The market of haircare products is full of shampoos and conditioners for greasy hair. This shows the scale of the problem, so if you’re one of the people who struggle with dull, limp and lifeless hair, you are not alone. Excess oil on the hair makes it look like it’s not taken care of or washed often enough.
While sometimes it might be the case, the majority of people who tend to have greasy hair wash it even more often that the persons who always seem to have fresh and full-looking hair. Luckily, once you know what the cause of greasy hair is, you will be able to diminish the symptoms of the problem and use some home remedies and quick fixed to make your hair look healthy and full.
What Causes Greasy Hair?
The skin on the whole body, including the scalp, has pores with sebaceous glands. Normally, those glands produce sebum, which is a natural way of protection for your skin. While a small amount of sebum on the skin and scalp surface is healthy and desirable (otherwise we would have dry and flaky skin all the time), its excess production may cause various problems, from acne on the face, cleavage and back to dandruff and greasy hair. The overproduction of sebum may occur due to various reasons, some of them unknown to physicians, but in the majority of the cases, it is ascribed to hormonal imbalance, improper diet, genetic predispositions or some skin diseases, like seborrheic dermatitis.
Your haircare routine also has a huge influence on the activity of the sebaceous glands in the scalp. Washing your hair not frequently enough may be as bad as washing it too often. In the first case, the oil accumulates on the hair and makes it look heavy and lifeless. In the second case, remove the protective layer off your hair and scalp, which stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. There is a solution for these problems if you are ready to introduce some changes to your haircare routine and use some simple home remedies.
Haircare Tricks To Prevent Oily Hair
The way you treat your hair directly affects the way it looks. It all matters, from the products you use to wash and style your hair, to your hairstyle, lifestyle and diet.
If you wash your hair on a daily basis, you remove the oil that protects your hair from damage caused by UV radiation, pollution, chemicals, hair dryers and flat irons. Your scalp and hair want to restore that protection as fast as possible and that’s when the sebaceous glands come to the rescue. They start producing more oil than is actually necessary and that oil get spread along the strands. Very often it accumulates at the roots and gives the effect of greasy hair closer to the scalp, but with very dry endings. This happens when the sebum doesn’t even have a chance to spread along the strands, which is a sign that you wash your hair way too often. While it may be understandable if you work out every day and have to remove the sweat from your body or if you spend a lot of time in a highly polluted place, you shouldn’t force your hair to have to restore the protection with this frequency.
In normal conditions, you should be able to wash your hair every two to four days and still manage to keep it looking fresh. If you are currently washing your hair daily, reduce the process to every second day. You might not feel 100 percent comfortable every other day, especially at the beginning, but with time, your sebaceous glands will adjust to the new haircare routine. Also, below you will find some quick fixes that may help you manage your hair better on the ‘greasy’ days.
Choose the Right Shampoo
Stick to the shampoos designed for greasy hair. Any kind of product that adds shine or makes the hair super smooth is based on oils, which may only make your hair even heavier. Be careful, however, with the shampoos containing sulphates. They do remove the grease very effectively, but can also irritate the scalp and damage the hair by making it very dry and susceptible to breakage and split ends. Always watch the reaction of your hair to a new shampoo. It is a good idea to have two, tested shampoos, and to use them interchangeably. Why two and not just one? Because your hair gets accustomed to the shampoo that you use for a longer time and the product starts to be less effective in terms of removing the remains of hairspray and mousse or the dust and other particles that get stuck to your hair throughout the day. Use one shampoo for three to four weeks, then switch to the other one for the following three weeks.
Use the Hair Products with Care
It is important to condition you hair, even when it’s greasy, but you need to know what kind of products to use and how to apply them. First of all, choose the conditioner that you apply after shampooing and that are designed to be washed off. Apply it only on the endings, rather than on the whole length of the hair, as the part closer to the roots get enough moisturising from the oil produced by the sebaceous glands. Alternatively, opt for light, spray, leave-in conditioners that are not based on oils.
As for the styling products, use them sparingly and they add weight to your hair. Instead of hair mousse, use a texturizing spray to give your hair extra volume. Fix the hair-do with a bit of hairspray, but don’t apply too much of it. And remember to clean your styling brush and combs regularly to make sure you remove the residue from the hair styling products. Otherwise, you will spread it along your hair again and your hair will look greasy and flat.
Don’t Touch Your Hair
Easier said than done, especially for those who tend to get nervous. The more you touch your hair throughout the day, the more you stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce the oil. You also spread the sebum along the strands. If you find it difficult to avoid touching your hair because of the hairstyle you have, for example with the fringe or single strands that keep falling on your face, consider changing the hairstyle or attach those strands with hair pins. If you touch your hair just because you have nothing to do with your hands and it’s your reaction to boredom or a stressful situation, make sure you have a stress ball on your desk or in the place, where you spend the majority of the day. Your hands will stay busy, your hair will look fresh and you will feel more self-confident.
Change the Hairstyle
Loose strands of hair not only provoke you to touch them more often but also result in the excessive production of sebum in the sebaceous glands. That’s why you should consider changing your haircut or hairdo to one that will help you keep all the hair tight and together. Many hairdressers recommend buns, braids and ponytails to girls who struggle with greasy hair. If you feel that your hair is exceptionally flat, you can curl it and make a messy bun or a ponytail. This will make your hair look fresh and full of volume, even on the second day after washing.
Revisit Your Diet and Lifestyle
If you have a problem with greasy hair and you notice that your complexion also tends to be covered with excess sebum, you might want to take a closer look at your diet and lifestyle. Certain foods, like fatty meats, fried products and sweets may have a negative influence on the condition of your skin and your hair. Make sure you eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and drink a lot of water in order to keep all the body cells well hydrated. Remember that dry scalp has a higher tendency to develop dandruff. It may also try to make up for the lack of hydration by increasing the activity of sebaceous glands.
Also, try to reduce the level of stress in your life. Prolonged stress slows down the regeneration processes in the whole body and negatively affects the blood circulation, so your scalp doesn’t get enough nutrients to keep the hair healthy and fresh-looking.
Home Remedies For Oily Hair
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on the haircare products of you want to get rid of the oily look on your hair. There is a wide range of home remedies that can help you forget about the flat, heavy hair-do.
This method, tested already by our grandmothers, is great for removing excess oil both from the hair and the face. Depending on the length of your hair, take two to four egg yolks, squeeze the juice from half a lemon and beat the ingredients well. Wash your hair with the regular shampoo, rinse it and apply the mask liberally over the wet hair. Leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes. You can put a shower cap if you want, but don’t wrap your hair with the mask in a towel, as it will absorb the majority of the precious mask. Rinse the hair well with lukewarm water. Finish the treatment off with cold water in order to close the hair cuticles and will make your hair smoother, shinier and less prone do damage.
The list of health problems that can be solved or prevented by using honey is never ending. And it obviously can be used as a haircare product both by those who have greasy and dry hair. Honey absorbs the oil accumulated on the hair, it helps regulate the functioning of sebaceous glands and nourishes the strands. Mix two to three tablespoons of organic honey with two egg yolks. Apply the mixture on freshly washed, wet hair and leave it on for up to half an hour. Rinse it with warm water. Both honey and egg yolk can form hard clusters on your head while they are drying up, but don’t worry, they will all get removed with water. Use this treatment two to three times a week.
Lemon juice also helps remove the excess oil from the hair. It also stimulates the regeneration process of the cells in the scalp and improves its functioning. Be careful, however, if you recently dyed your hair, as lemon juice can make the colour fade a little bit, especially if you repeat the treatment regularly. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and dilute it in half a cup of water. You can also add a tablespoon of honey for better results. Apply the solution on the hair and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Repeat two times a week, but observe your hair and check if it’s not getting too dry after the treatment. In that case, reduce the frequency to once a week only.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has the same effect on your hair as the lemon juice rinse. It might smell less attractive, but it’s easier to prepare. All you need to do is dilute two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in half a cup of water and use the solution as the last rinse after you wash your hair. The smell goes after some time, but if it really bothers you, you can wash it with a gentle shampoo after a few hours.
Oat water contains natural soap that removes the dirt and oil from your hair. Boil a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of oats for 10 minutes. Strain the oats and use the water to wash your hair. You can shampoo the hair first and then repeat the process with oat water or you can try to replace the shampoo with the oat water altogether. Repeat the process two to three times a week and you will notice a major difference in the way your hair looks and feels.
Rinsing your hair with alcohol diluted with water is another proven method for getting rid of excessive oil on hair. Alcohol dries out the hair and it might cause hair dryness if used too often, so make sure you do this treatment not more than twice a week. It’s best to use alcohol in the purest form possible, so if you want to try this method, use vodka without any flavourings and sweeteners. Dilute half one part of vodka in four parts of water and use it as a rinse after you have shampooed and rinsed your hair with warm water. Leave it on for five to ten minutes and rinse again with lukewarm water.
Beer not only removes the oil from your hair but also helps keep it smooth and shiny. A lot of girls use this treatment regularly and claim that this is one of the best ways to keep your hair soft and healthy-looking. Mix one part of beer with two parts of water. Shampoo your hair, rinse it with water, then with the mixture of water and beer. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off well. The difference in the condition of your hair will be noticed after just one treatment. For best results,
repeat the process at least once a week.
Using baking soda is not only a very effective, but also very simple method of getting rid of oily hair. Baking soda absorbs the excess of oil and helps remove the particles stuck to your hair, just like it helps to exfoliate the skin. It is also very beneficial for those who suffer from dandruff. Two to three times a week, when you shampoo your hair, simply add a teaspoon of baking soda to your shampoo and wash your hair. You can leave the shampoo in for two minutes longer than usually. Also, giving the scalp and the hair a gentle massage while you’re shampooing it with soda will give better results.
Quick Fixes For Oily Hair
you already know what you can do at home to get rid of oily hair. What, however, if you have an important meeting in half an hour or your colleagues came up with an idea of going out for drinks straight after work? Your hair – even if normally it tends to get greasy within a few hours of washing – can regain the fresh look in no time with these quick fixes for oily hair.
Dry shampoo is a powder in the form of a spray that absorbs the excess of oil when applied on the hair. It’s a very popular method, used by people who struggle with greasy hair and who don’t want to put too much pressure on the scalp and the hair by using shampoos with chemicals every single day. It is also a great way to make your hair look fresh and oil-free in a few minutes, whenever an unexpected event comes up, without the necessity to shampoo and style your hair all over again.
To make dry shampoo work well, you should brush your hair first, then apply the spray on the roots of the hair, holding the can 15 cm away from your head. Leave it on for two minutes, then massage the hair gently and brush the powder off. Remember that dry hair cannot replace the regular shampooing and that you shouldn’t use it more often than three times between the washes. The hair is exposed to pollution almost all the time and it is very important that you wash it once every few days, even when it doesn’t look greasy. What’s more, overuse of dry shampoo can lead to a build-up of white powder in your hair, which looks much more unattractive than greasy hair.
The liquid used as hand sanitizer can also be a quick fix for oily hair, provided it contains alcohol. As we mentioned before, alcohol dries out the excess of sebum on the hair and it will work the same way when you use a hand sanitizer. Squeeze a small amount of the product on your palm, dip your fingers in it and massage gently into the roots of your hair, into the most greasy parts. There is no need to rinse the hand sanitizer off or brush it out as it evaporates in a few seconds.
Another way to make the use of the beneficial properties of alcohol when you want to get rid of greasy hair fast is to spray your hair with perfume. Spritz it on the roots of the hair and massage it in gently. The alcohol will dry out the oil and the perfume will stay in the hair for a long time, making you smell and feel fresh. Remember not to overuse the perfume while spraying it onto your hair as it smells much stronger than when you spray it on your clothes. Very strong smell of perfumes may be as annoying as their complete lack, so use them sparingly.
One of the products that everyone has at home or in the car are wet wipes. They can be very helpful when you want to refresh your hair and reduce the amount of oil produced since the last shampooing. Remember, however, that only the wipes that contain alcohol will be helpful in this case and you should avoid baby wipes that contain oils. They may be great for the baby skin, but will give just the opposite result when used on the hair. Also, with this method your hair gets a bit damp, so you need to make sure you give yourself a few extra minutes so that your hair gets dry before you are ready to go. Take a wet wipe and rub the hair at the root quite vigorously. For one treatment you should use three to five wet wipes, depending on how thick and long your hair is. Let your hair dry and enjoy your fresh-looking strands again.