How to Get Rid of Oily, Greasy Hair for Good
If you’ve always suffered with oily hair there are things that you can do to improve its texture and with some tried and tested advice you will banish that greasy look forever.
It’s purely about understanding what causes your oily hair and taking steps to deal with each issue.
Take our advice in this useful article and start the road to beautiful, oil-free hair that shines without the grease!
What Causes Oily Hair?
Do you know what really causes your oily hair or have you just accepted it as a part of life?
Well actually, there are lots of factors combined that cause oily hair and understanding what they are is the first step in dealing with your condition. Let’s explore the causes in a little more detail:
1. Chronic Greasy Skin
If you suffer from spotty, pimply skin on your face, neck and back then your body secretes excessive sebum. Sebum is the body’s natural oil and comes from the sebaceous glands.
However, too much of it leaves a greasy residue that clogs up the pores in skin and also your hair follicles. There are plenty of tips on how to control sebum production, more on that later.
2. Hormone Imbalance
Maybe your hair has always been normal and all of a sudden it has changed to greasy locks!
This is more than likely due to a hormonal imbalance and happens during puberty, pregnancy, post-pregnancy and menopause. Hormones go haywire during these times particularly due to a significant increase in the hormone progesterone. Now, the important thing to remember here is that your hormones will re-balance out eventually and this varies from person to person.
In the meantime it’s important to control your oily hair and it can be done. Remember, hormone imbalance also occurs during periods of stress so you might find your hair gets excessively greasy when you’re anxious. As soon as your life calms down, so should the excess sebum production.
3. Poor Diet
What you put into your body shows on your face and also on your hair! If you feed your body the wrong types of food, for example “bad” carbs, lots of fat, refined sugar and lactose then your body won’t receive the right types of vitamins or anti-oxidants.
Fat, sugar and bad carbs increase oil production and they are also mild toxins so add to clogging up pores and hair follicles. This one is easy to rectify with a healthy diet full of goodness; green vegetables, colourful fruit, lean meat and fresh fish, more on that later.
4. Poor Personal Hygiene
No one needs to tell you that if you don’t wash properly your hair will suffer. Poor personal hygiene is
an obvious cause of greasy hair.
If you don’t clean yourself, dirt, grease and oil builds up – the result? Lank, limp, oily hair – and pimply skin not to mention body odor! You should bathe daily and wash your hair regularly.
5. Wearing Headgear
We’re referring to hats and helmets. It’s amazing how easy it is to remember to keep these clean.
Look at it like this; if you don’t wash your hats regularly then when you put one on, you’re just constantly re-loading your hair up with grease and oil that’s left on it. The same applies to helmets. So wipe clean your helmet and wash your hats regularly!
6. Dirty Hairbrushes
Hairbrushes harbour all sorts of germs and they also cling onto oil and grease. If you’ve just washed your hair and then you brush it with a dirty hairbrush, guess what? You’re re-applying that oil all over again.
The best thing to do is to wash your brush weekly, remove all the hair and wash in a mild shampoo. Rinse it thoroughly and leave it to air-dry.
The environment affects your hair so, if you live in humid conditions, for example extreme moist heat or a dry but damp climate then your hair will suffer. This is a tough one to deal with but using the right products, keeping good personal hygiene and eating well will go a long way to combat sweating and oil production.
Equally, hair straighteners add to oil production for a few reasons, firstly they are rarely wiped clean so cling onto oil from previous use and also many of them emit a keratin smoothing mechanism which supposedly adds sheen but also creates greasiness. Lay off heated stylers if you can.
8. Bad Hair Washing
You might think you know how to wash your hair but if you suffer from lots of oiliness the chances are you’re not rinsing your hair properly. If you use styling products they build up on your scalp and this encourages flakiness and oiliness. The best thing you can do is wash out your hair properly, rinse, re-rinse and rinse again to make sure all the products are out. When choosing styling products make sure you buy the right ones for your hair type because some of them just aren’t compatible with oily hair – serum is one prime example. It’s oil so don’t apply it to your hair, ever!
What’s Your Oily Hair Type?
Does this sound like a strange question to you? Well actually it is perfectly normal because there are lots of different oily hair types! You need to know which one applies to your type so we’ll make it very easy for you:
#1 Oily Scalp & Oily Hair
This one is easy, your hair simply produces a lot of sebum which clogs up your roots and travels down your hair so it looks flat and dull.
#2 Oily Hair & Itchy Dry Scalp
This is the type of hair that produces excess sebum but also suffers from a dry scalp. The combination of the two results in itchy, flaky skin that gathers on your scalp and travels down hair, often dropping onto your clothing. This itchy, flaky skin is dandruff and with lifestyle changes and the right type of shampoos and conditioners, it can be kept under control.
#3 Oily Scalp, Dry Hair Ends
This type of hair is when you suffer with plenty of oil production on your scalp but the mid to end area of your hair is dry. This is normally down to overheated styling and colouring. You have combination hair type and need to use more conditioner on the middle to ends of your hair while addressing the oil production problem on your scalp.
How To Control & Prevent Oily Hair
- Firstly, take a good look at your diet and eliminate any fats, starches, “bad” carbs and refined sugars. Replace with delicious colourful fruit, lots of green vegetables and plenty of lean protein such as meat, fish and chicken. Protein is excellent for hair because hair is made up of protein. Always drink plenty of water because it flushes out your system so there are no toxins or impurities clogging up hair follicles. We’d recommend 2 liters a day and you should keep a bottle close by you so you remember to take regular sips.
- Bathe daily. There’s no explanation needed here, this is just good, basic hygiene! By the same token, wash your hair regularly but you don’t need to wash it daily, contrary to popular belief. In fact, too much hair-washing can contribute to oil production. You should try to wash it every other day and in between use a quality dry shampoo or talcum powder at the roots. This soaks up excess oil while refreshing your hair and is a must for oily hair!
- Wash your hair properly. This goes without saying. If you’re too slap-dash in the shower you need to take time to really massage and rinse. You don’t need to overload your hair either. Too much shampoo clogs up your hair follicles. Just use a small amount, massage the scalp and let the suds run down the body of your hair. Rinse thoroughly and apply a small amount of conditioner to the ends. Rinse again. If you suffer with bad hair odor never leave your hair damp, this will exacerbate the condition.
- Change your pillowcase and towels regularly, wash your hairbrush, hats and helmets and avoid touching your hair with dirty hands. If you do find yourself touching your hair simply tie it back to remove the temptation!
Use the right haircare products for oily hair
Always use the right products for your hair type, here are some of our favourites:
Tresemme Shampoo Deep Cleanse, Purify and Replenish
We love this because it’s a clarifying shampoo which means it really cleanses deeply removing any styling-product build up. It also leaves hair looking polished, with a natural sheen and no grease. Choose this one if you suffer with clogged hair follicles and you want your hair to feel revitalised, full of body and bounce.
Healthy Hair Plus Oily Hair and Scalp Kit Hair Conditioner & Follicle/Scalp purifier
We like this one because it’s a two pack and both complement each other. The shampoo is deeply cleansing at the root and regulates sebum production. The conditioner is gloriously lightweight. You’ll notice less oil production and plenty of hydration without that heavy feeling. Additionally, if you suffer with a pimply scalp or dandruff this really works.
Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Number Two
This is from hair guru Paul Mitchell and is a thorough, deep cleansing clarifying shampoo designed to get rid of any residue. It cleans hair and scalp delivering plenty of natural sheen and body. As this shampoo is an oil-reducing product, over time sebum production is dramatically reduced so hair normalises.
Use natural, sulphate and paraben free shampoos
We know that some of you prefer to use something a little more natural. Plant-based products are excellent for oily hair. We recommend the following paraben free and sulphate free products, especially for combatting the grease:
Natural First Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo For Oily Hair
This one is chemical, SLS and paraben free made with all-natural organic ingredients. It cleanses the scalp removing any product build up and it contains Eucalyptus oil which has many calming and relaxing properties so it’s a very pleasurable shower-experience.
Desert Essence: Organics Shampoo & Conditioner Lemon
This two-pack contains one Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo and one Lemon Tea Tree Conditioner designed to remove any sebum from your scalp and get rid of product build-up. Refreshing and deep-cleansing it’s a great strengthener plus it protects hair during styling. Use the conditioner to really soften your hair; it’s extremely lightweight so it won’t leave any heaviness.
Use treatments and cleansing
Moroccan Oil Oily Scalp Treatment
This is great to treat your hair once a week and it’s completely coloured safe too. This treatment soothes an irritate scalp and stops it from getting too oily. After shampooing, assage a small amount into the scalp and leave it on your hair for five minutes, preferably wrapped in a towel, then rinse and condition as normal.
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo
For a very deep cleanse once a week use this shampoo which is volumising and gets rid of any styling product build up. It works with your shampoo rather than separately and helps to deliver outstanding, soft and silky hair with no oiliness.
Use styling products
When it comes to styling products, you need to have a serious re-think. Get rid of that serum and only use lightweight products to style your hair. Anything that weighs your hair down won’t help in your quest to banish oily hair forever! Here are some of our favourites:
Boldify Styling Powder
This gives plenty of texture, lift and volume so it’s great for limp, fine and thin hair. Work it carefully into your roots and you’ll see your hair literally double in volume. Oily hair is instantly smoothed and any greasiness banished. This is a great thickener too and additionally, this product contains no parabens so it’s safe to use.
Batiste Dry Shampoo
This is your style saviour and the holy-grail when you want to prolong your hair. Use in-between washes and your hair will look as if you’ve just been to the hairdresser. Apply it for instant removal of grease and oil; it also delivers body and volume. It’s also paraben free so it’s safe.
Pink Sugar Hair Perfume
If you suffer from bad hair odour or you want to revive your hair then this perfume helps it to smell deliciously fresh and clean. It’s sweet without being overpowering and has a sugary, floral fragrance. It’s one of the number one sellers and it’s ideal to keep with you when you’re on the go for an instant re-fresh.
Natural home remedies for oily hair
Your kitchen has a few ingredients that you can use to combat oily hair and you can also visit a homeopathic store to purchase a couple of excellent natural ingredients. Here are a couple of ideas you can try at home:
This is another good ingredient to look out for dealing with for oily hair because it’s a natural astringent. Use it before washing. Apply some to the roots of your hair using a spray bottle. Separate sections of your hair to make sure you cover all the roots. Then leave it on for approximately five minutes. Following that stage, wash your hair as normal and rinse with cool water. Style as normal. Your hair should stay oil free for longer.
Try an egg yolk hair mask which you can make at home and it’s an inexpensive fail-safe method to help reduce greasiness. Take two egg whites and add a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and stir together well. Once you’ve created a thick paste, put it on dry hair and leave it wrapped in a towel for half an hour. Then wash your hair as normal for shiny, strong and oil-free hair. Do this twice a week to see a difference.
Aloe-Vera creates a fabulous rinse for oily hair because it cleanses the scalp and removes impurities. It’s also a natural healer and because it’s so gentle, it won’t aggravate your scalp. For a home-made remedy, just mix a couple of drops of it with two tablespoons of lemon juice and apply it to your hair, massaging into your scalp with your fingers. Then rinse it off and shampoo your hair as usual.
Train Your Hair To Get Rid Of The Grease!
If you wash your hair every day you will encourage oil production because your hair gets used to it. Additionally you will strip hair of its natural moisture (not its oil), so it’s best to wash it every other day and give your hair a break!
It will make a difference. Don’t be put off if you try it and your hair looks greasy on day two, it will get used to your new routine but it might take a few weeks for it to take effect.
The best thing you can do in-between shampoos is use a good quality dry shampoo at the roots or even talcum powder. Put a small amount on and comb it through so it doesn’t clog up or leave a powdery appearance.
You can also experiment with a few hairstyles, for example, tying your hair back tightly and fixing a pretty ribbon. No one would ever know your hair was greasy! Add some hairspray and your natural oil won’t move.
Hairstyles That Work With Oily Hair!
Sometimes oily hair is in fashion – for example, when you go to the beach, how many times have you seen the slicked back look?
Men also sometimes like that “bedhead” look which they achieve when they use a little greasy wax. S
o don’t be frightened of having extra oil, just use the right products to get the most out of it. There are plenty of women out there who find their hair is more manageable after the second or third day.
Something like a French braid, a twist or perhaps even a chignon are great styles for oily hair.