Hair Skin Care Oily Hair

While dry hair can cause a number of hair problems, so too can oily hair. Not only can oily hair make styling your hair difficult, but it can also contribute to facial breakouts. Oily hair doesn’t have to turn your day into a bad hair day, however. There are a number of things you can do to turn oily hair into healthy, beautiful hair.

Causes of Oily Hair

At the base of each hair shaft is a gland that produces sebum, a fatty oil that is essential to hair health. Sebum keeps the hair flexible, moisturized and shiny.

Excessively oily hair can be caused by a number of factors. For instance, people with very fine hair tend to have oily hair, due to the fact that they can have as many as 140,000 oil glands on their scalps.

Hair color can also help determine the oiliness of your hair. While redheads, who have approximately 85,000 hairs on their heads, rarely have oily hair, blondes, who often have fine hair, tend to have the greatest problem with oiliness.

A number of other factors, including the following, can also contribute to excessively oily hair:

  • heat
  • hormonal changes
  • humidity
  • the use of styling products.

Oily Hair Remedies

To get oily hair under control, try the following:

  • An Apple a Day: Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with one pint of high-quality bottled water and use it to rinse your hair.
  • Brush Less: Brushing carry the oil from the roots of your hair to the ends. To prevent the spread of oil, brush your hair only when necessary.
  • Choose a Clear Shampoo: Clear shampoos tend to remove the oil from the hair more effectively than creamy shampoos. They also tend to leave less residue in the hair.
  • Massage Your Scalp: When shampooing, be sure to work the shampoo into your scalp. However, don’t massage your scalp in between shampoos. Massaging your scalp while your hair is dry can bring more oil out of the glands and onto the hair.
  • Rinse with a Twist: To cut oiliness, squeeze the juice of two lemons into a quart of high-quality bottled water.
  • Shampoo Frequently: Shampooing doesn’t prevent the oil glands in the scalp from producing oil. However, it does remove the oil from the hair.

    To fight excessively oily hair, you should shampoo once a day. During the summer months, when the temperatures and humidity levels rise, you may need to shampoo twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.

  • Skip the Conditioner: Conditioners contain oils to moisturize hair. If your hair is already oily, try going without the conditioner. If you must use a conditioner, use a lightweight one that contains very little oil. Also, apply your conditioner just to the ends of your hair.
  • Test for Oil: After shampooing and drying your hair, test it to see if it feels or looks oily. If it does, you likely aren’t using enough shampoo.
  • Use Astringent: You can slow the secretion of oil by applying an astringent to your scalp. Mix equal parts of witch hazel (an astringent) with mouthwash (an antiseptic), and use cotton balls to dab the mixture onto your scalp. For a very oily scalp, apply this astringent before each shampoo.
  • Wash, Rinse and Repeat: People with excessively oily hair might need to heed the advice on the shampoo bottle and wash, rinse and repeat.


Mother Nature, Inc. (1995-2007). Oily Hair: 16 Neutralizing Solutions. Retrieved November 2, 2007, from the Web site: