The panic of waking up late to hair that looks like you slept in a deep fryer certainly doesn’t make for a great morning. Sure — glossy, messy hair is in these days. But you can definitely have too much of a good thing.
An overly greasy scalp can lead to uncomfortable itching and seborrheic dermatitis. It can even provide a feast for the fungus that causes dandruff.
That said, you don’t want to strip off all your oil. Your natural oils protect hair and are vital for a healthy scalp and lustrous hair. Here’s how to cut the grease without damaging your hair or irritating your scalp.
1. Wash More Often
People with really oily hair may need to shampoo up to once a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Shampoo helps to remove excess oil as well as debris and leftover hair products from the scalp.
2. Wash Less Often
This may seem counterintuitive. But if you’re already washing your hair once a day and you’re still greasy by day’s end, it might be worth playing with how frequently you wash your hair.
Overwashing can strip your scalp of its natural oils. This may cause it to produce more oil to rehydrate.
If you tend to have dry skin or a dry, itchy scalp in addition to oily hair, slowly stretching how frequently you wash may help balance out your scalp’s oil production.
3. Shampoo Properly
It doesn’t seem like rocket science, but yes, you can wash your hair incorrectly and end up with an oily scalp and damaged hair.
To properly wash your hair, gently work a small amount of shampoo into your roots and scalp. Avoid using your nails or creating unnecessary friction on the strands. Aggressive scrubbing can irritate your scalp and cause it to produce more oils.
Focus on your scalp, where the oil is, rather than on the length of your hair. Don’t apply shampoo directly to the ends of your hair or scrub them. Instead, simply let the shampoo flow through the ends as you rinse.
And good news for your wallet, you should skip the “repeat” cleanse.
4. Condition Carefully
Conditioner can make your hair look greasy and cause oils to pile up faster. Condition just the ends of your hair, and be sure to thoroughly rinse.
5. Go Natural
Straightening irons and blow dryers can give you a smooth, sleek finish. But they can also make your hair look greasy faster.
Let your hair air-dry and embrace its natural texture. You’ll stretch out your washes and avoid heat damage.
6. Use Products Formulated for Oily Hair
A lot of thought and research has gone into making hair care products live up to their hype. If your shampoo isn’t cutting it, try a clarifying shampoo that has stronger detergents. This can help lift oil and leave your hair grease-free.
However, if you love sweaty workouts or find you need to wash daily, a mild baby shampoo can be less irritating and better suited for frequent use.
7. Clean Your Brush
A dirty brush has no place with freshly washed hair. Your brush can be full of styling products, oils, and general gunk that can make your locks dirty immediately after washing.
Clean up your styling tools with a bit of shampoo or gentle soap to strip off the buildup. Likewise, clean out all of the loose hair after each brushing to keep your brush free of oil and dirt.
8. Deep Clean with Aloe
This home remedy doesn’t just come in handy in the summer months. Aloe makes for a great hair and scalp mask since it removes extra oil, fights product buildup, soothes the scalp, and protects strands. You’ll be left with soft, healthy hair.
9. Avoid Products with Silicone
Many products, including shampoos, conditioners, creams, and styling products, are made with silicone to help smooth hair and add shine.
In addition to adding extra gloss that can look an awful lot like grease, silicones can build up on the hair and make it look dirty, oily, and weighed down. The most common silicones you’ll find in hair products include:
Silicones can also prevent beneficial moisture from getting into the hair shafts. Do your roots a favor and skip any products with ingredients ending in “-cone.”
10. Be Gentle
Whether you’re washing, brushing, styling, or scratching your head, it’s important to be extra gentle. Irritating your scalp can actually overstimulate it and cause your oil glands to produce even more oil.