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How To Reduce Oily Hair For Good?

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How To Reduce Oily Hair

Start with some lifestyle tweaks like eating fewer carbs and fat and more food sources of vit A, staying away from heat, stress and not combing the hair often. Some natural products like apple cider vinegar and a hair mask with egg yolk and honey are found to be effective. For a quick fix, you can try a dry shampoo with arrowroot powder or baking soda.

Have you got oily hair and scalp? You are not alone. Greasy hair is a common problem, especially during puberty. Apart from difficulties in styling, greasy hair attracts dirt and grime and is difficult to keep clean. How do we get rid of it? Needless to say, there are no permanent solutions to problems that are inherent; there are only techniques to managing them well. Oily hair is one such problem which is inherent and related to the natural condition of your skin. That is not to say, the situation is grim and you have to grin and bear it. There are natural ways to keeping your hair less greasy.

What Makes Your Hair Greasy?

For the right answer, let’s turn to a team of medical experts at the Columbia University who goes by the name Alice.1 According to Alice, oily hair is the work of the sebaceous glands crouching under each hair shafts. Their primary job is to produce oil or sebum to give natural luster to your hair and make it water resistant. At times, these glands take their job far too seriously and produce excess sebum.2 This also happens when your scalp has more sebaceous glands than you would appreciate. Apart from over enthusiastic glands, factors (here, we call them inherent) like genetics, too, play a part in making your hair greasy. If your mom, dad or aunt has greasy hair, you are likely to inherit that.3 Puberty is a time when sebum production reaches its peak after which it usually goes down.4 Apart from these factors, heat, and humidity, too, affect oil production in the scalp.

It’s now evident that it is difficult to gauge the actual cause of greasy hair. Sometimes, a little tweak in your lifestyle is all that you need to take care of it.

Lifestyle Tweaks To Take Care Of Greasy Hair

Improve Your Diet

Many studies on acne, another condition that results from excess sebum production, have shown a direct correlation between diet and sebum production. This idea stems from the understanding that human sebum is a unique mixture of lipids, and the diet affects its production. Increased consumption of dietary fat and carbohydrates have shown to increase the production of sebum while caloric restrictions bring it down considerably. Eliminating saturated fats and bringing the carb intake down is one way to keep sebum production in check.5

Foods rich in vitamin A is found to reduce both keratinization of skin and sebum production. Vitamin A or retinol is found in carotenes, yellow and orange pigments in the leaves of vegetables and in some fruits with beta carotene in it.6

No Touching, Brushing Or Combing

A remedy often suggested for dry scalp and hair is to massage the scalp and comb or brush hair often. This is to stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum to reduce the dryness. Common sense dictates that the opposite should work if you have greasy hair. In fact, many people who have tried this method have endorsed the fact that keeping your hands and comb off the hair is one way to deal with the greasy mess.

Stay Away From Heat

If heat and humidity are factors that lead to oily scalp and hair (scroll up for more information on this), staying away from these factors should reduce the sebum production, right? Yes, anecdotal evidences suggest that the method is effective. Wash your hair with cold water and strictly no blow dry, please!

Stay Happy, Avoid Stress

Stress can do many things to your body. Nudging the sebaceous glands to go on an overdrive is one such thing. In a study conducted on the relationship between psychological stress and increased sebum production in relation to acne problem among teenagers, it was found that though many things can cause acne, stress does increase sebum production.7 Though no direct study has been done on the relationship between stress and sebum production on the scalp, experts believe stress plays a major part in it.

How Often Should I Shampoo My Hair If I Have Oily Hair?

This is a tough one since there are two opposing views on this. While some say, washing your hair as often as you can, preferably every day, with a mild shampoo, is the best way to tackle greasiness, there is another theory that suggests daily shampooing of hair encourages the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. People who have tried the second method believes, washing your oily hair more than three times a week can be counterproductive. And strictly no store-bought conditioners, please. To know which of these theories will work for you, give both methods a shot and see for yourself.

What Is Elubiol? Can It Help?

Research has found a chemical elubiol to be beneficial in skin care for individuals with seborrhea, acne-prone skin, oily hair and dandruff.8 It is little surprise then that elubiol finds its way into cosmetic products for the conditioning of oily skin.

Home Remedies To Tackle Oily Hair

Apart from the lifestyle changes mentioned above, you can also turn to home remedies for some quick fix. There are many home remedies available on the internet which are not verified by studies but have got an overwhelming response from users. While Curejoy cannot attest to their effectiveness, we’ve compiled a few of them, so you could try at home and see for yourself.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Or ACV

ACV often finds its way into natural hair and skin cleansing potions primarily for its cleansing action. 9

How to use: Mix three or four tablespoons of ACV in a cup of water and rinse your hair scalp thoroughly with it after mild shampooing. Leave it for a few minutes and wash it off with cold water.

2. Dry Shampoo

Oily hair demands daily effort at removing oil from hair. One way is daily wash that subjects your hair to harsh chemicals in shampoos, strips it off natural oils, and make the sebaceous glands to work overtime. The styling takes time and subjects your hair to heat treatments like blow dry which makes your hair greasier. Dry shampoo that takes care of oily hair in a jiffy is a good alternative to this. Arrowroot powder and baking soda both make good dry shampoos.

How to use: 1) Mix a few drops of essential oil (only if you want some smell) to a cup of arrowroot powder. Apply it on the roots of your hair with a brush. After this, brush out as much powder as possible from the hair.

2)Sprinkle baking soda on the roots of the hair. It immediately soaks up oil. Comb the powder off the scalp and hair.

3. Natural Astringents

Astringents have oil-fighting power. Witch hazel, lemon juice, and black tea are natural astringents that can help fight excess grease on the hair.

How to use: 1) Take some witch hazel and mix it with some mouthwash. Using a cotton ball, dab the mixture on the scalp. Leave it for a while and wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

2) Mix some lemon juice with water. Rinse your hair with it after shampooing and then wash it away with cold water.

3) Add 2-3 tablespoons of black tea leaves to a cup of boiling water. Let it simmer for a while. Sieve the leaves and allow them to cool. Apply the leaves on the scalp and leave it there for a few minutes before washing the hair with a mild shampoo.

4. Egg Yolk And Honey Mask

Egg yolks are high in sulfur which helps absorb oil from the scalp and the hair.

How to use: Mix two tablespoons of honey with one egg yolk. Add a drop of essential oil to the mixture to give it a pleasant smell. Apply the mask on the hair and the scalp. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse the hair with a mild shampoo.

Try these methods to fix your excessively greasy hair. One of these should work for you. Good luck with the results!

References   [ + ]

1, 3. Oily hair and skin, Columbia University.
2. Ro, Byung In, and Thomas L. Dawson. “The role of sebaceous gland activity and scalp microfloral metabolism in the etiology of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.” In Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 194-197. Elsevier, 2005.
4. Scalp Skin Conditions and Disorders, ISHRS.
5. Picardo, Mauro, Monica Ottaviani, Emanuela Camera, and Arianna Mastrofrancesco. “Sebaceous gland lipids.” Dermato-endocrinology 1, no. 2 (2009): 68-71.
6. Truswell, A. Stewart. “ABCof nutrition.” Br MedJ, London (1986).
7. Yosipovitch, Gil, Mark Tang, Aerlyn G. Dawn, Mark Chen, Chee Leok Goh, Yiong Huak Chan, and Lim Fong Seng. “Study of psychological stress, sebum production and acne vulgaris in adolescents.” Acta dermato-venereologica 87, no. 2 (2007): 135-139.
8. Piérard, G. E., G. Ries, and G. Cauwenbergh. “New insight into the topical management of excessive sebum flow at the skin surface.” Dermatology 196, no. 1 (1998): 126-129.
9. Jefferson, Marsella. “Hair treatment compositions.” U.S. Patent Application 10/612,517, filed July 2, 2003.
CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.

CureJoy Editorial

The CureJoy Editorial team digs up credible information from multiple sources, both academic and experiential, to stitch a holistic health perspective on topics that pique our readers' interest.