Greasy hair is ordinarily due to the over expression of glands on the surface of the scalp that normally coat the top of the head with an oily substance called sebum. This sebum is important to provide protection, flexibility and shine to the newly emerging hair fibres from the follicles on the scalp.
For some people, due to hormonal and sometimes environmental factors these glands can over produce sebum and coat the surface in an overly thick layer of oil, this leads to the appearance of a greasy scalp. The grease on the scalp accumulates dirt by attracting impurities from the air leaving the hair looking weighed down, dirty and oily to the touch.
I wish I could say that during my research I found some excellent and innovative scientifically proven cure for oily hair sufferers but I would not be telling you the truth. The reality is that the only easily available and effective treatment for oily hair is to regularly wash it (if need be everyday) and avoid applying conditioners or styling products to the roots
Although many haircare ‘experts’ claim that washing your hair often actually increases the sebaceous glands to express sebum and therefore encourages greasy hair... the reality is that the glands will naturally coat the scalp with as much sebum as they want to whether you wash your hair daily or not.
In fact modern research into how to prevent sebum build up on the scalp has shown the only consistent way of preventing the buildup of grease is to simply wash it out often as often as necessary to keep your hair clean and excess oil free.
Many ingredients used in oily hair treatment products are designed to cut through the grease and remove it without damaging the surface cells on the scalp but of course as expected some work better than others and their effectiveness is dependant on their formulation and the quality of the ingredients inside.
Below I have recommended some excellent shampoos and conditioners that stand out because of their quality ingredients that can effectively cut through oil without irritating or damaging the scalp (which can often lead to more oil release from the glands).
Although I can’t offer you a one stop cure for this problem. (As soon as I find an affordable one that's scientifically proven I will let you know) I hope a few easy do’s and don’ts may just help you manage your oily hair problem well enough that for now you won’t need one...
These are some excellent products we recommend based on their excellent quality ingredients and minimal irritation to the scalp:
Do’s and Don’ts
Wash your hair often with a gentle translucent shampoo avoiding rich creamy formulas as these often contain ingredients that sit heavily on the scalp and weigh down the hair even after washing.
Try to wash your hair early in the mornings as oppose to late at night. Scientific studies into the bodies oil glands have shown that they tend to be more active during the night and therefore washing your hair before bed allows your glands to destroy the clean fresh texture you’ve been able to achieve in the evening by secreting excess oil during the night.
Excessive oil production on the scalp can often cause the pores to clog under the onslaught of a heavy coating of oil, therefore it is important to massage your shampoo into your scalp thoroughly but gently to help remove the grease that builds up over the pores in between washes.
Hot water stimulates the production of sebum so try to wash your hair in luke warm water to avoid increasing oil production while your still in the shower.
Avoid using hairbrushes and stick to wide toothed combs. Brushing helps the oil travel down from the roots of the hair to the tips as you drag the oil along the hair fibers with the brush. This can quickly turn very slightly greasy hair into a flat oily mess and therefore is best to avoid if you’re prone to an oily scalp. Instead gently tease your hair from the mid-lengths to the ends using a wide toothed comb taking care to avoid the oil prone roots. Your fresh locks will last you longer between washes and your hair will thank you for saving it from the harsh scrapping and dragging small bristle brushing causes to the fibers.
Avoid using to many products in your hair. From shampoo and conditioner to heat protectant and leave in sprays… less is always more. Oily hair in particular benefits from trying to use as little product as possible when it comes to washing and styling. NEVER apply conditioner to your roots and only add a little to your ends if they are dry, try to avoid using excessive heat on your roots which encourages oil production on the scalp, instead only apply heat protection to the mids and ends and if you suffer severely from an extensively oily head avoid using styling products near the scalp as they often cause mild to moderate irritation that encourages the glands to release more protective oil onto the skin. In short the more product free your hair can be the better.