The skin of the scalp contains pores which are connected to the sebaceous glands. These glands secrete natural oil, sebum, which is essential to keep hair soft, smooth, and manageable. Sometimes these glands start producing sebum in excess which results in oily and greasy hair.
Reasons For Oily Hair
Oily hair can be a result of various reasons such as:
Genetic Factors: If your parent’s hair is oily chances are high that you will have oily hair too. It might be that, a particular gene has been passed on to you too.
Humidity: Those living in highly humid place will not only have oily hair but oily skin too.
Hormonal Disturbance: Hormones in the body can get disturbed and spike the production of sebum. There are numerous factors which increase oil production in the scalp such as pregnancy, puberty, certain medications, menopause, and stress.
Skin Condition: Certain skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis can cause an oily scalp and also dandruff.
Playing With Hair: Frequently running fingers through the hair not only transfers the oil from hand to the hair but also spreads the oil in the scalp to the length of hair, making them greasy.
Brushing Hair: Brushing hair repeatedly keeps redistributing oil from the scalp through the length of hair. The effect is more in those who have naturally oily hair.
Hair Products: Using too much hair products such as conditioner, hair gel, hair wax, mousse, can make them build-up in the scalp and disturb the functioning of the sebaceous glands. These are mixed with sebum and can weigh down the hair and make them look greasy.
Those which are alcohol-based pose an even bigger problem.
Using Shampoo On Hair Daily: Shampooing hair daily doesn’t make them dry but encourage the scalp to produce more sebum which is stripped away by the shampoo. This is therefore not solving but aggravating the problem.
Hot Water: Hot water stimulates the sebaceous gland encouraging them to produce more sebum.
Styling Hair: Styling causes too much heat exposure to the hair making them dry. This, in turn, encourages the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, making the hair oily.
Vitamin B Deficiency: Vitamin B controls the production and regulation of sebum levels. Deficiency of this nutrient can disturb the balance of sebum levels and make the hair too oily.
Solution for Oily Hair & Ways To Prevent An Oily Scalp
- Avoid brushing hair frequently not more than 2-3 times in a day.
- Rinse hair 30 seconds after applying any shampoo or conditioner and make sure all the product is removed from the scalp.
- Always rinse hair with cold water as it closes the cuticles and prevents the overproduction of sebum.
- Use a sulphate-free lightweight shampoo and conditioner to wash hair. Baby shampoo can be less irritating and also are better suited for those who need to wash hair frequently (1)
- Avoid applying conditioner to the scalp as it can act as an adhesive to dirt and germs and block pores. Conditioner should always be applied from the mid-section to the end of the hair, the part of the hair which actually requires moisturization.
- Avoid using hair products containing silicone as it coats the hair making them shiny but attracting oil and dirt to it (2)
- If blow-drying hair, do it on a cool setting to avoid stimulating the sebaceous glands.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera can prove to be great for hair and scalp mask as it helps remove extra oil, soothes the scalp, protects strands, and fights product build-up.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: A properly diluted apple cider vinegar rinse can help remove product build-up, reduce frizz, and maintain the scalp pH balance.
- Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has been proved to improve dandruff, reduce itchiness, and greasiness (3). Shampoo containing tea tree oil as an active ingredient can be used to get the full effect.
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