This story was updated in January 2019.
Never have I ever heard, ‘I am a fan of my greasy hair.’ It’s not just about the look; greasy hair is a sign of oily scalp and it can cause dandruff if not taken care of. As someone who also has an oily scalp, I often keep trying treatments (mostly the natural ones) and different lifestyle patterns to keep my scalp healthy. After a lot of experiments, I have come to realise that not all remedies work for everyone. How each solution reacts to your oily scalp depends on the season, your skin and hair type and your lifestyle.
We often hear women talking about their dry hair, but less is spoken about oily hair. Oily hair isn’t just related to the health of your scalp but can also make your locks look flat, limp and lifeless. Yes, it’s pretty annoying, so we’ve rounded up several helpful tips for you and your troubled mane. These are some important points and facts that will definitely help you maintain a healthy scalp and get rid of that greasy hair situation.
Greasy hair is a result of excess sebum secretion by the sebaceous glands on the scalp which create that oily look, itchy scalp and dandruff. An oily scalp can also cause the thinning of hair and disrupt its luster and shine. While other problems can be taken care of, dandruff is the hardest to get rid of. It’s stubborn on an oily scalp and mostly makes close encounters with others more embarrassing and of course, we don’t want that.
Much like the skin on our body, the skin on our scalp also has pores and these pores are connected to the sebaceous glands. These glands secrete a natural oil called sebum. The purpose of sebum is to keep our hair soft, manageable and smooth. However, at times, the glands end up secreting less or excess amounts. Excess amounts of sebum lead to oily scalp and greasy hair.
So what is it that makes sebaceous glands secrete excess sebum? There are a few aspects that can make this happen, such as humidity:
However, out of all the reason, the possibility of having imbalanced doshas is higher.
If you are aware of ayurvedic wellness routines, you already know that for a good and healthy body, your doshas need to be balanced. Balanced doshas are a result of a balanced lifestyle. And they play an important role in the case of an oily scalp, hair fall, dandruff and greasy hair as well.
As per the researches are done by ayurvedic experts, more than half of Indian women are facing excessive hair loss despite the availability of ayurvedic and chemical-induced hair products because of lack of hair growth which is a result of imbalanced doshas.
If you have fine fair, it is because the glands are secreting too much oil but there isn’t enough hair growth to absorb the oil. Curly hair is often too oily at the roots as the sebum doesn’t smoothly travel from root to the tip. On the other hand, straight hair can be very oily from root to tip but the stickiness is balanced as oil travels smoothly on straight strands.
Having greasy hair isn’t just about the messy appearance of your hair, it’s also about hygiene as it attracts dirt and dust to your hair and scalp. Prevention is obviously better than cure and the good news is that there are ways to prevent your hair from becoming greasy. The sebum secretion doesn’t cause hair loss but it can affect the hair growth and it can be controlled. We have listed some oily scalp remedies to prevent and control excess oil production:
What can you do if you’re sick of greasy locks and dandruff every time you touch your scalp? Perpetually greasiness and dandruff can be pretty frustrating, we know. But due to the climate, genes or a certain lifestyle you follow, it can be difficult to avoid. So, here are a few natural oily scalp remedies that will give u healthy, voluminous hair.
1) Consume a balanced diet which includes healthy fats and carbs - The consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is extremely beneficial for your hair health. If your diet includes a high amount of fats and carbs, the sebum secretion increases and if your diet has fewer fats and carbs, the sebum production reduces. But it’s not about reducing fatty acids and carbs, it’s about choosing healthy fats. While on a balanced diet, you need to make sure you choose healthy fats like coconut oil, mustard oil and ghee.
2) Shampoo and condition your hair the right amount - If you wash your hair every day, you need to stop. Shampooing too often is very drying for your strands and in their bid to compensate for this dryness, your glands can go into overdrive, which can lead to excess oil production. Cut down to washing your hair every alternate day instead, ideally, you should wash your hair not more than 2 to 3 times a week.
3) For a quick fix, try dry shampoo - Usually, I would suggest not to rely on dry shampoos too often but if it’s really necessary, you can try a DIY dry shampoo. Mix arrowroot and essential oils and use it as a dry shampoo. Washing is always a better option but when you’re in a hurry a quick dab of this and brushing would work.
4) Egg yolk hair mask - Egg yolks have a high sulphur content and are great for reducing acne and tightening the skin. For hair, sulphur can help reduce dandruff and grease. Not just that, the lecithin and protein in eggs add shine to your hair and strengthens it.
5) Use apple cider vinegar - A naturally grown fungus found on our scalp is called Malassezia. When the production of the fungus increases, scalp gets oily and causes irritation and dandruff. Fortunately, a small amount of apple cider vinegar can kill the fungus and other bacteria. But remember to not use too much of it. Just 2 to 3 teaspoons of ACV in one cup of water will do. You can fill the solution in a spray bottle and use it at least twice or thrice a week.
6) Use tea tree oil - Tea tree oil is known for controlling acne on the skin and it can also control sebum production. You can also use lemon, eucalyptus and bergamot oil.
Whether you’re feeling lazy to wash your hair in winters or are just running late for work, there are always a few interesting ways to get rid of oily hair without using a drop of shampoo. You don’t have to worry about limp hair because these hacks are super easy to follow.
1. Apply baking soda on your hairline and scalp using a makeup brush and dust off the excess. It will sap up all that greasiness.
2. Dry shampoo is always a quick fix. You can carry it anywhere, use it anytime. While spraying dry shampoo, hold it 10 inches away from hair and give it 30 seconds before you use your fingers to spread and massage it. It’ll make your hair look bouncier.
3. Mix a few drops of honey in a cup of water. It doesn’t turn sticky, rather when you apply it to the roots of your hair, it cleanses your strands.
4. Sprinkle some baby powder to the roots of your hair and then massage it. You’ll be amazed at how quick it absorbs all the oiliness.
5. Some apple cider vinegar diluted in water can do wonders.
6. If you are trying to hide the oily roots, go for a deep side parting while styling your hair.
7. Pick up the small sections, spritz them with hairspray and tease with a comb - hold a section straight up and comb in downwards motion. The frizz that you see will settle ones you comb. This is the quickest and easiest way to add volume and a fresh look to your hairstyle.
8. Rinse your hair with lemon juice diluted in water. The alpha hydroxyl acids in it will wipe out dandruff and will make the hair look cleaner.
9. In case you don’t feel like trying any of these, then accessorize your hair like a pro with a headband or headscarf.
Straightening your hair may also lead to an oily scalp as well as greasy and limp hair. Usually, the reason for limp hair after straightening is either incorrect products or because when you straighten your hair, your strands lie flat against the scalp which reduces the air circulation and smoothens the flow of oil on the scalp. Hence, the hair will absorb more oil and sweat.
To avoid this situation, use lighter styling products for your hair. Go for a shampoo that’s made for oily hair. While shampooing, focus on massaging the scalp. After shampooing, you can also use a mixture of one teaspoon white vinegar and one cup of cold water to get rid of the oil and to add shine to your hair.
I, personally prefer to avoid hair styling products and I believe in treating the issues with home remedies rather than using chemical-induced products. I have experimented with some kitchen ingredients to treat oily scalp and greasy hair and here are the ones I have found to be more useful than the others.
1. Fuller’s Earth: Fuller’s earth also known as Multani mitti is a natural absorbent. It does the same for our hair and the excess oil. To make a fuller’s earth pack for your hair, mix 2 tablespoons of Multani mitti with water. Keep the consistency semi-thick and let the paste sit on your hair for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.
2. Aloe Vera: Mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and then add it to your shampoo (one cup). Use it twice a week for the best results.
3. Lemon Juice: Take one cup of lemon juice and dilute it with water. Apply it on your hair and leave it for 15-20 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
4. Lemon Juice and Egg: Separate the yolk from 2 eggs and add lemon juice to it. Apply the mixture on your hair and leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing it off thoroughly with normal water.
5. Black Tea: Add two tablespoons of tea leaves to half a cup of water and bring it to boil. Use the tea water on your hair after straining the tea leaves and wash it off with lukewarm water after a while.
For oily scalp, you will have to make sure you use a light shampoo and wash your hair every alternate day. Do focus on massaging your scalp while shampooing and rinse off for at least 30 seconds to make sure all the products is properly washed off.
Yes, it might sound contradictory to what you may have been hearing, but washing your hair may make your hair drier, sending your sebaceous glands into overdrive. This in itself, will lead to oily hair. Make sure you use a mild shampoo that absorbs excess oil on the scalp without stripping your strands off of necessary moisture.
Price: Rs 635. Buy it here.
One of the major problems with a greasy scalp is that you often have to deal with flat hair. The oil weighs your hair down. The easiest way of dealing with that is by using a dry shampoo. It helps to absorb excess oil and adds life and volume to your dull strands.
Price: Rs 413. Buy it here.
If you are washing your hair every alternate day, it’s important that you provide your hair with some nourishment apart from the conditioner. As your scalp is already oily, you don’t need to keep your oil overnight. Make sure you choose a light oil and apply it just 20 minutes before taking the shower. You can also take essential oils like rosemary and dilute it in water. Jojoba oil, almond oil or coconut oil are also amazing options that are light, nourishing oils with a nice fragrance. The strengthening benefits of oil also help reduce hair fall. We’ve compiled some of the best ones you can add to your basket.
This is tried and tested ladies - mix a few drops of lemon in lukewarm coconut oil. Massage your hair thoroughly and say hello to an oil-free scalp. This home remedy also helps in getting rid of dandruff in a jiffy. It’s a win-win situation!
Price: Rs 650. Buy it here.
Bhringraj hair oil is known for its Vedic recipe. It has black sesame, virgin coconut oil with goat milk and herbal extracts. It encourages hair growth and heals scalp.
Price: Rs 1,295. Buy it here.
So, now that you know everything, go ahead and keep your mane safe!
Images Source: Shutterstock
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