Why Is My Hair Oily?
We’ve all been there: that sinking frustration after trying to wash and style your hair, only to deal with an unmanageable and unsightly oily mess that refuses to collaborate. How and why does hair get so oily? Read on to learn what contributes to greasy hair, and our tips to help you fix the problem.
The first thing to consider is your hair type. Every head is different. But in broad terms, most hair falls under three basic categories based on its texture, quality, and feeling: oily, dry, or normal. Do you know you hair’s pain points? Take our hair quiz to find out!
A Healthy Oily Scalp vs. An Unhealthy Oily Scalp
It's important to note that you have natural oils that protect your hair and are necessary for a healthy scalp. Oily hair, also known as greasy hair (it's the same thing, people), isn't necessarily a bad thing. What we call oil is a substance known as sebum that our bodies produce and secrete through sebaceous glands found throughout the skin, including your scalp. The problem occurs when you have too much oil production because your body is producing too much sebum. This in turn can lead to thin hair and even hair loss. But the good news is that there are a few easy do's and don'ts that will help prevent excess oil buildup in your hair:
Chalk one more up on the negative column for stress, the silent killer and oily hair producer. Stress causes our body to release a hormone called cortisol – also known as the stress hormone. And when cortisol levels are on the rise, the scalp’s sebaceous glands can also increase sebum production, leading to oil buildup.
Brushing your hair can do so much more than style it. Benefits include removing old hair, dead skin cells and chemical products, and stimulating the capillaries of the scalp, which in turn improves blood circulation and the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle. But more importantly, brushing your hair is a great way to distribute oil from the roots to the strands, thus avoiding buildup.
It may be tempting to think that washing your hair with shampoo frequently would help counteract the buildup of oil in your hair and scalp. Dermatologists actually recommend washing your hair once a day if you have overly oily hair, and to use conditioner after every shampoo. However, washing your hair too often is actually one of the most common causes of greasy hair. It tricks your scalp into thinking it’s too dry and devoid of natural oils, which in turn pushes your sebaceous glands into overdrive, triggering a vicious cycle. It's a good idea to consult your dermatologist to learn the right frequency for your hair and scalp. You can also try using a dry shampoo once in a while. True to its name, dry shampoos can help dry out your scalp. Unfortunately, they also dry out your hair, leading to hair damage. Use it sparingly. Don't have dry shampoo? Try baby powder instead!
DO use the right shampoo
Did you know that the hair product you use can affect your scalp's oil production levels? If your hair doesn't get a proper cleanse every time you wash it and you don't nourish it from the inside out, it will release more oil to make up for the lack of nutrients. Lu’s shampoos help you combat oiliness by being gentle on hair and delivering a free-buildup scalp without stripping your hair. They’re designed to protect while deep cleaning hair roots.
Overwashing your hair is an even bigger problem if you're using a shampoo that’s too harsh. And the main offender of a harsh shampoo is an ingredient called sulfates. These are chemicals that are responsible for adding lather and that squeaky-clean feeling when you shampoo and condition your hair. But they're also throwing off your scalp’s balance of natural ingredients and triggering the production of more oil. The good news is that sulfate-free shampoos are available. Lu’s entire line of hair care products is sulfate-free, as well as paraben-, phthalate-, colorant- and cruelty-free. Our patented formula was designed to be kind to your hair and scalp, and to help it retain (or return to) its natural health and strength.
If you have oily hair, chances are you also have oily skin. Therefore, running your fingers through your hair doubles the amount of sebum that your hair is absorbing, not to mention that they are also likely to carry dirt, germs, and other undesirable elements that you’d rather keep away from your head. So, unless you’re using them to style your hair, keep your fingers at bay.
DO watch what you eat
Consuming too much sugar, dairy products, and red meat isn’t conducive to a balanced diet and is likely to bring health problems. And guess what? It will also increase oil production in your scalp. Instead, choosing whole grains, fish, lean meats, leafy green vegetables, and other foods rich in vitamins B and E help regulate the amount of oil produced.
Natural Remedies for Oily Hair
So now you know that your greasy strands are due to a combination of oil secreted by your scalp, oily hair products, stress, and even what you eat. You also know that you have a hair care ally in Lu that will be gentle and won't strip your hair of its natural oils. But there are a few natural remedies that can also help:
Lemon juice is acidic, which makes it amazing at combating greasy. To get rid of excess grease, apply the juice of two lemons (about 10 tablespoons of lemon juice), mixed with a cup of water, to your hair and scalp, and rinse it out with lukewarm water after 10 minutes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another common ingredient that you can use to get rid of excess oil. Just rinse your hair with a mix of one cup of apple cider vinegar in four cups of water.
Aloe vera is a wonderful natural remedy for greasy hair. It can help repair your scalp, and also reduces dandruff, promotes hair health. Mix two tablespoons of aloe vera gel with a few drops of tea tree oil and massage into your scalp. Rinse it off after 15 minutes.
You're likely familiar with what baking soda can do for excess oil and grease. To use it on your scalp, just add two tablespoons of baking soda and mix with water until you form a paste. Rub the paste over your hair and scalp, and wash it off after about 15 minutes.
Essential oils like tea tree oil and rosemary oil help regulate sebum production, which can balance the amount of oil your scalp produces.
Witch hazel is often used to soothe irritated and inflamed skin, and it can be useful to control sebum production and keep your hair less greasy.