Young woman with oily hair

How to stop Oily hair

Why Is My Hair So Oily?

Let's face it, having oily hair isn't appealing in many ways. Your hair feels heavy, looks flat and is not really appealing to the touch; all this may affect your confidence. It may not come as a surprise that many of us think it's the actual hair that produces the oil when, in fact, it comes from the scalp! 

In the blog, we will explore the ins and outs of oily hair, what we can do for oily hair and the best shampoo for oily hair.


The Basics of Oily Hair

Sebum is the name for natural oils that are produced from the scalp. Our body produces sebum all year round and, depending on multiple factors, can change one's amount of sebum produced. Some people naturally produce more than others. 

There are 2 types of sebaceous glands. One that is attached to hair follicles and one that isn't. 

Sebum comprises wax, cholesterol, fatty acids, glycerides and Squalene. 

When we are born, we start producing sebum, which increases during puberty, which then becomes a normal level during adulthood, and then after age 70, the production begins to slow down.

As gross as sebum sounds, it's to protect, moisturise and remove old skin cells. 

This is why it's important to find a balanced hair care routine and a well-balanced lifestyle. 

A woman with her eyes closed. Oily hair

Why do I have Oily Hair?

An overproduction of sebum is why our hair becomes oily and greasy. This slightly sticky substance binds our hair together, leaving it with a lack of movement. Factors contributing to excess oil production are anything from: 

  • hormones
  • stress
  • diet
  • overwashing
  • weather conditions 
  • wrong type of hair product

As we discuss earlier. the role of the sebaceous glands, which produce the sebum, is to protect our hair and scalp - keeping them moisturised. It also forms a barrier of protection from the elements. There is no reason to eliminate it unless it's being overproduced. When there isn't enough sebum on the hair - the cuticles open and allow moisture to escape. 

Your hair type and Oily hair

There are 4 different hair types

A diagram showing the different hair types 

1 (Straight) - which is separated into 1A, 1B, 1C

2 (Wavy) - 2A, 2B, 2C

3 (Curly) - 3A, 3B, 3C

4 (Kinky) - 4A, 4B, 4C

Straight hair is prone to look greasy due to having no texture for the oil to hold onto and just running along the strand. Kinky hair types tend to be on the drier side and need more hydration due to their porous nature, which affects their ability to hold and retain moisture. 

How to look after your Oily hair

As with skincare, no size fits all - haircare is the same. It's about experimenting and finding the right product for you. Companies do extensive research and formulate what they think is the perfect product to help you, but every formula is different. And it's down to us to see what works for us. 

Our Charcoal & Tea Tree shampoo bars are perfect for rebalancing scalp health and reducing the overproduction of sebum due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Likewise, citrus fruits are great at cutting grease, so our sweet orange or lemon shampoo bars are also fantastic for oily hair. 

A collection of various scented shampoo bars

When selecting hair styling products for oily hair, it's best to avoid certain ingredients that can exacerbate oiliness or weigh down your hair. Here are some ingredients to watch out for: 

  • heavy oils such as coconut oil
  • sulfates
  • silicones
  • waxes and alcohols. 

Keeping all hair tools clean regularly prevents the build-up of products being transferred back onto clean hair. 

Mistakes In Managing Oily Hair

With a whole range of shampoos, it is a minefield on where to start. Being expensive doesn't necessarily mean being the best, either! As a person with straight hair, I tend to fall under the oily hair category, but I've discovered the less you wash, the better. 

Please hear me out! I promise I do wash my hair regularly. Did you know the more you wash and remove the sebum - the more it produces to compensate for the loss? 

So, if you suffer from an oily scalp in the first place, try to reduce your hair wash days. It's likely your sebum glands are panicking, and they are working overtime to stay alive. Once your glands realise you aren't trying to attack it, it will produce your normal amount. It's about finding the right balance. 

Like styling products, when finding the right shampoo - avoid sulfates, parabens, alcohols and silicones. Some of these ingredients strip away the scalp's natural oils and can cause irritation while affecting the scalp's natural oil production.

Solutions for Oily Hair

If you find, your overproduction of sebum is too much for any commercially suitable shampoo to take care of. Then, it is worth seeing a healthcare professional for more advice who would likely look into prescription-strength shampoos, topical treatments and medication. 

Find the right hair care products, avoiding the types of ingredients mentioned above. 

Just remember the oils from your scalp are there to protect and moisturise! It's normal we produce them. We can only control certain things, such as our lifestyle, to maintain good, balanced hair and scalp health. 

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