Natural oils in your scalp help protect your hair and your scalp. And while a grease-look can be desirable to achieve a certain look, too much can have an impact on your life.
Overly oily or greasy hair can cause confidence issues and frustrations for both men and women. Plus, it can lead to itching and dandruff. But there are things you can do to overcome excess grease, easily.
Why do we get oily or greasy scalp?
A greasy scalp is caused by an overactive sebaceous gland, which produce too much sebum.
Sebum isn’t bad for your hair. It helps keep your hair healthy and from drying out and breaking. Sebum in fact protects skin over your entire body, helps retain moisture and acts as a barrier to protect your skin and scalp from bacterial and fungal infections [source].
Too much sebum though, can cause skin issues such as acne and can block your pores.
Sebum production is controlled by our hormones Testosterone and Estrogen. Excess sebum can therefore be affected as and when our hormones fluctuate. Testosterone is linked to stimulating secretion, whereas estrogen can reduce this [source]
Stress, exercise, lack of sleep or other natural causes will have an impact in regulating your hormones.
Other common causes of oily hair include:
- Poor diet
- Improper hair care
- Vitamin B deficiency
- Over washing your hair
- Humid environments
There are plenty of ways you can control excess oil in your scalp.
How to treat oily greasy hair- the Natural Way
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV has a host of natural benefits, and one of these helps control the grease-look of your hair.
When diluted with water, rinse apple cider vinegar on your hair to balance the pH level of your scalp. This also helps clean your hair out of built-up hair product.
Dilute 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water. Apply this solution to your hair and rinse out with water.
Your scalp produces oils naturally as a protective barrier against bacterias and to lock in moisture.
So as tempting as it could be to further hydrate your hair and scalp with nourishing coconut oil, or almond oils – it maybe best to leave that altogether.
As you add more oil to your scalp, you interfere with the natural oil production as you risk blocking pores and forcing your body to over-produce more natural oils.
While you get your over-active sebum production under control, try to avoid adding additional oils which may contribute to the problem.
Wash less frequently
This one is tricky.
If your hair is oily, it may seem worth washing to keep control over how greasy your hair looks and feels. However, over-washing strips your hair of its natural oils. This may lead to it producing more oil to counter this.
Your body does this by producing more oils which makes up for lost oils, and this then builds up giving your hair and skin an oily look.
If you do need to wash more frequently, your best option is to look for another shampoo:
Use a natural Shampoo, and natural hair products
Using a clarifying shampoo once every two or four weeks will be more than enough to get a deep clean and strip away excess oil.
For washes in-between, try using a mild shampoo, which avoids any protein or substances like oils or silicon. Using shampoos which are free from lipids can help keep your hair lighter and help your scalp stay more naturally moisturised.
Use Aloe Vera and Lemon Juice
Aloe Vera can help unclog your greased-up pores, and when used with Lemon Juice can help furthermore.
Lemons have an acidic pH which acts as an astringent (meaning – they cleanse skin, tighten pores and dry out oils [source]).
Try mixing a tablespoon of aloe-vera gel, mixed with a couple of drops of lemon juice. Apply this mix to your scalp, and wash after 10 minutes.
Repeat a couple of times a week (each time you wash) and you should begin to notice some visible differences.
Lower Testosterone Levels
Yep. Testosterone contributes to an increase in DHT and is also one of the hormones which contributes to an increase in excess sebum production.
Balancing out your diet with soya, nuts and omega-3 can help reduce testosterone levels. As can decreasing overall fat intake, so if you’re on a keto diet – it may be time to evaluate whether to pause this for a while to regain and reduce oily scalp.
Zinc limits DHT production by inhibiting catalase production. By slowing down production of DHT, your body produces less sebum and has less constricted blood flow to your scalp.
Which means, adding Zinc to your diet can also help with preventing hair loss, as your body can transport nutrients more freely around your scalp.
Increase Vitamin B
Vitamin B2 and B6 deficiencies are linked with sebum production. Specifically, they help regulate your sebum levels and feed your hair follicles with nutrients to ensure a balanced secretion of sebum.
A sufficient intake of B Vitamins can help reduce greasy hair by reducing the sebum production.
Try to consume B vitamins naturally. Specifically, foods like fruit and vegetables, nuts, grains and bananas have adequate supply of Vitamin B.
As hormonal imbalance has much responsibility when it comes to over-production of your sebum, it’s important to be able to control stress.
Stress releases cortisol hormone into your blood stream which can lead to your sebaceous glands overproducing sebum. This is because cells which produce sebum, have receptors for stress hormones.
Activities like exercising and running, consuming a balanced diet and taking time to meditate during your day are linked in reducing stress and cortisol levels.
Use Sea Salt Spray
If your hair is getting oily during the day, while at work or out and about – try using Sea Salt Spray on your Hair.
Sea Salt picks up the extra moisture from your scalp, helping maintain its appearance.
So you can quickly cover up the excess oil, but this isn’t a permanent solution to your woes.
The first step in reversing oily, greasy hair is understanding the cause.
And more often than not, it can be environmentally driven with stress and nutrition imbalance causing excess sebum production.
Greasy hair is reversible, but it will mean you need to take a lifestyle choice in reducing how frequently you wash your hair, what products you’re adding to your scalp and your diet.