated shampoo, specifically meant to regulate the production of sebum on your scalp.
- Using too much heat on your hair can damage it and cause it to get more greasy.
- Taking hot showers, dirty brushes and not cleaning your scalp properly can contribute to the grease.
- Tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and green tea can help reduce the grease on your scalp and hair.
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