How To Care for Oily Hair

Having oily hair

Oily hair - plight of teenagers, destroyer of hairstyles.  To those with dry hair, oily hair is an embarrassment of riches.  But those of us with oily hair want to find relief.  Consider the following tips to care for your oily hair.

  1. Shampoo.  If you have straight, fine hair and an oily scalp, it won't take long for the hair to become oily.  You'll probably want to wash your hair more often than three or four times a week.  For people with really oily hair, washing once a day is not too extreme.  In fact, it may help to leave the shampoo suds in your hair for a couple minutes before rinsing.  But rinse the suds and residue completely from your hair. 

    Also, consider using a normal-to-mild shampoo, rather than the ones that promise to banish oil forever.  If your scalp and hair are naturally oily, then trying to dry them out by washing all the time with a ruthless shampoo could potentially make matters worse; the human body has a way of trying to restore balance, and will kick its sebum secretion into high gear, resulting in more oily hair!

  2. Conditioner?  You probably won't need conditioner if your hair is really oily.  But those of you with longer hair may want to condition the further reaches of it.  If you condition your hair, apply the conditioner to the hair well away from the roots.  Because you want to limit the amount of hair that is conditioned, don't use a shampoo-conditioner combo in oily hair.
  3. Hormones.  Teenagers often suffer oily hair because their scalp is more sebaceous (it secretes more of the oily sebum).  Teens with straight hair have more problems with oily hair than those with curly locks, but the real reason for their age-based oiliness is hormones.  For this same reason, pharmaceuticals that affect our hormonal levels can also have an effect on the oil in our hair.
  4. Nutrition.  As with caring for dry hair, nutrition is essential.  Greasy fast foods can have the same effect on your scalp as they do on your face - more oil secretion.  Eat your fruits and veggies and eliminate some of fat and oil in your diet if you can.  Don't drink too much alcohol, either; pick up a glass of water instead.  I know, I sound like your mother.  But remember, she was only trying to keep your hair as vibrant and bouncy as possible.
  5. Don't touch it!  Consider your basic grooming habits.  Do you brush your hair a lot or just use your hands to brush through it frequently?  As it happens, using a comb too much and running your hands through your hair both contribute to oily hair.  Brushing from roots to tips pushes the sebum all along your hair, while touching your hair all the time further burdens your hair with dirty oil from the hands.  If your habit is hair-twirling, then kick the habit!


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